I was never a big hugger. It's not that I didn't like to hug. My hugs were just truly meaningful. I hugged my children and my husband all the time. I hugged my friends. I didn't just hug someone to hug. There was always a purpose and emotion behind it. I guess hugs to me were more precious than I thought and not to be given out to every Tom, Dick, and Harry.
But, guess what?
I'm a hugger.
And, not just any hugger.
A 5-10 second hugger.
My hugs might be a little too long.
It might be a bit embarrassing. I'm not sure.
As I was back in my hometown this weekend for a marriage conference, I was in awe of how much I missed people. But, even more how much people seemed to miss me. They may have been lying, but it was still good to hear.
Everyone, not just people at church, people EVERYWHERE ... strangers in restaurants and stores ... all asked about La Petite Belle. They asked about me and expressed how our family was in their thoughts and prayers. I was in awe.
This simple fact made me a hugger. I was truly grateful. I truly missed everyone. And, my hugs were for real. Sorry to those who wanted me to just let go already. They were so sincere.
In the past months, I have really come to love The Church. I have been able to see the body of Christ be what it was created to be.
Before our lives drastically changed, I don't think I really had a true love for the Church like I do now. Seeing the Church be the Church is really a beautiful thing.
Know that I am not talking about any particular church, but The Church ... the body of Christ as a whole. I have seen so many come together and support us through this time. And, not just from our own church, but other churches and denominations. Truly beautiful.
Just this past Sunday, I saw such an amazing picture of this that truly moved me.
As Beau and I were on stage singing and leading others in worship, a man came up for prayer. He approached one of the prayer team members and said, "I don't have a need. But, I came up because I want to stand in the gap for the Gaspards and I want us to pray for their daughter." This gentleman had lost a child and knew how difficult it was to see your child go through sickness. The prayer team member told me that he asked the man to pray and he would agree with him. And, when the man started to pray, it was powerful.
The fact that someone stepped out of their seat, to walk to the front of the auditorium, and find someone to pray with them for my daughter's healing and for our family is simply astounding to me. Most people go up for prayer for themselves, for their needs. Not many go up to stand in the gap for someone else's needs. It really touched me. After I sang words like "I'm holding on to hope, holding on to grace, fully letting go, I'm surrendered to Your ways," someone was petitioning God for me. Amazing.
This is just another example of the Church being the Church ... praying for others, standing in the gap for others, supporting others. That's what the Church is all about.
I may not have seen it before because I was blinded by all the negativity in the Church. Yes, there is that. But, when you can look beyond that, there really is something beautiful. It's when the Church decides to be Jesus.
We feel surrounded. We feel lifted up. We feel peace as we walk through this journey.
I will never view the Church the same.
If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: www.gofundme.com/Katieg. All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses. Thank you for your prayers and support!