I thought I’d join in on the discussion at the Internet Cafe today. Kim presented this challenge to us:
So today, I would like for us to share some of the words that were said to us, or words we said to others that were not comforting, or maybe even made the situation worse. Today’s sharing is not at all an exercise to condemn those around us who may have said things that were not good, but to help our community see what words can do if they are not filtered through Jesus.
This should be an easy assignment since I am fairly skilled at putting my foot in my mouth. I guess someone ELSE would have to answer this about ME.
I know I have used the “I’ve been there before and I understand what you’re going through comment” when I’ve met people who have suffered from panic attacks, great fear, or infertility. And it is true, I have experienced something in common with them, but I guess none of us have been through the EXACT circumstances. Right? For instance, when people suffer from panic and anxiety, I feel like I hold the key. But just that assumption has probably offended others. My situation could have been totally different from theirs. God used that time in my life to teach me who I am in Christ. It may be a different road for someone else.
My closest friends have always called me BOLD. Unfortunately, I’m not afraid to tell someone what I think about a situation and I’m sure there have been times when I should have kept my opinion to myself! I can’t think of a particular time. (Connie, if you are reading this, I’m sure you could write a list of times I should have been quiet. Feel free to comment.)
Ok, on the flip-side, I guess the most hurtful things over the years were when I suffered from the things I listed: fear, panic, and infertility.
I heard the following comments:
Fear & panic: Oh, it is just in your mind! Shake it off! You can drive. It is all in your head. (Stuff like that.) Well DUH. If there had been a switch, I would have willingly stopped it and turned it off. Those were years of horrible torment.
Infertility: God told me to tell you to use this method. (When that didn’t work, the same lady decided I needed to try something different. Was “God” wrong? Grrrr.) Then later the same lady tried to get us to adopt 3 girls who needed a home. I know she was trying to help, but never use “God” in the equation unless you are certain, because that changes the game a lot!
People were so cruel to us all of those years we wanted children. I remember one old man who said, “When are you and ‘Boaz’ going to have children? All of his cousins have something to show for their work, but ‘Boaz’ doesn’t.” Are you kidding me? I wanted to burst into tears and run away. We even had two couples “betting” (seriously) when I would get pregnant! They were supposed to be our friends, though I have often told Boaz they weren’t REALLY friends.
Adoption: People mean well, but if they ever say, “Why did her Mom give her up? ” or “How did her mother give up something so precious?” I feel my defenses rise up. Ok, for all of you who might talk to an adoptive parent …The birthmom was courageous to give birth to a child she couldn’t raise. In this day and time ABORTION is the easy, quick way out. I thank GOD for my daughter’s birthmom and the gift of LIFE that she gave my daughter. Birthmom’s didn’t “give away” or “hurt” the children — they were definitely used by God to give life and HOPE and a future to another. On the same note, in my mind I am the Mommy of our daughter. I am the one who was up all night when there was a virus, I am the one who has been here to comfort, kiss, hold, teach right from wrong, and protect. If you want to use the term “birthmom” I totally hear you, but when you say “Mom” while talking about someone else, it is like my brain freezes and I can’t compute. I am Mom, Mommy, and the Mama. Ok? lol (I am not saying this to hurt any of my precious birthmom friends. This is just my view as an adoptive Mom.)
I think most people mean well and aren’t out to intentionally hurt anyone. That is why we all need to walk in mercy with others and show great GRACE. Amen?
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
If you’d like to join the discussion, join us HERE.