Someone I love is really, really struggling right now. My heart hurts so bad that my head hurts. It’s throbbing as I type.
I was telling myself all the right things. I was praying. I was reminding myself to trust. I was helping where I could and not getting sucked into more than I can do. I was doing all the right things for myself. Really and truly, textbook self-care for difficult times. Unfortunately that didn’t stop the grief from hitting. Oh my dear God, the fear and terror and sadness and lack of control and even more worrisome: emptiness. Like I just couldn’t quite get a feel for where God was in all of this.
My mom has a rock like this. Actually, hers is greenish but I didn’t think to take a picture of it when all this was going down. It wasn’t a picture moment. My mom’s rock sits on her windowsill as a reminder. She picked it up the other day and said, “Would someone else take this and pray? I’m really struggling to have faith.” I took it and said, “Sure, I’ll hold your faith for you.” It was actually meant to be kind of funny but it ended up being profound.
“Thank you.” She said. “I need someone to do that right now.”
Well, then I felt like a fraud. Do prayers prayed by someone who isn’t sure she’s even connecting with God go anywhere? I did pray but I wasn’t sure God was still on the line. Like the call had dropped and I was just chattering away to empty air.
Then I sat with a group of women and said, “I’m so worried.” When they asked what they could do, I surprised myself by saying, “Pray.” When they agreed it was like a cool breeze floated over me, refreshing and welcome. When one woman shared her own struggle and offered words of hope and faith from a place deep inside her, my tears of fear became tears of gratitude and I felt genuinely refreshed.
As I left that room and marveled at what had happened, I realized what it was. They had held my faith for me.
There’s more to come in this story. I’m sure of it, in ways good and bad. But for now I’m just so amazingly grateful to have the burden taken off for just a little bit. I’m so amazingly grateful for all the people that God sends to hold our faith when we’re just too worried or consumed or empty to hold it ourselves.
An idea for the day: List the people who have been faith holders for you. Send one of them a note letting them know how much you appreciate their help. Or, reach out to someone who you know needs a faith-holder right now. Call, email or text them a word of encouragement.
Loving, giving, faithful God, thank you for the people you’ve sent into my life to be faith-holders. Thank you, too, for the times you’ve allowed me to be a faith-holder for someone else. For all those in need of faith-holders today, I ask your blessing. For those capable of being a faith-holder right now, I ask your blessing. May these people find each other. Amen