I started my morning out spending time with a group of eleven other moms, all crowded around my dining room table.  We talked for an hour or so, as we enjoyed blueberry muffins and a beautiful strata and fresh fruit.  We spent time, sharing joys and struggles and it was as heartening and refreshing as it always is when our Moms Group gets together twice a month every other Tuesday morning.

Later in the day, I went up to visit Michael.  While I was there, I spent time with Sally, Sarah and cousin Matt.  Just down the hall, we met up with another family whose son was a few rooms down from Michael.  It was a surprise to see that they were a family that had attended Eastport Bible Church quite a few years back.  Stories and encouragement were quietly shared amongst the halls of the ICU.

After my visit, I drove to the elementary school to pick Christian and Ellee up from the Good News Bible Club that meets every Tuesday afternoon after school.  We have an amazing team of leaders from our church that meet up to love and encourage the kids that attend the club each week.

Then this evening, I met up with a small team from our church to discuss goals and strategies that we have for supporting our church family as we look forward to the future.  And sitting here tonight, I can’t help but appreciate all of the different groups I encountered just today.  Each one, no matter how big or small was encouragement for my heart.  They all held places that I felt a strong sense of belonging and I’ve realize over the years just how important that feeling is.

Michael was a part of many, many groups throughout his years in our Youth Group.

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He didn’t have to do anything special to be a part of them.

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He just showed up.  And then they all showed up.

And together, they did things much better than they ever would have been able to do just on their own.

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Though probably impossible to find, I do know for fact that Michael is in this picture that was taken a few summers ago at Eastport Bible Church.  I also took time today to reflect on how important the church has been to me and my family.  In many ways, it’s become our family and we are so, so thankful for this.

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Being a part of something great, always brings sense and purpose and value.

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And whereas in life, you never quite know for sure where you might end up, I’ve learned that it’s most important to make sure that wherever that is, it’s more about the people who are right there with you.

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During my visit to see Michael today, one of the doctors that stopped in said something that really resonated with me.  For a moment, she observed us, all close together around Michael’s bed.  And after a minute or so, she told us, that we really did make a difference for Michael.  She had stopped in that morning, and she said that she observed him.  But then seeing him surrounded by family and friends, she could definitely see a positive difference in him and in how he responds.

And of course it makes sense.  Because we were made to live life together and to be there for each other.  I think that desire is at the very core of who we are and what we really want more in life.  We all want to be loved and to be accepted.  And there’s this verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 that takes it a step further.  It says to encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  And really.  What greater thing can we do in this world, than to be there for each other, encouraging each other and helping to build ourselves up?  Sure in times of need, but also just in everything.

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As we go through our days, let’s look for those opportunities.  Let’s look for ways to encourage each other and to build each other up.  It’s an incredible way to live life and it most certainly makes a positive difference.

Today’s visit with Michael was much like yesterdays.  He opened his eyes and looked at us as we talked to him.  He was a bit more relaxed in his arms and hands, which Sally told me is a good sign that he is gaining more control and strength as well.  So prayers could please continue for healing and good health as he anticipates his upcoming surgery and his continuing road to recovery.

Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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