I really believe that when the Church acts as God calls it to, fellow Christians become to us like family. I have experienced this over and over again here in Montana, in our local church and in my community of fellow mothers. The Christians I know here free me to be myself, to be vulnerable and authentic. They really care. And they show it by word and deed. It's so easy to start getting cynical about the Church of Christ. Yes, it is full of sinners. But it is also full of caring people who are the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. I am so grateful to God for the way He shows His love and care through the family of believers.
I've been struggling a lot through this pregnancy. One of my primary struggles has been with my limited ability to participate in service. I see so many needs all around me and I long to be able to do more to serve. But I also know I am not very dependable right now. I keep having health issues that slow me down and take my attention. And when I push myself too hard, I regret it later. More of this pregnancy has been spent resting in bed than in my previous one and I get so frustrated with the exhaustion and health hang-ups. Yesterday, I was sitting in the fellowship hall at church with some ladies of all ages and they asked me how I was and listened and then gave me some gentle lectures that it is right to take care of myself. They told me this is only a limited time in my life and I will have months and years to return to service and doing. They said, "How can we help? Do you need help cleaning your house? Setting up the nursery? What can we do?" One friend proposed a baby shower, which will meet so many needs in our stretched budget currently. Another friend is offering me maternity clothes. A third is watching Burrito one day this week so I can get a little rest. And today, another Christian friend from another church offered me more maternity clothes. A week ago, another friend gave me some baby boy clothes, which were also much needed. God is providing. He is answering so many prayers.
Sometimes it's hard to be vulnerable with my fellow Christians, but to fail to do so, to fail to share how things really are is to miss out on God's blessing and care through them. I came home feeling a bit teary-eyed with gratitude. I hope that when I am feeling better again, I can be there for other friends like this too.