I have always had the blessing of being able to give and pour into others.  One of the ways, God has blessed me to do that is that I love to listen to my friends and then give them out of the box advice!  I’m always thinking outside the box for them.  Sometimes, I have to catch myself and make myself backtrack so that I can offer them some comfort before I start thinking outside the box for solutions!  I have had the opportunity to bear a lot of other people’s burdens alongside them!  So…keeping this mind…when overwhelming struggles hit my life…my friends and family were so sweet.  They wanted to do anything possible to relieve some of my heartache!  But you know what else happened…it seems that since we were going through struggles of our own, I became disqualified to listen, care, and think outside the box!  Now…I know this all happened out of love for me!  But really?  Disqualified??

I have one friend that just about two weeks ago for the first time shared intimately with me!  And then you know what she immediately did…APOLOGIZE!  I’m so sorry I shouldn’t even be telling you this.  You have enough to deal with without listening to my woes!  If I had a nickel for everytime someone said…well, my struggles are nothing compared to what you are dealing with…I might could pay off my Uncle Sam bill and have some left over!  Even my own dad spent six hours in an emergency room and kept my mom with him but didn’t call me nor anyone else until he was on his way home.  When I asked why he didn’t call me, he said you’ve got enough problems without me adding to.  My sweet hubby even does his very best to not weigh me down with his struggles as I have enough to deal with he says!     Uughhhh!  That’s a nice word for how all that makes me feel!

If I were sitting in a counseling session I would say it has made me feel exceptionally alone.  No phone calls from friends hardly.  There’s nothing of importance to talk about now.  Even my own family communication has changed.  It has made me feel quite inadequate and not needed.  And to cope with these hurts and struggles, I have put up some very big fortress walls around my heart.  When I feel alone, inadequate, and not needed that seems to be my coping mechanism…castle walls!  Nice big sturdy ones at that! And for most everyone, they ask how are you doing and I say ok.  End of discussion.  But tonight someone asked the same question, I responded the same way, but then they said are you really?  And I felt tears rise to the surface!  But no, take a deep breath and swallow.  Then change the subject!  But the truth remains… Even in the quiet moments between chemo treatments, even in the middle of a friendly brave face, there is still a struggle.  A much different kind of struggle though!

I have been left struggling through questions like God how are you going to use me now??  I know I have some struggles of my own, but God does that disqualify me?  God will you ever take me back to that place of long conversations and sharing life with others?  God will I ever take my family to Honduras or China or Africa?  Probably not.  But God, what are you going to do with our family to make us beautiful servants?
I’m not angry at friends and family.    I’m not angry at God.  (Right now anyway).  I’m actually quite desperate for Him.  I want His comfort and assurance that I’m not disqualified.   I desire Him to give me a glimpse of how I will be able to serve Him even in the midst of fiery trials.  I do recognize my limitations but there’s got to be a way to still serve Him.  He has a plan.  And I’m counting on the hope that my dents are simply to keep me desperate for Him…not disqualified for serving Him. And I will continue to wait with eager expectation in what beauty God is going to bring from these ashes in our lives and how that beauty is going to be used in His kingdom work. 


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.