Our tribe, our people, our lights while navigating this path.
We've got SUCH a good tribe. Our family, our friends that are like family, our beautiful church family. The people that have held our hands through all of this. Some of them have been through loss like this. Some haven't, but they've entered into it in a way that has been so beautiful and helpful and healing. We've had so much help in tangible ways, and even more in the intangible. There's not really words to capture how much we appreciate it all.
I was thinking on this a lot today. Our tribe didn't just appear when we were in crisis. Our loving support was there well before that. Community. It's been a big deal for us in the last 6 years of our marriage. We've planted lots of roots here. We're so committed to our town and our church. We've worked hard at relationships (and had fun doing it). We led a small group for 5 years. We employ people (now we're really grown up. haha). We've both worked in the same jobs for 5 years. We've done lots of dinners and gatherings and intentional time. We've done a lot of it together as a couple. I'm not saying we did everything right or that others have done things wrong. Obviously, a lot of it is situational and some people don't have choices about moving, etc. But I am saying that right now we are benefiting so much from investing in people. An intangible investment. We're so loved and so supported. I can think of so many people I could call if I needed absolutely anything. And not only that, but they would be so happy to help.
We need other people. YOU need other people. I mean, I've always known that. I wouldn't have lived the way we've lived if I didn't see so much value to it. But, it's never been more clear to me than now. We need community all the time, not isolation. We need to love others, even when it's inconvenient or they are so very different or whatever excuse one might have. For sure, it's messy and can be hard work. It takes a lot more time that people expect, and it usually involves taking lots of interest in others and not expecting others to just take interest in you. But we absolutely cannot do life alone, and we weren't designed to. We need friends and family. We need to be the ones to throw our arms around those that are hurting and we also need to be the ones to have arms thrown around us as we hurt. We need to recognize this need in others and we need to make our needs known so others can recognize our needs.
It's so hard to find that tribe when you're seeped into the darkness and fumbling. Try to find it before that. Find it at a church, at a small group, in your own family. Find it with long-time friends. It's never too late to find your people.
Right now, Sam and I have the benefit of having people surround us in love, but we also get the experience of entering into sorrows and joys with those around us. We celebrate and we mourn with them--almost always simultaneously. It's a good reminder of life and of seasons of life. It's helpful in reminding us of others and their needs. It's beautiful and so worth it.
And we have this new tribe, too. People we've met who have also lost little ones. These communities that I didn't know existed a couple years ago--and many of them online. A friend told me that it's like I've been given a passport to a different world. One that I didn't even really know existed. And let me say: Although I wish none of us were navigating this path, I've met such loving, caring, beautiful hearts. I've really never been much for online friends (surprise! haha), but some of these friends I've met have also lost their sweet babies this year and it is so very helpful to walk through it with other moms. So much love for them!