Suspended Support

Today let’s talk about support. You know, the kind of support that keeps the sagging parts of our lives up! 

Haha - you’re welcome for that. 

Strangely enough, that metaphor works really well. Our friends and family, our life support, are there to hold up the parts of our lives that need some extra stabilizing.

You see, support systems are profound rescuers in our times of need, trampolines in our times of joy, and unthanked heroes every time in between. There is nothing IN THE ENTIRE WORLD that can compare to an unshakeable support system. To me, these people are the load bearing beam of our lives. If you have never had the privilege of having a support system, I beg of you, go find one. And, by go find one, I mean look around at who is already in your life and you be the best support to them. 

Defined as a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support. A support system is truly something to behold. They are the people who are willing to cover you when you have nothing left. They’re the ones who remind you in little and big ways that YOU ARE LOVED. These are the people whose smiling faces you long to see around the table at your special occasion. Then they are there again when you need an ear to vent to; these people are your support. A support system is made up of mutually beneficial, exclusive relationships. THEY SHOW UP FOR YOU AND YOU SHOW UP FOR THEM! 

There have been times when I have had the most phenomenal support system and there have been times when I felt like I was in the desert with the blazing noonday sun beating down on me, all by myself. I’m sure we have all been on both ends of that spectrum and the former is far better than the latter. I have found that support, at times, is highly uncomfortable, even for the girl who’s never met stranger, such as yours truly. Whether in tragedy or celebration, being surrounded by others forces vulnerability, there is no way around it. It gives people access into parts of our lives that sometimes we would rather keep hidden and that's okay. 

I’d like to provoke your thinking for a moment: 

What happens when your load bearing support beam splits? 

Do you fade away as well? 

So what is this Suspended Support?

Suspended support is an unmet expectation of relational reciprocity. 

This happens when you’ve given much of yourself to another, but when you are in need they are nowhere to be found. This is tough place to be. You’re left confused and alone when all you wanted was their support. Instead of supporting at all times, regardless of circumstances, suspended support happens in a relationship based on performance. When you’re doing good, the support beam holds you up but the moment that something less than desirable is done, that support is suspended, withdrawn, until that wrong behavior has been righted

We all, at one time or another, have found ourselves withholding support, whether intentional or not. And we all, if we’ve lived in community for any length of time, have experienced the pain of  suspended support. We live in a critical, performance-heavy culture that can be exhausting and harmful to community, but we’re not powerless in this. When you’re in the middle of a season of suspension you can use it as an opportunity to face the toxic emotions and speak truth over yourself. 

You are enough

You have enough 

You are getting better every day

Because the truth is, even when you look around and there is no one there, what’s inside you is enough. Humans, we are way more incredible than we give ourselves credit for. Give yourself a bit of a break today and take these words seriously - you are enough! 

I hope you never find yourself unsupported, but if you ever do, know that this tribe is sending love your way! 

Thank you for reading, 

See you next Tuesday.