Speaking Truth in Love …

Many eons ago, when Evan was about 9 months old, we had a doctor evaluate his vision.  He was a specialist.  He walked into the hospital room, did a quick evaluation on my son and announced to me and my husband, “He is blind.  Call my office and make an appointment.”  And proceeded to walk out.  This kind of story isn’t rare in the special needs community.  I think it’s because our kids see so many doctors it’s inevitable that we will run into some that haven’t cultivated their people skills or bedside manor.  He was speaking the truth.  He just wasn’t speaking the truth in love.

I am all for speaking the truth.  I went through a time in my life when I was lied to often by someone I loved and trusted.  There is nothing like being on the receiving end of a lie, especially from a trusted source.  It will change everything you believe about that person from that point on.  I wonder if even the most skilled liar realizes that their dishonesty is usually somewhat obvious to someone who has been lied to continually in the past?  Gaining that trust back is a long road.  That is if the trust is ever gained back.  So I would always rather hear the truth even if it is painful.  

But there is a way to speak truth without hurting someone.  Speaking truth in love ~  Bob Goff just put something out on Twitter that said, “Love is kind.  Treat each other like we’re going to be spending eternity together.”  I love following Bob on Twitter.  He reminds me in a fun way that one of the most important things Jesus said to us is to love.  Love the Lord & love our neighbor.  So when I am speaking to others my words should be expressing just that … love.  Even my painful truth should be first expressing … love.

Every so often I find myself wanting to give someone a piece of my truth in love.  But if there is one thing a special needs parent receives plenty of it’s unsolicited advice.  So I am learning to keep my mouth shut during the times that God may not be giving me the opportunity to share my truth in love.  Because my truth may be all about me speaking and not so much about the other person hearing that truth.  

I’m learning just how much words matter.  God will give me the opportunity to speak truth if he so chooses.  And if he does, I need to remember to speak that truth in love. 

Bible Verse I’m Loving Today: 
Proverbs 18:21

21Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

And on side note: You know that Evan is obviously NOT BLIND!  We did see a reputable doctor that first time.  And after that visit we received a second opinion from another reputable doctor.  (With better people skills.)  That doctor saw the same issues.  Seventeen years later Evan just picked at a single hair growing off of my husbands forehead. (We all have that one dang hair, don’t lie!  Except me. I pluck that sucker before it ever sees the light of day.)  But he had no problem seeing that one hair. And while he does have some vision issues, heck, so do I! No comment from the husband, please.

Pray big prayers.  Pray bold prayers.  God thinks so much bigger than we do. 

My Favorite Book …

Annie Downs has been doing this great series about her 31 favorite books for every young woman.  She’s continuing the 31 days by asking others to link up with their favorite books for young women.  So I figured I would chime in on this because being a mom of only boys this of course makes me an expert on girls.  Whaaat?  Yes, when there are only boys in the house, the main subject is often … GIRLS.

My favorite book is no secret to those that know me.  And I would recommend it not only to young women, but everyone.  It is Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.  It’s the story of a man, Louis Zamperini, that not only survived World War II, but survived horrific treatment as a prisoner of war.  This book told me things about WWII that I wish I had known when my grandfather was talking about his experiences.  It should be used as a text book in schools. I learned more about that war from this book than I ever learned in history class.  But not only did it tell of his war experience but of the post traumatic stress he endured after returning home.  The PTSD caused him and his family problems that they could not overcome … Until one night when he met Christ through Billy Graham.  By putting his faith in Jesus he was brought out of his PTSD and his family was transformed.  And now how many others have been transformed by his opening up and letting us into his life?  Angelina Jolie was at least so moved by it she’s making a movie from this book.  I wonder what it told her about Christ?

The young women that I have known through my boys are smart, courageous, and adventuresome.  And they always loved a challenging read.  I think this requires a girl that is up to that kind of book.  But it also gives a lesson in our country’s history that I never received from textbooks.  It is a real life story of what went on in our country.  It puts faces and names to those things we learn in school.  And it puts Christ in the bigger picture that our public schools just aren’t able to show us.  

But what I love is how Louis continued to tell others of the transforming power of Christ.  How it was Christ that changed his addictions, his wounds of war and how through Christ it was the only way he was able to forgive the wrongs that were done to him.  These are such great life lessons for all of us, not just young women.

My favorite book for young women is Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.