Last week I had one of those DAYS.
A day where circumstances went zonkers and my fragile heart (from our circumstances of late) nearly broke.
In that moment, I remembered the advice of someone, somewhere on the Internet. May have been a meme. Might have seen it on Instagram. I’m not sure. But it went something like this: If you’re hurting, the best way to overcome that hurt is to find someone else who is hurting and serve them. In other words, provide the very thing you need for someone else in need.
[Tweet “If you’re hurting, the best way to overcome that hurt is to find someone else who is hurting and serve them. “]
What I needed last week was encouragement to continue on. I needed to know God saw me. I needed to be reminded that He is the provider–not my husband, not me, not my stressball of worry. (Just reading those sentences makes me feel a bit vulnerable because, my goodness, how needy have I been?)
Those words of encouragement didn’t come (and that’s okay). Because I remembered that advice, and I started my own bout of encouraging. I took to Twitter on a kindness rampage, my heart welling up for people I knew. Faithful people. People so beloved of God. I felt a little like Jesus must’ve felt when He said,
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
I tried my best to point out beautiful things about others, taking time to pray for and revel in these amazing people. It became so joyful, I nearly felt addicted to the practice. Then I ventured to Facebook and wrote encouragement on a few timelines, publicly praising those folks who have been so very faithful to Jesus during hard times. They were my heroes, and I wanted them to know that.
My sadness, still underlying, abated. It didn’t go away completely. Sometimes your life is so full of hard circumstances, you can’t crawl out. But the sting of it, and the pervasive feeling that I would always be sad evaporated.
Are you hurting today? Wishing someone would encourage you? I hear you. I can’t guarantee someone will take the time to help you, lift your head. But I do know two things: God will lift your head (He is always available), and you have the choice right now to become the hero you need: start encouraging someone right now. It doesn’t take much time. But it could change a life.
Maybe even yours.
That is a great response to hurting. Hardest part is finding someone you can tell, who actually wants to listen these days. But going and being kind and joyful to others can even help make up for the fact you might not have someone to directly share your hurt with. It always makes you feel better to make someone else feel better!
Thanks for the reminder! I think that those of us who have experienced pain are better prepared to know what others may need. There is indeed something very satisfying about knowing that in some small way, I can make life less painful for another person. That’s one reason why I chose to get so involved with my local MS association, after my own diagnosis, and to serve on the board there. Fighting this illness is not just a personal battle and there is something very satisfying about being able to support someone else in the midst of it all.
It’s empowering to remember that although we can’t choose what happens to us, we can choose how to respond. When we choose to support others, even from our place of weakness, then whatever we’re struggling with has not managed to beat us or to knock us down. Whatever hope I receive from God, that I have to pass on to others. Mostly, it’s about listening. As you’ll see from my blog title, I’m not into platitudes. It’s easier to support people than we could think. Time, listening and friendship are so valuable.
I hope that you get what you need today too Mary. Happy Easter to you. So thankful for that wonderful hope that we have,
Well said. This would make a great mini-blog post.
Good plan! I’ll think about taking the idea of my comment for a blog post at some point 🙂
Ironically, one of the most positive persons I knew had MS. She could brighten a room like no one else. And she would talk about what she was going thru if you sincerely asked her. She had the ‘gift of gab’ in the most positive way! Praise God for that ability. Only He can provide the people/tools/moments.