If you’re like me, you probably go through life with your head down, taking each day as it comes, doing your daily routine consisting of obligatory tasks with hopefully a few minutes of joy along the way. You probably never even think about whom, if anyone, is watching you – watching how you interact with others, how you carry yourself, how you prioritize the people and things in your life. I know I never really thought about anyone really paying attention to me or how the way I live my daily, sometimes mundane life, may affect or impact others. Well, that was until several weeks ago, when a fellow church member and friend, approached me and pulled me to the side to tell me something.
I have to say, when first approached, I instantly asked myself, “Oh no, did I do something wrong?” – because I naturally assume the worst (not a great trait, I’m trying to change that) and always seem amazed when someone compliments me (another bad trait – I need to learn to accept compliments for what they are and start believing them, but that’s a whole other story). Anyways, this fellow church member proceeded to tell me that I had been a big inspiration to them in how I have handled the past few years of my life going through infidelity, separation, divorce and single parenting. Me? An inspiration? The past two years, I have most of the time felt like a hot mess, constantly running from point A to point B, trying to keep my head above water. But, I never realized, that to others, it may have shown through as strength, perseverance, faith, and determination. He told me that it was inspiring to him, how I continued to attend church weekly, continued to volunteer my time at the church as much as possible, continued to live my life rather than hide away and sulk about the hand that life had dealt me. He also told me that his wife looked up to me as a role model for being a mom – again, I thought “ME?” Daily I feel like I struggle in the mom department because of all the additional “hats” I have had to wear as a single parent, but I guess I must not be doing such a bad job of loving and supporting my kids if it shows through to others.
The other side of this story, is that, what this friend didn’t know, until I told him in return, is what an absolute inspiration he has been to me. You see, a little over a year ago, he had a major health crisis, one that the doctors never saw him surviving. While he did survive (Praise God!), it was a long road to recovery, one which he still walks. I was inspired by his story, his faith, his wife’s faith and how their faith never wavered or lessened during their darkest hours. Watching them praise God during this dark period, and praying continuously, and even sending me notes saying they were praying for me during their storm, was so inspiring to me and actually made me realize that I had to move forward with life rather than sulk and feel sorry for myself.
Its always important for me to realize, that we all have struggles, everyone is going through something – even though they are varying degrees of significance when you compare your problems with others, we all have struggles that affect each of us differently. It is great when you have friends and family to help you through these struggles, but its also great, that if you keep your chin up, and continue to be the best “YOU” you can be during struggles and lean on your faith in God, you may actually be helping others without even knowing it. How awesome is that! Living a life that reflects God’s love to others, without even really trying to. I feel like the greatest testimony a person can have is the way in which they live life, their daily actions and interactions, rather than spoken words. To me, the old adage is true….”actions do speak louder than words”.
If we love ourselves enough to weather the storms life can engulf us in and continue to love and honor God by helping others during these times, we are doing what God commanded us to do and we are showing love and spreading hope to others, and maybe, giving someone a little inspiration to do the same.