57: The Comfort of Each Other

57: The Comfort of Each Other

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

The Comfort of Each Other

By Michele Cushatt

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

~2 Corinthians 1:3-4

My phone buzzed with an incoming text: “Laura was in a snowboarding accident. She’s in the hospital. Please pray.”

I stared in disbelief at the message. In a few bland characters, I learned my dear friend was seriously injured. But a glance out the window showed the predicted snowstorm raging in earnest. Large flakes swirled in circles in my backyard. Now was not the best time for a blizzard. But snow or no snow, I had to go. What are friends for if not to weather the worst of life together?

Within the hour, I threw a packed bag into my truck. After exchanging hugs with my husband and children, I backed out of the garage and began a slow trek into the mountains. The blowing snow moved in horizontal lines in front of me, obscuring the roads and fighting me for control.

Soon, darkness fell, and exhaustion settled in. The weeks before had been some of the most difficult I’d faced. A move from our family home, economic challenges, the death of another dear friend, and struggles with our teenagers had replaced peace with tension. During one difficult night, I’d called Laura, desperate for the reassurance of a friend. I spilled my heartache over the phone while she listened, allowed me to cry, and told me she loved me and would always be there for me.

Now, as I crawled over the mountain toward the hospital on the other side, I realized it was my turn to hold her hand, let her cry, and tell her I’d be there for her, as long as it took.

When I arrived, her smile lit up the room. With multiple broken bones, she could do little more than squeeze my hand and allow the tears to fall. Seeing her pain released my own.

“I’m with you, Laura, as long as it takes. We’re going to get through this.”

And we did. During part of her recovery, she lived in our home, a time so full of laughter, tears, friendship, and healing that I doubt its equal will ever be found this side of heaven. We talked from our breakfast coffee until long after my family retired to bed. We shared stories from childhood, wrestled with the challenges of adulthood, and laughed until her back couldn’t bear it. And when either her physical pain or my heart pain became a mountain too big to climb, we soaked in each other’s presence until we made it to the other side. And right there, in the middle of life’s storms and my living room, we experienced the comfort of each other.

Challenges will still come, storms seemingly too violent to weather, mountains appearing too steep to scale. Every struggle conquered leaves others waiting in line to take its place. But we don’t have to live it alone. Thank God, we don’t have to live it alone.

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