I haven’t exactly been a deep thinker here at Holding the Distaff lately. When it comes down to it, in my spare time I really enjoy making fun of myself, playing with my kids, and making my life work better on a practical level. Solving the world’s problems—not so much.
Furthermore, I’m not going to force out any mind-blowing insights when they’re just not there. I hate anything contrived. There are a lot of other great bloggers out there who are flowing with insight every day, so go ahead and visit them.
However, I do have faith, I do care about what matters in life, and every now and then I have a thought to share. I gotta write it down for you to make sense of it (hence my blog’s tagline).
Lately a lot of what has tugged at my heart is other people’s drama. It astounds me sometimes how little I have suffered. So many people I care about have gone through trial after trial, broken relationships, declining health, abuse, neglect, devastating loss.
I wonder sometimes why, comparatively, I am so unscathed. Would I survive under the same trials? Maybe I don’t want to know.
I was talking to one of these friends recently, one whom I respect tremendously for her faith through the most trying circumstances I can imagine as a mother. I was having what I considered a bad day (typical pregnancy-hormone-want to strangle someone type of stuff). She had called me and was trying to make me feel better. Immediately I felt guilty — I was talking to the queen of bad pregnancy experience.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I just need to be more grateful for what I have. My problems are nothing compared to what you’ve gone through.”
And then do you know how my responded when I was trying to be more “humble” and “grateful?” She reprimanded me.
“That’s my battle, not yours. It doesn’t make yours any less difficult for you.”
I told you she has an amazing amount of faith.
I have another friend who has been wrestling through a lot of marriage, family, and financial problems. She often pours out her heart to me, which I appreciate because I really don’t feel like I offer much help other than hugs and prayers. But one time she called right when I was in the middle of a bad mood (yeah, yeah they happen). I’d gotten into a little marriage skirmish about what was for dinner. As stupid as it seemed to me, I shared it with her after she told me some much heavier news.
Her response? “Thanks, you make me feel needed as a friend by sharing that with me. And you make me feel like I’m not the only crazy one.”
I’ve got great friends.
The moral of the story is that I do have battles. As trivial as they may seem, I can’t just brush them off, minimize them or play tough girl. They’re mine to fight. And while I do need to take a step back and be grateful sometimes, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to have legitimate emotions to work through.
If you’re familiar with the Bible, and if you’re a parent, have you ever tried to put yourself in Abraham’s shoes? If you don’t know the story, Abraham was a really old guy with one son named Isaac. God had promised that through Isaac, Abraham would be the father of a great nation. So one day, God told Isaac to go kill his son and offer him as a sacrifice (yeah, what?!). Abraham did it. Except God stopped him before he plunged the knife and said, “Okay, I can see you have faith. Go kill a ram instead.” Later in the New Testament, it says that Abraham was able to do it because he just figured that God would bring Isaac back from the dead. (See Genesis 22 and Hebrews 11:17-19). And thus why he is the father of the faithful. (By the way, have you considered what his wife must have thought about all of this???)
If you’ve ever wondered what you would do if God asked you such a thing of you…well, take heart in knowing that it’s the only time recorded that he made such an outrageous request (except of himself, of his own Son. That’s kind of a big deal).
But he will ask something of you. What he will ask is for each of us to find out. And some people’s trials will seem BE harder than others (fairness is another topic entirely).
Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. (Galatians 6:4-5)
People go through incredible trials. And so do you and I. But each is our own.
Fortunately, while the battles are ours to own, we don’t have to face them alone.
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