Monday, July 13, 2009

A day in the life...

I was reminded recently that we, as women, though loving to relate, rarely take the time to really listen or respond rightly to one another. Perhaps it is a reflection of the busy worlds we juggle. Perhaps it is that everyone is always putting on their best faces so the conversations stay shallow. Perhaps it is because we've already placed value on the other person's words before they even speak. Perhaps we are too busy thinking of our next contribution to the conversation. As a result, our careless words and lack of empathy more than often hurt rather than heal. Though I doubt this is ever the intent, it nonetheless results in deep wounds.

I know of instances when I've been guilty of this very thing. And sadly, I know there are many, many times I have not even been selfless enough to recognize it. There are probably people who would never confide in me now because of my recklessness and unguarded words.

It's true that I will never be able to know all that goes on in another's life, nor should I. Sometimes their struggles are private, but must be lived out in the public eye. I can even hear of my friend's pain and pray for them, but I can never truly know what they are going through.

In order to support others, I've decided to begin reading biographical accounts of those who have gone through similar experiences. These authors have come out on the other side of some difficult circumstances and have an important message. My prayer is that in some small way by reading these books I might walk a day in another person's shoes. I desire to be a good listener and to minister words of life when needed.

So far I've read:

Postpartum Depression- Why I Jumped by Tina Zahn

Autism- A Child's Journey out of Autism by Leann Whiffen

Miscarriage- A Deeper Shade of Grace by Bernadette Keaggy

Growing up with a disabled parent - In the Shadow of Polio: A personal and social history
by Kathryn Black

I'm looking for worthwhile biographies about:

Step Parenting


Breast Cancer

Chronic Pain/Illness

I welcome any suggestions you all may have.


Angie said...

Thoughtful...I know one of my friends has never had any personal experience with depression and when I was struggling with that it was very difficult for her to relate to anything I would say. She was always kind enough to listen, but I sometimes had the sense that she just thought I ought to be able to snap out of it. It is so comforting to talk to people who have walked that same road and know more about what it's really like.

If I come up with any good book ideas, I will let you know!

mindi said...

wow, that's a great idea. I might have to pick up a couple books like that - though I rarely have time to read I love it.
I just joined and have three books waiting to be read! Maybe I can find one of these on there as well . . .

Michelle said...

"Beautiful Warriors: rising strong and confident", by Holly Wagner is an encouraging book. Her experience with Breast Cancer is interwoven throughout this challenging book. It's not a pure biography though. More of an encouragement that we are to rise in the midst of our challenges. I have it if you want to read it.

Brandi said...

I don't know yet if you ever found a book about chronic pain or not but there is a book coming out next year (I think) called Chocolate and Vicodin, by Jenette Fulda. It's her account of spending a little over a year with a headache that apparently had no cause or cure ... I read her blog, and the book is sure to be awesome.