It was springtime. Probably about 3- 4 months after my son was born. Thursday morning, Ladies Bible study was up and going at church, but I really didn't want to go.
The prospect of getting up early and packing up this new baby was overwhelming. The self-defeat of not doing the lesson during the week was embarrassing. Being an introvert, surrounded by a bunch of women as a new mom - intimidating.
So I stayed home.
But every Thursday morning at the same time, I got a phone call. It was my mom. The phone call was never any different from our typical daily calls to each other. We talked about my son, events in the world, Biblical truths, random jokes etc. But what made this call stand out was the timing. The call was consistently at the same time and would last about 20-30 mins. The amount of time it took for her to get to Bible study. It wasn't a coincidence. This particular phone call was intentional.
Despite my mom never telling me her intentions, I knew this was her way of encouraging me.
Encouraging me to stay connected.
Encouraging me to know I was not alone and not forgotten.
Encouraging me to grow with the Lord without the self imposed burden of measuring up.
In fact, I don't remember her ever guilting me or pestering me to attend study. She simply loved me where I was. Her actions expressed her heart more than words ever could have. Week after week, she would call me at the same time and I looked forward to her call.
Then one Thursday she did something different.
She called me a bit earlier that day. Like 20 minutes earlier.
My mom is a lot of wonderful things, but "earlier" is not one of them!
I remember asking her if there was something different at study that day since she was on the road so early. She simply said: "I decided to take a different route to study, and I go by your house now. If you ever happen to want to go to study, I can stop on my way and help you pack up. That way you don't have to do all that by yourself - I know it's a lot."
And just like that our conversation went back to the way it always had been.
Talking about this and that and nothing in particular until she pulled up to the church and we each went about our day.
I remember hanging up and thinking for the first time:
"That doesn't sound overwhelming - maybe I CAN go."
The next Thursday came and we had our intentionally timed morning phone call.
About this and that and nothing in particular.
She honked as she drove by - I laughed to myself.
That honk was more than a honk.
It was a reminder that said: "I'm here for you. I mean it."
And this went on for a couple more weeks.
One day, while we were talking, she honked and I asked if she could stop at my house and pick me up. I could hear the smile over the phone. I watched her turn and around and pull up to my house. She walked in my house, helped me get everything I needed for the day and we got in the car. We talked on the way to study like we did every Thursday until we pulled up to the church.
I don't remember a single thing discussed at the study that day. I don't remember what the lesson was about or who was there that I might have talked with. But I do remember the feeling of walking out of my house and getting in the car and feeling the burden lifted. I remember feeling understood. I remember the intentionally timed phone calls. I remember the honks. I remember being seen and shown that I was not alone.
I think back on that simple act of love often.
It was a life-giving, hope-filling act to continuously reach out to me and meet me where I was.
And it was life-giving, hope-filling response to be open and willing to receive the help that was being offered.
I can't help but think: that's what "doing life together" is supposed to look like. It is purposefully and intentionally reaching out even if it doesn't seem to make a difference. (Because it does.) It's letting other people come beside you and walk with you in your season of challenges. It's reminding each other of the truth: you are loved and you aren't alone. It's life-giving and hope filling. Ultimately, that's a pretty significant part of what it means to be adopted into the family of God. And each one of us need to be reminded of that and to be living it out.
If you have experienced it, you know: it changes everything.