All of this got me thinking about trials. I am of the belief that when we are in the midst of trials, the very best thing we can do for ourselves is to find someone else to focus on/carry/push. But it's sometimes so hard to do, right? We get so caught up in how hard things are for us and forget to look around. BUT if we do then we will find that our own trial seems so much easier. Not that their trial is necessarily more difficult than ours, but that the act of looking outside of ourselves can somehow miraculously lighten our own load.
Here's a little personal story about that:
When I was 19 years old and in college, I was in a leadership position for my church. The college that I went to was Ricks College in Rexburg, ID. It was awesome, but that's beside the point. It was also super cold and snowy and dreary come February, which is exactly the point of this story. I was told when I was called to this position that the ladies in my care would suddenly be having a lot of problems come February; mostly because of the dreary weather, but that they would feel very sincerely distraught. I was told to just be aware of that and to help them put their problems in perspective. Well, come February I felt like the door to my shared bedroom was a revolving door of issues. Poor women, all struggling with something different. I wanted so much to help them and would think about what I could say or do to pull them out of their depression. Then I remembered the February warning and realized that what everyone (myself included) needed was to SERVE. So we planned activities around this idea and got several of the ladies involved in adopting a grandparent at the local nursing center. I immediately noticed a difference. I gave that advice individually to some of those who were really struggling - find someone to serve. I no longer had knocks or notes on my door constantly...just a trickle. I shouldn't have been surprised by the dramatic difference, but I was.
I wish that I remembered to do this more often; sometimes it takes me a while. Sometimes I spend several weeks in Poor Me Land before I pull my head out and decide to reach out. There is something miraculous about service. It gives you enough of a boost to pull you out of sadness. I really believe in the power of service!
If you feel so inclined, share a time when service has worked to help you through a tough time.