by Barbara Collins

Showing up matters.

Life gives us so many opportunities to not show up. I won’t bore you with my list because your list is just like mine.

I have discovered that it is only through loss that we come to understand the importance of showing up. We have much to be thankful for with our Lord, who always shows up. And He will continue to show up, always and forever. It may not always be true with everyone else in our life.

Have you ever had a friend who says sincerely, “I really want to see you, hear all about your daughter’s wedding and find out how you are doing.” Then you hear nothing. And the next time you talk to her is when she responds to your next daughter’s wedding invitation response card? It seems that you are the one who always puts forth efforts to connect, knowing that holding your breath and waiting on this person would really be like hiking the “M” at the University of Montana. And yet you just keep showing up? Do you have a friend like mine?

I did get a card from the ‘Not Show-er Upper’ profusely apologizing, wanting to see pictures from the wedding. She told me why her agenda was more important and said things like “Look forward to see’n ya soon” at which point I forced myself to take a deep breath. She skipped over details as to why she had not called or come to see me. And if you’re like me, you just keep hoping for honesty.

Till one day, I discover I have breast cancer. That is when you really find out who will show up for you in your life. And you realize you have a Jesus who shows up – and He’s been there all along. Never having left your side. That’s my experience.

So cancer makes me brave, or outspoken, or abundantly able to see life and people with different eyes. I texted my “no show” friend, still hiding behind the text message myself, mind you. I let her know that I had received her sweet note. I went on to say that “I have been here ten years, just give me a call, just say when, look forward to it (notice no holding breath involved), I have the same number, I do not have too many plans, I’ll be here.” How’s that for honesty?

I can’t believe I sent that……or can I? Then I realized it was my turn: I missed the opportunity to show up. I missed the chance to say what I really wanted to say. “Where have you been for these ten years, what happened to our friendship, did I do something to cause offense? Where do we go from here? Why can’t we show up for each other?”

But I did not do that….I just kept being sarcastic, allowing the enemy to get the best of me and rob us of our joy. I wasn’t real with her. I did not show up. Someone else did!

And then it hit me: Jesus shows up. He’s honest with us, except He does it without the bad attitude. He just shows up to love us. Again and again he goes in for the ball, picks it up and serves us up a mighty dose of support for our journey. He looks long and knows what is ahead. Nothing catches Him by surprise…..because He shows up for the game, for life, the world and for us.

Just showing up is all He is asking of us, but He wants us to do it without all the judgments. Don’t we want Him to show up when we ask? Just do it. Be the One. I’m in. I will still send my friend text messages, talk in passing or on the fly, occasional emails or forwards because that is what I would want her to do for me.

You know how you have those friends whose birthday you just can’t seem to forget? Hers is one of them. So she gets me, showing up, like it or not. I also know she is one of the most creative friends that I can connect with and it is like old times when we do get together. We can sit in silence and let our hearts speak. That has to be enough for now.

That is who my Jesus is. I can sit in silence and know I am not alone. And He not only shows up, He never leaves my side.

About Barbara Collins: I am a child of God, wife of 30 years and mother of six daughters. I love Jesus, art, music, writing, singing, dancing, horseback riding, the outdoors, being surrounded by family and having dinner parties with interesting people. Currently working on two books along with volunteer efforts for various ministries, so I keep myself pretty busy. I host a online TV bible study show on Monday Mornings at 8:30 am CST on called Madre Minutes This past summer I was diagnosed with breast cancer so I have been walking with God through that journey journaling the experience to help others on my blog at . I am a native Texan and attended The University of Texas getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I teach bible study and head up the Alumnae Association for Christian Women’s Job Corp.






  1. 10-24-2011

    Welcome Barbara to MPN! Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding me to show up!

    • 10-25-2011

      I know I need this lesson everyday! I am so thankful that all I have to do is ask and my sweet Jesus shows up! Thanks for the welcome.

  2. 10-24-2011

    I think we all have at least one friend like that…(I hope I’m not one of them.) I’ll have to work on ‘showing up with a good attitude.’ ouch. Blessings to you!

    • 10-25-2011

      I struggle with when faced with a friend like that not to take offense. I have decided to not let it rob me of my joy! Amen! thanks for the blessings.

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