Originally published Sunday, 10 August 2014.
In what sick and twisted world do we throw someone a shower for suffering? That's exactly what I did this weekend at my house to launch my fifth book, Dream Devotional. The only showers we typically go to are wedding and baby showers or a house warming party. I know because I was always the bridesmaid, never the bride -- until I turned twenty-nine. All those years of suffering and no one offered to sit with me and throw a party.
I take that back.
One Sunday at church, my pastor bought a bunch of beach balls (our church was less than a mile from the beach) and started telling everyone to get into the spirit of celebration. No matter what we suffered with, He wanted us to have a “ball.”
At that particular time, I brought my parents to my church to have the elders of the church lay hands on me and ask God to heal me because I was really struggling with my eczema. The reason why I wanted the pastors to pray over me is because I lost the skin off my hands. I remember expecting a somber church service, but instead I was met with flying beach balls to the face.
Talk about the weirdest Sunday ever.
I was tired of suffering.
I was upset with my pastor that Sunday because I did not want a shower! I just wanted him to pray over me. I didn’t want to laugh. Crazy how I had to quickly adjust my attitude if I wanted him to pray over me, which I did.
Let me ask you a question: Do your friends and family know how important it is that they weep when you weep and not just rejoice when everything’s going fine?
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15, NIV).
It’s rare to find a true friend who is willing to throw you a shower for suffering. As long as I am writing, speaking, and dream coaching -- I look forward to rejoicing and mourning with those who need encouragement. I am grateful to know a handful of women who have walked me through some very hard trials. Thankfully, they are the same women who can rejoice with me when things are going well.
They aren’t jealous or caddy.
What about you?
Without the hard times, we wouldn’t desire to encourage others as much.
No message to share.
No heart for ministry.
No compassion for our friends.
Although you may already know this, I hope it is another reminder not to give up hope.
Dear Dream-Giver Jesus, show me who my true friends are. It’s easy to know who your friends are when everything is going well, but I’m in trouble and not sure whom to trust. Point out to me those I can trust and confide in. Show me those who will sit and mourn with me when I just need a good cry. Thank you for your discernment today. Amen.
Question: Do you find it easier to rejoice or mourn with others or both? Which are you more comfortable with others doing for you? Why?
(Excerpt taken from Dream Devotional, © 2014. All rights reserved.) Enjoy pictures from the launch party below. A BIG thanks for all those who celebrated with me (and family) in person! It was definitely the best launch party ever!