So of my many pet peeves, the one that is really close to the top of my list is getting advice from people who think they have all the answers but have no clue because, well frankly, they haven't been through anything. Like kids.... I love my non-parent friends dearly, God bless 'em, but please don't give me any advice on how to raise my kids until you have your own, been through some of the issues I have and have the scars to prove it. I don't need or want really to know how you would discipline (cause all kids don't respond to the same discipline the same way) or what you would say because you never know until you get in that situation. TRUST ME. And that's just one example, I have many many MANY more, but that one just recently happened so it was stuck in my head.
Not that people who have not dealt with the same issues cannot be there to listen to you when you need it, because they can and actually should be. I think that many of us just find it easier to talk to people about our issues who have actually traveled down that same road before.It just tends to ease our burdens to know that someone else went through the same thing and came out on the other end okay.
James 1:2-4 (from the Message) says "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."
And then once you face those trials, God says in 2 Corinthians 1:2-4 - "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
See, those hard times we face, even though it doesn't seem like it at the time we are dealing with them, have a purpose. When we get to the other side of our problems, we can be there for others who are going through the same thing. That doesn't mean that you have all the answers and that their situation will come out like yours did or didn't, it just means that you can be there for them the same way God was for you. You know, like Pam says "be blessed and be a blessing".. that's what God wants us to do.
I love you all and until next time, Lord willing....