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Presence Matters

As most of you know, my aunt passed away and last week was her funeral. Her passing was hard on me. My aunt wasn’t married and she didn’t have any kids, so to her me and my brothers were like her kids. Growing up, for as long as I can remember, my aunt came over to my mom’s house every night for dinner and to play cards. Every. Single. Night. Until she got sick. And her passing felt like she was taken too soon, she was only 64. The night of her funeral the family got to the church early. As the visitation was about to start, I thought I wouldn’t know a lot of people other than family. I didn’t know a lot of my aunts’ friends so I expected I’d be saying Hi to strangers for the next 2 hours. About 10 minutes into the visitation, I was talking to my sister-in-law and my mom called my name. I looked over and someone from Riverwood was standing there. It honestly took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to see anyone from Riverwood at the visitation. No one at the church knows my aunt so I didn’t expect anyone to come. I got a lot of sweet texts after the update about Joy’s passing was announced and that was enough for me. After the shock wore off, I held back tears as he hugged me because it didn’t matter that he didn’t know my aunt. He knew me and he knew I had just lost a loved one so he showed up. For me. Throughout the next two hours several people from Riverwood showed up and it made me and Jackson feel very special. Those individuals probably don’t know how much of an impact it made on me and Jackson just by them showing up. Jackson and I were talking on our way home about who all showed up that night and Jackson said “it really makes me want to show up for other people”. All because of the impact it had on us. Showing up is important. It doesn’t matter what age you are just showing up for someone means more than you’ll ever know. Even just for a few minutes, you were there and that’s all that matters.

Jesus showed up for people and by just being there changed their whole lives! Now you could call it right place right time but I don’t believe that any encounter with Jesus in the Bible was a coincidence. The women at the well (John 4: 1-42), the cripple by the pool (John 5: 1-15), the blind man he healed on the sabbath (John 9: 1-34), him being on the beach when he called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew (Matthew 4: 18-22). Every single person Jesus “shows up” for in the Bible and even today their lives are changed. They feel loved and seen. They are healed and comforted. Showing up for people is important. And I get it, everyone has their own lives and our own families and life gets busy and you can’t be there every time. It’s okay if you’re not there every single time. Just be there for the important ones, be there for the good times when someone is celebrating or the hard times when someone is mourning. Make people feel loved and seen just like Jesus did by just showing up. What an honor it is for God to use you to help someone feel seen by him, loved by him, he might even use you to change their life. God can use you in so many ways and all you have to do is show up.

Thank you to those who came to the visitation and for all those who have been praying. We appreciate every one of you and we love you!


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2 comentários

Hope Hyder
Hope Hyder
04 de jun.

So sorry for the loss of your beloved aunt!


A sensitive and poignant reminder. Thank you Brittany. A friend on a trip to Uganda related that one of the elders there thanked him for his presence. My friend misunderstood him to state presents (for Americans usually bring monetary gifts). No the gentleman meant presence. To come half way around the world and be with others. It validates their existence and worth. I have experienced similar. Mission work, especially short term, is more about the evidence of care than any instruction or monetary contribution. You are onto something good. Thank you for encouraging us

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