I'm learning a few lessons through this "cancer" journey, but this particular one would be at least in the top five.
These past few years I've not only walked in someone elses shoes, I've tried on:
You name it.
Not a wheel chair, though. So far I've avoided that one, but it may be coming :-)
I don't know about you, but I tend to judge people. It's almost unconscious. Maybe just a tiny little thought.
But it is a judgement, just the same.
Here are some examples.
Because of my lung, exercise has not be regular. I spend a lot of time sitting. Not a lot of activity.
My back has gone into spasms a few times.
Now, I've heard of back pain.
I know there are people who suffer chronically.
I've watched my dad go through a lot of pain with it.
Without even realizing what I was thinking it could probably be summed up like this:
"Come on, can it really be that bad?"
I am here to tell you that YES, it can be that bad.
In fact, I would rather go through LABOR again, then have back pain.
I've walked around swearing that if I didn't get an epidural, and and epidural now, I was going to die.
There isn't a let up point between contractions with back pain that you get when you are in labor.
You don't reach a point where you can push and it is all over soon.
There is no cute baby at the end.
No, you are just in agony until the pain meds finally kick in. A lot of pain meds.
I have never cried while in labor.
I cried when my back wouldn't stop spasing out.
So men, if you have had back pain and a woman tells you you have never experienced labor, I'm here to tell you that you have. Well... only if you feel like you are going to DIE if it doesn't go away, that is. :-)
Since these are shoes I don't care to wear often at all, I'm faithfully doing my back exercises. :-)
I honestly don't know what my judgement has been for people who are sick for an extended period of time.
Sorry for them. Think it must be rough. Vague idea that it probably isn't fun.
Maybe a little jealous that they get meals brought to them and their house cleaned for them....
I'll be honest, I'm sure I've thought that.
Now it's me.
I went to the park with my kiddos and while I was gone Dustin's grandma and his aunt cleaned my house and folded my laundry.
I am so grateful I could cry.
I'm also so sad that I physically can't do the cleaning right now that I am crying.
Now I KNOW how those people I barely thought about feel.
Grateful from the tips of their toes to the tip of their nose that people are helping them. Lending a hand where a hand is needed.
Along with that feeling is the sadness that comes with knowing why they need help. Something isn't going quite the way they want it to in their lives and it is so hard to let go and let God direct the happenings.
Everything in me wants to shout, "No, I can do it! I don't need help!"
Yet the bigger part is saying, "Thank you God for sending help when I just couldn't do it anymore."
And a perk, our laundry has never been folded neater. I'm not a super neat folder. Just enough to get it in the drawer nicely - well, semi nicely.
Grandma Karen folds like my friend Jess. You could put her t-shirts out on the store shelves and they would look like they belong there. Mine..... not so much. Mine are the ones that have been carelessly refolded and are lying by the neat ones on the shelf. :-)
Hummmm.... what are going to do when I take over again? I'm going to have to work on my technique.
There are more ways, but I'm tired.
I'm going to go rest.
And take my supplements.
And that in itself has been another pair of shoes.
Can you really be this tired all the time?
Aren't you faking it just a little bit?
I know I've thought it.
I never will again.
I'm hear to tell you that you can be.
Tired. All. The. Time.
But in it all, that's right. God is so good.
It's not easy.
There are a lot of tears.
But yesterday He so ministered to me with a verse from Ps. 18.
Vs. 32 says, "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect."
I haven't chosen any of the shoes He has let me try on these past few years, but He tells me that they are perfect for me in this moment. He will give me the strength to keep them on for as long as they are needed in my life.
I tell Him I'm voting for the flip flops. :-)
My favorite kind of shoe.
And that I'll try not to judge someone until I've walked a mile in whatever form of footwear they have on.