Currently a friend of mine is walking through a deep valley in her life. I feel fairly helpless. My assistance is so profoundly insufficient. Because the only way out of this valley is through it, and the only solution to her problem is time and space. And time and space stubbornly require so very much time and space.
On the day her world changed, I had the privilege of being one of the first responders along with the standard uniformed personnel for whom we are all so grateful in such situations. I got to be one of the friends who helped her breathe, and make one decision at a time, and take the next step. And I cried with her so that she would know her grief was my grief, too.
At one point during the chaos, another caretaker said to me, “Thank you for being here.” Without thinking my reply was simply, “She is my girl.”
So, my job is to move her through that obstinate time and space by helping to attend to her myriad of needs today, and tomorrow, and next week, and next year. And to remind her that time and space plus Jesus is how she will come out of this valley to a new plateau that will overwhelm her with a sense of His love and peace.
I need to validate that no, it is not fair, and no, it is not just. But that He is trusting her to believe that it is His plan through this trial to bless her beyond measure one day – that it won’t be immediately or even in the near future, but that day is out there waiting. And to affirm that she is showing a lost and broken world what it means to so completely submit one’s whole life to a sovereign God who makes all things new, for our ultimate good and His perfect glory. And to never let her forget that He is here and trudging through the valley with her. She is my girl.
And, I am in a place in my life where I have the joy of having many girls. That I walk alongside, that I speak affirmation over, that I say hard things to, and do hard things with. I’m so glad to be in this place. It feels like the most natural outpouring of the reality that I, too, am someone’s girl. By His amazing grace, I am lots of someones’ girl. They walk alongside me, speak affirmation over me, say hard things to me, and do hard things with me. They are my first responders.
Because real life is full of delight and laughter and wonderfulness. It is also messy and difficult and ugly, and sometimes even devastating.
Therefore, we were made to be in relationship with each other to celebrate and to rejoice and to toil and to mourn. We were made to have first responders and to be first responders. We were made to be His hands and feet and an earthly expression of His heart. We were made to be in community as the Body of Christ.
So, to all my girls, I say thank you – you know who you are. And to my great God, I say thank you – I don’t doubt for a minute that they are part of Your provision.
That’s it for now. I have to go check on the one of my girls whose needs for the moment are too much for her to bear alone. It’s my job and my privilege as a first responder.
Written by Sonia Cleverly
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