When We Are Misunderstood

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?We have this deep need to be understood. To be approved of. To have others relate and agree with us.  

We desire others to understand what we say. What we do. And why we do what we do.

Being misunderstood is hard.

It is not fun to be questioned. To be misunderstood. To have wrong motives aligned to us.

Yet there was one who was misunderstood. Who was questioned. Who had wrong motives assigned to him.

 

Feeling misunderstood? We have company.

 

It was Jesus.

His disciples questioned him. And even wondered who he really was.

The crowds wanted him to perform and heal. They wanted him to be their leader and free them from the Romans.

The religious leaders accused him of blasphemy, being a sinner, and leading others astray. They questioned him to trap him. They took no delight in his healings of others. They eventually get so jealous and angry they plotted to kill him.    

No one understood his true purpose. His real motive for coming into the world as a small baby and then dying as a man.

No one understood his teachings and the impact they would have centuries later.

No one understood his upside-down parables about the last being first and the first being last. The beatitudes about the blessed. The stories of the kingdom of heaven.

No one understood why he hung out with fishermen, talked to prostitutes, ate with tax payers, cried over sinners, or noticed the demon possessed.

No one understood why he stood in front of Pilate and didn’t defend himself.

No one understood why he was washing his disciple’s feet and handing out bread and wine.

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?No one understood why he would even talk to a Samaritan woman at the well. And then spend a few days in her town.

No one understood the comforter he promised to send. Or the mansion he promised to ready for them.

No one understood why he would invite his betrayer to eat his last supper with him.

No one understood how he came to do the father’s will and not his own. Came to serve others, and not himself. Came to do the father’s will, not his own.

No one understood why he delayed in visiting Lazarus.

No one understood why he died on the cross.

No one understood he would be resurrected.

No one understood Jesus when he was walking, breathing, healing, and praying on earth.

Only later, after his resurrection and the giving of the spirit, would the disciples begin to understand and unravel the mysteries that surrounded Jesus.

During his life, Jesus was misunderstood.

Even today, he is often misunderstood.

When you are feeling misunderstood. 

 

We want to be understood. Accepted. Have the approval of others.

But we won’t always. There will be times we are misunderstood. Times we are questioned, and our motives seen as wrong.

This is all a part of life.

May we at these times remember Jesus and how he was misunderstood. And then remember how because he came to earth as a human, he fully understands us. Everything about you, from your hairs on your head to your faults. And he loves you. Loves you more than you can imagine.  

Jesus understands you. Gets you. Approves of you.

He did not come to earth to be understood, but to help us. Save and redeem us. And because he lived as a human, because he created us, because he so tenderly and exquisitely cares for us, he understands us better than we understand ourselves.  

With him, we are always understood.

Let us in thankfulness, turn around and seek to understand him.

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?

Happy Easter. He is Risen!

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: When do you feel misunderstood?

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

 Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?

When Words Fail

Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.Sometimes words fail us.

I am telling hubby goodbye. Sitting in the car, I roll down the window and look at him standing in the driveway.

He rests his hand on the edge of the window as I squint up at him.

I am leaving for a week. Heading south.

On the kitchen counter lies the itinerary. The calendar. The notes and to-do’s.

He has prayed for safe travels. We have small talked. Nothing to do but say goodbye and drive, yet I linger.

I look up at him and my eyes tear.  Thoughts race across my brain. What if I die while traveling? Would he know how much I love him?

Suddenly I want to tell him how much I love him. How much he means to me. That I don’t regret walking beside him. Having his children. The life we have lived.

That I am sorry for all the times I have gotten mad at him. Not laughed at his jokes. Not smiled back. Doubted him. Not respected him. Argued with him. Held grudges.

We have been through so much together. Vacations. Births. Deaths. Moving. Accidents. Job changes. School. Trials. Sickness. Home projects. Celebrations. Little and much. This and that.

