I've been there as an individual. There have been times in my life where I didn't understand God's timing, or my circumstances, or mostly, why God would allow my circumstances. Aaron and I have been there as a couple... finances, life decisions, waiting when everything in us says go. It's frustrating and awful and depressing. It's dark and hard and uncomfortable.
These times are often offset by other times of utter joy and happiness and even contentment. It's the "as planned" part of life... no surprises, smooth sailing, even enjoyment. They are so different. I dread thinking about the future despair I may have to endure. I cringe. It makes me feel sick inside. God has always been faithful to deliver us from the desperation, but it doesn't make the circumstance any easier while enduring it.
There's one thing I've learned from my moments of despair, it's hard to deal with on your own. There is a reason God calls us to build one another up (Ephesians 4:29), He knows we'll endure trials and testing in our lives, making our lives not always a sunny mountain top experience as we'd all wish it would be. People have made all of the moments in my despair. People have either been an encouragement or a frustration. They have been a help or a hurt, all depending on how they approach our situation. So, I've learned a lot about what has helped us and what has hurt us when we were hurting the most.
It's amazing how God pulls that information out.
Just today I've been approached but three different, yet desperate situations... all with ones we care about:
1. Ones we love trying, still, to get pregnant.
2. Another friend who lost his grandmother.
3. Yet another friend who's mother is in the hospital, again, and is very ill.
All different. All grieving. And my heart breaks on a whole new level for each one of them. The Lord is teaching me a great deal about empathy and compassion. My heart feels as if it is literally breaking for those we love. I, of course, pray for these situations, but more than anything I want to be the solution to a need for them. Need a friend... call me, visit. Need a distraction, let's go away for the weekend. Need a lift? I'll take you. Need a meal... a laugh... a shoulder... you got me. It's the desire of my heart to see their hearts lifted. It's the desire of my heart to witness them walk from their dark times to the birth of the baby, to the peace of salvation and to a celebratory recovery.
I long for community in which we can mourn with and rejoice with, share with and love with, encourage and hold accountable those whom we love and who in turn love us. That is the 2nd commandment given us by Jesus, right? Love God first. Then, love your neighbor as yourself. I never thought I'd feel the heartbreak... or the rejoice, and I'd never claim to understand their situations... but I'd love to try... to walk with them through it... as I know they would us if, or, er, when it will again happen.
Jesus has so blessed us with amazing friends. I only hope we can be to them as they are to us. Together fulfilling the commandment to, indeed, love one another.
Love you guys.