I wanted to add some additional thoughts that perhaps I didn't make clear in my last post..and it was already too long, so I'm writing another post. :) I have been wanting to write about compassion and the way we use our words with others when they are going through trials for a while now. It's been something that's been heavy on my heart for a long time, mostly because God's been teaching me a lot about it through our own situations. We go through trials and it hurts and it's hard but we can still learn so much in the midst of those trials and this is one of those things I've been learning. And I really am grateful for the learning. I have always said, the pain may be hard, but I pray it doesn't go to waste. I pray that I can learn and grow through it and I pray that I can be of encouragement and comfort to someone else some day.
I've shared openly and honestly about some of the struggles we've experienced and where my heart has been in the midst of those struggles. But please, don't misunderstand my "open-ness" as seeking to put myself and our pain up on a pedestal. That is definitely not my goal. I didn't write everything about struggling to have faith and learning about compassion in an attempt to get up on my soapbox and dramatize our pain and throw a pity party for ourselves. Naturally, our trial is what has caused me to think about these topics more and therefore write about it, but my goal is not at all to say "woe is me, look how bad we've got it." I share how I hurt in hopes that it will encourage someone else who may be going through the same thing to see that they aren't alone and to perhaps be someone they can talk to if they need. I do not, I repeat, I do not share in order to magnify ourselves or our situation. But of course I'm going to draw from our own experiences. And I write openly and honestly because I prefer "real-ness" and showing the "nitty-gritty" so much more over surface-level niceties. So much more is accomplished in relationships when we are real and we choose to go deep and cut to the heart of things.
I know there are so many other people who have gone through so much harder things than we have. This world is full of pain. I hurt for parents who are losing a child to a painful, terminal illness...for children who live without a family to love them and call their own...for parents who see their children ripped from their homes to be thrown into war as child soldiers....for moms who don't have enough to feed their starving children and their hearts ache as their children cry themselves to sleep in hunger....the list goes on and on. There is so much BIG pain in this world. It makes me cry just thinking about it all. I would never say we have it the hardest and "poor me", please have pity on our situation. Please don't think I feel that way. (not saying any of you do...I just want to make sure I'm completely clear) I just draw from my experiences and am trying to use them to learn more about others and what they're going through and learn from how they handle it and have faith in the midst of trials. I want to learn how to be more compassionate to others and how to enter into their pain and suffer with them. That is where my heart is coming from...I don't write to point people to me and our situation..but to get people thinking about how they may have handled certain situations in their own lives and dealt with other people in their pain. We can all, always improve and grow...and I write as much to myself as I do to others.
I just want to encourage people to be real and to not be afraid to share their hurts and their struggles..so I share mine in hopes that it will help others to do the same. We all go through struggles...and they vary in degrees and types. But we can NEVER get into comparing and judging others when they are going through pain. Each person's pain is his/her own and it's not our place to say how they should or shouldn't be handling it...we aren't in their shoes and we never will be. We are all unique humans who handle things differently and God works in all of our lives differently. So I pray that my words would encourage us to think first before we speak and to just have love and care for people FIRST...before anything else...before we get critical, before we judge, before we "preach" at, before we do anything else. I think if we do this then we won't be so quick to criticize, judge and "preach"...but we'll be quicker to share in their pain and wrap our arms around them in love and help them carry their burden. Remember what James said in James 2? What good is it if we just throw nice phrases at people and tell them the "right" things but don't enter into their pain and help carry the burden for them? It's useless.
I'm so thankful for God's grace and for the truth of who He is. I'm so thankful I've got Him to lean into and rest in. Life may hurt and there may be days when it's hard to have faith but what a gracious, loving God we have. He doesn't turn His back on us....I believe He hurts when we hurt, but He knows the purpose in it and He promises that everything will be worked out for our good and His glory. That is balm to my soul....if I forget everything else, I pray I always remember who He is and that He promises to always work everything out to what's best for me and what will glorify Him most. It may not be my "perceived" best, but His best is way better than anything I can come up with for myself. I pray my faith will always cling to that. And I pray yours will too.
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