After I began sharing my story publicly it was amazing to me how many people came to me. Many people shared about a time in their life when they went through something very difficult. Many of them still hadn’t shared with many people even if something happened a long time ago. It’s quite an awakening to realize that a lot of people are either going through something very difficult now, or they may have gone through something very difficult in the past that you never even knew.
Then, I began thinking…how did I treat that person during that time? I can be honest, I remember thinking selfishly at the time of some of my friends struggles. I didn’t know what was going on, but I did know that “something” was different. Somehow I made it about me, instead of stepping back and thinking that it may be about something completely different and maybe, just maybe, they actually needed me to reach out in a different way.
The Word teaches us that we should show each other grace, just as the Lord shows us grace.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34-35, NIV
I believe that love and grace go hand in hand. I believe to live a life full of grace means you give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s to believe in the good of people, even if you’re not sure. It’s to stop the judgement (to those who are close and those who aren’t). It’s to live in a way that shows each other the same amount of grace God shows us. It’s to live in a way that people can see God’s light shine through you.
The Word also teaches us that not only do we need to love with grace, but our words need to show grace.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 NIV
I know that it’s easy to want to talk about others who may be acting differently. I know that it’s tempting to want to lash out on someone after they have lashed out on you, but, I encourage you to take a breath and try to respond with grace. This person may have just taken their 20th pregnancy test and it’s negative. They may have just learned that the medical report is not good. They may have just had a horrible fight with their spouse, parent, or child.
You just never know…
One of your closest friends could have something going on in their life that they are either afraid, embarrassed, or even ashamed to share, so they decide to walk in silence. When I’ve been going through tough times such as infertility and postpartum, it took me a long time to share with friends and even some close family members. I was afraid that people may think differently of me, talk about me behind my back, or judge me.
So, I want to put out this challenge to the universe. Next time you’re tempted to judge the mom in the grocery line that is desperately trying to calm her child (even if it means bribing them) don’t judge her. If a friend all of a sudden seems to be acting differently, don’t judge them. Don’t make it about you. Show them a little bit of grace and love. We’re living in a time when we all could use a bit more kindness and understanding.
Blessings to you and your loved ones,
Three items I’m grateful for:
- My dad, he turned 65 today! Happy birthday, Dad (aka Peeps)!
- My family
- The beauty of the fall colors