12 Nov Guest Post: Trials Bring Joy
I am so excited to have Chelsea guest posting on the blog today. She is a solid women and has been such a sweet friend to me over the years. Based on her words and actions, you would have no idea what she has gone through over the years while waiting to birth her own children. She shares the light of Christ so beautifully and is such an encouragement to so many, including me. I know her post is going to bless each of you today. Thank you Chelsea for sharing a word with us today!
When Caroline first asked me to guest post for her, my answer couldn’t come fast enough – YES! Caroline is such a blessing in my life, breathing His words to me through her writing. I am honored to be able to share my heart with her readers today, so thank you Caroline for the opportunity!
When praying on what to write about, a lesson that I am learning immediately came to mind. The lesson was inspired by a great message given by Pastor Craig Groeschel about social media. I scribbled down notes through the entire podcast and pieced together this paragraph below with my takeaways:
“Clicking is not caring. Caring demands action. Compassion means doing something. Compassion interrupts. Clicking is clean. Compassion costs something. It’s messy. Compassion changes lives.”
Ooof da. (Sorry, I live in Minnesota, that’s what we say.) These words spoke to me in such a powerful way. In this world of social media with its shared pains and journeys, it becomes so easy for us to respond to friends sharing their hearts by a single button click. “Like”. We may even throw in a brief “praying for you!”. Your grandma passed away? You had a miscarriage? You lost your job? “So sorry! I’m here if you need anything!” But of course no one asks for anything because we don’t live in a world where we ask for or accept help. We suck it up, we cry in bed, we tiredly drag ourselves to the next meeting/class/event and wonder if anyone even remembers that you shared that your dog is sick or that your aunt is in the hospital.
Jesus calls us to care and caring demands action. Caring moves beyond what is convenient. It moves beyond the quick double tap and it writes a card. It picks up the phone and makes a call, with the genuine hopes that it doesn’t go to voicemail (oh the horror!). It doesn’t just comment “if you need dinner, let me know”; caring drops off a meal on the front steps. Caring isn’t easy because it requires a sacrifice on my part. Sacrifice is HARD. But here is what I am learning – compassion, caring actions, and loving attitudes creates a change in me and affects me even more than it might affect the person I am reaching out to. When we open our hearts and let God love others through us, there is an incredible feeling of fulfillment that spreads throughout your body, all the way down to your toes. God uses BOTH sides of caring to do His work in and through us.
The reality is we can’t go around making meals for everyone in need, but we can start by listening to that small gut feeling (the Holy Spirit’s prompting) to do something when we are called. It may be dropping off a coffee at your friend’s door after seeing that her son has been sick and she was up all night. It may be that text message that acknowledges their hardship and checks in a few days later to see how they are doing.
I recently heard Shauna Niequest speak and appreciated this reminder: Do what you can do but only out of love. If you can’t do it out of love and your actions begin to run on another fuel like anxiety, chaos, or bitterness, don’t do it. Maybe that means caring for one person instead of six.
Sometimes I feel like I have become a little numb to the pain and hardships of others. Facebook, Instagram, and blogs are covered with people struggling. I can easily to glance over the pain as I scroll but then this verse from John 13 comes to mind: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The point is clear – others know we are marked by Him when we show compassion, when we care, when we do something when it’s not convenient and when we allow Him to work through us. This means loving with our hearts and not out of obligation.
Would you join me in practicing care and compassion today? Would you join me in moving past a simple click and instead, search for ways to be more authentic and genuine with our actions? I certainly am convicted and praying for each of us as we work to become His hands and feet.
Let’s connect on social media! I blog over at www.trialsbringjoy.com and share my life with you through pictures on Instagram at @chels819. I would love to “meet” you!
CharityPosted at 06:46h, 12 November
This is such a convicting post. I really like what Chelsea says about reducing your number from a large one to a small one so that you can care and show compassion. This is something I really need to work on. I desired to be more present and care for friends like I used to. Pray for me.
CHELSEAPosted at 18:00h, 14 November
Charity, thank for reading and leaving this love! I too struggle with making sure that the circle of people I am providing love to is one that I can reasonably do so to. Praying for you my friend!
Mia @ MakeMeUpMiaPosted at 11:56h, 12 November
Gosh those exact words hit me like a ton of bricks when Craig said them in church! Something I’m working on for sure.
CHELSEAPosted at 18:01h, 14 November
Thanks for reading my post! They are still echoing with me! The whole Selfie series was a homerun wasn’t it!? 🙂
Morgan BrooksPosted at 12:59h, 12 November
YES! this, this is awesome! I am soo guilty of this! I even often make excuses: I’m just too busy to write more…. I don’t have the time… They don’t read the comments anyway… What difference will my little comment make out of the 50 they receive. Thank you for sharing Chelsea! This is excellent!
CHELSEAPosted at 18:01h, 14 November
And today I was blessed with your comment, so thank you for taking the time to leave one Morgan! I am so grateful for words and affirmation. You are a blessing!!!!
