This is my sweet friend Mallory. I have know Mal for almost 7 years. We met by chance when she and her husband joined our small group. Barry and I instantly connected with them and we have some pretty strange stories from the first year we knew them. They later helped us plant Providence Church. Most people don't know this, but the reason we planted Providence in the neighborhood we did had a lot to do with Mallory and her husband.
Mallory is a friend that has taught me what loyalty and grace look like played out in real life. She has one of the sweetest, purest hearts of anyone I know. And she is one of those friends that you could go a year without seeing and when you reconnect, it's like you just saw her yesterday. Mallory has always been one of those people I dearly loved and deeply trusted. But in the last 7 months, she has outdone herself.
The night Barry went into the hospital is a blur for me. I don't remember a ton. But I do remember calling Mallory around 5pm, sobbing, telling her I needed to bring her my kids so I could go to the hospital. (Mal lives down the street from me.) I didn't tell her what was going on, I didn't even tell her who was hurt. I made absolutely no sense on the phone. When I pulled up to her house a few minutes later, Mallory was waiting on the curb. She took my kids without asking any questions. I asked her to watch my kids for a couple of hours. She ended up watching them for three days. She fed them, clothed them, and took William to school without any help or information from me. She stepped in and cared for my children for me while my world fell apart. And in the midst of caring for four children, all three-years-old and younger, she was at the hospital to hug me just minutes after Barry passed away.
In the days, weeks and months after losing Barry, Mallory ministered to me in very tangible and consistent ways. She prayed for me constantly. She called and emailed me to let me know she cared and didn't stop, even when I didn't answer or respond. She has been someone who I could call or text in the middle of the night to say I was struggling and she wouldn't ask for details or information, she would just grieve with me. She would cry with me. She faithfully watched my kids for me each week for 4 months so I could go to counseling. She cooks me meals. She brought me flowers on Mother's Day. She made a piece of art with the verse that I have clung to during this process on it for my birthday. Her husband has come over to help with home repairs. Mallory has been a true friend and a safe place for me to grieve.
My goal in telling you this is not to make much of Mallory. Although she is awesome. My goal in telling you this is to show you some of the many ways that God has carried me through this tragedy. He has used my sweet friend to remind me that He will meet my needs and to show me that I am not alone.
When I post things on this blog, I think of two audiences: 1.those who are grieving and 2. those who are, or one day will be, walking with someone who is grieving. If you fall into group number 2, I hope that you will remember Mallory's example and be a blessing for those who are hurting.