Darn Disney movies. We finally watched Frozen 2 this weekend…it was great! I have to say, I absolutely enjoyed the first one much more, but that’s ok…it’s a sequel. It is what it is…not the point, at all…
Point is, that one little line from the movie…‘Do the next right thing’…says so much. Life is hard. We get tired. We get frustrated. We get scared. We get anxious. We get angry. So many things can hold us back, or make us choose not necessarily the ‘right’ next thing…
I had a very hurtful encounter this weekend…not because the things that were said were true (some of them were, most were not…it basically boiled down to a break down in communication), but because I felt helpless in changing this individuals views of me…and it hurt that she saw me the way she did…if you knew me at all…you know…all of those feelings… And, of course, I was already tired and run down from some ongoing health challenges (nothing to be concerned about, just stuff…). So, I was a little bit tender and, also, I was really not expecting this sort of encounter from anyone, and especially not from this individual. So, yea. I was probably a little overly sensitive. I did manage, however, to bite my tongue and let her say her piece. I did correct the things that were said that were absolutely untrue. Otherwise, I let it roll. Because, at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter. I couldn’t change her mind or how she felt. Maybe she rethought her approach later? Who knows. I’m sure she and I will discuss it again soon. We’re neighbors, and generally have a good relationship. And I’ve always respected her.
So, the point is, I’m choosing to NOT focus on that…to NOT come here to complain and vent and yell about someone on a public forum. That’s just not my way. I also don’t really like to go on and on about what ails me and my struggles…Lord knows we all have them…
So, though, yes, I just told a little more of the story that I intended to…that’s still not the point…just a little set up into my emotional state for the weekend. What I want to walk away with comes from the next parts of the story…the ‘next right thing’ for me is choosing to focus on the positives rather than one negative interaction that lasted less than 3 minutes.
Chronic health issues can make simple day to day tasks difficult, and sometimes impossible. It’s easy to feel as if we don’t measure up, and feel as though no one truly ‘sees’ the struggle or really understands. Sometimes, that’s true, but often it is not…it’s just the story we tell ourselves in our head…I had two, actually three, but two came from the same person… extremely encouraging moments this weekend…and those will carry me through and be tucked away in file folder of things to not forget.
First, my daughter…I can’t remember what we were talking about…but she is my champion, my encourager, my snuggler, my dear sweet spirit that lifts me up on even the worst of days. I think I made some sort of joke about what she should be when she grows up based on something silly she was doing at the moment…and she replied, ‘No, I want to be you when I grow up….’. I literally choked back tears. To hear that, when you know you are not physically or mentally at the top of your game…though you are giving your very best…is absolutely the best compliment you can ever receive from a child. It’s like she said to me, ‘You’re awesome, Mom. And you really don’t suck. I see you. I love you. I appreciate you.’ Now, I know, most girls do adore their mothers (at least when they’re young), but if you could see five years ago me v. me now…you’d get the impact…
Later, same weekend (I’m not even sure if it was the same day…everything kind of runs together at the moment…). She’s petting our dog and says, “Hey, buddy! I missed you while you were outside!” Sweet, huh? Well, go ahead and get a tissue…because I sure needed one…I have three children…I have always said things like that to them (and meant them so sincerely…):
I missed you while you were sleeping. I missed you while you were at school. I missed you while you were upstairs. I missed you while you were outside. I missed you while you were gone.
Just a simple little thing…and to hear her say it to him…just melted me like butter on a hot biscuit.
And, last, but not least…I didn’t make it to church on Sunday. Unfortunately, I missed a rather wonderful presentation in our Bible Study Class by our pastor’s wife who, unfortunately, contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever a few months ago…and is still struggling with that. We didn’t even know that she would be speaking until that morning, because she couldn’t be sure she would be well enough to speak. The good news is that my husband was there…and was able to listen with attentive ears to her struggles and how God has seen her through this time, and the things she has learned about God and herself. About the day to day, even minute to minute struggles with the simplest of tasks…and how you never really know what’s next, or when it’s going to hit…he said it was so similar to what I’ve been telling him about myself and my own struggles. It’s not that he didn’t believe me, or hasn’t supported me – he has picked up so many pieces and balls that I’ve dropped, I’ve lost count…there are things you do for your spouse that you don’t always want to do, but you do anyway because you know they are on the top of their list of ‘things’…it’s called marriage, it’s a give and take…despite his own fatigue from having to be both of us sometimes, he doesn’t even get upset or resentful when those things don’t happen…though I’m sure it was hard at first, but he’s getting used to it and not taking it personally…and his understanding encourages me to try just a little more each day…or save some of my energy for him…and at least some of the things I would typically do for him. But just the blessing of him hearing it from someone else, from another’s eyes…I think it really helped him to see and understand what my reality really looks like…This is something that I have prayed over for quite some time…for him to really see. And I am so thankful that one hour of listening to someone else’s story was helpful and encouraging to him. And that it helped him to understand. And I am so thankful for his heart…that he was WILLING to listen, and go, and be there even when I wasn’t able.
And so, even as I wrap this up…I reminded of my blessings and, again, will choose the next right thing…whatever that may be…because I do have family and friends on my side…and guess what? We cannot please all of the people all of the time…we can only do our very best and strive to grow closer to God each and every day so that others may see His light shine through us. I am so thankful to be surrounded by family, friends, and my amazing church community that encourage that.
My prayer for you, dear reader, is that the blessings and the positive interactions that you have will far outweigh the negative, and should they not, that you will find light and rest with our Lord.
A verse from 2 Corinthians (I would encourage you to read the entire chapter):
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV