Randoms Rants

Shut up, Christian

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who are good at giving encouragement and people who are not good at giving encouragement. Unfortunately for the entire human race, the people who struggle in this generally have absolutely no idea that they are struggling. They think that they are steering the ship, when they are actually causing you to want to jump out of the ship and float anywhere where they are not. 

2015 was hell. Between butt surgeries and my mom having to drop me off to hang out with my friends, I would have been more comfortable if I were back in junior high, braces and all. But it came, and it’s gone, and I’ve learned a ton from it. I actually wouldn’t trade this experience if given the opportunity. The amount of insight and knowledge that I’ve gleaned from it is incomparable and honestly a blessing. With that being said, I never want to have surgery again. But I mean…who does?

Over the past 11 months, I have witnessed a lot of different kinds of reactions to my trials and tribulations. Today, you will get to read about those experiences (lucky!).  So here they are…the official things to not say to a struggling friend.

“Have you tried praying about it?”

What I wanted to say: “I am currently praying that you get out of my face.”

What I actually said : “Yes, bless God, I have.”

Why you shouldn’t say this: This makes the person you are consoling feel like maybe, just maybe, if they had been more spiritual  they wouldn’t have had to endure the problems they’re going through. Prayer is an amazing avenue of healing and should most definitely be exercised in everyday life, but sometimes God will use these crazy people called doctors to do the healing. He did give them their abilities, after all. And hey, just for fun, remember, Jesus traveled with a doctor.

“God is going to bless you when this is all done!”

What I wanted to say: “You know what would be a blessing? If you stopped talking.”

What I actually said: “I know he will, and I’m ready for it!”

Why you shouldn’t say this: This implies two things: 1) God put you through all of this like some sick, sadistic parent who punishes to then reward. Not the case. 2) For a lot of us, the real blessing would be not going through it in the first place. Yeah, I get it…sometimes life sucks and bad things happen. But we don’t need to be reminding people of how much their life sucks on a daily basis. 

“Maybe you should fast and you’ll get healed faster. ”

What I wanted to say: “Maybe you should fast being annoying.”

What I actually said: “Hmmmm, that’s something to think about!”

Why you shouldn’t say this: During my eleven surgeries, I was on 4 different kinds of medication. I also became gluten and dairy free. Fasting wasn’t an option, mainly because there was nothing left to give up. I tried going off caffeine for awhile, and let me tell you, I was a DELIGHT. 

“Do you have emotional issues? That might be manifesting in your body.”

What I wanted to say: “Yeah, you’re right. I’m definitely about to manifest.”

What I actually said : “I have a cyst in my buttcheek. I doubt sadness over a breakup 3 years ago would cause that.”

Why you shouldn’t say this: We need to stop assuming that people are generally bad and full of sin, and that’s why bad things happen to them. Enter Job. Or the woman with the issue of blood. Or Lazarus. Or Jesus, for God’s sake. Bad things happened to all of those guys, and they lived blameless lives. Sometimes you get bumps on your buttcheeks for no reason at all. Stop over-thinking it. 

“I had that once. The surgery was awful. It didn’t even help.”

What I wanted to say: “What is wrong with you?”

What I actually said: “What is wrong with you?” (Couldn’t even hide my feelings on this one)

Why you shouldn’t say this: I think the biggest mistake that we make with people going through stuff is making it about us to convince them that we understand. Why can’t we just say, “Man, this sucks. I had something similar happen…I understand how you’re feeling. Let me know if you need anything.” Instead, 45 minutes later I’m listening to details about your surgery in 11th grade and how you never fully recovered. What part of this is encouraging? 

“You’ll get better, hopefully.”

What I wanted to say: “You’ll get better at conversation, hopefully.”

What I actually said: “Thank you for your, uhhhh, encouragement?”

Why you shouldn’t say this: You know what I need on my 11th surgery in 7 months? I need you to lie to me. Leah, you look thin! Leah, you are gorgeous in a hospital gown! Leah, the scar on your butt is adorable! That’s what I want to hear, not your half-hearted attempt to kind of try to let me know that you’re really unsure if I’ll live or die. 

When I think about Job, the poor guy, and all of the stuff that he went through and endured, I don’t think about his agony or his loss or his despair…I think about his friends. His friends came to him, and instead of rallying behind him, they told him to give up. They told him that it was too hard, and that he wouldn’t get through it. They told him to curse God. 

I can’t help but think about how different the story might have been if Job’s friends were supportive and compassionately strong for him. What would have changed in Job’s outlook if his friends had said, “Yup, this sucks. But you can get through it. You know why? Because you’re mother-fricken Job, that’s why.” 

Are you a friend of Job or are you a friend of hope? 

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