Follow your own advice

Posted by on Dec 2, 2011 in Faith | 0 comments

Today I had lunch with a couple of ladies from work. One lady, in particular, clearly had some things on her mind that she shared with us. She was pondering her situation in life mostly surrounding her boyfriend and what she should do since he doesn’t seem to be making steps towards marriage though he says he is. We chatted for over an hour (oops!) all about it and I had lots of great advice. I was feeling pretty good about my advice and thought later about what I had said.

I thought about the advice I had freely offered and how I was once in her shoes though at the time, I had no idea what to do about it either. Further thinking led me to other pieces of advice I had so kindly doled out. I like to give advice, you know, because I’m so wise. Kidding. But I do give advice a lot. Usually I like to recommend that people try seeing from someone else’s point of view. I kept thinking about other pieces of advice I had given from the hefty, “Leave him!” advice to the more lowly, “Don’t forget to lock your car.” A resonating theme kept coming back to me:

Follow your own advice.

I then thought of my husband, a wonderful man who takes good care of me, my kids and all things electronic in our home. My advice usually is distributed to him in spades. (I’m not sure he always likes that but let’s pretend, ok?) My advice to him usually surrounds small things. I like to recommend that he pray more with the kids, clean up a little more or differently, wash the sheets, put gas in the car. As I was thinking about these things, I was thinking about how I need to do those things too! I need to take my own advice. I certainly could pray more with my kids. I could definitely clean up more. I can wash the sheets and many many years ago my big sister taught me how to put gas in the car.

I can follow my own advice!

Then I started thinking about the hard things. This evening (eventful day!) a friend called in tears. Her dear friend has suffered the worst imaginable losses: the loss of her child. I listened to my friend lament in sorrow for this poor mother and my heart went out to them both. My advice to my friend was to pray. I told her to listen to God. I told her that God has a plan and we don’t know what it is but we must trust it!! Johnette Bankovic tells a story about when her son died in a tragic car accident. In her grief, she simply said, “Why? Why, God, why?” That was all she had the strength to do. God granted her the precious gift of an answer. He told her that He took her son at that time, because that was the best time in his life to take him so that he could be with God in Heaven. As a mother, my heart wrenches, but how can you argue with that?!?!? You can’t! You can never say to God, “That hurt too much! Let my son NOT go to heaven because his loss was too great.” No no no. You just say, “Oh. Ok then.” I truly love this story and have kept it with me so often so that when something truly horrific happens, I remember that God really does have an awesome plan, hurt though it may.

I told my friend this story and about how it reminds me that we are all really in His hands. My advice continued. “Don’t worry about your own pregnancy. Eat healthy and take care of yourself and your other child.” I said, “You can do nothing for your friend but pray and be there for her, even if far away and even if she isn’t seeing anyone right now.” I hung up the phone having dried some tears and hopefully with some peace.

Then I sat down and cried. I cried for my friend and her tendency to worry herself sick. I cried for this mother and her lost baby. I cried for my own children, beautiful and healthy. I cried for the two babies I have in heaven. I cried about another friend who showed me a lovely slideshow of pictures she had from her own baby’s funeral. I cried for the future. I cried over the future loss of my husband. I cried for the potential bad things that could happen to my own children. I cried about it all. My husband heard me and rushed to my rescue. I told him that I’m so afraid that the more children we have, the more likely something bad will happen to one of them. I wasn’t following my own advice.

Luckily, my husband was. He reminded me that we need to trust God. He reminded me that our children are a gift and God is in control. He reminded me to pray. He reminded me to stop worrying. And he reminded me that he loved me.

Sometimes it’s hard to take our own advice. But just as I should pick my own socks up off the floor every day, I also need to trust God at all times.

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