Briana said it best when she called last night a “shower of encouragement” for my sister-in-law, and dear friend, Emily Clancy. She continued the analogy by saying something to the effect that we have baby showers. We have bridal showers (check this one out…too cute!). These are events where we do more than show these gals how much we love them. We actually are equipping them for the major ministries of their lives. We are endowing them with the tools of the trade, so to speak. Some things are used right away. Others are put away until later.
Last night, we showered Emily with scripture, evidences of grace, comfort, and inspiration. Emily was diagnosed with MS back in April of 2005. She describes the initial season of diagnosis as one where God just amazingly carried her in a grace that protected her from feeling anxious or fearful or angry. Back in December, she had her first major flare, and said she felt like God put her feet on the ground and said, “walk”. It has been a very hard season. Along with the reality of physical discomfort has come the introduction of the treatment with daily injections and minor (thank you God) side-affects. Emily is grateful that she is very functional. You truly wouldn’t know anything was wrong to look at her. She is one of the most energetic wives and mothers I know. But with a 3 year old and an almost 1 year old, she has the normal demands and stresses in addition to this disease. I will say as one who has the privilege of walking close to Emily through this, that she is doing amazingly well. Her focus is on God, and she is surrendering daily to the idea that this disease comes from His loving hands. Truly amazing!
Heather, her friend of many years, decided to gather Emily’s closest friends together to have a time of encouragement and prayer over her. We were asked to bring verses and something to share with Emily. These were our shower gifts and even though they would be “opened” all at once, our prayer is that they will prove useful in the times to come. The night was full of tears, love, and encouragement.
This was a precious time. Besides the obvious beauty of seeing the body of Christ at work being His hands, His eyes, His heart for Emily was the fact that God used normal tired moms. It was almost comical to watch each young mom walk in with that all too familiar glazed over look on her face. The hostess, three months pregnant, has cared for her toddler round the clock while her husband worked out of town for four days. Briana, married to a CPA has the challenge of grueling tax season hours, meaning she cares for her toddler twins all day sometimes all night and even on Saturday morning if need be. One girl walked in and told us her two year old was trying to give up his nap…you know how hard that can be if you’ve ever had a napless two year old. Another girl described her day as a “how many times can mommy sin against the kids?” day.
What we all realized, and what I am carrying with me today in my heart, is that in His wisdom and kindness God’s plan for a group of young moms who had given and given and given all day, was to come and give one more time to their dear friend, Emily. Rather than be empty, we found ourselves full. Full of encouragement. Full of grace.
Try having an encouragement shower sometime. If you have a friend who is going through something hard, rally around her. It was such a blessing for all of us, and I know it will be monument in Emily’s heart and mind of the love and care of the Savior through his people… in this case, a group of tired young moms.