Isaiah 21:3 - At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see.
If you’re a mother, then you know that motherhood holds both great joy and great sorrow.
It is said that though the pain of labor and delivery is intense, the moment you hold your child within your arms that pain is forgotten. There is much joy while your child grows:
All of these milestones bring great joy to the mother.
But with each new milestone also comes new pain. Especially the ones that cause emotional pain:
Your heart hurts in a deep moan kind of way that only a mother knows.
As the child becomes a young adult there is another kind of pain:
But in the end, your child graduates from high school. You turn your head and its college graduation; another joyful milestone.
Then comes the pain, just like those of labor, when your adult child heads out the door to start their own life, “empty nest syndrome.” This is one of many times when sorrow comes upon you.
Realize though that life is all about growing up and moving on, so you turn your sorrow into joy as they:
The years continue to march on, but sometimes the unexpected happens:
We try to comfort and walk side-by-side with them helping in any way we can.
Sometimes your relationship with your adult child is filled with joy, but at other times it teeters on the edge of a cliff ready to plunge below. These kinds of down falls can be the worst of all and may take years to mend, if they ever do.
So how can we have less sorrow and more joy in our relationship with our adult child? Find some suggestions from aarp.org in their article, “Parenting Adult Children: Are You a Good Friend to Your Grown-up Kid?” One of their suggestions is to observe respectful boundaries.
Yes, motherhood brings pain, but I think that most mothers would still have a child again even knowing that there is more than one kind of “labor pain” we go through as our child matures. Know that God loves your child more than you ever could, and will always have his watchful eyes upon them.
Proverbs 2:9 - Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path.
“This isn’t fair.”
How many times have we said this to ourselves and maybe even out loud.
Let me tell you it to you straight. Even though your heart feels like it’s been dragged over hot coals, life isn’t fair.
Yet, let me tell you a secret – There’s someone else out there who also doesn’t think life isn’t fair; and they may have a mental illness also, but aren’t brave enough to tell the world.
So here goes:
We’re all going to face tough situations in life that don’t seem fair. Read the article, “Life Isn’t Always Fair: 5 Steps to Accept Tough Situations,” on tinybuddha.com and find some ways to accept tough situations.
Your heart may feel like it’s being dragged over hot coals, but you have the power to take your bucket to the streams of Living Waters, fill it up and pour it over your heart.
But save a few drops to share it with someone else.
Proverbs 26:18-19 - Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"
Do you believe that after someone makes a rude comment to you, and says they were only joking or kidding, that it’s only a joke or do they mean it seriously?
Just like when someone criticizes you, there is at least a piece of truth in it; I believe it is the same as joking or kidding.
There are people who think they can say anything and get away with it. They tease and joke and make fun of others in an attempt to lower the other person and puff up their own ego.
I realize that there are people who tell jokes just for fun, but their jokes are not launched to hurt others but to make them laugh. That’s not what I’m talking about.
The person launching those rude jokes doesn’t realize just how much damage can be done to a sensitive person’s heart by their comments. That’s probably why the rude person picks on a sensitive person, because they know they’ll get a rise out of them.
Telling rude jokes is a form of adult bullying, and it especially affects relationships in the workplace.
So what can we do about bullying? Find some tips from wikihow.com in their article, “How to Respond to an Adult Bully,” such as choosing not to allow yourself to become isolated by a bully.
Above all of the above tips, remember to be safe. If you don’t feel safe, call 911 for help.
Though a bully may have caught you in his net through deceit and pretends that he’s only joking like the Bible verse above says, God sees everything. In the end, the bully will get what’s due them. Whether it be losing their job or finding themselves being bullied, they won’t escape forever.
Psalm 69:20 - Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.
You stoop down and crouch at the foot of your bed in the darkness. Preferring it rather than walking out your door and around other people.
Your heart is breaking. You try your best each day to do all that you can, but for some people it’s never enough. They see you as a failure, because you fight depression; unable to cope with any amount of stress. And after all, only a weak person would feel this way.
