Let me start with this assurance: If you are reading this and wondering if it was meant for anyone, in particular, it is.
It's meant for you.
You are that employee who keeps getting taken for granted at work. The one who, despite immense knowledge, talent, and skill, is repeatedly undervalued. The contribution they make arrives on time, with excellence, every time.
You are that mom who soldiers on, day after day with myriad vital responsibilities, sometimes with life-and-death implications and has no one to help. You do your job, take care of your family, make sure that ends meet and in between, you nap for 20 minutes. Maybe a half-hour on Sunday afternoon...
You are that man or woman with a chronic or terminal illness. Some are blessed with help and support of family, friends, and professional healthcare. Others are largely on their own. Though it's nice to have help, what seriously ill people share is the ultimate disloyalty of their physical bodies.
You are battling addiction. You may have already lost more than most people ever possess. Your family, friends, colleagues, and even bystanders have been alienated. You are ostracized and alone.
You think you have it beat, but when you tell people, they're hesitant. They've heard it before. So in addition to fighting the disease of addiction, a misunderstood and exceedingly difficult foe, you are also fighting to convince the important people in your life that you have changed.
Like the way your dad walked to school back in the day, it's uphill, both ways.
You are that member of your group who is underappreciated. At home, at work, at school, with your friends, with your family, with your team. Maybe in many or all of these places.
You are an afterthought.
You never get to the top of anyone's to-do list.
Your friends cancel plans to get together. Or they forget to invite you.
Your boss cancels your one-on-ones.
Your teacher never calls on you in class.
You don't get the promotions/recognitions/rewards you deserve at work
Your children think of you as their driver and ATM.
Your family is more proud of/worried about your brother or sister, aunt or uncle, friend or colleague than they are of or about you.
Your doctor even has sicker patients.
(I told you this was meant for you.)
Whether the root cause of the situation is 'out there' (beyond your direct control) or 'my fault' (also beyond your direct control, by the way), the results are the same. In some, many or all contexts, you are not appreciated properly for who you are and what you do.
That feels miserable. And it happens, in one form or another, to all of us.
The old adage, 'Misery loves company' is just simply false. Fellow sufferers are as likely to match miseries as they are to sympathize and comfort. I feel no better about my own situation knowing that yours stinks too.
You may think that no one understands, and you're almost right:
You may have well-meaning people say, 'I know how you feel' when you know darn well they don't.
You may have someone whose response is to try to 'fix it', whatever 'it' is. 'Here's what you need to do...' and so forth. Well-intended but not helpful.
Or you have a would-be comforter whose go-to strategy is to tell you about the time when they had it worse than you do now.
Or some 'tough love' guru tells you to 'suck it up.'
A few things:
First, and I know I am not alone in this opinion: I'm so impressed by you. Your strength, perseverance, and drive in fighting your unique set of battles with your unique, formidable combination of talent, skill, and ability is an inspiration to me, and everyone around you.
You are awesome.
Second, and far more important, there is one person who truly does know how you feel, no matter what it is. His name is Jesus. He loves you very much. He knows exactly what is bothering you and why. He sees everything, inside out. He 'gets you' better than you 'get you.'
Third, unlike even your most empathetic, caring, loving, and well-resourced human friend, Jesus can actually help you with the problem, no matter how big or small. Nothing is impossible for Him. You can trust Him.
If you are already a believer in Jesus, then you already know what to do. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7 (NIV). Pray fervently, and be patient. His timing is always perfect, even if it seems a bit slow to us.
If you are not already a believer, it isn't a big process to invite Jesus into your life. He wants to help you. He wants you to trust Him.
And even if you've said you don't care about Him, or you don't believe his promises, He still loves you. Because He is God. He created you.
There are no forms to fill out, no e-signatures or notary stamps involved. You don't even need a witness. Because Jesus knows you've invited Him and He's a better witness than you could ever dream of.
All you have to do is say to yourself, sincerely, something like this:
"Lord Jesus Christ, I don't understand it all, but I want you in my life. I want your help with the things that hurt and limit me. I want to learn more about you and grow in my faith. I ask this in your name, Amen."
Don't get me wrong. You can say it out loud. You can shout it from on top of your garage. You can do an interpretive dance, sing it in a song, paint a mural, or mumble it incoherently. If it's in your heart, Jesus will understand. And He is all that matters.
Trust Him. He won't disappoint you.
You have literally nothing to lose. For sake of argument, if Jesus were to fail you (which He won't), you'd be no worse off than you are now. Why not take a leap of faith?
You have literally everything to gain. If you trust Jesus, and He comes through for you (which He will, and He will teach you patience), you'll have your problem resolved, you have a reason for hope for the rest of your earthly existence, and you will have eternal life in heaven.
Pretty good! Hang in there. You win this.
God bless you!
simple acts of kindness, patience, compassion Christian charity, humility in leadership, in the workplace and in communication, the Lord, Jesus Christ