Friday, September 21, 2007

More thoughts

I know I've been writing a lot since starting this blog, and I'm not always this "talkative" but I've learned to enjoy the times when I can sit and think!
A simple comment last night got me thinking again- I won't go into all the details of it because it really was just something kind of said in passing, and I wasn't the one saying it so I don't want to embarrass anyone. What it did, though, was to make me realize that we never really know where someone has been, what they've been through. All that we see is them here and now. Maybe what we see is someone who looks beautiful, seems successful, appears to have it all together. What are we not seeing? What kinds of pains and trials has that person had to make it through to get where they are today? We may not always appreciate the fact that they have fears and insecurities of their own, that they have things that they need reassurance about too.
Another good friend of mine made the comment that she wouldn't trade her trials for anyone else's... and that has really stuck with me. We each have such vastly different experiences here on earth. Some may deal with abuse, depression, wayward children, illness, or family challenges. (The list could literally go on forever!) How can we look at any other person and judge how they are facing their challenges? None of us will ever be able to literally walk a mile in someone else's shoes. Sometimes we'll be able to sympathize and other times to empathize, especially when we've been through something similar, but there is no way for us to really comprehend every facet of what another person is facing. The only thing we can do is to show compassion and work to have charity for others. (Yes, I said "work"... it doesn't always come naturally to us!) We need to set aside our pre-conceived notions of how things should be and what the perfect person is like and instead reach out and try to share love with others. We need to be so much more patient with others, especially when they don't seem to be living up to our own expectations.
I realize this is so much easier said than done. I'm in no way perfect at it, and obviously need plenty of reminders, but wouldn't it be great to know that the people around you are rooting for you, instead of waiting to gloat over your failures? Wouldn't it be awesome to know that you will be accepted for who you are, just the way you are, and that others are going to cheer every time you make an improvement? If we do unto others as we would have done unto us, I think that's what we would be doing... cheering, encouraging, helping, loving. Anything to help those around us become who God intended them to be.
I'll end this one with a thought from one of Max Lucado's books: (hope I don't get in trouble for using it!)
God loves you just the way you are. If you think his love for you would be stronger if your faith were, you are wrong. If you think his love would be deeper if your thoughts were, wrong again. Don't confuse God's love with the love of people. The love of people often increases with performance and decreases with mistakes. Not so with God's love. He loves you right where you are. He loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way.
- 'You! God's Brand-New Idea' by Max Lucado, p.100-101

8 comments:

chelle said...

So true about trading trials thing. We are only given what we can handle..not what someone else can handle. I am greatful for my challenges and the opportunity I have to grow with them. Now if only I can keep the perspective as I am going through them!!

Leslie said...

What great insights! You are a beautiful person -- inside and out!! I'm having fun getting to know you in our cyber-neighborhood!

Steve and Jamie said...

I found my way onto your site through someone else's. I hope you don't mind if I leave you a comment. Patty, you are one of my favorite people. Your smile is so contagious and I appreciate your gentle spirit. I'm so excited to learn more about you. My brother has pretty severe social anxiety, and it is frustrating for me that other people can't get to know what an amazing person he is. I can only imagine how difficult it is for you. It is awsome how God can shape our experiences so that we can grow and change. I was thinking last night about how the difficult things that have happened to me have helped me grow. I too am a different person than I was 5 years ago. Anyway, I'm rambling WAY to much. If you want to learn more about my family you can go to www.cincinnatigammons.com .

Papa D said...

One of Hillary Weeks' songs contains this line: "I'm grateful for the stories that remain unwritten." Every time I hear someone complaining about their trials, I try to help them realize that there are other trials they might have had instead. I rarely find someone whose trials are so severe that they can't appreciate that outlook, even if it only yields small comfort.

Papa D said...

Yeah, I know. A man quoted Hillary Weeks. The world is coming to an end.

Dory said...

Patty, you are the best! I am having so much fun with this blog thing. What a great way to get to know each other. I love your blog, it makes me feel good and brings a smile to my face. Thanks for your thoughts and keep writing.

Patty said...

Thanks for all your comments- they make this so worth it!!
And everyone is welcome to check out my blog- there's no one I can think of that I don't like and wouldn't want reading it!

Stephanie Turner said...

"God loves you just the way you are. If you think his love for you would be stronger if your faith were, you are wrong. If you think his love would be deeper if your thoughts were, wrong again. Don't confuse God's love with the love of people. The love of people often increases with performance and decreases with mistakes. Not so with God's love. He loves you right where you are. He loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way."

Interesting that this is precisely what I am struggling with and I happen to stumble upon it by creeping on you 7.5 years later. :) Thanks for being you. Love you, friend.