Challenges. We all have them. Personal challenges, family challenges, health challenges. I don’t usually share my own personal challenges or struggles, but I wanted to share an experience I recently went through. Back in May, I visited the doctor due to a persistent sore throat, likely triggered by allergies. The doctor prescribed some medication and emphasized the need to check my enlarged thyroid. His serious tone and specific words left me with no choice but to act promptly.
So, the next day, I scheduled an appointment to get my thyroid checked. Fast forward through several biopsies, and the left thyroid was recently removed without any problems. However, my recovery took an unexpected turn when I fell ill with strep throat and a common cold just two days after the surgery, making the journey to recovery even more challenging.
During this process, as I confided in my inner circle, I discovered that many of them had faced issues with their thyroid or knew someone who had. Their stories provided me with a sense of reassurance and peace. This sharing of experiences became a healing gift for my inner anxiety, which I had been trying to hide.
But the challenges didn’t stop there. Our family had other and different personal struggles that were happening at the same time. That’s usually what happens. Multiple issues and struggles happen simultaneously. Fortunately, everything and everyone is on the mend now. It’s sometimes important to share our struggles with one another. There is healing in this sharing. And it’s important to recognize that none of us are exempt from the trials of life. We all carry our own crosses, and the weight of these crosses may vary from day to day, influenced by our mental health and life circumstances.
The support we receive from family and friends plays a crucial role in our mental and physical strength during the recovery process. That’s why it’s so important to reach out to those who may be experiencing sickness, trauma, mental health issues, or hospitalization. We had a wonderful family friend who took time out of her schedule to go and pick up personal items that were needed. This was such a gift to me at a very worrisome time. Our time spent visiting those ill, bringing a meal, or simply checking in on their healing process can be a tremendous gift and, in some cases, even lifesaving.
Each of us has our own cross to bear, and these crosses can be heavier on some days and lighter on others. How we deal with them depends on our mental health at the time. It’s important to remember that each of us carries an invisible backpack filled with a lifetime of trials, trauma, challenges, accomplishments, and joys. These emotions vary in weight, depending on our individual life journeys.
So, let’s greet one another with kindness, gentleness, and love. Let’s share our burdens, lift one another up in prayer, and provide each other with the space to hurt, share, and cry. When someone hurts you, give them the space and time to heal. Love them from afar and pray for their healing.
In our world today, there is an abundance of hurt, destruction, hate, and unrest, especially in places like Israel. In October of 2018, my husband and I had the privilege of visiting Israel. It was an incredible trip, where we had the chance to explore the historic streets of Jerusalem, the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the banks of the Jordan River, the peaceful Garden of Gethsemane, and the venerable Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We also interacted with local universities, businesses, and companies with ties to our home state, Louisiana. One evening, we were graciously invited into the home of a West Point Military friend from Israel, which was filled with amazing food, friendship, and laughter.
Recently, we received an update from our Israeli friend. His message painted a vivid picture of the current situation in his homeland, filled with pain and suffering. This message brought immense sadness and heightened the harsh reality of the challenges his country faces. I felt compelled to share his words, with his permission of course, because they emphasize the power of shared experiences and empathy. While we may not always be able to provide tangible support like meals or visits, we can always offer our prayers.
In these times of uncertainty, let us not underestimate the strength and comfort that prayer can bring. Together, let us unite in sharing the burdens of those who are suffering. Through sharing, we become real to one another, forging a deeper sense of connection and empathy.
Below, you’ll find screenshots from his message with names obscured. By sharing this message from a friend, I hope to foster a sense of connection. We are interconnected at multiple levels. Just as our Israeli friend mentioned that in his country, people and families are often just two degrees of separation, the same holds true in our close-knit Louisiana community and in our own country. Let us remember to extend our love and prayers to our Israeli brothers and sisters during their time of need.