Thursday, October 25, 2012

You Went Through Hell

These words, “you went through hell”, conveyed our counselor’s, our Christian counselor’s immediate response to the telling of our engagement story.

His words stopped the telling; they shocked; I dissolved into tears—the beginning of the healing.

The twenty-eight year old story told many times to many friends never elicited that personal emotional response. The difference …

He didn’t mince words or truth.
He didn’t minimalize the trauma of those months.
He didn’t moralize with the response we had come to expect, God is sovereign.

Something changed that day with those four words; he earned our trust and, taught us a big lesson about connecting with others.

Life is hard. Minimalizing and moralizing experiences negates their impact.

Those months had been hard, really hard. When my friends accepted my invitation to be bridesmaids and backed out, it was embarrassing. My parents questioned the friends I chose. It put fertilizer on the lie I believed about myself, I’m not good enough. It fit the pattern of life I had come to expect—a sad commentary on me. God’s words to us faded in the words of people.

But I digress. Many of our friends currently live in their own hell. They call for my compassion, not my understanding. They need my ear, not my commentary. They need to know their story is important by itself, not compared to mine. They don’t need me to minimalize or moralize (thank you to Tullian Tchividjian for introducing me to theses verbs) their situation. Life is hard, really hard.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 17:17

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