Thursday, 20 November 2014
What's Your Something?
I shared our story from start to finish with a lovely group of ladies in Morden on Tuesday. Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed the evening. I was not nervous at all and was able to talk without really looking at my notes that often. The words flowed.....I think I've thought through this story so many times, I can recite it in my sleep. I certainly felt as if God put the words on my lips as they came out. It was a lovely evening. What was most lovely about the whole event is that I met so many interesting women who had their own story to tell. It was such a great reminder that we all have something: something hard, something sad, something challenging, something devastating. And we all go through waves of "hard somethings". Sometimes our "something" is easier than at other times. Sometimes our joy is so great that it feels like the "somethings" disappear for a while. I was so blessed by all the women, who are carrying "something" of their own, yet came to encourage me and to thank me for sharing my words with them. It was so nice to have so many share their hearts with me. I also had 2 different ladies, representing other organizations, ask me to share at different events in the near future. This is very exciting for me. It feels great to encourage and inspire anyone who will listen. On Tuesday evening, I encouraged the ladies to rise above their "somethings" by fighting for joy, loving big and living in the present. These are difficult to do when life is hard. But I think when we do them, life seems easier, fuller, and more meaningful. On my drive home, I thought about how my presence often makes my friends feel as if the "somethings" in their lives are insignificant in comparison to cancer. They often feel like they can't talk about their stresses with me anymore. But every "something" is significant. It all matters, and all of it, is what shapes us into who we are/become. How we feel when hard moments hit, shape us. How we react to our "somethings" transform us. Every hardship we face changes us and because of this, all of it matters. I remind myself of this before I'm too quick to pass judgement on someone who is sad, grumpy or short with me. I wonder what it is that has shaped them into becoming this way. I also try hard to not let my stress affect my interactions; I often fail at this. I come across as unfriendly, when really I'm in deep thoughts about life. Or I appear to be uninterested when I'm constantly consumed with fears about my future. I think what we are experiencing in life affects our everyday words and actions more then we think. As you do your Christmas shopping this year, take note of all the unhappy shoppers.....why? Why are so many unhappy? What are the "somethings" going on in their lives? I sometimes try to guess. I also remind myself of how "normal" I look on the outside and can so easily hide my true thoughts and feelings. There have been times when I'm in a public setting feeling sad and sorry for myself. I wonder what people think of me based on first impressions. I hope most would be surprised to know what is really going on. I think as we busy ourselves with shopping for the holidays and going to Christmas parties, where we all put on a happy face and appear presentable, it's good to remember that everyone is carrying a "something". There are thoughts and stresses that often run deep into people souls. We need to consider this as we interact with others, show kindness, and show gratitude. In the Bible there is a verse that says: "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world" John 16:33. In other words, God has promised that we will have trouble. But He will help us through these troubles if we ask Him to. If you've never asked God to help you through something hard, give it a try. You may be surprised by the outcome. What I have found is that He often does not take the something hard away, but He changes my heart and my attitude to see life as He wants me to. He has also taught me to have joy despite the hardships. I'm so thankful for joy; it makes life worth living.