This journey I'm on right now isn't easy. I've never been one to pretend that it is. I learned a long time ago that keeping up a facade that everything is fine is more effort than I'm willing to put in. And there have been a lot of dark moments of questioning and doubting and crying. Y'all know this; this blog is probably the only place where I am 100% honest and open 100% of the time.
But one constant piece of good throughout this whole mess is the fact that I have been surrounded by so many people who have walked with me through the good days and bad and been here for me without fail. No matter what kind of day I'm facing, I always know that I have almost three dozen people that I can call or text with prayer requests or just to talk to. These people have walked with me every step of the way and never once wavered in their certainty that my healing will come.
This goes so far beyond just the obvious ones, like Ryann, Matt, The Vespers, etc.; people I used to barely ever speak to have become invested in me and my life have asked me to keep them updated with every new development so that they know what to be praying for and about. Like Jen, I'll never forget seeing her in tears over my situation. Or my friend Drew, who up until this point had only been a Facebook friend since that dance in October 2011, who searched me out in the library to ask about how I was doing because he'd seen my Facebook posts, and then asked me to text him the full details so he could pray and to keep him updated. Or Paige, a girl who started out as nothing more than one of the many students I tutor, and quickly became one of my strongest prayer warriors.
There are even people I've never met praying for me. Like Lynn, the woman in Alabama that Taylor and Phoebe met on a plane and with whom I spent 4 hours on the phone talking. Or the people in Chris's church in Texas (Chris and I are both praying God gives me a way to visit down there one day soon). They have poured love into my life, a complete stranger. There are blog friends, like my sweet friend Lauren, who have lifted me up and encouraged me as if we've been best friends for years. And then there's Jeff Bethke, who has told me via Twitter and email that he's praying for my health - me, one of more than 100,000 people who follow him on Twitter.
Now don't get me wrong, Ryann, The Vespers, Kyla, and Caitie have been huge sources of encouragement throughout this. I still remember what Taylor said when he prayed over me the day I went into the hospital, and how he texted me encouraging messages and verses throughout that whole stay. I can call Kyla or Caitie anytime I need a girlfriend to listen. And Ryann, well she's the one who always seems to be most confident on the days when I'm not confident at all, even though I know privately she worries about me as much as anyone. These brothers and sisters of mine always know what I need and aren't shy about giving that. They keep pushing me forward toward Christ, and when I'm facing a trial like this that honestly tests my faith, I need people like that so desperately.
Do I believe that Christ is sufficient all on his own? Yes, absolutely. But I also believe that we were never meant to do this life alone. Humans were designed to crave relationship. We all want to love and be loved. And looking back at the scared little girl I used to be who believed the only love she'd ever have in her life was Matt, it makes me weak in the knees to reflect on my life now and realize that I have more love in my life than I know what to do with. I don't know if I'd have the bravery to continue trusting Christ if I wasn't so blessed as to be surrounded by people who are so faithful in keeping me focused on the Truth, especially on the days when they can see me wavering. I don't know how I'd make it through each pain-filled day without all of these amazing, dedicated, confident-in-God, supportive and loving people being Jesus to me every step of the way.
Blessings like this, they're just beyond comprehension. I could never deserve all of this, but I am filled to the brim with gratitude that God chose to place all of these friends in my path, anyway. He knew exactly what I would need at a time like this. Faithful God.