Sometimes, it seems when something comes full circle, I can sit back and laugh about God's humor and His humbling ways.
A couple years a go, a friend had something difficult happen to her. I remember getting the text and feeling heartbroken. Normally, I like to be put to work in tough situations - so that I feel that I can care for my friends, and feel useful. In this situation my friend lived a few hundred miles away. So instead I did what came easiest, I gave a piece of "logical advice". Basically, "I'm so sorry, but at least...." And I remember feeling pretty brilliant in the moment.
A few months ago I was dealing with my own painful situation. I remember sitting with my friend Sarah and being so angry and frustrated with people who were giving me logical advice of their own. I didn't want logic. It felt demeaning. Like, yes you're suffering - but ponder these words (even truth) and all will be right again. I wanted someone to feel what I felt to the intensity that I did.
And then it hit me. My own words from two years ago came hurtling back at me. Ugh! How could I have been so insensitive. I felt foolish. I felt haunted. I felt like I made someone else's hurt insignificant. I shared those words with Sarah and how they haunted me. I knew deep down that they were words of truth, but I didn't want them. And I decided, I would never subject anyone to them again.
A couple weeks ago I was enjoying a superb lunch of white cheddar mac and cheese with Sarah. It felt, and was, a special moment. Sarah and her husband had been in a head on collision with a drunk driver just a month and a half ago. Sarah is currently on a long journey towards recovery, but thankfully very much alive. So, mac and cheese for lunch becomes a treasured moment.
Anyways, we were talking about heartache and I brought up the frustration of people speaking truth, but how it made the issue at hand feel so insignificant. I told Sarah I wouldn't do that to her. I thought I was being wise (HA!).
Sarah told me that she had been thinking about those very words that had brought me shame - a lot. She told me they have been a comfort to her during this trying time. I was floored. I mean, just when I think I've got it all figured out, well - I don't.
So my words came full circle and I feel like God has used them in every situation. I feel humbled. I realize that no two people are the same, and so when heartache strikes - I need to lean on God for the words or even actions.
And most of all, I've learned to give Grace to those that I felt frustration towards. They had no intention of demeaning my situation, they wanted me to find hope in the truth. I am reminded that I am loved, and that I love. Sometimes we do it well but most of the time it is a bit messy.