Saturday, December 06, 2008

God's Mercies on a Hurting Heart

I have a friend.

A very, very good friend.

And she is going through a hard time.

A very, very hard time.

An I-may-not-make-it-out-of-bed-today hard time.

A life-really-stinks-my-heart-is-breaking-help-me hard time.

And when you have a very good friend whose heart is breaking, little bit by little bit, so goes your own heart.

When the end of this heartbursting time will come, no one really knows.

In the meantime, there are holidays to attend to... like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

And birthdays. Big ones. 40th birthdays.

A day that's supposed to show you that what you've been doing the last 40 years has really paid off. A day that you're supposed to be secure and mature, looking forward to the years to come.

But how could she look forward to this milestone of a day when it seems that looking back is depressing and looking forward is frightening?

There is not a happy ending to this story (not yet anyway), but I will say there is kind of a pleasant interruption of sorts... a God given respite... kind of like an unexpected refreshment of rain on a hot hard day.

That's actually what this post is about. What I really want to communicate here is God's daily mercies (click here for others), specifically the way He worked amazingly in the life of my friend this past week.

I knew her birthday was coming up, but in all honesty, had put little to no thought to it. How could I possibly plan a celebration knowing the condition of her heart? But another friend brought up to me that they wanted to plan a party. A party? I wasn't so sure about that, but after brainstorming for awhile, we had an exciting alternative: a week of birthday blessings. Then, I called another friend, and we brainstormed a theme for each day:

Monday: Flower Shower
Tuesday: Words of Encouragment
Wednesday: Pamper Party
Thursday: Gifts of Inspiration
Friday: Gift Card Crazy

With the magic of email, we had 5-6 people a day lined up to send flowers, drop by gifts, bake dinner, take to lunch, and so on and so forth. (I think it turned out to be more than that.)

It was easy, because God was behind it.

It wasn't me at all. I take absolutely none (zero!) credit. And I'll prove it.

Tuesday was her actual birthday. In the email, we had asked everyone to get her a card that day. In her mailbox or in person. And at the end of the day, she called me. Astonishingly, she had gotten a lot of cards that day.

Guess how many?
Could it be?
40 on her fortieth birthday.

I COULD NOT have planned it this way. I know it was another of God's little mercies for my friend, just telling her "I love you," "everything is going to be OK." "I'm with you." "You have my support and I'm NOT leaving you alone."

The rest of her week was amazing, with treats around every corner. A scripture Bracelet. Gift cards galore. Coffee. Surprise visits. Mani/pedi. A great Italian dinner. An edible fruit bouquet. A poinsettia. A Happy Everything plate!

She said this: she said that she never expected to be happy on her birthday. But she was. I'd venture to say that the whole week brought her great joy thanks to God, who is good and provides for His children.

She had to decorate the Christmas tree tonight. I say "had" because it wasn't easy. There were ornaments and memories and tears, all mixed together. This is not an easy time for her. But I think last week gave her a glimmer of hope and encouragement that she needed.

I keep telling her I am expecting God to do some more amazing things in her life. So if you get a chance, say a prayer for my friend. He'll know who you're talking about.

6 Wonderful Responses:

DeeBee said...

I am terribly sorry for your friend. It is so miserable to be sad and not feel anyway out of the misery. I've said that I don't do sad well. She obviously has great friends and when she emerges from this experience she'll be stronger and you all will be closer for having gone through it with her.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story of God's mercy and grace.

We celebrated Joe turning 40 (Dec 4) last night. I pray this year will be the very best yet for your friend.

I'm sorry I'm late getting The Daily Mercies up...but it's up!

So link up, if you'd like. We're STILLL working on closing out the previous links. For now, we'll consider it an opportunity for the Lord to work as those posts are read.

Thank you for sharing! You are a blessing, an inspiration, and clearly an awesome friend.


Michelle said...

I think it is wonderful what you did for yor friend. They are truly blessed to have you in their life. I believe God puts different people in our lives for different reasons. I will pray for your friend for peace. It is always so hard to see a friend hurting. I have a dear friend going through a terrible divorce right now and her heart is breaking everyday. I loved hearing what you did for your friend. It is inspiring for me to do something for my friend. Thank for sharing your story.

Dawn said...

Oh, Annie, you are just the kindest person. I love what you all did for your friend. I love that you listened to God's leading.

Of course, I'll say a prayer for your friend.

Traci said...

How wonderful that she was able to be happy on her 40th birthday!! What a kind thing you all did for her!!! A little glimpse of peace amidst the terrible storm. My heart breaks for her!! She will be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful blessing. We will add your friend to our prayers, knowing He is faithful. This is where we breath Him in, one simple breath at a time, and rest in His mercy.
Thanks for sharing Annie. I think we all needed that. Happy 4Oth to your friend, and may she receive double for her trouble, as HE ALONE brings her out!!

“As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee.” Zech. 9:11, 12