DawnPosted at 13:01h, 12 November
Oh, I Love this! I do some of it in my ministry for the homeless, but I need to make sure I’m doing it with my own friends and family also. I’ve watched several people do this for my Sister this week after she became very sick on Saturday and it’s been a wonderful thing to see. Knowing that so many care more about her well being rather than what she is getting done at work has made me so grateful that others are watching out for her (she’s very stubborn, lol).
CHELSEAPosted at 18:04h, 14 November
I am so guilty of becoming more invested in the “need” population and forgetting that the ones I care about dearly are often in need too. It is hard to see beyond where we feel called and remember that we are called to our immediate circle often! I am thankful for your message and love your heart to serve the homeless. You’re a blessing!
Erika B.Posted at 16:14h, 12 November
What a wonderful post- something I’ve really been trying to work on recently. And I feel like the ‘call them with genuine hope that it doesn’t just go to voicemail’?!?! Hahahaha I think you must be reading my mind or something. I haven’t QUITE made it there yet, but someday! 😉 Thank you for this post!
CHELSEAPosted at 18:05h, 14 November
I am not quite there yet either so you are not alone! I certainly have my days and moments. 🙂 Thanks for reading and blessing me with your validation that I am not alone! 🙂
JojoPosted at 19:56h, 12 November
I’ve never been a fan of social media outlets, i.e Facebook, Instagram, for those same reasons. It’s so easy to “pretend” to care or like someone when ur heart isn’t in it. Trying my best to give to those who need it. Great post!
CHELSEAPosted at 18:06h, 14 November
Thank you for reading Jojo and sharing your heart! It can be very easy to lose the heart behind the care and I strive (and fail often) to work on being intentional and genuine. One day at a time! 🙂
Laura @ Making Baby ProvencePosted at 16:11h, 13 November
I thought this was an awesome sermon when I first heard it. However, today, it is even more timely for me. I have a friend that found out she’s miscarrying last night. I will be taking something to her house as soon as I get off work. Thank you for a perfect reminder, Chelsea!
CHELSEAPosted at 18:07h, 14 November
You are a big blessing to your friend! My heart just swelled reading this – both out of compassion and heartache for your friend and also because your actions will make a significant impact on her. Thank you for commenting and know your friend is in my prayers, as are as you navigate how to be a friend to her during this. <3
JaclynPosted at 20:55h, 13 November
Thank you, Chelsea! As I drove home yesterday, I remember specifically saying that I was no longer going to be fueled by anxiety and your comment confirmed exactly what I was feeling. I’m over the ego trips, rushed behavior and anxiety-driven agendas that are laced with impossible expectations. I choose to be real and genuine and like you said, if it means carrying for one instead of six, it’s worth it. The older I get the more I understand the phrase, “even if it’s just for one person!” When I look back over my life and the times where took only one person to care and help me through a hard time or even if I was fully committed to mentoring and loving someone through their hard time, my world has been radically changed!! Although social media seems to be creating a lot of “unsocial” behaviors, I am so thankful for positive blogs and friendships that are going above and beyond likes, clicks and comments – thank you Caroline for showing the love of Jesus to me and being that encouragement these past few months! And thank you, Chelsea for your timely word and challenging us to go above and beyond our comfort zones and truly being the hands and feet of Jesus that we are called to be.
CHELSEAPosted at 18:09h, 14 November
Jaclyn! What a beautiful response and reply! I feel like your words and lessons ministered to me today and I am thankful that you shared your learning experience. Praying that the Lord helps us get “over the ego trips, rushed behavior and anxiety-driven agendas that are laced with impossible expectations.” – AMEN to that! <3
JaclynPosted at 17:58h, 20 November
Thanks, Chelsea!!! Learning more everyday!!! Thanks for the encouragement!
kaileyPosted at 14:57h, 15 November
so convicting. i have been thinking about this for days now. if we are getting real. i have been on behind for almost a week now and wondering this exact thing. many people have said things like ‘i’m praying for you’, ‘feel better’, “let me know if you need anything’…. only a handful of people actually DID something 🙂 this made me realize that next time i see someone struggling on IG or my blog or FB i MUST DO something! Even if it’s a little something 🙂 I am loving this reminder. you are such a dear sweet soul… now i’m really wanting you over on my blog :)) you rock.
RhondaPosted at 12:44h, 25 November
THANK-YOU for sharing this today!!
Kyle KroegerPosted at 03:20h, 12 February
My name is Kyle Kroeger and I’m a travel blogger for my site ViaTravelers.com. I’m looking to collaborate with other bloggers. I recently quit my job to become a travel blogger full-time (eek!). Exciting and nerve-racking so I’m looking to grow together with other travel bloggers as well. I specialize in SEO-oriented topics that will drive traffic, making it a win-win for both of us.
Are you accepting guest posts? If so, I can send a few topics that would fit your site’s existing articles. In exchange, I’m happy to have you guest post on my site as well.