Support in the Aisle


Support. "To bear all or part of the weight of; hold up" (English Oxford Dictionary).

I belong to a private group on Facebook. In this group are women of all ages,  stages, and walks of life. Most, if not all of these women are believers.  There is a code that is honored within the group that makes this a safe place, a place that welcomes honest and open sharing. In this group…bringing the broken bits of your life out into the open equates to just putting it in writing in a post. Not all share the hard things in their lives, those things that cause pain and regret. But some do. And the amazing thing is…when they do…there is an outpouring of love, sometimes tough love, but always…always support. 

These women have been known to offer prayer, moral support, open their homes, meet for a cup of coffee, and even contribute money when needed. They love each other and desire nothing more than for the woman struggling to be healed and restored to a right relationship with God and others. Each one of us knows that we are all capable of falling into the same traps and lies of the enemy. It is only by God’s grace, not our own goodness, that we have escaped some of the snares of the enemy.  

For these women, there is an open invitation to come and ask for support at any time. Let them know in a post and they will respond. Because these women operate as a body of Christ followers, they represent a small portion of the church. And for me, I have come to see this act of ‘putting it out there’ in a post equivalent to walking down the aisle at church.   

The Aisle…

In a church service, the opportunity to walk down the aisle happens toward the end of the service at the time of invitation. The invitation is given to ask for prayer, or to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, or for just admitting our brokenness. And that makes us feel vulnerable. Can we trust others with our mess? 

 So often we think of that aisle as the 'walk of shame' and so are reluctant to step out and let people know we have failed in some way. Or that we have a need. We are afraid of judgment. 

But the truth is the aisle is our opportunity to step out and step up...to walk the path of forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, and freedom. As we step out into that aisle, we are accepting the love and support of fellow believers to help us move beyond the conviction of our sin, beyond our present circumstances. It now becomes their responsibility pull us into the fold of loving fellowship, to love us where we are, to look beyond our past and to honor us for who God created us to be...who we are becoming. And yes, to help hold us accountable. 

If we as the church, choose to view the aisle in any other way, then we are choosing to walk as the Pharisees did. They were so afraid to let go of the ‘letter of the law’, sitting in judgment on any who would dare break one iota of their rules and regulations, that they missed Christ, their Messiah. Rules had replaced relationship...and they missed the most important relationship of their lives. 

So let's not give that aisle the designation: walk of shame. Instead, let's look at it as a passage...on the way to freedom. 


The definition of the word aisle in the English Oxford dictionary is this: 
A passage between rows of seats in a building such as a church or theatre, an aircraft, or train. 

 So the aisle is not the final destination but operates as a passage. The word Passage is defined several ways in the English Oxford dictionary: 

The action or process of moving through or past somewhere on the way from one place to another. The action or process of moving forward. The right to pass through somewhere.

So maybe shame, regret, need or grief gave you a nudge, but you are still reluctant to step out into that aisle. Just remember the aisle is merely a passage, a passage you have every right to step into. I believe with every fiber of my being that Jesus walks right beside you when you step out and walk forward. 

Keep this in mind. A passage is not just for leaving things behind. It is for going forward into a life of purpose and adventure. 

So step out and move forward, pass through to forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, and freedom. And if the church will be the church, you will find the love and support you will need for the journey at the end of that aisle

 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!  He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.
                                    2 Cor. 1:3-4(MSG) 

#FiveMinuteFriday credit: Kate Motaung
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I'm joining Kate Motaung and the lovely writers of Five Minute Friday. Each Friday Kate gives us a word prompt and we write for Five Minutes flat...it's a free write. I will say that I broke all the rules on this post. I'm posting on Monday and yes, I did write for much more than the designated time limit. 

But the word for this week was 'support' and it just happens to fit in with the message that God had whispered to me on Sunday morning.  

I was singing on the worship team and as the intro music began for the invitation, I heard God say to me, "there is someone who needs to know that there is no shame in stepping into the aisle". I hesitated and missed my chance. There I was with a mic in my hand and I hesitated...the singing began. I couldn't shake the words that I had heard. After reading a post from one of my sister's in my FB group asking for prayer and sharing a very difficult struggle, I knew I needed to share the message here. 

