How do you respond when your world falls apart? If I’m honest, my response is typically to look inward— and I often become consumed with myself until a loving friend or a nudge from God draws me out. But what could our response look like if we chose to do something different?
My friend Marissa chose differently. Her life was falling apart. She was in a terrible season fraught with pain, and a wise voice suggested that she find something she enjoyed. So she decided to start sending cards, which was something she had enjoyed since she was a little girl. She thought that in the midst of her struggle she could send cards to encourage others. It would be a way to spread love and it would help take her eyes off of her own situation.
Marissa started small. She checked which of her friends had birthdays coming up on Facebook, and she messaged them and asked for an address if they wanted a card. Then she would handwrite a card and send it off. She was blown away by the response and amazed to see how excited people got about receiving a handwritten card.
Marissa started with birthday cards back in 2016, and over the last few years this simple expression of love has grown and grown. She has written cards for every occasion as well as written in groups to children with cancer and sent cards to MLB teams. She is now focusing specifically on her community. Marissa works at a store, and for Thanksgiving she got her front-end team involved and together they wrote and gave out 500 cards for customers who came in on Thanksgiving; at Christmas she wrote 100 cards to be given to customers. She also wrote cards to place in the mailboxes of people in her neighborhood. When I talked to Marissa about why she writes these cards, she said, “I want people to know how loved they are and that they have a purpose.” On average, Marissa writes 50 cards a month (although she definitely has seasons where she ends up writing far more). Marissa has developed this into her personal ministry: her sister designs the cards, and then Marissa prays over each one, writes a handwritten message, stuffs the card with glitter, and sends it out.
I love Marissa’s heart. She has embraced Hebrews 10:24. Her love has spurred me to take this tradition and want to follow in her footsteps. What if this month we all decided to send some love? What could it look like to start a new family tradition of sending handwritten letters? This month, have everyone in the family choose one person to send a card to. Spend some time making cards and writing out messages. Like Marissa does, pray over the cards and ask what God might have you write to encourage the person you will send it to and that the recipient would feel God’s love. Just imagine how much love we could spread if we all sent just one card this month! That’s the kind of tradition I want to pass on. (If you want to learn more about Marissa’s story, see the cards she’s sending, or have her send someone you love a card, visit her website lovealwayscards.com.)