How Can I Love Those I Don’t Understand?

When I was a young mom and involved in a church my husband just happened to pastor, I thought I was really something.  I thought that our decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom was the ultimate call of God on Christian mothers everywhere.  I actually had the mindset that all moms should be doing this.

One day, after a church service, I saw a woman I hadn’t seen in a while.  I liked her a lot.  She had three lovely boys and they were awesome.  Like me, she was a stay-at-home mom.  Was.  I asked, ever so cheerfully, how she had been doing.  And this is when my perfect world crumbled……………

She began to tell me that a wonderful thing has happened.  An answer to her prayers that set her free.  I asked her to tell me.  Excitement was rising in her voice and in my anticipation………

This is when she told me that she had been praying for a job.   A what??  A job outside of the home.  I think my mouth did one of those fall open and drool and no one but me noticed things.  A job??  Yes, a job, she kept the excitement level up in her voice.

She went on about their need for more money and her desire to be outside the home and contribute.  So she went looking and lo and behold, she was offered a great job.  The whole family rejoiced.

I put on my Hollywood smile and hugged her and told her how happy I was for her (I think I missed my call on the stage).  She went home and I went home…….. downcast and confused.

Let me take a side road here for just a second.  One thing I am good at is taking my questions to the Lord.  He and I just have a good thing together about asking and listening and getting answers.  Trouble is, they may not always be the answers I was looking for.

Now, back on the main road……. I went home and asked him.  Well, actually, I remember it well.  I asked him before I even left the building.  Something like this:  “What were You thinking?  How could that be Your answer to her prayers????? Huh?????  Why did you let her take that job?????”

And right then the room faded away and I was there with the spot light on me – and Him –  and He kindly said, “I let her have the job because that is where she is at.  She asked me for a job.”

I remember saying, “What do you mean?”  And He continued gently to tell me that He loves each of us so much.  He let me stay at home with my kids because that is what I desired and what I wanted more than anything.  Others want a career or a simple job.

I began to see a bit more clearly that day.  I began to see a different perspective.  More of God’s perspective.  I didn’t know that woman very well.  I didn’t know her dreams or desires or even how she is put together.  Heck, I really don’t know how most people are built.  Some can handle an intense career far easier than 24/7 diapers, bottle, crying, spitting – well, you get the picture.  Some get total satisfaction from raising children.  It doesn’t mean these parents don’t love their children less or more.  It simply means God love each of us and He knows what is best for us at any given moment.

That half hour out of my life, years ago, changed me.  To the good.  I still think I’m really something, but I try really hard to see people as He does.  It’s not easy.  Especially when it’s turned around and others judge me and think they know who I am or how I’m bent.  BUT, that lesson is alive and well and still at work in this imperfect person.  It has helped me shake off any judgements that come at me  – still not easy – but with the help of the One who answers my questions…… the One who let’s me ask questions …….. the One who answers me in a still small voice in my heart – I can love those I don’t understand.

Enjoy!images54

cate b

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11 Replies to “How Can I Love Those I Don’t Understand?”

  1. good one Cate…it’s also a great reminder for me to keep in the forefront of my mind…
    sometimes not understanding can send me in a whirlwind, like you said..and i’m still learning…hope i always continue to learn…
    i think your post makes it easy for some of us to understand how things can be so different for everyone and how we all need to bend in our perspective like you said…it really is about His perspective, not ours…
    xo

  2. Oh. Cate, sometimes it is hard to love those who we do not understand! But we just need to step back a little and see the bigger picture, i think. 🙂

  3. It is so wonderful that you had that experience, and that it led you to a new understanding. I have always been baffled by the way women can often make it difficult for other women by the attitudes they carry. When I was a young mother, I had the privilege of being a stay-at-home Mom for a while. But the time came when I needed to go back to work. Later, when I had another child, I really wanted to stay at home, but a variety of circumstances put me in the situation of needing to be the primary bread-winner.

    Dealing with the changes in my life over time was a challenge, but the saddest part of that challenge were the women who I thought were my friends. Those who could stay at home kept trying to tell me it was my choice to go back to work. At the other end of the spectrum were people who told me I was wasting my life when I was pregnant again and resigned from my job.

    The important thing to remember all the time is that we never know the details of another person’s lives or the circumstances that drive their decisions. What works for us won’t always work for someone else. And your story shows clearly how important it is to understand that everyone is different, and we don’t have to know those details to be compassionate, caring friends.

    1. Thank you Dear Deborah. Such powerful words you have written and it is a priceless lesson, isn’t it? Love is always the key and in true love there is no judgement. 😀

  4. I loved this post. It was a powerful reminder to me of the power of prayer, and the overwhelming love the Lord has for us. As a single mother, I have called upon him to assist me with my responsibilities, both financial and logistical. He has pulled me through years of single parenting miraculously.
    Thank you for the reminder of all my blessings today.
    I love your posts!

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