I'm sitting in Panera's right now... crying like a baby. In between sipping my free-refill dark roast coffee and trying to wipe the snot from my face ... I am writing to you. Weeping like a fool.
Here's the thing:
The last 60 days were the worst.
Like the worst.
Those of you who know me or know of me, may be curious as to "what is going in Noelle's life?" but the details are not all mine to own and I'll need you to understand that.
But a lot went down.
And I had to temporarily step back from a few things I love (like the Friending Podcast) to tend to the people I love the most...my family. It was hard to do but it was the right thing to do so I did it. I'm still doing it.
In the midst of going through a season that was already terrible, our hearing impaired son's hearing aid broke. It was having problems for a while since it wasn't really suited to support all the special equipment he uses in school (such as an FM system and Roger Mic). Intially, I didn't panic because we had nearly met our son's deductible due to all the appointments he has throughout the year regarding his hearing. I thought, "Surely, our insurance will cover some of the cost of getting him hearing aids that will be strong enough for what he needs them for."
To make a very long story short - I was wrong.
This news broke me. Hearing aids are incredibly expensive and I knew we did not have the money to pay for them. I felt like we had failed our son as his parents. I felt like I had failed in life in general and I was already having a terrible 60 days. I cried and cried and called my closest friends and cried to them.
I was such in a bad way, my sister-in-law, Jenna, showed up at my house with three cupcakes and said, "I want to start a Go Fund Me to help raise money for Silas' hearing aids."
I told her "thank you for the cupcakes but no thank you to the Go Fund Me. I can't ask people to help us." After having been a missionary for 6 years, where we relied on the monthly financial support of others, I couldn't muster up any strength to ask for help. I just cried and ate cupcakes. But my sister-in-law persisted and said, "I want to do this for you."
And she did.
Within an hour of her posting the Go Fund Me, $2000.00 were raised! I didn't believe her until I checked the link she sent me. Over the next week, more and more people from all over the world began to donate money and share the post. This morning while sitting in Panera's , I received a phone call to tell me that nearly $5000 have been raised to help pay for the hearing aids Silas needs.
Hence, why I am crying.
Because there is a healing power that comes when we let others help us. It takes a lot of vulnerability and courage to say, "I can't do this on my own. Can someone help me?" Sometimes we don't even have the strength to say that - the shame is too heavy. We need to let our friends help carry the burden when they see us struggling and say,
"Hey! This is too heavy for you to hold on your own! Move over! I am helping!"
Yes, these last 60 days were pretty terrible but as I have seen the generosity and genuine care of others (even strangers) come to help us, I have begun to remember what hope feels like again... healing is taking place... and I am learning that:
Letting others help in times of need is not admitting failure as a human... it's admitting that you are simply human. Period.
We are not created to do life on our own. We need each other.
Many thanks to all of you who have donated to help us Silas' getting new hearing aids. I am humbled by your heart to care for Silas this way. I don't have the words to express my gratitude at this moment. Even as I type these final words, I can sense the ugly crying coming on. So, I'll need to save my words of appreciation for when I am writing in the privacy of my home. But until then, please know... Troy, Olive, myself and of course, Silas:
And to you, dear friend, who is also having a season of pain, shame, and terribleness:
Let those offering, help you.
You and I can't do this alone. We need our people to help us. We do.