Unintentional offenses…ouch…awkward…

This is a blog post that I wrote and saved. I didn’t want anyone to take it awkwardly or personal so I didn’t feel comfortable posting it…but I know that someone needs to read this so that they can forgive people that have unintentionally hurt them.  SO this is being posted for the random Glioblastoma fighter, family member or caregiver that might come across my blog from a google search. 🙂  This is not being posted to passive aggressively confront but not really confront someone.  I’m posting it because now I’m totally over the whole situation.  I didn’t want to post in the middle of my hurt, because it was a big hurt.  Its all better now though, so safe to hit that “post” button.

This is something that I have heard from many other brain cancer families: The people you think will be there, aren’t.  But on the flip side, people that you never would have expected will step up and surprise you.  I was sitting at Duke waiting on Mike’s appt and I met someone who said this and I was amazed because I was feeling the exact same way.  Mike spends an average of about 18 hours a day in bed sick and the people that I thought would be here to visit him and encourage him haven’t been around. For a bit I struggled with this and felt really bitter, lonely and frustrated.  I came to a point where I realized that unintentional offenses are a breeding ground for bitterness and that I had to let it go.  I knew that people would be pretty upset to know that I was hurt by them not being around.  I knew it wasn’t intentional. I even felt bad that I was hurt!  I was hurting for my husband as I watched him lay sick for months at a time without a single visitor and I was getting angry and bitter.  So I did something way out of character for me and I let some people know that I was feeling let down.  I guess I needed to let them know how I was feeling because I thought maybe they didn’t feel “invited” enough and I needed to give that forgiveness.  It wasn’t a confrontation at all, it was just a “I was hurt” conversation.  I thought that maybe people didn’t know if we wanted visitors. I realize that everyone elses lives have gone on and that life is busy.  I know its awkward to be around a sick person.  I know its upsetting.  I was holding a lot of unforgiveness about that, but I realized that I had to forgive people that unintentionally hurt me.  The amazing part is that God has since filled in those gaps with other people. We went through a very lonely period though for sure.  It is absolutely mind boggling how most of the people in our lives right now making the biggest impact are people that I didn’t even know before he got sick. How awesome is God for giving me these people?!  People do fail you, but it is nothing to take personal or to hold a grudge over.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that for me personally, it wasn’t worth MY peace.  It wasn’t worth being bitter.  A lot of times in these situations, people have NO idea that they are “failing” you by not being there.  I really feel like this is an area that affects many of us but no one wants to talk about openly because we certainly don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.  I’m not a confrontational person at all.  I avoid confrontation at all costs.  Often I have let friendships go because I simply don’t want to deal with an issue. 

I can’t even get to church these days because my priority is keeping Mike safe.  For awhile I would leave him home alone and at least go to church for praise and worship because that was what I missed the most.  At this point I try not to leave him for too long.  I will run Kenzie out to preschool or run an errand, but I make sure I stop at the house and check on him frequently between even simple errands. This is really hard for me because I’ve always heard people say that you have to be IN church to be close to God. Well, what happens when you can’t physically get there, like in Mike’s case?  And now in my case since I feel like my place is to be here for him? I have learned that its easier to have a relationship with God when you are in position to feel His presence. Being in church does make a difference for me.  Its been a challenge to figure out how to worship on my own or to feel that relationship with God on my own, or to grow and learn in that area without guidance. Being in a corporate setting of praise and worship is powerful.  Another thing that I always thought strengthened my relationship with God was being around others who share the same relationship.  There is an encouragement and a fellowship factor that I have always felt was important.  I’ve definitely been failing in many areas and I don’t feel like I have anyone to turn to.  I’m really learning a lesson in the core relationship that I have with God vs the relationships I have with people.  I guess I’m learning…I don’t know if I’m learning or just realizing that there is a difference and seeing that there are areas that I don’t understand and realizing that I just feel totally lost some days.

So I guess my point is this.  If you are being affected by this, don’t let the fact that people fail you fall back onto how you view God.  He’s there.  He doesn’t stop loving.  So how do you find Him or feel Him?  I don’t know, but I know a good first step is to Seek Him in prayer and by reading the Bible.  Praise and worship music is awesome too. 

“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  – Deuteronomy 4:29

2 responses to “Unintentional offenses…ouch…awkward…

  • Kim Pope

    I just wanted to thank you for this post. I don’t even remember how I came across your blog, but I did and I’ve been following it since. I lost my mom to glioblastoma. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. During that time my family became very close but in some ways it felt lonely. I needed to talk to someone who wasn’t already suffering their own grief. I was afraid of weakening someone else’s faith if I allowed myself to be honest and share those brief feelings of “why her” and “why me”. I needed to be able to talk and laugh about my mom with someone that wanted to hear it. I was heartbroken that the very people I had been there for during their trials were nowhere to be seen. Even my neighbor who I had served hand and foot and went through every step of the way when she found out the child she was carrying had a condition that was fatal disappeared. She was even friends with my mom and didn’t bother to show up for the funeral. I have been carrying such disappointment, sadness, and honestly…. anger, for the last year. That is until I read this post and started thinking about it all. Some people simply can’t give of themselves. I’m sure there are many reasons but I shouldn’t try to figure out what those reasons are. I need to let it go. Forgive and forget. I also need to thank my loving Father in Heaven because He did send me so many angels! People I never would have guessed I would end up loving so much were there for me in so many ways. Meals, phone calls, cards, letters, hugs, acts of service… all from people I barely knew and some I didn’t know at all. I think of those people as little love notes from God. It was one of His many ways of sending love and letting me know that when I didn’t think I could make it, He would help through a friend. Thank you so much for this reminder and for the clarity I’ve been given because of your words. You, a stranger have turned out to be another love note. I am so sorry for your trial. I truly know how hard it is to suffer this. In your case though, I’m sure it’s way harder because this is your spouse, best friend and the father of your precious children. I imagine your hands are full and your heart heavy so often. I wish I could ease that for you. I will pray for you all. Honestly… we’re strangers, but I care. Once again, I’m sorry for your sorrows but touched by your strength and example.

  • Ce Canada

    This also touched me as I have been puzzled about the my husbands friends I thought would be here are not. I had so many people call after the initial diagnosis and say “I’ll stop by…”, but never have shown up.
    But I’ve learned from it and hopefully when the time comes for me to help someone else in future, I’ll know to stick to my word when I tell someone I’m coming to see them. And I’ll also know better ways to help with everyday task. Everyone ask me “let me know if you need anything”, but I’m not the type to reach out to those people. I need someone to say “I’m doing this for your!”
    Thank you for posting this as I was feeling guilty for being upset (internally) with some of his friends.

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