To top it all off the person who spoke such mean statements has openly disliked you even when around other people, and they’ve shown you nothing but disrespect and indignation.
Scorn. It’s all those things and more.
How could someone have such feelings of anger and disgust leaking from their mouth all day long? It’s like they wear their contempt toward you like a long black robe.
I have felt the scorn from others like hot coals upon my soul many times. No matter what I say. No matter what I do. No matter how kind I am to the other person, the scorn and derision they show me just burns stronger.
Living life with depression is not just a matter of what you have to deal with each day; it’s also a matter of how others view your day. Some days I can sense the support of the few friends that know my past, but many times, as I’m out in the world, I can’t find anyone to comfort and support me. And I feel helpless.
What I can do to help me feel less helpless about the scorn I receive from someone is to understand that scorn can quickly turn someone into a toxic personality; filled with years of anger and disappointment about their lives.
Find a list of things the toxic person does and how to deal with them from heysigmund.com in their article, “Toxic People: 12 Things They do and How to Deal with Them,” such as being aware of how toxic people can manipulate those around them.
It’s difficult to do it, but you must realize that the scorn that is coming your way isn’t your fault. As the Bible verse above states, when scorn has broken your heart and left you helpless and you can’t find anyone to sympathize with you, realize that God will always hear your cry for help and will be the comfort that you so desperately need.
Job 30:15 - Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud.
Dignity: the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect; a composed or serious manner or style; a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect. (Google.com definitions)
As you sit on the table in your physician’s office clothed only in a paper gown, it feels as if you’re exposed. Vulnerable.
As you are directed to a small area in the pre-op area of a hospital, you’re handed a small cotton gown to change into. You place your garments in a bag after which you pull a draw string to close. Your feet dangle over the side of the bed awaiting your turn for surgery. You know in your mind that it’s trained surgeons who will be operating on you, yet you feel as if your dignity has been stripped away just as your clothing was.
You curl up into a ball like an unborn child within her mother’s womb. You should’ve been more careful. Why did you trust that man who you met for drinks. But here you are. All honor, respect, pride in oneself has been taken from you. And, there’s no going back from here.
You walk toward your local shopping mall and see a man lying up against an outside wall. He’s homeless, and lost in a world that only thinks of him as less of a person.
You walk into the room. It’s divided only by a curtain. You approach the bed and find your father lying on a bed; eyes glossed over; all hope gone. He only has a gown to wear and the only furniture in the room is a small cupboard to hold the only belonging he could have with him. When I looked into my father’s eyes, I saw such sadness and sense of shame. Is this how his life is going to be lived until he passes away? No honor. No dignity.
Dignity is something that people don’t really talk about, yet something that we’ve all experienced the loss of in our lives at one time. With some events, like the trip to the doctor or hospital, the feeling of lost dignity only lasts until you return home.
But for the woman who is raped, that loss of dignity can be lost for a lifetime. With the homeless man his loss of dignity cuts him to the bone just as the chill in the air does. At one time, he was somebody’s child; perhaps a brother; or, perhaps somebody’s husband or father. But, nobody seems to think of him in that way when they look at him. They only see a nobody.
And with someone like my father, who spent the last weeks of his life in a care home, he never had the chance to gain back what he lost.
With each degree of lost dignity, what you think about yourself has been marred and tarnished. Is there a way to gain back your self-respect, your dignity?
Thehopeline.com has some ideas on building a healthy self-respect for yourself in their article, "How to Respect Yourself More," such as don't speak to others badly about yourself and don't let anyone force you to do something they want and you don't.
In addition, let’s talk about the Bible verse above. This was written by a man named, Job, who had lost his family (except for his wife), wealth and health. Job felt that everything had been take away from him. Even his dignity had been driven away. Thankfully the story didn’t end there. Job withstood his time of extreme pain and God healed him and showered on him more blessings than he had before he was afflicted.
The same can be true of us. We may not gain our riches back, but we can regain our dignity and receive strength to make it through other tough times.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.