Tag Archives: hurting people

Are You Battle-Scarred by Emotional Shrapnel?

As kids, we dreamed about becoming a cowgirl/cowboy, nurse, doctor, astronaut, movie star, rock star, inventor, race car driver or flight attendant. We dreamed about being beautiful, happy, and influential. We dreamed about traveling, building, and buying.

Nothing is impossible in a child’s dream world.

Graduation mottos told us, “If you dream it, you can achieve it.” We were told there was no limit to what we could accomplish. No was dream too high, no ambition out of our reach.

We approached adulthood and our dreams were tempered by reality, but the future was still exciting. We planned our careers, our weddings, our families and our homes.

Reality exploded unexpectedly under our feet when we stumbled into adulthood.

We painfully learned there are factors that limit our dreams, like our health, finances, families, our talents and abilities, and God’s will for our lives.

Adulthood surprised us, and in some ways, disappointed us.  I pictured adulthood as eating my desert first, staying up late reading every night, and spending my money on camera equipment and books. I never dreamed about  thyroid cancer, funerals,  a miscarriage, false accusations by Christians,  or watching an Innocent Man sentenced to jail for eight years.  I have friends who didn’t plan on being single, barren, divorced or dying at a young age.

Unexpected suffering infiltrates our lives and can make it hard to appreciate all the other blessings.


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We’re walking around wounded by shrapnel from situations out of our control.

It doesn’t take too long to end up being battle-scarred and weary.


Do you often wish you could take your words back?  Are you sharp, impatient, or cynical?  Are your words unintentional swords?  Hurting people hurt others.

Is there someone that you don’t hate only because you’re a Christian?  I’ve heard people say “The Lord tells me I have to love them, but I don’t like them.”  Yea, I know what they did, I have those people in my life, too, but we can’t allow them to keep damaging us by reliving their wrongs. 

What gives you nightmares?  What can’t you forgive?  What can’t your forget? What can’t you accept?

Remember how you used to run and show your Mommy your owies?  It’s time to run to your Daddy – your Heavenly Father.  Show Him where it hurts. 

Speak freely to Him in prayer. He knows the words before they’re on your tongue, so you might as well say it to His face, and not behind His back. Bring your brokenness and your tears to Him.  

Have you even felt that loving compassion when a hurting child runs crying into your arms? You do anything to soothe and help them. You never want them to leave your embrace.

Your Heavenly Father has His arms are outstretched and He’s longing for you to come to Him so He can hold you and make your owies all better.


Don’t go it alone. Find other people who have suffered in a similar way and have learned to endure with hope and joy.  They will provide the encouragement, wisdom, and the accountability you need.

The best thing a dear older brother said to me was, “Girl, you gotta’ get over it!”  He loved me enough to point out I was picking a wound that needed to heal.

There are radio programs, books, blogs, and magazines.  Christian ministries are devoted to very specific problems that prove you aren’t alone in your pain. 


Some shrapnel can be removed.  Apologies can be made, medicine can be taken, counseling can be received.  I  avoid women who gossip. I found a few that can be trusted.   I made changes to improve my health. 

I was surprised to learn that most physical shrapnel is left in by the doctors, because removing it can cause more damage to organs and nerves. The body naturally forms a casing of protection around it.

If a situation can’t be removed or changed, it still can be healed. We can’t make people apologize for the damage they’ve caused. We can’t bring the dead back to life. Some diseases can’t be healed and we suffer the side-effects from the disease and/or treatment. You have to accept this and move on in your healing.

The shrapnel should be surrounded by prayer, not just yours. The Word of God will also soften those shards of life exploding in pain around you. Turn TO Him, not AWAY.


Not many of us are living the lives we planned, but that doesn’t mean we can’t life a  fulfilled and purpose-filled live. Happiness is a choice, not a circumstance. 

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Circumstances  bring us to a place where the Lord wanted us. A move 1400 miles away brought me four blocks from a Christian writers group and great medical facilities  – two things I didn’t know I’d need.

Cancer taught me much about my suffering Savior and gave me a great understanding and compassion for others.  I don’t regret what the Lord allowed in my life.

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Happiness is letting Him heal your emotional shrapnel.

Crabby Cashiers and Testosterone Trucks

People aren’t always aware of how they affect others with their attitudes and actions.

I was standing in the line of a very crabby cashier at Wal-Mart. Usually the people were friendly and helpful, so I was surprised.

I was also a little offended.

After all, I fumed to myself, they get paid to work with customers. She HAS to be nice to the customers. But she wasn’t.

I thought of a stinging remark to bring her to her senses, but the Lord put grace in my heart and tongue. He rebuked me before I could rebuke her.

Instead, when it was my turn, I smiled at her and asked her how her day was.

She almost started crying and told me she was leaving work early to go to a funeral. She had another one the next day. They were both unexpected deaths of people close to her.

I listened while she rang me up and spoke of the pain that caused the bitterness of her heart and mind. I told her I would pray for her and she reacted as if she wanted to hug me.

The Lord taught me something in dealing with Ms. Crabby Pants. There’s usually a reason people are crabby, and I needed to be more graceful in finding that reason and help bear that burden. Hurting people hurt people.

Fast forward about several years.

I was driving down the street, extremely distracted. I accidentally made a left turn in front of a huge pickup truck when it was his turn to go.

It was one of those testosterone trucks, you know with the huge tires, the noisy muffler, the fog lights – all the bells and whistles a man embellishes with when he wears his testosterone on the outside.

It wasn’t a close call, he’d barely touched his accelerator.  He just didn’t get to go first. A mom in a minivan beat him through the intersection.

He reared his huge arms in fists and shook them at me. He honked and yelled furiously. If I had gotten out of my car, I’m pretty sure he would have hit me. It took him less than five seconds to go from idling to furious.

I had just experienced five seconds that affected my life, too.

My doctor had just said,


As this man abused me from the comfort of his testosterone truck, I sadly wondered if his reaction would have been different if he knew what I had just heard- a diagnosis of thyroid cancer – that I had a good reason to be a little distracted.

Probably not.

I was very thankful I hadn’t hurt anybody, that it wasn’t  a serious mistake, but it changed my view on other drivers.

Some are just jerks, no doubt.

But, you never know when someone  on the road driving stupid because
     ~they’re driving to a funeral
     ~they j
ust heard bad news
   ~had a medical issue.

Fill in the blanks.

Then fill your heart with grace, mercy and understanding.

Oh yea, and if they’re pulling out in front of you, make sure you hit your breaks.

Then, instead of shaking your fists, pray for them. You just never know how you could affect them.



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