Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Would You Rather?

Did you ever play the "Would You Rather" game?

You know...where you ask would you rather have x thing or y thing happen.

We used to play it with my cousins.

Some of the questions were normal enough?

Would you rather be super tall or super short?

Would you rather be super good at art or at school?

Would you rather have a horse or a swimming pool?

But some of the questions were rather tragic.

Would you rather be blind or deaf?

Would you rather you husband died or your child?

Would you rather lose an arm or a leg?

It's a pretty terrible game because life doesn't work that way but it's tempting to think that it does.  It's tempting to think that because we are going through X terrible thing that Y terrible thing can't also happen. Or it's tempting to think that once we are no longer suffering from X than suddenly we will suffer from Y. 

Right now we are dealing with unemployment and financial worries and uncertainty about the future.  And, it is HARD, HARD, HARD. 

But, everywhere I turn, I see friends suffering from various health-related issues.  Both children and adults diagnosed with life-long chronic diseases, severe allergies, behavior issues, mental illness, unexplained illness, cancer, hormonal issues, extreme fatigue, chronic pain, hospitalizations, needed surgeries, asthma.  The list goes on and on. It seems as though almost every family has SOMETHING going on health-wise.

And. so far we don't.  So far, we have been fortunate to only have to deal with minor, acute illness or the occasional accident/broken bone thrown in there just to remind us why we do need health insurance. But nothing serious and nothing chronic..so far. 

And that scares me.  Because I have this irrational fear that once we are no longer suffering from unemployment or financial issues that a health crisis will descent upon us like vultures on a decaying carcass.  I know it's irrational...because life doesn't work that way.

But that's the way my mind works.  I blame it on Would You Rather games as a child. Suffering from X doesn't protect us from Y and suffering from Y doesn't guarantee that we won't also suffer from X, Z and Q. 

Suffering is a strange thing and it's hard not to compare our trials to someone else's trials.  Some people seem to have lots of suffering and others not so much.  And what one person finds a major trial, another person might find to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

I will admit that I have this tendency to get irrationally annoyed at moms who complain about things like their husband working late or they have to do bedtime by themselves or that their kids wake up too much.  I forget that their trials are a real trial to them and that I've never walked in their shoes so I don't know what it's like. Everyone has their difficulties and their sufferings and fortunately we don't get to choose

Right now, I'm just trying to get through what we are dealing with right now and not worry about what might happen and not compare what I'm going through to what others are going through. Because everyone is going through something and we all just need to support each other as best as possible and not worry about whose suffering is worse or harder or more terrible.  
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  1. Great post! Very timely for me.

  2. Amen. Something I've been figuring out through this whole bed rest business is that just because my suffering is not the worst possible thing ever that could happen, I don't have a real need for help and support. If I refrained from reaching out to friends that were suffering from underemployment, serious diet issues, in the middle of moving, whatever, then there wouldn't be anybody left! The good news is that yesterday I was released and it looks like everything is going to be fine!

    So, what is helpful support for families suffering from unemployment/uncertainty/financial stress? You've written about what not to say, but other than prayers what are the possibilities? I've thought of offering to babysit so they can go out.

  3. I'm the same way but opposite of you. We have the very sick children but I keep thinking that money will be the next to go if/when our children do well. I keep reminding myself that God DOESN'T work like that!!

  4. I feel like I could have written this post! We, too, have dealt with some difficult unemployment situations in the past few years and it is HARD and stressful. It really isn't possible to compare trials and sometimes I feel like I would trade my own trials for someone else's. The only thing that comforts me is that it's all in the hands of the Lord and He knows the end from the beginning and it will all work out for our good if we're faithful--even when it's not easy. I know you know and believe that. The older I get, the more I learn that life is just HARD. For everyone! Don't you just wish you could be a kid sometimes and not feel the hardness? I do hope and pray Ben finds a job soon and that the Lord will bless you and meet your day-to-day needs.


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