This man I have hiked the continental divide with. Watched die. Sheet rocked and painted with. Gardened with. Hugged and cuddled. Dated. Whale watched and snorkeled with. Traveled with. This man loves me, faults and all, and desires the best for me. He encourages me to be a better person. Challenges me to be more.

This man I eat, sleep, and do life with. How do I tell him I love him? How do I let him know what is running through my heart and mind as I look at him before I leave?

Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.Words are complicated and fail us.

 

We have one word that means love. And we use it both casually and seriously. I love tea. I love my child. Both are conveying a fondness, but one is a deeper fondness than the other. Yet now as I look at him, words fail me. Fail to convey my thoughts and emotions.

I guess this is why we have poetry. Metaphors. Songs. They try and communicate love into some picture or words we can connect with. Understand. They try and explain the mixed-up emotions and hard to describe feelings we get swamped upon.

And yet on some level they too fail.

Think about the love, the strong emotions you have for your mate, parents, children, friends, pets, country, places, even physical things. Can you really communicate your love for them in words?

Every year my dad would come and spend several weeks with us, and when it came time to leave, I remember having the same feeling. Wanting to tell him how much he meant. Wanting to tell him how much I loved and appreciated him. And yet, I could not. My thoughts just did not translate into words. And so, we hugged extra hard and extra long and then said we love you to each other. He drove away with tears in his eyes and I stood waving with tears in my eyes.

Because words sometimes fail us.

The same is true with God. The bible explains his love for us. Shows his love for us. And even uses words and examples to convey his love for us (like him longing to gather us under his wings as a mother hen gathers her chicks; a shepherd leaving the 99 sheep to go off to search for the one lost sheep; a father running to meet his prodigal son), but in the end the words fall short and fail to really convey the deep, abiding, unconditional, and overflowing love he has for us.

We like to say that God loved us so much he sent his only son to die for us. But even that picture of love fails. How can we even comprehend it. What it really means. How much love that action really communicates. We can understand a little, but not fully.

Because words sometimes fail to express all of what one is meaning to say.

Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.

When words fail to express our feelings and emotions.

 

We hadn’t been married for that long when one day on a long drive, hubby said, “I love you enough to die for you.”

What does he mean? I wondered.

No one had told me this before. The words were scary. The concept scary. I wanted him alive, not dead. And then the big question back.  Did I love him enough to die for him? I wasn’t sure I would when the pinch was tightened to reality.

“I hope it never comes to that,” I said.

“Do you understand what I am saying?” he asked.

“No.”

“That if it came down to it I would give up my life, so you could live. I would let you out of the burning house or the sinking ship first. I would sacrifice myself for you.”

I was beginning to feel guilt. I didn’t deserve that. Why couldn’t we both live?

It took years, but I eventually began to understand what he was trying to say. He was trying to tell me how much he loved me. How devoted he was. That in a pinch he would see to me over himself.

Greater love has no man then he lay down his life for another.

His words were failing him and so he used this picture from the bible.

When we have big feelings, emotions, and thoughts, words often fail us.

Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.

Sometimes we need more than words.

 

We rest in the driveway a few long moments. Just looking at one another.

“You better get going,” he says. “You have a long drive.”

I nod.

This deep desire to tell hubby what he means overwhelms me. And so, I say the only thing that comes to mind. “I love you,” I say, and hope he reads my heart.

“I love you too.”

My eyes tear a little.

And I know he understands.

Because his eyes tear a little too.

In the end, maybe we both know a little of what we are each thinking. Even without words.  Because when you love someone, sometimes you can communicate in other ways.

Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: When do words fail you?

Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.

The Important Thing is Getting There

 

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Last week I drove to Mississippi to visit my sister. I pass mile after mile of unplanted farmland. Slice across and down the state. Crisscross the corner of another state. Cross the bridge and drive over the Huckleberry Finn River, which is overflowing its banks. I touch Tennessee. I am on I-55 heading into Memphis.

