One Day, You will Ache like I Ache

 (forgive the 90's reference in the title)

The truth is that the people in your life almost certainly do not understand your pain. Fortunately, they don’t need to rely on what they know about your particular pain to be a blessing to you, because God wrote a book to overcome all of our inevitable ignorance and insensitivity. 

--Marshal Segal--

An enormous barrier to community, and maturity, is the mindset that "no one understands what I'm going through. Regardless of the truth of that statement, 

(it actually can't help BUT be true.  No one knows exactly how the circumstances you're facing are affecting you.  Even if they've been through similar circumstances; things affect everyone differently, and all of our various personality types process life differently as well)

those feelings can freeze us.  They can hamper our growth.  In fact, such feelings can often be a front for a profound kind of pride.  This kind of pride rejects what others think, feel, or know about our situation because they aren't experiencing it exactly like us.  

When friends want to sympathize with you, share God's Word with you, or just "be' with you in your struggle, that is a profound gift, regardless of how similar their life experience has been to yours.  Marshall Segal has a great piece here about this topic.  It's a helpful reminder for all of us!

Let's not pull away from others because we're clutching so tightly to our pain.  It's only because of our pain that we're doing that anyway.  Let's reach out, open up, and allow others to minister to us, no matter what we're going through.