Words I actually heard:
-so what is new with you?
-are you loving your house?
-what are you up to these days?
-it is so good to see you
Words I actually felt:
-why aren't you married?
-are you dating anyone?
-what are you doing with a whole house?
-you are loved
Perceptions are something I think about a lot. Later in the day, mom and I were talking to a neighbor. She made some comment about a common acquaintance who had lost his job. She had heard about the ordeal from his son earlier this week, but the man we were talking to shared a different side of the story. We remarked as we walked home, how everyone's story is different because it is experienced through different lenses. It's not that one person is right and another person is wrong...it's that they both experienced the same event differently so their stories can never be expected to be the same.
So it is with other perceptions. If I had only listened to what I heard, I would have been frustrated at having the same conversations over and over again. I would have probably been mad because, I've now answered these types of questions for years, always with few updates, and little new to say about it. But because I recognized that the people asking genuinely cared and loved me, I acted a little more patient, a little more kind, and gracious that they would be so concerned as to ask how I was really doing. From my preschool teacher, to old neighbors, to old friends who have moved away and had children, to the mothers of friends of mine from high school, to the children I used to babysit who now have babies of their own, to old church leaders...I recognize that I have a whole group of people who love me, who are cheering me on, who are in my corner. Sometimes, I may not be able to discern what I hear from what I feel. I'm human and sometimes, I'm tired. But when I step back and strive to see things for what they really are and discern what I heard from what I felt...I can see that the Lord has given me an incredible support system for which...I am so blessed.