Yesterday I was helping a friend make sure another friend's house was ready for renters to move in at the end of the month. Mostly we were assessing the situation and what needed to be done especially since it was raining outside and we were missing a key that we needed. As we waited for our ride to pick us up, we talked about life here. My friend talked about how hard it was for her daughter living here due to the restrictions on freedom. Thus it made it harder for the whole family. As we talked I listened and could see how her daughter was having a hard time. But deep down, I was having trouble relating to her hard. My daughter whose personality is much different than her daughter's is thriving here. In many ways, God is using life here to make her more independent and stronger. In the states, she would never have tried dance and who know what else? But just because my daughter is not feeling her freedom restricted doesn't mean my friend's daughter's feelings aren't valid.
Our talk made me think of times when I have shared my hard with others. Sometime you find someone who understands because she is going through the same thing. Other times your friend listens but you feel like they didn't understand. The worst is when someone tries to tell you that your hard isn't really hard. Of course they usually never say your hard isn't really hard, get a life. So even though I may not totally understand my friend's hard, I do want to respond with grace and love remembering that just because her hard is different doesn't mean that it is any less hard for her. Next time we meet, I am praying that God will give me an understanding heart and the right words if words are needed.
Dear God, Be with my friend and her family as they are going through a hard time. May those around them give them love, grace and support. May you use this time to strengthen their faith in you. Thank you that you understand the hard things in each of our lives. Work in my friend and her daughter in their hard thing. Amen.