Reach Out: Sharing Life’s Joy and Pain with Others
It was a normal afternoon. Laundry was drying. Babies were napping. Dinner was simmering away in the crockpot. There was only one little difference…it was snowing. For many of you, snow is an all-too-familiar experience. For those of us who live out here in the Pacific NW, snow is pretty rare. At my elevation, we’re lucky to get one day a year with enough snow to play in. It was clear that no snow was going to accumulate, but there was something about the lightly falling snow that made me happy. The only thing was, I just kept longing for my daughter to be home. I wanted to share my joy with her.
We are hard-wired for relationships. God designed us to require fellowship and interaction with other people. We crave connectivity…it’s in our blood. That’s why things like Facebook and Twitter are so appealing, and often addictive….they allow us to be heard. But how many of us are hiding….not allowing ourselves to feel the full extent of our joy? How many of us give in to our pride, and keep fear of embarrassment from sharing our pain or sadness with those who care?
We all know people who over-share (and document their EVERY feeling on social media, or use it as a therapist’s couch..) What I’m talking about is allowing yourself the freedom to let others in to your life. It’s okay to admit that you are struggling….fearful…facing a rough patch or the fight of your life. It’s okay to celebrate publicly. Share your joys…successes…triumphs. Let people in. Live life WITH them. Share what’s going on in your life. Be open. Be vulnerable. You were created to connect….so do it! Stop allowing your fears (of what people might think, judgement, etc) to get in the way of sharing your joy and pain.
Yes, that snow was beautiful, and it made me happy. BUT, once I was able to share that joy with someone else, it got a whole lot sweeter. It took my experience to a whole new level. On the flip side, we’ve been going through a monumentally rough time as a family. Discouragement and stress are at all-time highs. The other night, I got over myself and shared on Facebook that we’re struggling, and we need prayer. 20 people let me know they cared. That’s 20 more people praying for our family than before I shared. That act of sharing….of interaction…it eased my pain….Even if only for a moment or two, letting others into your experiences helps. You do not have to walk alone. In joy, in pain…reach out.