Early in Ian’s recovery, I received a shocking and hurtful email. (the email came from someone I’ll refer to as Jane) I guess I kind of asked for it. Jane wrote in response to my request for honest feedback to my blog. It is true, I really wanted to know what readers thought. Really!
Really is a frequently used word in our home. Spoken to the towel on the bathroom floor, again… REALLY?! Gestured to the bad driver who just cut me off, REALLY? Said to another incorrect hospital bill… REALLY?! The word really is most effective when used with an extra measure of disdain.
Without going into detail, Jane wondered why she was compelled to read my blog because “most days she wants to scream” due to my complaining. She went on to describe her life of sadness and misery and told me that she prayed for a miracle too, but didn’t get hers. The excerpt that I’ve been unable to shake… “you wanted a miracle and you got it and now you’re not happy with it” Reading it, honestly, took my breath away. And a “REALLY!?” seemed completely insufficient.
Count to 10
I fought the urge to hit reply with anger. I counted to 10, prayed for the sender and for grace and wisdom. With care, I typed what I thought was an appropriate and gracious reply. I even asked Doug to read it before I hit send. That should be the end of it.
I’ve tried to move on … but her scathing words linger.
The Log in my Eye
Then… I read an excerpt from a well known author. She offered a sneak peak to pre order her latest book; inspired by what she refers to as her season of hardship. Intrigued, I read further. Her 11 yr old daughter broke her arm and wouldn’t be able to compete as a gymnast anymore. I haven’t read the entire book, but that was the preamble to her family’s hardship. I found myself saying REALLY?!
How dare I?
The timing was no coincidence. As if God used a two by four to dislodge some desperately needed understanding… With little thought, I was judging the pain and circumstances of someone else. How dare I? Apparently, the voice in my head told me that I was the self appointed judge to all suffering. With some fresh awareness, my heart softened for Jane. She has had to endure a lot and I cannot imagine.
To state the obvious…. PAIN IS PAIN. To judge another’s pain serves no purpose. And to compare my pain to your pain serves no purpose. In spite of sincere effort, understanding another’s pain fully, is impossible. With compassion, we can try empathize and understand, but our efforts are never comprehensive. Only God can perfectly understand. Still, and most importantly, in the midst of pain and suffering whether big or small God is present, but so is the enemy.
Hurt people, Hurt people
Consider this truth… hurt people, hurt people. If you’re human, I suspect you can relate. I know I am guilty. I am hurt, and then, without realizing it, I project my hurt onto someone else. With a sharp tongue or an inpatient gesture, I’ve nurtured satan’s playground. Because the time it takes to heal always takes longer than the initial hurt, satan has an advantage. Without relying on the power of God, conditions become fertile for more fall out and more people to be hurt. And just like that, the enemy has settled in and made himself comfortable.
Our Greatest Weapon
Convicted and with heightened sensitivity, I’ve been convicted to pray for Jane. Instead of acting on my hurt, my weapon of choice is LOVE.
How about you? Can you identify a Jane in your life? May I recommend you ask for help to see her as God sees her, created in His image and beloved. As your heart softens, the enemy loses his grip. Love wins.
Love is a powerful weapon, our greatest weapon. And LOVE’s aim is perfect. REALLY!
For His Glory,
Gail Cooley says
Debbie that is an amazing testimony! Prayers for Jane and for the Hucke family.
Diane Gruber says
Debbie, amazing insights from the Lord. I was complaining to someone that David had not completed a home project on MY TIME TABLE. The woman said to me, “At least you have a husband to work on projects, mine divorced me.” Gulp. As you stated we all come from places of pain. Yours is different than mine. I appreciate your honesty and Jane’s. She spoke from a place of deep hurt and pain. It makes us all stop and think. To reach our and live one another and pray for one another.
Lynne Baehr says
What an amazing turn around. This was so powerful. Blessings to your family and Jane.
Marilyn Kraft says
Debbie your blog is brutally honest . I have always been amazed at your ability to
“tell it like it is”. I don’t look at your posts as ‘complaining”….I believe you have
the ability to put into words what most are thinking but are afraid to express.
Your posts help me because you are not afraid to express your anger and
frustration, but you always bring it back to “God’s Got This”. I have always felt that
you are awed by the progress Ian has made but it is unrealistic to not want more.
I do not see this as complaining…..I see this as being a loving Mom!
Debbie Hucke says
Marilyn, Thank you. I never thought I was complaining either. And hearing that description is one element that caused such hurt. But… everyone has a different vantage point. And that was what I missed. It is true, “brutally honest” is my MO. Thankful that God is using it.
Dawn J says
Wow, Debbie. Praying for Jane! Love your insight that we all come from different experiences. So true. …and to me, a blog is all about the blogger’s personal journey. God’s got this for you, for me, for everyone. Sometimes the answers to our prayers are no. God’s ways are not necessarily our ways.
Michelle Smith says
Debbie, I have learned in dealing my struggles and God’s not “fixing what is wrong”. I too have been judgemental about others seeming “miracles” and been jealous. I am learning that the truth is no matter what, until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes…you don’t have a clue. Feeling is subjective, I don’t perceive hardship, have the stamina or feel the literal pain of someone else. It’s a trap Satan likes to lay down for us all, in my opinion. Love ya friend!
Marilyn Lehning says
Once I read that none of us would trade our problems with anyone, for me that is truth. We all have burdens. You bothered Jane, not intended of course, she needs our prayers. Tell God all, he knows!!!
Cynthia A Rohrbeck says
Another really honest and useful post.
Mags Fraser says
I have at last managed to subscribe! Beautifully written and reflects the work put in despite the distractions.
Look forward to reading more.
Debbie Hucke says
The distractions were so worth it! Thanks for giving us 2+ days!
When you write, you become vulnerable, and personally I appreciate that! Everyone has his or her own lenses, so remember this is about her, not you. Every one of your posts inspire me because you share honestly from a human perspective about your life, perspective, and faith message. Just because Ian’s life was spared does not mean you your life will ever be back to “normal.” You have a lot of challenges, and even though it is a good sign Ian is getting some of his fiestiness back, it is hardest on you. I get it, believe me! Please keep sharing your journey, which I need for my faith journey!
My family (extended) has a great deal of suffering, both me and my husband lost brothers, my 27 year old nephew who had a brain injury and his father our homeless heroine addicts, my 14 year old son deals with issues and we are continually trying to find the solution for our family, my 42 yr old cousin was in a terrible accident 2 yrs ago, he died at the scene, was brought back but was in a coma for about 4-6 weeks, many surgeries, brain injuries, he just got out but his own family won’t care for him and they dropped him off (surprise! No warning!) at other family members, that same family where my other cousin just 2 months ago suddenly got symptoms of a stroke, face dropping but also can’t come up with words or use right arm, but it wasn’t a stroke,?. Both of our fathers have had life threatening events in the past year requiring traveling. And 7 years ago, I had to leave my engineering job I loved after 23 years due to a myriad of odd medical issues doctors think cane from a virus. I could actually continue…but my point is, your posts have truly helped me. Letting go and letting God has always been difficult for me. Your honest, call it like it is, writing hits home in various ways. I don’t believe in comparing our hurts, we never know what others are going through, and I do believe God has some plan for us. 🙏🙏
Debbie Hucke says
So thankful to know my blog is helping. AMen!