One of the amazing things about connecting with other people is when you get to see a little glimmer of who they are outside of how you know them.
We all have milestones that define us, impact us, shape us, form us. We have positive and wonderful things that have happened. We might have tragedy and chaos behind us.
Sometimes, I am struck by the possibilities of each individual that I encounter and what their story might be.
I feel blessed when I am honored by learning about someone's past and how they've become who they are. I feel honored when I get to see a side of someone that isn't their norm.
Maybe it's finding out that the ultimate family man at church grew up in a rough neighborhood, surrounded by gang activity, making poor choices as his family struggled.
Or finding out that the slim and trim powerhouse of a petite woman at work used to be morbidly obese and lost it all through healthy eating and exercise and has kept it off for more than 20 years.
Or being blessed with a performance in church by an entire family that sings together.
I have my own background that I know is pretty amazing. I know my own positive and negative milestones that have helped me form into this person that I am today.
I've known financial struggle in my childhood. I've known the pain and rage of being a sexually abused child. I've experienced the loss of friendships due to an unexpected out of state move. I've made desperate and hurtful choices against my parents. I've been given the gift of an incredible education without attached debt. I've married for the wrong reasons and divorced for the right ones. I've found love that is indescribable with Jeff and our children.
When you see me in the grocery store, picking out Lean Cuisines from the giant freezer... there is no way to know that I have all of that inside me, behind me. When you cut me off on the highway, you can't possibly understand where I've come from. When you snap at me on the phone because I don't have the answer you want at work, you can't possibly get that your irritation and attempts to be hurtful are pretty laughable to me.
I have to remember the same holds true as I go out and see others. It isn't my business to know everyone else's story. But I do need to remember that everyone else has a story. Some people that I encounter are still in the midst of the struggles that are writing that story. Some people haven't yet found the path of better choices that will help them live that better life.
And if I'm lucky... as I get to know someone... as I gain respect for someone because of how they live their life... I might get to learn about their story and their amazing life that has brought them to this place.
How about you? How about your own amazing life or the amazing lives around you?
I don't even remember how I came to your blog, but I have been reading it for a week or two. I am always struck by how honest and insightful your posts are. This one is now exception. This is such a valuable lesson to learn and remember.
You are every woman's best friend.
You are completely accessible and honest...thank you for sharing your journey with us.
My life alone is not amazing, except by the company I keep.
Hope your day is beautiful.
Beautiful post, Liz!
Really wonderful post. I think you should link it up to Mrs. 4444s Saturday Sampling.
I have a sign in my house that says "Home is where your story begins." How true that is.
I've had the experience of telling my story before and I was surprised at what was most important in the telling. It wasn't what I had assumed it would be. Everyone should have that opportunity to discover that which we think defines us doesn't always.
That is a really important point, too, Amy. The experience of sharing our backgrounds and what we find to share vs what others take from it and what our expectations are vs what actually happens.
This has to be one of my all time favorite posts from you, Liz! So profound and succinct. If only we all could see the world through these glasses we'd be less judgmental towards others and just might shine the light of Christ to a hurting world.
Love you, dear. Blessings,
I've always wanted to share my story, and I've never had the kahunas to put it all out there. Maybe I will one day. If I do I will certainly send you a link :)
It's amazing to hear peoples' stories. I agree! I have met some amazing people over the years and learned so much from their stories.
This is a really wonderful post. Very insightful and so true.
This is terrific and so true. I thank you for sending the link to me. Let's be sure to link it up this Saturday or a future one, because it's a gem.
This point came home to me even moreso when my friend Molly lost her son and had to go grocery shopping one day. She was absolutely dying inside and was fighting to put one foot in front of the other. No one at the store knew her pain; she was a ghost.''
Very insightful post.
So glad you linked this up :) Thanks.
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