A Different Kind of Hope: Part Five

Gift photo by mysza831 (flickr)

To start from Part One click here.

First of all, THANK YOU from the bottom of my little southern heart for all of your kind words and prayers! Here’s a HUG AND A HALF for each of you.

I’ve recovered quite a bit of my strength and some of my grammar. Oh, and the fridge is fixed! Woo-hoo!

So, let’s get back to a different kind of hope.

When I started this little series I thought I’d just share from the talk I gave at MEND. But as you know, we took a little detour with the Pity Party. And I think I’ll stay sidetracked for one more day.

You see, first I had the Pity Party and then I almost went on a Guilt Trip.

Because I looked at other blogs, and twitter, and the news, and I thought, “What is the matter with me? How can I be feeling sorry for myself when everyone else in the whole world has it worse than I do?”

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

So I started packing my bags for the Guilt Trip—a little shame, a couple of not-nice remarks about my selfishness, a stack of sighs a mile high.

BUT THEN a lesson I learned from a very wise professor I had in grad school came back to me. Dr. Gary Oliver, who taught Christian Foundations in Counseling, told us (Holley translation)…

“Do not compare your pain with others. The worst pain you will ever feel is your own. That does not mean you are selfishthat means you are human.”

Each heart knows its own bitterness. Proverbs 14:10

Dr. Oliver has lost a wife and son in the last few years as well as faced cancer. If anyone has the right to say, “My pain is bigger than your pain” it’s him. His point was that when it comes to pain—it’s far better to share than compare.

Turns out it works a whole lot better for us and everyone else to just say, “Yep, had a stinky day/week/decade.” Then we can get on with healing and helping rather then denying ourselves right into exhaustion.

So I’m giving you an early Christmas gift.

Permission.

Permission to be honest about what’s not so great in your life right now. Not permission to wallow, mind you—but permission to acknowledge, throw the Pity Party and then get on with the real party of life.

Do I still go on Guilt Trips? Yes, ma’am. I just try to turn the car around a little faster and go to, oh, Dallas instead of Antartica. Sometimes it even works!

A different kind of hope shares rather than compares.

So if you find yourself saying, “I’m fine” when you’re not, then there’s something I want you to do. (Warning: it’s a little odd but you should be used to that from me by now.)

Picture me handing you a big shiny box with a big fluffy bow with a big fat tag that says PERMISSION right across the front.

Then imagine me leaning in and whispering with a smile, “Merry Christmas…I think Someone Who Really Loves You wants you to have this too.”

p.s. About thirty seconds after I finished writing this, I got a call that my husband had been in an accidentanother car hit him from behind. So we spent the evening in the ER but he’s home with just whiplash and I’m so grateful! I don’t know what’s going on lately, y’all, but please keep those prayers coming! And, YES, I had another cookie

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Hope and Encouragement Card Pack by DaySpring For each post in this series I’ll be giving away a Hope and Encouragement card pack from DaySpring so you can help some hurting hearts. It includes 10 cards (I wrote some of them) and would be worth over $30 if you got them at a store. I’ll announce all the winners when the series is done. Just leave a comment on any of the postsor on more than one for extra entries!

(Subscribers, remember to go to the post to leave a comment. Thanks!)

*This giveaway is done but you can enter a new one and join me in The Rest of Your Story series by clicking here! 

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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