Literally a couple days after my last post, where I wrote about how God was teaching me there was nothing to do but let him do everything, I found myself in the hospital for pre-term labor.
My husband was in Portland, Oregon for a wedding…. My best friend here visiting family in California… The timing could not have been more awful.
As I cried to the nurse in triage, the doctor looked over at Maya and asked who I could call to come get her. I cried harder, feeling alone and anxious. A few people ran through my head, but one in particular.
My neighbor Luba.
Luba lives directly next door to the left of me. Our girls get together and play while we drink coffee occasionally, we did father’s day together and will run errands together every so often. She is from Tajikistan, and has absolutely no family in the United States. Her boys are older and her youngest daughter is 2 years older than Maya. The girls love playing together, but with my work schedule over the last year it’s been challenging to make the playdates happen. She makes amazing cakes, and always brings me tupperwares of her baked goods. Luba runs a tight ship at home, and her family is very, very close. Knowing that Maya would be right next to home in case she needed anything and with someone as caring as Luba, I dialed her number and tried not to cry as I explained the situation.
The hospital is 15 miles from home, and Luba had actually just been in there for something else so she had to turn back around and drive back to pick up Maya. She did this immediately, without question, because “that is what I do. If you need anything, I am here.” She told me. I felt completely undeserving, overwhelmed with her generosity to take my girl. “Call me if you go into labor,” she said as she was gathering Maya up. “I will come back and be with you. No one should deliver babies alone.”
As the day went on, my contractions got closer and closer together. The doctors gave me a steriod shot in case the girls were born to help with their lung development and they put me on a pill to help stop contractions. It didn’t seem to help. All night contractions were 2 minutes apart, 5 minutes apart, 3 minutes apart, 5 minutes apart. Luba sent me pictures of Maya playing with her daughter and continued to call to see how I was. Finally the contractions subsided (consequently the same time David told me when he was able to come back) and I did not progress into active labor. Maya spent two nights with Luba’s family, and I’m forever grateful.
Throughout the entire experience I couldn’t help but realize that everyone needs a Luba. Everyone needs to be a Luba too. I’m not sure what her religious beliefs are, but she demonstrated Christ in the flesh to me. She took the the “love your neighbor as yourself” literally, and welcomed my family into her family no questions asked. A couple days later when her son was in a motorcycle accident and she was driving him in to surgery, she was the one calling ME asking what she could do until my mom comes into town. What if we all were like Luba to someone we know? We need each other; we need to be Christ to each other too!
But Luba wasn’t the only one. Even though my best friend here was out of town, not only did she keep in touch the whole time but her husband came to the hospital and brought me necessities and my favorite drink and stayed for a few hours to keep me company. He called my husband to talk over flights and picked him up at the airport at midnight. Everyone needs a Chris, and to be a Chris too. Christ in the flesh.
Other friends texted and called to see if they could help with Maya. One of David’s bosses even! His wife brought us dinner, called me in the hospital and offered time and time again to help with Maya, and I believe her when she offers to help. Christ in the flesh.
As we prepare to move, I am determined to meet my new neighbors and to be Luba to them. We need each other. It is very hard for me to ask for help… To really need somebody. Luba taught me that we need each other and there’s no shame in that. Everybody needs a Luba, and everybody needs to be a Luba to somebody else.
***In what ways can you accept a Luba in your life and BE a Luba to someone who needs you? It’s a sacrificial kind of love to be a Luba, and quite humbling to accept a Luba. I pray that I would be more aware of this as Christ continues to work in my heart. Thanks for reading.***