I have been traveling since about 9 AM and now it is about 3:30PM. A podcast is playing in the background and I am confident and relaxed. Maybe to confident. I have driven this way before.

Stop and go traffic welcomes me at Memphis. Not the warm Southern greeting I was hoping for. I grip the steering wheel a little tighter. Nervousness tingles my spine.

Even though I fought this kind of traffic for years in Seattle, I dislike these driving conditions. My Worry-O-Meter rises, and my sweat glands awaken.

I inch along, top out at 27 MPH, then back to a stop.

At this point I should have turned the podcast off, but I was to the exciting point. Prying my hands off the steering wheel would have also taken too much effort. So, it continued.

I followed the car ahead of me, feeling like a lemming with no exit.

I was concentrating so hard on staying in one piece and remaining calm when some car zipped in front of me, leaving me a whopping three inches to stop, that I forgot where I was going.

You ever do that? You stop and can’t remember where your body was taking you or why? You are heading into the living room, but why? You are at the grocery store, but for what?

Hopefully it is not only me.

But there I was concentrating on surviving this traffic and getting through Memphis, that I forgot where I was going and I not thinking ahead to what road I needed to be on. Yup, I forgot I needed to exit right to stay on I-55 and get myself out of Elvis Town.

Suddenly the Interstate divides and I follow it to the left. I wonder where I am. I start watching road signs. They say I am on I-44. Hummm. Maybe I-44 turns into I-55. Maybe I-44 is also I-55.

I start wondering if I am on the right road. It is now 4:15 and Memphis has been taking a lot longer to get through than I remember.

Miles pass, and I realize that I am not on the right road.  I work my way to the left lane. Weaving through the slow-going traffic.

I exit, stop the podcast, and turn on the speaking map lady that lives in my phone.

Turns out if I get back on I-44 and keep going the direction I was, I will get to my sister’s house by 7:30. Ugg.

I get back on the road. By now the traffic has cleared a little bit and I am able to get above 30 MPH. Then I notice a sign, “Downtown Memphis next exit.”

I read it once. Then twice, thinking I read it wrong. Nope. Even though I passed downtown Memphis an hour ago, here I am passing it again. Now how did that happen, I wonder?

And then I realize, I have circled the whole city. Taken the scenic loop around the city. And lo-and-behold, in ten minutes when I pass the I-55 exit for the second time, this time I take it. No way I am going to loop around again.

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.By the time the suburbs are behind me and farmland is stretching out in neat rows left and right of me, I am laughing at myself. At my scenic detour. At my over confidence. At my lack of attention.

But you know what?

I arrived at my destination. And without any further mishaps, which is a small miracle in itself.

 

Life has detours. Embrace the detours. 

 

Because I will let you in on a little secret. Things like this happen to me on long road trips with just myself. Not every time. But with enough regularity, that I just have to laugh and enjoy the extra unplanned scenery.

I arrived a bit later than planned. Later than my sister planned. But all was good.

Because this happens. My road trips have detours. I end up seeing more than I had planned. Arriving a little later than planned.

And this happens not just on road trips, but in real life. I am constantly having detours in life. I look around and I wonder, how did I get here? Where am I? Or, where was I headed.

I need to remember not to be surprised. Detours are a part of life. They happen. And more often then not.

Don’t worry. Just repoint your steering wheel and get back on track.

Don’t get embarrassed. Upset. Worried. Angry. It doesn’t help. Just use your energy to get back on the right path.

And here’s the secret. Look around. You are not the only one that gets stuck in a detour or heads the wrong way. Circles the same real-estate. Or wonders just where you are lost at. It happens to everyone. So, you are in good company.

It is not so much that you took a detour that is important. It is that you arrive at your destination.

Know what your destination is. Remember, you will get derailed. When this happens, just readjust your direction and head once again for your destination.

Do it again. And again. Keep going. You will eventually get there.

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What detours have you been on?

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.