I keep having this nagging thought in light of my last post, and I want to quickly talk about that this morning.
There is a trap in comparing our suffering to others that many of us have fallen into from time to time, and that is in thinking my issue is not worth talking about, because it’s not as “bad” as what someone else is dealing with. Comparison can paralyze you and keep you quiet when you need to speak up, when you need prayers and help carrying a burden.
I have these sweet friends here, and between the three of us we could tell some tales. We have all been through struggles and suffering of varying degrees, and I think it is safe to say that parenthood has brought in a whole slew of issues we never saw coming.
Over the years we have dealt with things no parenting book can prepare you for… some things we have each made public via blogs, and some things we kept closer to home. But we always, always, ask for prayer from each other (and from family members and other close friends) as well as help when circumstances warrant such.
I can’t imagine feeling too silly to ask them for prayer because what I am dealing with isn’t as bad, or the same thing, as what they are going through or have gone through. We pray for each other because we love each other.
I think I have shared before that sometimes people are hesitant to talk about their child’s health issues because it doesn’t seem as serious as what we walked through with Charlotte. A good example of this is when a friend’s child is having tubes put in their ears. Are ear tubes the same as open-heart surgery? No. Is a child going under anesthesia for any reason a little scary? YES. I want to know if you are carrying a burden for your child so I can help you carry it, regardless of the severity of the burden.
I have friends who have been (and still are) on journeys with their sons, navigating the worlds of Autism Spectrum Disorder and sensory processing disorders. At the same time, we have been dealing with some comparatively minor behavioral issues with Sam, but things for which I still need some prayer and encouragement. I love knowing that I can go to my friends who will understand without judgment, and will offer encouragement and wisdom because they have been there.
I do think it is fine and even sometimes appropriate to acknowledge that what you are going through “isn’t the same thing.” But don’t let that fact keep you from asking for prayer and help with your own struggle. God’s Word commands us to carry one another’s burdens. The Bible doesn’t say, “…but only if it’s the same as or worse than your own burden.” Nope. Just carry.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
If you are carrying a burden alone today, please reach out and ask for some extra hands. Don’t let comparison keep you from sharing your suffering.
I would love to pray for you! You can comment here or email me at jtousey(at)gmail(dot)com.