I'm praying that God gets this message to the person who needs to know that she is loved and that stepping into the aisle is stepping into the arms of Jesus. 


Guest Post by Tricia Goyer

How Humbling Yourself In Your Time of Need Changes Everything

Tricia Goyer

The other day I was cooking dinner when my six-year-old son rushed into the kitchen.
Beads of sweat slid down his red face. “I’m so hot. You never get me anything to drink.”

I stirred my spaghetti sauce with one hand as I turned to him. “Excuse me?”

His voice rose in a full, high-pitched whine. “You never give me anything to drink!” He waved his hands and dropped to the floor.

I took in a breath and then released in, telling myself to keep my voice steady, calm. “I’d be happy to get you a drink. I just need you to ask.”

He kicked his foot against the floor. “But I want a drink now!”
 “I know you do.” I peered down at him. “And as soon as you ask the right way I’m happy to get some ice cold water.”

And then my son stood, smiled up at me and asked so sweetly for a drink of water … NOT!

Instead, he whined and fussed more. Finally, I asked him to leave the kitchen.

You know what? He never did ask. In fact, he didn’t get anything to drink until fifteen minutes later when we were sitting down to dinner. He was so bent on complaining and whining—in feeding his discontent—he didn’t want to release his control in order to ask me for help. I would have gladly given him the drink he requested if only he asked in the right away.

Feeding Our Discontent
I wish I could say this is just a little kid issue, but I’ve been there myself. During my teen years, I lived in that storm of discontent. I complained when things didn’t go my way. I worried. I fretted. I fought.

 I even took matters into my own hands when I found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy at age 15. My own fears and worries led me to a choice I now regret—I had an abortion.

It wasn’t until years later, at age 17 when I was pregnant again, that things took a turn for the better. It’s then I humbled myself and turned to God. By this point I realized the whining, complaining, and acting out wasn’t getting me what I wanted or needed.

At six months along, I wrapped my arms around my growing stomach and prayed, “Lord, if you can do anything with my life, please do.”

God showed up big time. He not only gave me Himself (which is the best!), He has also led me on a journey where radical, and wonderful things, have happened. This has included marrying a wonderful Christian man, having two more kids, starting a crisis pregnancy center, mentoring teen moms, adopting seven more children, and writing over 70 books!

God didn’t just offer me a cup of cool water when I asked. He opened the floodgates of blessing. But it took me humbling myself and seeking Jesus to meet my needs.

 This reminds me of a Scripture I was reading just this morning, “I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’ You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life,” Lamentations 5:55-58.

Mumbling, complaining and griping is easy, but they rob us of having our greatest needs met. Yet when we humble ourselves and turn to God, things will change for the better.

When we call to the Lord, He hears us. When we turn to Him, He comes. When we call to Him, He reminds us that He is present and we have no reason to fear. When we place our needs in His court, Jesus redeems our life.

 It took a lot to humble me as a teen—two unplanned pregnancies in fact. Yet I’m thankful that I learned back then that when I turn to God He will meet my needs. He will meet them in more wonderful ways than I ever expected.

You can read more about how God can show up radically in your life in the book Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time .

If you pre-order Walk It Out before October 1, you’ll also receive 30 Days of Prayer as You Walk It Out FREE! 
Details here: http://www.triciagoyer.com/walk-it-out/

You can also click  HERE  to read my goodreads review.

Tricia Goyer is the author of over 70 books, 
including her popular works of Amish fiction, contemporary fiction, and non-fiction titles. She and her husband, John, are the parents of ten and the grandparents of four.

A best-selling author, Tricia also founded Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana and leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The homeschool mom has co-authored with Max Lucado, Robin Jones Gunn, and many other Christian writers. Well-known for her inspirational public speaking and her personal blog, Tricia has over 100,000 social media followers. With a heart for teenage mothers, adoption, and missions work, Tricia spends much of her time ministering to others in her local community and around the world.

You can find Tricia here: