If we rejoice in others sufferings more than we rejoice in their successes, we should examine our hearts.
This Tuesday, I wrote about a tremendously hard moment in my life— when I had a precipitous labor. During this time, I wondered if I was going to make it…
To this post, a woman emailed me stating that my words were “shallow”. How dare I write on something as small as a birth when she had gone through so much more? She expected to be lifted up while my meager trial left her low.
While I empathize with her plight and pain, I just want to call-out something prevalent in our culture: the desire to use others pain to quell ours.
Is this even biblical?
We see it everywhere. It’s why women buy tabloids: to see a celebrity downfall. It’s why people cheer: those in high places are getting taken down. It’s why gossip happens: she thought she was so great.
When people fall, we, for a moment, feel lifted up.
Yet, Christ never told us to get out a measuring stick to compare plights. He never told us to fight about whose pain is more worthy of care. You may have a cancer scare that far surpasses another woman’s struggle with actual cancer. But, who cares? So what…about measuring and comparing?!
Jesus cares about the heart; comparing cares about measuring the height of someone’s flesh.
I believe that this concept of “measuring” is why women feel so afraid to share their struggle. We know that we risk being judged.
The reality is — none of us ever know what it is like to walk another day in someone else’s shoes…
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)
Jesus knew — pain is real. He wept over Lazarus’ death. He felt agony. He never condemned or dismissed people’s pain. He approached people with love and a heart to heal and help them.
Be wary of using someone else’s misfortune to buoy your emotions. Instead, draw near to success and failure, both, with a heart of love.
I have only been blogging for a couple of years. In those years I have interacted with many amazing women. I have found that among the things we do not have in common, there is almost always one thing we do have in common.
We are the walking wounded.
I have yet to meet a woman or receive an email from someone who says, “I have no battle wounds, I have not a single emotional scar. I have never been let down, lead astray, hurt, disappointed, cheated, lied to, manipulated or violated.”
In this life, these things happen. These bad things happen. They sneak up on us, and they change us, sometimes – they define us. This is tragic but in my case, and what I am now learning, in the case of so many women, these incidents also defined Jesus.
Well, yeah. Think about it, do you have an incident where you were hurt or hurting that a human being, someone you loved or trusted said or did something that you have now negatively associated with Jesus?
At my brother-in-law’s funeral, an older parishioner came up to me and said, “God must be trying to show you something. Don’t let this lesson go to waste.” I believed this lie. I believed that God was up on high killing, cutting innocent men to ribbons to teach me… the worst person on the planet, who ate too much cheese, a harsh lesson.
But I believed this. I believed in an irrational wrath. I believed His fury could never be quenched. I was certain there was no telling who would be next. I was exhausted, paralyzed and petrified. As I typed words of His goodness and truths of His mercy, love, and unending favor His true character began to peep through my darkness. I began to question what I knew about Him.
And then I began to grieve what I had come believe about Him.
One Thursday afternoon, I fell into His arms in the most genuine of submissions. I curled up in His lap and recited scripture after scripture about His goodness.
If He is for me who can be against me?
If nothing can separate me from His love, why do I keep a list of things I believe have alienated me from Him?
If Jesus died, rose again, and then sat down… why do I think I must work to finish anything?
If Jesus came to give me life and peace and joy in abundance, why am I so stressed and sad?
The litany went on and on and when it was finished I was free. Free from the terror of believing I was doomed, that my children were doomed… that the other shoe was about to drop because I messed up my Weight Watchers points. The lists of things I believed I did wrong could never catch up with the meager list of things I did right. The things I did right? How could ever measure if they were enough?
In the midst of the revelation, I was writing my first book, which you can now find by following the link below. As excited as I am to share it here, on Kelly’s page, who was with me through every step of the journey, it is a very vulnerable time. I have cried buckets, rejoiced, and cried some more. Still, Jesus has been so real to me in these months, that is my entire focus. Although He doesn’t need me, I need to voice how wrong I was about Him. And I know this, He does want me. He craved me unto His death. Not to terrorize me, but to commune with me. He enjoys my company, I am His girl. He waits patiently for you as well, the unearthing of His true identity is one I wouldn’t have missed. He is indeed Bread and Life.
Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her on Facebook or Twitter.