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do I really know?

May 6, 2010

I have been reading So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore. I am not halfway into the book and it has already profoundly resonated with my soul. She wrote something about life and how we all relate to experiences differently that really stood out to me.

Even when two people have the same experience, they both translate it differently. They take it in and process it differently. Their psyche generates a different emotional response. One person may be barely affected while the person standing next to them might be affected…deeply…for life.

Beth Moore writes:

“The writer of Proverbs puts it this way: ‘Each heart knows its own bitterness’ (14:10). The more intense the pain, the more it feels like nobody fully understands.

Try as I might, I can’t fully comprehend how a particular event affected your life, even if we both shared the same experience. Your personality and history shapes your response, just as my own unique background affects mine.

We’d go only so far in one another’s shoes before the laces come loose.”

And she is right. The more of life I experience, the more I realize how far from the target I may be if I say to someone: “I know what you’re going through”. Even if I think I do. Even if I have gone through the same exact set of circumstance. I don’t really know. And they don’t really know what it was like for me either.

Truly, no one else on this earth is able to fully enter into my heartaches or my joys. It is humanly impossible. We are programmed to experience life from our individual and unique perspective. Even when we give 100 percent to imagining ourselves in someone else’s shoes, that’s all it is – imagining.

Beth goes on to say:

“For me, this is one profound reason that God, omniscient and omnipresent, has been the vital element in my healing. During particularly lonely or frustrating times, perhaps you, like me, have felt that nobody else gets it.

But He gets it better than we do. So many times He has shown me where I was coming from instead of the other way around.”

He is still showing me – even months and years later – things that even I didn’t fully “get” at the time. Sometimes, still, I wish I could reach out and physically touch the Lord. Or that He could physically touch me, hold my hand, wrap His arms around me. I know that He does in a sense and that is where faith comes in…but I can’t see or actually feel Him doing so like I want to. Sometimes I crave that more than anything.

That was a bunny trail though. Back to the main thrust of Beth’s thoughts and mine – only God really understands absolutely every moment of my life. He understands like no other human being can. As much as we try, perhaps the best thing to say to a hurting (or rejoicing) friend or loved one is: “I love you and I’m here for you whether you are hurting or rejoicing” and then be a visible, physical representation of God’s love to them.

These are just some thoughts the Lord has really brought home to me this past week.


From → Personal

  1. That was really good, Hannah. I heard of that study, and have been interested in going through it.

    I so enjoy looking at your pictures! They are beautiful! 🙂

    • Lauren, thanks for stopping by! I am glad you are doing well! Yes, the study has been great. This summer I am planning to do this one. It looks like it should be good!

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