Today I also enjoyed a two hour lunch with a few of my friends and fellow dance moms. We had a very intimate, revealing discussion as we spoke of different trials in each of our lives. I so appreciated the candor, the honesty and mostly the perspective I gained from sharing so much of ourselves with each other.
As I go through various trials in my life, I often wonder 'why me' or 'why this'. The past four years have been hard on so many levels and many times I have questioned my ability to deal with my set of circumstances. But I have also realized that everyone has issues, everyone I meet has trials to endure. Some are just more evident than others.
Oft times as my frustration grows and I want to proclaim the unfairness of it all, I receive a gentle reminder, a tender mercy even, that others are suffering as well and perhaps whatever strength I have garnered or growth I have realized could be used to lift anothers' burden.
Today as our words ran together, we saw each other with new eyes. I had this same experience a few weeks ago after an hour long phone conversation with a new friend. She trusted me enough to share her heartache with me. My view of each of these women has softened. I love them more. My heart is full of tender compassion for them. I marvel at how much they have helped me by simply sharing with me. It has made me feel not so alone. Somehow my burdens don't seem as heavy, simply because I know others are suffering too.
I find it strange and sad even that all too often we put on a good front, a happy face when the whole world can be crumbling at our feet. Why is it that we are so proud that we cannot share our grief and despair? I'd like to believe that one of the greatest lessons I can take from my trials is how to help others through theirs. My life is infinitely blessed by kind friends who not only carry me through my darkest hours, but who trust me enough to let me carry them through theirs.
I arrived home late to find an upsetting email on my computer. I did what I always do when in crises mode, I sent out an SOS. I'm grateful for an immediate phone call from a kind older brother. I'm grateful for a mother that patiently listens without unsolicited advice. I'm grateful for my husband's undivided attention when I most need it. I'm grateful that I can simply tell my friend 'it's been a bad day', and she doesn't need the details to know exactly what to say to me.
Just now, I received an email from another friend with this quote from Richard G. Scott:
"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be, requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."
I haven't spoken with this kind friend for a few weeks, and yet, somehow she knew I needed this quote tonight. I'm grateful for dear friends who listen to the promptings of the spirit, who take the time to care for me, to light the path for me when all I find is darkness. So grateful am I for the earthly angels sent specifically to strengthen me