“Your baby has only half a heart.” My friend Beth said these words as she shared Wednesday with our teen group, my heart sank. Beth was walking us through her story of sadness and triumph as she delt with the pain of losing her son. She shared the goods, the bads, and the absolute awfuls. As she shared, my own heart was challenged, not only in my relationship with God but my relationships in general. It is so easy to get caught up in the small things around us, caught up in the drama of life and the disappointments when things don’t go our way. I realized very quickly that I too was caught up in the dramatic whirlwind of life, so inner focused on what I needed or I wanted. In these times of inward focus we fail to see the valleys and mountains our friends are facing, and can only see the small mud puddles that stand in our way.
Mark and I are currently looking at our debt and working on a plan to get out of it. It is so easy for me to dwell on the things that aren’t working, the things that ARE breaking, and the things that need repaired. When I look at my list, it feels like we will never get ahead and it has quickly become a consuming focus of ours. As I listened to Beth and her story of struggle and triumph I felt this overwhelming feeling in my heart of gratitude for what I HAVE been given. Listening to her share their journey of surgeries and near death experiences, and then ultimate death reminded me of my why–why I am here. My personal hearts desire is to better the lives of those around me. It is hard to do that when you are focusing on yourself and not those who are walking the road next to you.
In each of our lives we face valleys, the hard climb up the mountain, and the summit. Where are you in your current journey, and how does it affect those around you? I want to challenge you today to spend a couple minutes getting to know where your friends are in their journey. You may feel like your valley is so thick and so dark that there is no way you can reach out and help someone in their own need. Or you may feel like the climb is so hard and so tiring that you don’t have the energy to walk with someone else. I want to challenge you today to take your eyes off your own obstacle and look at someone else’s perspective. It can change everything. Maybe you will see that what feels like a mountain is only a hill, or what looks like a valley is only a small field. Find a friend today who is in hardship and share with them the beauty of the fall flowers. Let them know they aren’t alone and that they can conquer their obstacle with the love and support of those around them.