I have posted before how I am not unique, just different. I am realizing now that I may not be so different after all. I have encountered some wonderful people recently who have reminded me again that my suffering is not unlike others, just slightly different. And, like before, this only provides me with more strength, more reason to go forward, and more faith.
Those who do not understand faith, or the power faith provides, think suffering is a way God punishes us. First off, God does not punish us. He provides strength and guidance, but we have to be open to it. Suffering is a part of life, and is certainly something Jesus went through — and on our behalf!! It is in this suffering we know what grace is and allows us to appreciate with gratitude the times we are more fortunate.
We all have a background and episodes in our life that were not pleasant or something we choose to experience had we been given the choice. This could be, as in my case, the death of a child; or it could be the death of a parent; or a childhood less than perfect and with dysfunction. Whatever the situation, I hope to learn from it, grow as a person, and hopefully become much more understanding of what is going on around us. If we are not understanding of those around us, we could be part of the problem instead of the solution.
Example: today, someone shared a story about a person at a gym who was there for the first time and did not quite know what she was doing. Judging from the context, she was overweight. A group of three people were laughing at her and video taped her struggle. The woman stopped working out and went into the locker room where a bystander found her crying. Do these people who were laughing and joking have any right to judge? Turns out the woman had just lost a parent from a condition caused by excessive weight and she was headed down the same path. In her attempt to change her fate, she joined the gym. Luckily, the person who followed this woman to the locker room had also turned those people who laughed into management with a formal complaint. They were permanently banned! The one who came to her defense had her go back into the gym and encouraged her to continue with her by her side, together! This is a prime example of our ignorance in a situation and how this could have turned out very different for the woman who had just lost a parent. It could have been a road block she could not hurdle had it not been for this person who followed her into the locker room. I hope that I would have followed her into that locker room as well. If you feel this way too, think about this story the next time you want to assume or laugh at a situation.
I have learned to not ask why I have things go differently than I would have liked. The plan will be revealed soon enough. That may be when I meet our Lord at the pearly gates. I have to be ok with that. I can only hope I am a better servant to those who may be suffering and give hope that they too will get through the situation they are in.
We are all in this world together. We are more alike than we are different. We also have a story behind us that has led us to where we are today. This includes stories of good fortune, stories of hope, and stories of suffering. We must continue to be understanding without knowing or assuming anything. Be the best version of yourself. Pray for those who may be suffering. Pray for peace, strength, and comfort. Be patient and kind.
#everyonehasastory #bepatientandkind #onechapteratatime