Chasing Contentment

Monday, October 31

What do you say to encourage someone who wanted and received something, only to discover that it isn't at all what was expected?

We all have this cadre of trite and ineffective but sincere-sounding things to say to those around us when strife and turmoil threaten the contentment of daily life. They're probably not the best things to say, but when push comes to shove, if we don't have anything else to say, we can fall back upon one of those sayings.

One of my goals in this life is to be an encourager to those around me. I don't know how successful I am at that, but it is something I strive toward. Usually, it comes easily to me... because, I believe, God gifted me with that charge.

But what do I say when something good happens to someone but it doesn't feel so swell?

I believe God provides, but I also believe He expects us to do our part in the planning and execution of things in our lives. I believe that He expects us to work toward things on our own while still believing completely in His ability to do anything with or without us.

A friend of mine longed against the odds for a second child, longed for years to be a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband wished for the baby while planning for her to leave the workforce. They saved and scrimped and worked it out so she could stay home beginning late last spring. And God's miraculous timing made it so that their anticipated second child arrived at that same time. Perfect.

So what do I say to her now that her desires came true and the reality of it feels more nightmare-ish than dreamy? Now that their lives feel so very far from perfect?

I am sure we both know that this is a temporary situation, but that doesn't diminish the difficulty of right now. I know people whose answer for all situations is, "trust in God," and while I know that is completely true, what I yearn for in this situation is physical ways to help, to encourage.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, October 31, 2005  ]


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