It was during one of our last weeks in Mexico. The decision to leave was bearing heavily on our hearts--although we felt convinced that it was the right choice.
Many of our friends there, although motivated by love, were saying things that weren't making the leaving any easier. When we stated we needed to get help for Noah, they said there wasn't anything wrong with Noah. And then gave us all kinds of other options. "I went to a man who is so good with aligning the personalities of people. He can sense things... Like, maybe when Noah was in your womb, he didn't feel love from you. So, you can go and this man does hold therapy. Where you can hug Noah tightly and heal that rift that happened..."
Or, when we stated that--plain and simple--we weren't even close to making it financially, some criticized our faith. "You just need to believe harder!" When we said, "What if God is purposefully shutting that door to guide us back Stateside?", they would shake their heads emphatically.
I also struggled with feeling misunderstood. The times were few and far between that I was able to travel out to the communities with Rey, and I often felt that was not well-looked upon by many.
So, it was hard. Jumping into a lot of unknowns... dealing with the really hard place we were in with Noah and our finances... trying to sell off everything and work out all the details of moving to a different country--I was feeling completely drained. On less than empty, really.
We were invited to a small house church a friend of ours helped to pastor. Rey shared a sermon that day. Towards the end of the service, people were going to the front for a time of prayer. I stood near my seat, praying silently and listening to the music.
Suddenly, I felt gentle hands press on my back. I heard the voice of a dear, older woman who faithfully served in the outreaches to the communities. She prayed loudly, as the music pounded around us, that God would wrap me in his arms. That he would uphold me as I upheld my husband. That he would give me wisdom as I mothered our children. "Because, father, we all see she really is a wonderful mother..." That he would give me peace as I went into an unknown situation. And, then, she said: "God, we place Noah into your hands. May they find the help they need for this precious boy. Heal his mind and body and give his parents what they need to raise him...." And then, folks, it was all over. Hot tears ran down my cheeks and I began to sob uncontrollably. To hear such words of affirmation, comfort and love spoken over me was like water onto parched soil.
As other women in the church saw my state, more encircled me... placing their hands on me and lifting high prayers for God's comfort, strength and healing. It was an amazing, unforgettable moment. A moment that I so felt God's love for me through the hands and prayers of these women. A moment that taught me... that I need to be like that one woman who acted on what I can only imagine was God's whisper to her: "Go pray for Liz."
Who do I need to be praying for today? Do I need to pray for them from my home? Or face to face with them? What about you? Who is someone in your circle that could be so renewed by truly being seen by you?
I pray we don't hold back from expressing love when we have the opportunity.