This Sunday, Brandon had the opportunity to go before the church and share about his upcoming deployment to Iraq.
(The church is quite large, and we have not had the opportunity to get to know as many people as we would like.)
Rhema was unable to sit still in the service, so she and I were upstairs in the “cry room” when Brandon was speaking. The cry room was filled with mothers and small children fussing and cooing. I did not know any of the women in the room very well. When one of the mothers realized that Brandon was speaking, she jumped up and turned up the volume so that we could hear him. It was hard to concentrate on what he was saying, but I could tell that he was getting a little choked up as he talked about Rhema and Hope.
I stood so I could hear him better. One of the mothers walked over and stood beside me.
When Brandon finished, the pastor asked the congregation, “Are you willing to stand with this family and support and pray for them?”
I heard over three hundred voices answer with a resounding “Yes.”
I gasped. Not many days ago I was feeling a tad overwhelmed, and suddenly I had a multitude (there’s a Bible word for you) of real, tangible help.
Our pastor continued, “Let’s pray a prayer of protection over Brandon and his family now.”
The next thing I knew there were hands on my shoulders. Babies were left to play on the floor, while their mothers stood around me. In the midst of that chaotic playroom, women I did not even know stood with me, shed tears and prayed for my family. It’s difficult to put into words what their simple kindness meant to me.
I felt it again. Covered.
After the service ended, we were overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support. There were offers for free babysitting, and offers to cook meals, do laundry, run errands and do “anything else I could think of.” Friends have formed “support team” and will come once a week just to be an extra set of hands.
I had to laugh. Trust God to set me up with even more help than I could imagine! I know that He has put people in my life who will faithfully be there whenever and however I may need them. I continue to be amazed at His marvelous provision. How very blessed am I.
There is a teenaged boy in our church named Cole. He has autism and reminds me of Reid. These are the kids that parents like me just love to watch. They have such a purity of spirit. They inspire me. They cause me to hope. I want my girls to grow up to be just like them.
Cole’s father approached us and asked if Cole could take a picture with Brandon.
“He likes to have a picture of who he is praying for,” his father explained. It was all Cole’s idea. So his father snapped a photo.
Then Cole told us he wanted to pray for us.
Rhema was squirming, and I had been struggling with her all morning. I was hungry. I was hot – 90 degrees with no AC in the building and I was sweating like a pig. I did not know what to do with all the love and attention, and I had the urge to pull a Rhema and run like the wind. But nothing in the world could have dragged me away in that moment.
Cole put his hands together and bowed his head. With halting words, he prayed with all his heart,
“Dear, dear, dear, dear, dear God…”
He petitioned the God of the Universe to take care of us, and I’m certain that God was all ears.
Surely many can understand when I say that it was the most sincere, most eloquent prayer I have ever heard.
I felt completely, lavishly… covered.