In what seemed like the most orchestrated of events, friends of ours put their house (right in the area of town we want) on the market the week we were coming back to Texas. It seemed perfect…except for our prior decision to rent for a year, settle back in, and be truly confident where (in the quite large DFW metroplex) we wanted to be. However, we felt we couldn’t pass this opportunity up, so we scheduled a preview of their home the day before they listed it.
Then we moved.
Grad school continued.
So many moving pieces.
Overwhelm in every way.
We diverted back, in full agreement with one another, to the original plan. Rent for a year.
We let our friends know and changed our plans to a coffee date the day before their house listed. The night before, I told my husband — we need to text them, we need to make sure this isn’t horrible timing for them with the preparation involved in listing their home the very next day. Having just been through it, I knew coffee with friends, however wonderful said friends, may need to wait.
Their written reply was in agreement, and when we saw them in person the next Sunday in church, their verbal confirmation was something I won’t soon forget.
We felt so loved by y’all when you sent that text. Thank you for understanding.
A week ago (seems like years right now), I travelled back to North Carolina, participated in high-stakes in-person graduate school testing that I’d been preparing for over a month, flew back to a week with multiple assignments due with a move scheduled for the following weekend. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and completely exhausted.
I had made plans with some girlfriends before I left because doesn’t that always sound like a great idea before the actual travel takes place? When I returned home, I took one look at my planner and texted the organizer of the event. I’m sorry — there’s no way I can make it. Do you know what she said?
It’s ok. I understand. We’ll catch up soon!
Simple stories, but a powerful lesson. Giving and receiving the gift of true understanding — not manipulative, guilt driven, passive aggressive type of fake “understanding” — is priceless. Genuine words from a loved one, a friend who chooses to imagine themselves in your shoes for a moment, let go of their own agenda or selfish needs, and extend kindness in the form of no strings attached —
So often our schedules dictate our every action, our perfectly planned agendas leave no room for any change of plans, yet we know, from personal experience even, everyone has a story, everyone has something going on behind the carefully applied makeup or starched shirt…
To whom can we give the gift of understanding today?
Maybe it’s a family member who is under a lot of pressure
A friend who is going through a rough season
The stranger with lots of coupons ahead of you in the grocery line
Giving this gift doesn’t require a lot of money or a lot of time — it can be a simple encouraging text, an option for them to rest instead of meet up, a smile and a kind word. You are and can continue to be a difference maker — it takes two words —