Sunday, June 10, 2012

be kind

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

This quote has been running through my head a lot lately.

The day my mom died my siblings and I were at my aunt and uncle's house. That afternoon we drove back up to Bellingham, from Seattle to see my dad. We had to stop at a store on the way home, I remember walking down the isles and passing people, looking at them, and thinking: "they have no idea what just happened to me". This has crossed my mind several times, when people watching or interacting with other strangers, or even friends. We don't know what battles people are fighting, so the best idea is to be kind.

 I was recently talking to my friend who told me about her husband's addiction to pornography and the terrible effects of it.  She has been carrying this burden alone, for a long time, not letting anyone know. She is exhausted and drained. She told me she hoped no one noticed something was wrong with them.
I told her: "the more I get to know people, the more I realize we are all fighting a hard battle...and we are all good actors."

I think we all do that, we hide a lot of our biggest trials. I don't know really why, maybe we don't want the sympathy, or negative attention, to be treated differently from friends, or possibly feel contention from it.

There are so many hard things that are happening, right now to us.

A friend of mine has been trying to get pregnant for years, she sees all her friends having babies, some of us have upwards to 6 kids by now and she still has empty arms, and it's heart breaking. Another friend can get pregnant, but has had miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage. She told me how people assume each one will get easier because she has experienced it before, and almost dismiss that it has even happened, but in fact it is just the opposite. It breaks her heart a little more each time, a wave of grief and a feeling of failure wash over her even more powerful than the prior.

Another dear friend was sexually abused their whole childhood and didn't say a word about it until they were adults, can you imagine that? Carrying that pain for so many years, alone, as a small child?

We have been through the whole unemployment thing, a couple times. Some of our close friends have been unemployed for years, off and on. It sounds like not that big of a deal, it's just money right? Actually its completely draining and very trying on all relationships. Ever been there?

Maybe you know people too, maybe you are "people". This life can be so hard. Sometimes we are given trials so much bigger than us that we can feel so lost and a lone.

I can't tell my friend her husband will get over his addiction to pornography and that she'll be able to trust him ever again, or tell my friend Yes! You WILL have a baby! I can't give my other friends a job, I can not erase my friend's childhood and replace it with one with love and happiness. I can't do any of that. But I can be kind. I can tell them that it will be ok, maybe not in this life, but in the next. I can tell them that Christ lives. I can tell them that he can take our burden, so we dont' have to carry all that pain, confusion and loneliness alone.

But how do you do that? How do you just give away all that? How do you do that when your faith is so exhausted that its almost non existent now?A Small prayer. A small little step of faith. I know, not just think, I know Christ is there, waiting to help us. No matter how big the trial may be and no matter how small our hope and faith is, He is there.

We are all fighting hard battles, and Christ is there.


Terah said...

I feel the same way. I loved your post. Just what I needed. I always thought when I became an adult life would be perfect. Ah, totally wrong. Never did I think I'd fight the battle of being single at 35 and seeing everyone have "someone." I've learned in my life that everyone is fighting their own battle whether seen or unseen. It's true we all need to be a little kinder! I try to remember this everyday when I'm seeing 50 patients a day; that this is my opportunity to show kindness to each person, because in some way they are each fighting some kind of battle.

Kelsey said...

Oh Rach, you made me tear up again. I blame being 9 months prego. :)

It is so true! We all hide it so well, so you really never know what is going on in people's lives. When I got together with some old friends last year we all confessed to what was really going on in our seemingly perfect lives: sickness, marriage problems, infertility, money stress, ect. it was so refreshing to get it all out and realize that we are never alone. And we of course promised to not hold it in again.

Always a good reminder, thank you!

Caleb and Hannah said...

Well said Rachel, I just read a book in my Bible study called "Shattered Dreams" by Larry Crabb. It really addresses the brokenness and shows us how these struggles may not go away or get better, but how we can encounter God in the midst of our heartache.

Hayley said...

thanks for this. :)

Tatiana said...

Good reminder! Thanks for your testimony.

Corinna said...

You always have wonderful thoughts. Thank you for sharing them.

Jo said...

Beautiful thoughts Rach!

Peggy Brawn said...

This is beautifully written, and exactly what I needed today. Thank you. :)

Jessica Kettle said...

Love you girl. Well said. I remember so much about that day too- did we go to a swim suit store? weird.

Carly said...

tears streaming... exactly what i needed today. love ya mama

Anonymous said...

Rachel~ your comments are so in my head and heart!! I remember wondering how people could go on laughing and joking and taking life so nonchalantly....and then, like you, realizing they didn't know what had happened to me. And life does go on...but not without its challenges. I have been blessed to know you in YW and see your love and courage in action! You're in my thoughts....


Rachelle said...

um yes and yes.

whenever im having a moment about my 'hard life' husband always reminds me of everything that is 'good' in our life and then i shut up.

easiest thing i have learned living in so cal is that its easier to be kind than snobby.

thanks friend.

Alisha and Braeden said...

Thank you for your post. I needed that.