In church yesterday, our minister made a first-time-ever request. "Stand up if you're hurting, if you're going to be alone for Thanksgiving, if there's pain in your family," he said. Behind us and around us, I could sense people getting up from their seats.
"Now I'm going to ask those of you around them to get up and pray with them," Pastor Bill said. Two pews up, a woman stood up. Immediately, three women went to her side and placed their hands on her. I got up, too. So did my husband. We reached out and put our hands on those closest to us.
All of us in this church could stand up, I thought to myself. We're all hurting in some way.... Broken relationships, broken families, broken health, broken finances, broken pasts, broken hearts....
We are all broken, hurting people.
You're hurting. That's why you're here. That's why you searched for comfort and found this blog. And I'm so sorry. If I could, I'd wrap my arms around you and hug you tight. Let you cry if you need to. Let you know that you're loved. Tell you that God loves you and that you are not alone.
Since this blog started in January 2011, more than 200 hurting people have contacted me and trusted me with their pain. In the beginning, I kept a prayer book, where I wrote down names and pasted stories. But I just couldn't keep up with the requests. At some point, I started the Prayer List page and then the Special Requests prayer page. When I talk to God, I ask Him to bless and guide everyone who's ever written to me, asking for prayers and even advice sometimes. You are all in my prayers and in my heart.
As for Patrick, he is home now, back from his overseas mission. Through the years, he's battled his own storms, but his faith remains strong. The scars from our shared pasts will always be a part of us, mother and son. I have so many regrets–at times the guilt washes over me and I hurt–but I can't undo the past. I am human. I am broken.
So, yes, join me and stand up if you're hurting. Together, we will pray for one another.