Wow. What a response! I am humbled and thankful for all the responses I go to my post about learning! You all are amazing. I asked for a simple favor in my Wednesday post and sprinkled through here will be many of those responses. Again- thank you!
Here’s what I learned- and it was a reinforcement for me- We are better together. We can learn so much from each other. As Paul Harvey used to say- yes I am dating myself by quoting Paul Harvey- and leave me alone. I am 45 after all. The grey beard really proves it! And just as Andrew is learning that God’s timing isn’t his and Tyler is learning Haitian Creole (good luck, that’s a tough one!), I am learning as well!
But Paul Harvey used to say, while he was on the radio- and now, the rest of the story.
My life has been enriched and blessed by the rest of the story. By the willingness to ask someone how they are really doing or to be willing to step into a situation where someone you know isn’t acting like themselves. Bruce stated it well when he spoke of a realization that he isn’t the only one on the planet and that other people have stuff going on as well outside of his world.
Life becomes more rich and more flavorful when we see the rest of the story.
We see it all the time, don’t we? Recently a patient I had seen for almost 20 years came in and just seemed off. I could have just done their exam, told them to have a great day, and moved on, but I felt the nudge to ask.
And here’s the rest of the story-
She had come to our office directly from a very difficult meeting. This compounded with some very scary personal stuff caused her to be just about to the point of snapping. She had nothing left in her tank and was trying her best to just do life. Candi knows what I am talking about as she has had big challenges in her life that caused her to ponder when we say God’s got this, do we really mean it?
Our conversation that day in the office didn’t fix my patient’s problems. They were bigger than that. Time , grace, mercy, and hard work will do that. But she felt seen and heard. And that goes a long way in someone’s journey. And we all have an opportunity to step in to the rest of the story. Just as Sue spoke about how people are placed in her path for a reason and that gives her and us a great opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to them.
Some of life’s lessons are simple but certainly not easy as Kathy is learning patience, and Cy is learning that peace is a gift that has to be pursued. God will not just give peace to you. Pursuing him is pursuing his peace. And Lisa is learning how to fit rest and stillness into a life full of work and raising a family. Speaking of family, Jeanna shared of the challenges and rewards of parenting. I hear you there! And it just keeps going. They just get to be older and the stakes seem to get higher.
And some go to a deeper level of depth in learning as Melanie spoke about how not everyone goes down the same path and those we think are doing it right- are they? Alyssa is learning that everything happens for a reason and is Spirit guided. A tough lesson and something that can only be seen in retrospect.
The lesson that has been ringing in my ears for the last few days is from Darin, a friend I have served with in multiple capacities. A man with a huge heart of service for the Lord and for his family. I think his words will resonate with all of us- Letting go and resting in the identity that we are first and foremost a child of God, fearfully and wonderfully made- will we find joy and start to demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit.
As I read these comments and wrote this blog, I had a huge smile on my face. So many examples of people trying to #WINtheNOW for themselves and even more for others. I am reminded that no man is an island, and as Sue said- One is the loneliest number. And when we learn the rest of the story, we join with another in their journey. Just like Tereasa has learned a ton about herself and believes that God put people in her life at the right time when she was ready for the next thing- we can be that person for someone else! How cool is that? You have it in you! I believe in you!
Let me ask you one more favor in closing- don’t try to do life alone. We weren’t meant to do it that way. COVID said we had to stay apart. Love says we stand together. If you are isolated, reach out to someone, even through social media or a call or text. If you don’t have anyone, consider talking with a therapist or counselor. If you are in a place where you have a lot of people in your circle, look for someone who doesn’t and check in.
One is a very lonely number.
We can learn so much from each other. Thank you all again for your help! I appreciate all of you!