Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth,
love one another as if your lives depended on it.
-1 Peter 1:22 (The Message)
My sister Kimberly, was diagnosed with cancer four days before my brothers wedding. During the next ten months I was living in the midst of chemotherapy sessions, surgeries and more visits to a hospital than anyone should endure, and I wasn’t even the patient. Two weeks after my family celebrated my high school graduation, we were struck down by the death of my sister. When I say struck down, I am describing the most agonizing time of our lives.
I struggled with depression for a long time after my sister died. I had come to believe that it was my responsibility to heal my sister and when she died I fell apart. I’ve often described this time in my life as shattered. I was emotionally and mentally exhausted and spiritually I was angry and depressed.
It was through my friends that I found support to get through each day. Even when I wasn’t talking to God, they insisted on praying for me and with me My pastor’s wife kept giving me homemade tamales to cheer me up. My best friend called me everyday to check up on me. We need people to help us stay balanced and we need their positive attitudes to help bolster us when we are struggling.
There are many fellowship opportunities available when we take the time to seek them out. Sometimes we rely on friends other times we can join Bible studies or small groups. To be whole “we need to seek a balance of solitude and fellowship in our lives” (Drs. Shang-Yang Tan and Natalie Dong).