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Pain

We pulled up in our driveway, exhausted. Our unplanned trip to my sister-in-law’s bedside and subsequent funeral, left our little family emotionally empty. Raw.

Familiar cars  parked in front of our house, vehicles of faithful Mercy House volunteers.  They quietly filled in the gaps our journey left, doing what needed to be done in the storage building next to our home.

As I dropped bags of dirty laundry in the laundry room, I saw bags of groceries on the countertop. Ten minutes home and there was dinner at the front door. The mailbox held condolence cards, the phone, messages.

Neighbors, friends and family, community holding us.

The first Sunday back at church we heard whispers of condolence and knowing looks. Compassion.

I believe this- dinner-serving, grocery-giving, burden-bearing- this is what Jesus had in mind when he said love one another. 

We wonder how to change the world, how to leave a mark, move the hand of God?

We change the world when we simply meet the needs of another. When we love others more than ourselves, not expecting anything in return.

Because no matter the troubled road we journey (and we all walk it at some point) life goes on. Laundry piles up and bellies need to be fed. When we rake the yard of one who can’t, we see God. It’s love.

“It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true disciple.” Matt. 10:42

We’ve been doing a lot of holding in our house. I hold my husband as he grieves his dear sister who died far to young. He holds our children as they try to grasp death and eternity. Our children hold the hand of God with their simple faith.

Our immediate and extended family is held by community.

And it feels just like the arms of God.

Written by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family

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  1. 1

    So sorry for your loss. Thamkful for community being there for you. Praying for you.

  2. 2
    Bridget K says:

    Thank you for your simple brokendown-ness, if you will. Sometimes it is challenging to see God working in our lives, yet your story allows one to easily see God’s hand. Thank you for showing me God today. Prayers of finding peace for your family.

  3. 3

    My condolences to your family. The “love one another” showed in the outpouring of support you’ve received is so comforting and inspiring. Prayers with you for the days ahead – may the “holding” rain His comfort & peace on you all.

  4. 4

    So so sorry for your loss. And so thankful for the hands and feet of Christ to ease it just a little bit….a reminder to do what we can do for those we know are hurting.

  5. 5
    Debbie K says:

    Dear Kristen, my heart goes out to you and your family as you grief the loss of someone so young and dear. The loss of a sibling at any age is incredibly hard. But when you lose them at a young age, the depth of grief can seem too much to bear at times. I lost my brother and sister in law in a plane crash when I was 32 and they were 28 and 26 years old. It took me years to let go of them and to finally let God back into my heart without asking ‘Why them? Why these two people I cherish, who centered their lives around you, leading people to you?’
    I am praying right now for the love of God to wrap all who are hurting so badly from this loss, tucked around you like a warm blanket as you allow yourselves to grieve and tell Him how much it hurts. He understands everything each of you are feeling for He’s experienced every feeling that bubbles up from your being, especially grief! Blessings and peace that goes beyond any understanding imaginable. In His name, Debbie

  6. 6
    Debbie K says:

    Dear Kristen, my heart goes out to you and your family as you grief the loss of someone so young and dear. The loss of a sibling at any age is incredibly hard. But when you lose them at a young age, the depth of grief can seem too much to bear at times. I lost my brother and sister in law in a plane crash when I was 32 and they were 28 and 26 years old. It took me years to let go of them and to finally let God back into my heart without asking ‘Why them? Why these two people I cherish, who centered their lives around you, leading people to you?’
    I am praying right now for the love of God to wrap all who are hurting so badly from this loss, tucked around you like a warm blanket as you allow yourselves to grieve and tell Him how much it hurts. He understands everything each of you are feeling for He’s experienced every feeling that bubbles up from your being, especially grief! Blessings and peace that goes beyond any understanding imaginable. In His name, Debbie

  7. 7
    Jeannie says:

    As someone who has recently experienced a loss and an outpouring of love and support I appreciate your feelings and thoughts.
    My only child Vincent died on December 29, 29 days short of his 30th birthday. It was sudden and unexpected. He passed in his sleep. I can only hope it was a peaceful passing. I’m a widow. My family and friends and his friends surrounded me with support that still overwhelms me. Today I finally got it – it’s God’s Arms that are wrapped around me. I have a deep faith in Him. I know He’s there with me always but today by reading this I could put a “name” on what I experienced. My physical son is now just ashes in a box in a niche in the cemetery. My real son is always in my heart, no matter what our mother/son battles were. I’m praying that his real essence – his soul – is now in Heaven with his biological father and his Eternal Father. God’s Arms are wrapped around both of us.

  8. 8
    Terri Smith says:

    So sorry for you loss. If it were not for God I don’t know people get through things like that. Hold tight to you faith. It is going to be tough, but as my father told me you never get over it you learn to live with it.

  9. 9
    Beth Williams says:

    Kristen,

    May God wrap your hubby and you in His loving arms and surround your family with His grace and mercy!

    Thank you for your openness and honesty about such a private ordeal@! You are truly blessed to have such wonderful Christian people surrounding you at this time!

    God bless!

  10. 10

    What a beautiful post. The hands & feet of Jesus continually amaze me!

  11. 11

    This is beautiful. Your words took my breath away. I love this…”I believe this- dinner-serving, grocery-giving, burden-bearing- this is what Jesus had in mind when he said love one another.” Real lives. Real loss. Real love. Beautiful. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  12. 12

    So very sorry for your loss…..thank you for posting your heart. It speaks to my heart, too. thank you!

  13. 13

    Sorry for your loss, My heart goes out to your family. I will be praying for God to comfort you all every step of the way. May God bless you all. Thanks for your post.

  14. 14

    Kristen, I’m so sorry for the loss your family has gone through. I pray you continue to be surrounded by God’s arms through your community. And thank you for the reminder of the part we can all play.

  15. 15
    Anastasia says:

    I’m new to this lovely community but not new the fact that we are family because of Jesus. Kristen, may the Holy Spirit envelope you and your family in His loving and comforting arms {{{}}}.

  16. 16

    And that is a testament as to why we need community. He uses our earthly angel friends to help bless us when we are in need.

  17. 17

    I’m so sorry to lose his sister. How beautiful the love .

  18. 18

    I am sorry for your painful loss. But glad you are writing this. We can be God’s voice, God’s arms, God’s love. We need to be God’s voice. God’s arms. God’s love. Thanks for encouraging us and reminding us by sharing how people have done that for you!

  19. 19

    Thank you… May the One who holds all of us, continue to hold you and your family a little tighter, a little longer…
    Much love and prayers,
    Susan

  20. 20

    My heart aches for you and your family, Kristen. Such emotional pain is beyond words to console. How uplifting, though, to hear how your church community has surrounded you with love and comfort, and supplied you with practical things to ease your burden of responsibility. Thank you for sharing your experience and the gracious care of your church family. Their example shows clearly what ministers most when someone we love is suffering.

    Lord Jesus, thank you for making your presence more palpable right now to Kristen and her family. And thank you for your people, holding them up, cheering their hearts, and infusing them with the strength of love. Bless them all, I pray. Amen.

  21. 21

    Your post touches my heart, years after the loss of my nephew. May God hold you, and comfort you. May He pour out His blessings during this season of grief. Let Him lead you beside still waters.