By Kristi Ivey
The other day, my husband asked me an odd question: “If you had to fall out of a tree, what type of tree would you want it to be?”
“A short one,” I answered quickly, somewhat proud of my own wit. “What about you?” Without missing a beat, he replied, “I’d want to fall out of a cedar tree. The branches of cedars grow closely together and, instead of snapping, they sort of bend, allowing someone to fall without crashing too hard.” He’d clearly thought through his answer.
It might sound silly, but this little analogy was extremely comparable to my life just a few short years ago.
There I was, mid-fall, plummeting toward what looked like an excruciating collision. Tears blurred my vision as I sat on the cold ground in a newly acquired apartment on New Year's Day. The walls were gray, the floors were bare, and the rooms were empty. You could actually feel a winter’s draft coming in through the window. I was alone—separated from my husband after making a mess of our beautiful marriage.
Little did I know, my branches (my people; aka my village) were already huddled together, softening the blow. They not only rang in the New Year on their knees, praying for God to make a way, but they also fought on the frontlines with us in the battle for our marriage throughout that next year.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
Because of God’s unending love, as well as the invaluable support of our family and friends, our marriage has been restored. We are living proof that He can resurrect any dead situation, trading beauty for ashes, and reviving what once seemed lost.
Our village has fought countless other battles together over the past decade: infertility struggles, fostering trials, job changes, health complications, parenting challenges, and faith crises—just to name a few. A community of tight-knit friends with the same Christ-rooted beliefs is a lifeline and a true gift during the ups and downs of life. Friends who will pick you up, dust you off, and point you toward the redeeming love of Jesus.
1. Do you have a village around you?
2. Are you being open about the trials and even mess-ups going on in your life?
3. How can you not only be vulnerable yourself, but also reach out to others who might be hurting?