A Shower for Suffering

Originally published Monday, 09 June 2014.

In what sick and twisted world do we throw a shower for suffering?

The only showers we typically go to are wedding and baby showers or a house warming party. I know because I was always the bridesmaid, never the bride—until I turned twenty-nine. All those years of suffering and no one offered to sit with me and throw a party.

I take that back.

One Sunday at church, my pastor bought a bunch of beach balls (our church was less than a mile from the beach) and started telling everyone to get into the spirit of celebration.

No matter what we suffered with, He wanted us to have a “ball.”

Get it?

At that particular time, I brought my parents to my church to have the elders of the church lay hands on me and ask God to heal me because I was really struggling with my eczema...The reason why I wanted the pastors to pray over me is because I lost the skin off my hands. I remember expecting a somber church service, but instead I was met with flying beach balls to the face. Talk about the weirdest Sunday ever.

I was tired of suffering.

I was upset with my pastor that Sunday because I did not want a shower! I just wanted him to pray over me. I didn’t want to laugh. Crazy how I had to quickly adjust my attitude if I wanted him to pray over me, which I did.

“For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5, NLT).

This verse resonates with me on another level because I am a newlywed. When it was finally my turn to be the bride, I couldn’t wait for my parents, best friends, and mentor to throw me three separate showers. Three! Do your friends and family know how important it is that they weep when you weep and not just rejoice when everything’s going fine?

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15, NIV).

It’s rare to find a true friend who is willing to throw you a shower for suffering. One who is willing to mourn with you when you’re in deep mourning. I am grateful to know a handful of women who have walked me through some very hard trials. Thankfully, they are the same women who can rejoice with me when things are going well. They aren’t jealous or caddy. What about you?

Without the hard times, we wouldn’t desire to encourage others as much.

No message to share.

No heart for ministry.

No compassion for our friends.

Although you may already know this, I hope it is another reminder not to give up hope.

Question: Do you find it easier to rejoice or mourn with others or both? Which are you more comfortable with others doing for you? Why? {Excerpt from Dream Devotional, 2014 © Renee Fisher. All rights reserved.} I share Day #16 from Dream Devotional because I have been realizing a few things about myself lately.

1. I have lost my confidence in my writing abilities. 2. I didn't want to throw a shower for suffering AKA another book launch party in which my book failed.

But then I decided that it's okay to temporarily lose your confidence {that's life}, and take it back! Let's teach each other to rejoice when we don't feel like it, okay?

{Beach Ball Image: https://flic.kr/p/5iQmGe}