I often say that I don’t know how people go through a trial without God or a church family surrounding them.  I definitely believe this even more now after having been through such a huge trial.  In Romans, Paul gives us clear instructions on how to love one another in the body of Christ, and I got to see this love displayed first hand during Mom’s journey with cancer.  Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”  I saw a countless number of people live this verse out as we have had times of rejoicing and mourning over the past few years.

Our church, friends, and family rejoiced with us when mom’s cancer was in remission.  I’ll never forget the joy they had as we called and texted everyone the big news on the way home from Duke.  When it came time for my college graduation, family friends helped Mom throw the party, and they rejoiced with us.  When I got married, some really awesome ladies and friends stepped in to help when Mom wasn’t able, and I’m pretty sure our wedding wouldn’t have been possible without them.  When my brother graduated high school, once again, family friends pitched in to help throw a party, and flooded our house to rejoice in his accomplishments.  I could go on and on with how the body of Christ rejoiced with us as we rejoiced.  They were awesome.  Thank you.

I will never forget my friends coming to comfort me in my dorm as I mourned the news of Mom’s cancer.  I will also never forget our church family surrounding us in prayer the Sunday before we left for Duke.  We even had family come with us to Duke just to be there for us.  As we mourned Mom’s passing, my friends were there with a hug, cards, and some ice cream (my favorite!).  Other friends and family came over, and the image of us standing in a circle, in Mom and Dad’s living room hand in hand  praying and singing, “I See the Lord” will forever be etched in my memory.  Even now, I know if I need a shoulder to cry on, my friends are there.  I could go on and on about the countless ways they ministered to us during this time.  The body of Christ mourned with us as we mourned.  Thank you.

Our church, friends, and family seriously went above and beyond the call of duty.  2011-2012 was filled with ups and downs, but they were there every step of the way.  They rejoiced when we rejoiced and they mourned when we mourned.  They are still doing this for us.  This is how the body of Christ is supposed to act.  We are supposed to do life together.  My prayer is that I can be the body of Christ in return to them as life brings them times of rejoicing and times of mourning.

If you were one of the ones who were the body of Christ to us, all I can say is thank you, even though you deserve much more than that.  There’s so many people who prayed for us, encouraged us, cooked us dinner, cried with us, celebrated with us in the times of rejoicing, and much more.  Probably more people than I know, which is extremely humbling.  With all of my heart, thank you for being the body of Christ to us.  Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty.  Thank you for pouring out your love on us.  May God richly bless you for obeying His command in Romans 12:15.  My family and I count ourselves extremely blessed because of your love and the love of Christ.

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