10/01/2015

A Bit of Gratitude

Our family has been so overwhelmed with the kindness extended toward us after my last post. Sincerely. I cannot tell you how many times I have started crying because money would show up in our bank account (which I transfer over to savings so it's there when therapy bills come), but when I go to see who gave it's someone blowing me away with their generosity. It's still super humbling, don't get me wrong, but after writing that previous post I have felt a lot more freedom and joy!

Some friends of mine had a rough loss of their beautiful baby to Trisomy 13 in June 2014. I've known the husband since high school; technically I have never met his wife, but based on her blog I feel like she's someone I could get coffee with and just click. They took a similar step of faith as we did and asked that anyone who feels led might help with the devastating medical bills via a crowdfunding page, and I wanted to give whatever we possibly could, because my heart has ached for them for the last 16 months.

I share this because two very specific things opened my eyes and made my heart even softer. First, just the feeling of giving *something* and writing the tiniest little note of love was such grace to me. And then every single day I go check their page and hopehopehope that it will be higher. Each little milestone--$400, $500, $550!!--makes me so excited and I just yearn to see that number go up and up.

[Note: if you want to help them out, please, do! Here is their page: Wight Family Medical Bills]

If it's not obvious where I am going with this, it made me realize that so many people must be feeling that same way when they help us. The joy of someone you love and gifting them something that you know they could never repay and you would never want them to? It's beyond compare. And I think it must be the smokiest mirror reflection of how God feels when he gifts and blesses us, which is why as humans made in his image it's such an incredible experience.

So, truly, thank you if you have helped. And if you can't, tune in close here. There have been some areas where we feel kind of bummed about the utter silence. Just groups of people from certain sectors of life where it breaks our heart not that they aren't giving us anything, but that they aren't saying anything. And when I have mentioned it to a friend or two, they have voiced their frustration because it's often the people you think would most want to surround us with love and support that have been mostly silent. Odd that high school friends we haven't seen in two decades have written to us or gave to our page, but people we see all of the time haven't said anything even in person.

Here's what I realized: once we started to have tangible ways people could help--bringing meals or giving financially--that's when those sectors clammed up. Even random stuff like "liking" my Facebook posts stopped. And I felt guilty and ashamed, like somehow I did something wrong, and that was pralyzing. It hit me, then, the immense power shame holds. And, sure, maybe there are some jerks who just think, "Ain't no way I am giving a dime to some middle class family with iPhones." Truthfully, they can keep their money, because no gracias.

But, I think, faaaaaaaar more common is a scenario that likely goes like this:

"Oh my word. That is so hard. I can't even handle imagining a hotel scenario like the Hagglunds are in with my own life, let alone that their kids are autistic and she's pregnant and so sick PLUS they are getting hit with thousands of dollars of unexpected expenses. I wish I could do something that really makes a difference. And I can't even afford to give a single dollar. I feel so worthless." And then that person feels ashamed that they can't help, so in that shame they don't say anything to us because they fear that it will make us feel worse and/or they are embarrassed, etc.

Truly, from the bottom of my heart, we are not worried about how the Lord is going to provide for us. Even in the beginning, the day we first reached out to a few people privately to say, "Hey, if you can, we have some financial needs then help would be great, but more than anything we appreciate your prayer," then yes, sure, we were stressed, yet there was a deeper peace that we would be taken care of. And even that day we had the hotel manager chasing me down to say we were like family and offering to do whatever he could to ensure we could stay at the hotel and our landlord said, "Look, we'll figure out numbers later but don't you worry that you won't be able to stay at the hotel. We'll figure something out." Just in little ways the Lord was reminding us that he would take care of us, immediately giving assurance to our peace that we didn't need to worry. Then my friend Brianna kept bugging us to start the YouCaring page and y'all BLEW US AWAY and keep doing so with your support.

Guess what? If you are a person who wanted to help but hasn't been able to? Look what the Lord did even without your ability to help. And, while obviously we won't turn down more people helping us reach that YouCaring goal, I have a much more heartfelt plea for you.

I don't think I am alone in this when I tell you that for a struggling person, in a time of suffering particularly that includes tangible needs, do you know what is priceless? The words. The random text of, "Hey, I have been praying for you and you are so loved." The comment on a social media post with good news where you say, "YAY! I celebrate with you!" Or, on a bummer day, "Oh my word, no. Praying for reprieve for you." Just the encouragement that we are not alone.

So, while our summer was ROUGH, can I be really raw and tell you when it hurt the worst? When the heat was cranked to 11 at the beginning of September, and we asked for help, and those sectors of people fell silent. It wasn't because they weren't giving money. It was because they weren't saying anything. Once again, yes, I understand that it's likely motivated by feeling ashamed because it didn't feel like they could meaningfully help us in any way. But dear loves, be it toward us or anyone else, I promise you, we're not upset when you don't give us cash or bring us hot food. But it hurts when you don't say anything and we're pretty sure you're just avoiding us in general.

So beloved people, if you are doing that, to us or anyone else you care about?

STOP IT! JUST STOP IT!

[best video ever, btw]

For real. Send that text or FB message or email or something. Honestly even just saying, "I haven't known what to say but I want you to know I care so this is me, saying I care even though I'm not sure what else to even say," would go so, so, SO far.

I am telling you right now, if I get even 2-3 messages like that I'll feel a thousand times better about the ways I've felt hurt in the last 3.5 weeks. And I am positive quite a few people reading this are going, "Oh, snap..." regarding other situations and other friends, too. Maybe a friend lost her baby and you're so afraid of saying the wrong thing that you have said nothing. When sharing some of my heartache, a friend whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer was able to relate on many levels and how surprised she is by who has been silent, how that has been the worst part. So much harder than the people who say boneheaded things.

So there you have it. Just say something to let people know you care, and if that's all you can do? It's enough.

They are the cutest. I die. 

One last thing: If you have given to our page, can I make a request? Could you either Facebook Message or e-mail me your mailing address? Because maaaaaaybe two cute kiddos are going to be doing some little artsy thank you cards. I'll reach out to the people I don't hear from, but people writing me first will save me a ton of time, which is limited and precious these days! And if you gave anonymously, then please consider letting us know you were one of the anonymous donors (don't worry, amount doesn't matter and you don't have to say how much you gave!). We just wanted to give people this small token of thanks.

And if you have been meaning to give and now Rog and Jules art has you all, "Oh I am ON THAT NOW!" then here's the link again.

The Hagglund Family YouCaring Page

Lastly, more than anything, just once again, thank you to all who have supported us in any way. I have a lot of days where humanity bums me out, yet I am never able to escape how beautiful it is when we care for one another and times like this are so revelatory of how wonderful people can be.



3 comments:

  1. a) STOP IT is exactly how I conduct therapy sessions
    b) I like to sing to myself at home often and it occurred to me the other day that I could sing/pray lullabies at night to all my friends and friends kids who might enjoy it. Although you say they are accustomed to the hotel, I will sing/pray lullabies for R and J as well because lullabies are always soothing

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    1. Yeah? Like record it and send it? Bc they might like that!! I love it!!

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    2. Not even kidding, the Bob Newhart "Stop It" bit is one of my favorites, even though it's a bit before my time. "Stop it or I'll bury you alive in a box!" Pure comedy gold. ;)

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