Community is imperative. The sista-friends and relatives who are local can rush to fill in the numerous gaps filled by an absent mommy.
My children were five, three and one at the time. The flu struck out of nowhere. Fast. My husband worked 90 hours per week at two jobs and his own carpet cleaning business. I remember lying over my bed, unable to move thinking I can’t even stand up to make dinner. I tried. We all try. I crawled to the kitchen and tried to stand but waves of nausea and an outbreak of chills defeated my inner lioness.
My friend and prayer partner had two children at the time but still, she came over, made dinner and took care of my kids for at least a couple of hours.
This was just the flu. I’ve dealt with bedrest during pregnancies, hernia repairs, and another bout of the flu about ten years later and when my husband couldn’t help, friends stepped in.
I have a friend who died from cancer last August. She was at her sickest in the hospital, but friends stepped in to hold her hand, lotion her feet and pray at bedside to relieve her husband for at least a couple of hours a day.
I have another friend who is frequently making a 3 hour drive to take care of five nieces and nephews whose father, her brother, is hospitalized.
Both the ordinary bout of flu and the extraordinary ordeal of disease reveal the importance of the scripture: Psalm 68:6a God sets the solitary in families. We are never meant to suffer alone. Whether it’s our blood family, church family or family of friendships, we need others to fill in the gaps that we leave when we are knocked off course.
“I need help” can be difficult words for anyone to say.
However, these are beautiful words to the one that hears them. The opportunity to be a gap-filler is an opportunity to show love and compassion without conditions. So fellow mommys, and to the daddys who are reading this, when your strength runs out, contact a friend and say
“I need help.”