A thoughtful card, a concerned voice message, a hand written letter, a quick post-it note on the counter, an encouraging text message, a “liked” Facebook post, email or tweet, a silent hug, hand on your shoulder, or knowing look.
Support. There are so many ways to show it. Support. It goes a long way. Support. It can turn feelings of hopelessness into hopefulness. Support. It strengthens us, sustains us, and encourages us. Sometimes just sitting at a support group, in a room with others on a similar journey, is enough to get us through. They don’t even need to say anything profound. Just knowing that these other people know what you’re going through is enough. Sadly, we often realize how much support and encouragement can affect us when we don’t get it. Those moments when we count on support and don’t get it…those are some of the most damaging moments.
Today happened to be a scary day for me. One of our babies is having medical challenges; it is nothing big enough to be an emergency, but certainly big enough to keep us worrying, waiting for results, wondering about the future and anxious between doctor visits. Today, in the words of our 2-year-old son, we visited a big doctor with big machines hoping for big answers. I woke up apprehensive and vulnerable. Yet when I grabbed my phone, I had a supportive text message. A little peace settled in. The busyness of the morning and the kids kept my mind from wandering back to the dark place of fear. A few hugs from my parents gave me courage, and we were on our way. My nerves, though, got the better of me again as I held my baby in the waiting room. She seemed so small, and all of this so big. That courage I had mustered cracked, and the lump in my throat almost choked my strength.
*Ding*…the notification of a text message. Once again, the support and love I read fortified me, calmed me. My husband’s arm around my shoulders and the love in his smile opened up that door for peace once again.
The day was long and emotional, and we certainly don’t have any more answers than we did when it started. Yet without the support and encouragement from those friends and family, the day would have been unbearably scary. I would have cracked. I would have emotionally run from the fear.
There are so many moments in my life that, if not for cheerleaders, shoulders to cry on, and listening ears, I would have run the other way. Support. We all need it. Those nudges we get to call a friend, send a letter to a relative, lend a hand on a project, or give encouraging words…those nudges should NEVER be ignored. I often let myself be “too busy” to follow through. Shame on me. If nothing else, today reminded me just how much support means. So next time I have one of the nudges…I’m going to follow through.