I was reminded of how important human interaction is after teaching my group exercise class this morning. There is just something about going through a strenuous workout (and a few dozen burpees) with a group of women. It can break down barriers, allow endorphins to heighten and leave us vulnerable and open to intimacy.
One of my sweet gym friends recently lost her father, very unexpectedly. She is now dealing with the aftermath of grief, one day feeling as close to normal as possible and the next day finding it difficult to leave her house. She showed up in class this morning and lingered after the cool down song, “Better Than a Hallelujah” by Amy Grant.
We hugged and she teared up when I asked how she was doing. She said that she was really glad that she came to class. You see today was one of those days where she didn’t really feel like leaving her house. But, her husband nudged her to go to the gym and she said that she felt better. We talked about how positive endorphins can help with our emotions and that human interaction can be the best medicine. I also reminded her that God was walking with her during this difficult time and that He was big enough for her grief. I assured her that she was a good mother, a good person and stronger than she realized.
I think the devil likes to keep us isolated, especially when we are going through difficult times. He likes to capitalize on the loneliness of grief. And our human nature likes to pull us into our own thoughts, grief, and anxiety; leaving us thinking that no one would understand. Or better yet that we shouldn’t burden others with our pain.
But, God knows the power of friendship, church and community. He knows how important it is for us to have brothers and sisters in Christ to hold our hands through a good cry; hug our necks when our heart is breaking; and give us hope when we feel like all hope is lost. It is in fellowship with one another that Christ can shine and hope can be restored.
So, thank you Father for my sweet gym friend’s vulnerability this morning and the strength she showed in opening up to me. It resonated with me today and I found myself beyond thankful for so many sisters in Christ that God has given to me. Visualizing the beauty of these faces fills me with such joy. You know who you are ladies!
Jesus indeed stood up for each of us. And because of Jesus, we can stand up for one another. Cherish your friendships.
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10 NIV