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Sitting in the Middle

This morning we sat in the plastic folding chairs of our Life Group, which felt suddenly hard and uncomfortable in the ear-splitting silence that had come over the packed room of people.  I tucked my chin to disguise my tears, and the entire frame of my eyesight grew crowded with the feet of the people surrounding our two chairs. In that moment, my emotions were confusing.  Frustration, embarrassment, and because no other word could describe it, resentment.  Not at the people around me, but I felt so discouraged at being the chair in the middle.  Once again, hands were laid upon us as we stood in the middle of tragedy; broken, weary, with the arms of our community holding us up.  I am tired of being the one that needs holding up.  It feels like season after season after season of hard has kept us on the defensive, treading deep waters and relying on the people around us to carry us.  I am ready to be the one who gets to give instead of always being on the receiving end.  It feels selfish, uncomfortable, and humbling.

Humbling…maybe that’s the buzzword.  It’s not comfortable to be vulnerable, no one likes to be needy.  On the flip-side, isn’t that what we are created for?  Community?  Yes, I’m sure of it; we weren’t intended to carry our burdens with our own strength.

Perhaps in this long season, God is waiting for me to learn to surrender to being vulnerable, to gracefully accept the help that He provides.  One would think that sitting back and letting others tend to your needs would be the easy part, but we groom ourselves to be independent, self-sufficient, mighty in what we can handle.  It takes grace and humility to learn to receive with open hands.  This is something I first learned from Kara… she implored us all to work at letting people help, at tending to their hearts by letting them do something for us.  Still, it’s easier said than done.

We are immeasurably blessed to be surrounded by all the feet in that room.  Right from barely knowing us, this body of believers has jumped in with both feet to love us, pray for us, and fill the gaps that we have needed filled.  They are the gospel in human form, who am I to let my stubbornness stand in the way of letting community be exactly what it is created to be?

For now, my seat is in the middle. I am weak and struggling and needing the strength and prayers of my people to carry me through. I am confident that one day I will get to stand in that outer circle.  I will get to be part of the army that reaches out to link arms with a wounded soul and helps to carry them out of the valley.  While I’m waiting, I’m learning to sit, to breathe deep in the compassion that is poured over us, to accept with a humble and thankful heart the many blessings that have been extended, undeserving, to see us to the other side of this dark storm.

How does it make you feel to be the one needing help?  Who are the people that are there for you when you’re going through something hard?  What stands in the way of you opening your hands to the help of those who offer?

Please leave me a comment, it lets me know you’re listening!!!

6 thoughts on “Sitting in the Middle”

  1. Oh Hannah, We love you so Dearly. God is truly working in your life. So, don't give up the fight. I see a warrior in you and I do believe you will win this fight. The bright side is awaiting. In the midst of all these always remember that God is in control and that He loves you so much. A passage that lifted me up, hope it gives the same encouragement to you? 'Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 . Love lots ❤️

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  2. I was crying along with you yesterday. My heart aches for you and your family. I'm glad you shared- we want to help in any way possible. For me, it can be scary and quite humbling to open myself up to others help. God has been working in my own life this past year- showing me how trustworthy He is during times when the outcome of a situation is uncertain. ❤️ The verse Cherry shared.

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  3. God will do amazing things through this. You are loved! There absolutely will be a day when someone needs exactly what you have needed and you will be the hand and heart that helps. Thank you for letting us show you love in the midst of this. WE are called to carry each other's burdens, and we are blessed to walk through this with you.~~Chelsea

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  4. I tested first so I was sure message would go through.

    Though you feel so humbled, believe me, it is far better than losing friends over a tragedy. When we lost our granddaughter, one by one my Christian friends deserted me. Friends for many years! This is another heartache on top of losing my only grandchild. As you know, Delainey had Trisomy 18, and so we knew we wouldn't have her long, even then, I had little or no love from my friends. They stayed away until after her death and now they are gone. Hold tight to these people who are expressing all this help, prayers, and love. You are so blessed. I thank you, dear Hannah for caring about me and your precious prayers that have held me. Thank God He brought you into my life. Love, hugs, and prayers.

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  5. I tested first so I was sure message would go through.

    Though you feel so humbled, believe me, it is far better than losing friends over a tragedy. When we lost our granddaughter, one by one my Christian friends deserted me. Friends for many years! This is another heartache on top of losing my only grandchild. As you know, Delainey had Trisomy 18, and so we knew we wouldn't have her long, even then, I had little or no love from my friends. They stayed away until after her death and now they are gone. Hold tight to these people who are expressing all this help, prayers, and love. You are so blessed. I thank you, dear Hannah for caring about me and your precious prayers that have held me. Thank God He brought you into my life. Love, hugs, and prayers.

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