Jan has helped me in so many tangible ways. I can’t tell you the number of times she’s said to me, “Whatever you need.” And she meant it. Whatever we needed, she would do. She brought me lunch and watched the twins. She sat with me in my brokenness while I cried. She agreed that this sucks without offering empty consolation or platitudes. She carefully walked the fine line of grieving with me and allowing me to feel how I felt without judgement, but also pointing me to truth. At the height of my fear and the depths of my despair I would tell her, “I can’t do this,” and she would say, “Yes you can. We will help you, and we will pray.”
And she did. She helped, and she prayed. She was fully aware that all we had left was prayer, that our only hope was in Him, and she acted out of that belief. She and Andrew arranged a prayer night at our house before Lexi left to pray for us and over her. It was all I could do to hold back tears. She has loved our kids so well – she has adored them and snuggled them and engaged them in every way possible. She has been so fully present as we’ve walk in the trenches that she’s gotten muddy too, and I feel so much less alone because she’s with me.
She has not only walked with us closely in foster care, but also infertility. Being pregnant and walking closely with a friend who struggles with infertility is a tricky place to be, but Jan does it so beautifully. Somehow she manages to talk about her pregnancy and growing baby girl in a way that makes me feel included in her life rather than isolated and alone. She’s able to do this so well because she has entered into infertility with me so fully. She asks hard questions (because she has earned the right to do so) and really, genuinely wants to hear the hard answers. I tell her updates, and she often responds with, “That sucks.” She even gave me my trigger shot before egg retrieval (read: she watched a YouTube video on how to jab me in the bum with a needle and then she did it LIKE A BOSS). I never get empty platitudes, false promises, or quick solutions from her, so it’s safe place for me to tell the unabridged truth.
Friends like Jan are so rare, so valuable. She never fails to point to me to Jesus when I’ve lost sight of who or where He is. When I think of her I can’t help but think, what would I do without her? She is one of my best friends, one of my greatest confidants, and her friendship is one of my very greatest treasures.
Read about the other ladies in my tribe here.
“my tribe” disclaimer: I tell you all this not to make much of these women, although they are SO wonderful. I tell you so that when you find yourself in the position of walking alongside someone who is in a hard or sad place, you can follow their example. These ladies, they’ve outdone themselves lately. They love us so well. They all stand in the gap for me, and none of them do it in the same way. They each minister to me uniquely, yet all of it is perfect and speaks to my heart – proof that there’s not just one way to help your hurting friend. I hope you’re inspired and encouraged by these women and the friends that they have been to me as we walk this road. And when one of your friends finds herself walking in darkness, I hope you’ll be able to offer her some light.
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