This is a guest post by my wife Christina Dodson. She works at First Choice Pregnancy Solutions where they provide free resources to women with unplanned pregnancies including counseling, medical resources, as well as post-abortion care. Most importantly they fight for the lives of the unborn. You can also follow her on Twitter.
Life is hard. It just is; there is no denying that. And we are all out there trying and striving after our dream life. Struggling and scrambling to get all our ducks in a row so that we can live this life we have dreamed up in our heads. A life where we have all the “this” and “that’s” that we feel like we need in order to be happy, an ideal life we feel like is obtainable but just out of our reach where there is 100% contentment and peace.
This world is dark. I feel like at any given time there are situations going on that tear at my heart whether it’s pain in my own life or a close loved one’s around me. There is no escaping it. Situations that feel impossible and are wrapped in sadness, confusion, and anger. There are marriages that are crumbling, children that are being neglected and abused, widows that are suffering daily from their great loss, and disease that is slowly killing.
But when you are consumed in sadness there is no better thing to do than to love and serve others. If you’re having a hard time getting over yourself or your situation then I recommend looking for opportunities to serve the broken and needy. There is nothing like serving someone who is truly broken and in need to smack the silly out of your own selfishness.
Every day at my job I talk to women who are in some seriously terrifying situations. Women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and now their parents are kicking them out of house and home until they go have an abortion, pregnant young teens who find themselves without any support, single moms who can’t afford to feed their children and the father walked out on them, women who are depressed and anxious about an abortion they had 3 years ago. When I talk to these women and they share their stories with me, all the sudden my problems that once felt so big, shrink in comparison.
Seeing someone who is truly in need gives us perspective to think outside ourselves. And I believe that serving others in need brings healing. It really is more of a blessing to give than to receive. Serving someone else brings joy and satisfaction. It gives us purpose and love.
That’s one of glorious things about God’s commandments- they aren’t just rules to keep us out of trouble but rather obedience can bring great joy and satisfaction. Because there is goodness in doing what we are created to do!
So yes in your sadness cry, mourn, allow yourself to feel what you feel, rest, and pray, but also- muster your strength and go out into the world and serve. In your own pain don’t numb yourselves to the pain of others. Look for others who are hurting and in need and find ways to serve them. Be intentional about loving others well and looking to the interests of others.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:4-8