Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Kind Word

I experienced one of the most horrifying and sorrowful days of my life on July 20, 1998. I've written about it before, but for a recap, it was the day we lost Sydney Michel.

I knew before the doctor came into the room that I was miscarrying. (You just know these things.) He stood there and said, "Honey, I'm sorry." He hugged me, and he was.

The nurse fetched Steve and told him before he came in to see me. Steve held my hand and said, "We'll get through this. I love you and I'm so sorry." And we did.

I called Mother from the doctor's office before I was wheeled to the car and told her of our loss and that I was headed to the hospital. She said she loved me and would meet or beat me there. And she did.

I called Daddy and we simply cried together. It helped.

One nurse at the hospital said, "Well, look at it this way, at least you know you can get pregnant." I never conceived again.

Another nurse said, "Sweetie, I know it hurts. The hole in your heart will heal but it's going to take a lot of time." It did and it did.

Another nurse said, "I had 3 miscarriages and now have 2 healthy boys." I never conceived again.

Momma said, "Baby, I'm so sorry. I don't know what else to do but hug you." And she did.

The doctor said, "You'll get pregnant again, don't worry." I didn't and I did.

Steve's dad said, "Boy, I bet that taught you a lesson. I bet you'll think twice before trying something like that again." We thought twice before we told him of any crisis to come in the future and repaired the whole in the wall Steve punched.

Later, my grandmother said, "I know this is going to hurt, but I hope you can be happy for them. Jimmy and Susan are going to have twins." It did and I was. If I hadn't just had a hysterectomy I would have turned cartwheels. Really! I know what she went through to conceive and the heartache of infertility she felt. She, too, had lost (twins) to a tubal pregnancy around the time I miscarried a year before.

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
~ Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
~ Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)

There is tremendous power in the words we speak. We are to use our words wisely.

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."
~ James 3:17 (NIV)

Whether you have been the recipient of kind or harsh, thoughtless words, you know the power I'm speaking of. If you spoken them, you know this, too. You can't take them back once they leave your lips. We've all spoken in error. I once was the Princess of putting my foot in my mouth. I try my hardest to think before I speak now.

Simply put, we need to think about what we say. In times of crises, words are of particular importance. Their echoes are endless. The kind words echo in my heart; the words that stung are remembered as well, but they no longer hurt.

Out of crises, we need to speak kind words to our family, friends, and strangers. We never know what a person might be going through and our words can build the up and encourage them. They may carry them through and make a difference. I love hearing kindhearted words. I heard a few today. "Thank you so much." "You really handled that well." I spoke a few today. "Oh, no! I'm so sorry. I will be praying for him." "Is there anything I can do to help? Let me know if you need me and I'll be right there."

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." ~ Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

The Hebrew word for kind is towb, which means:

1) good, pleasant, agreeable
a) pleasant, agreeable (to the senses)
b) pleasant (to the higher nature)
c) good, excellent (of its kind)
d) good, rich, valuable in estimation
e) good, appropriate, becoming
f) better (comparative)
g) glad, happy, prosperous (of man's sensuous nature)
h) good understanding (of man's intellectual nature)
i) good, kind, benign
j) good, right (ethical)
n m
2) a good thing, benefit, welfare
a) welfare, prosperity, happiness
b) good things (collective)
c) good, benefit
d) moral good
n f
3) welfare, benefit, good things
a) welfare, prosperity, happiness
b) good things (collective)
c) bounty

When we speak kind words to others we lift them up. Our phrases need not be long and rambling. A quick, "Thank you so much!" or a "Great job today!" is awesome to hear. I love to hear and use, "I'm here for you and praying for you. What can I do right now to help?" Another good, short phrase is "I'm so sorry, I'm praying God's best for your situation."

I'll never forget the day I heard both kind and unkind words. Some people just don't know what to say in times like that. I give them the benefit of the doubt. Others know and their words are healing balm. Still others know and slice you to the core.

The echoes are truly endless.

As I wrote in another post, I believe that showing brotherly kindness should be one of our daily goals.

"Be ye kind, one to another..." Ephesians 4:32

B - be on the lookout for ways to be kind

Y - yield to others, putting their needs before your own

K - kindle a friendship out of kindness to another

O - open your heart to love the unloveable

T - take time to ask God who needs an extra dose of kindness today

A - anonymous kindness is fun - don't take the first parking place you see closest to the door, pay someone's way behind you at the movies, pay for a stranger's meal at a restaurant, mail encouraging cards to someone who is down, get really random with it.

From texting someone a Bible verse at the beginning of their day to leaving an anonymous note saying, "You're the best!", even to praying for those we can't actually reach out to because of personal reasons, BYKOTA can work. Like most things, kindness begins with prayer. I know I don't always feel like being kind (I am human like that), but prayer can get me there! To me, random acts of kindness or anonymous acts of kindness are the best. I enjoy that so much!

Susan at Forever His is hosting In "Other" Words Tuesday today. I hope you'll participate! Join her by clicking on the button below.


MiPa said...

Your post brings back so many memories of words said when we had our miscarriages--words that hurt and words that healed. Word do matter and you highlight that beautifully. Thank you!

Karen said...

Wow, thanks for sharing that was great. Words are interesting at what they are capable of doing. They can heal or hurt, help or knock down further. Praise the Lord for kind words when we need them the most.

LAURIE said...

Laurie Ann, I am so proud of you for being the overcomer that you are! Sometimes when in doubt what to say, we should just not say anything and just show love to those that are hurting. I am so glad that you have leaned upon God for His comfort and His forgiveness. -Blessings, Laurie

Joyfull said...

There is a grace and beauty beyond words when through our own pain and trials, we bring enlightenment and encouragement to others. Thank you for sharing through your pain. Our family was also touched by the pain of three miscarriages and I deeply understand the helpful and hurtful words. That was a lesson I took from those heartaches, speak wisely, if you don't know what to say, just show you care, "I'm praying for you", I'm here for you", etc. Your post was a wonderful encouragement for us to daily be kind and uplifting to each other. I am deeply blessed and encouraged today through you!

Tracy said...

Amen my friend. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I pray the Lord keeps a guard on my mouth...that I may never intentionally inflict pain, but rather to lift, encourage and show love & kindness. As you've demonstrated...there is great power in what we say and do for those who are hurting.


lori said...

HERE, right HERE is where you stopped me in my tracks...
"Whether you have been the recipient of kind or harsh, thoughtless words, you know the power I'm speaking of. If you spoken them, you know this, too. You can't take them back once they leave your lips. We've all spoken in error."

We ALL have said and received...and wow...it's our choice what comes out of our mouths.I walked that infertility road and I recall easily the comments amidst the long, dark days...I learned so much through that experience in terms of what to say to others when there is nothing to say...

I pray with you that I can be an encourager and an exhorter! Painful words wound worse than blades....

Beautiful post Laurie Ann!

Esthermay said...

I do not like Steve's dad.
But what an excellent "play-by-play" of people's words in action and the echo they leave. Thank you for the emotions you had to endure to share this with us.
I love today's quote and always enjoy your ability to share both personally and in a way that teaches -- you need to publish some of these acronyms!

~esthermay @The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

bp said...

You wrote this so beautifully. Thank you for sharing this today too. It quickly captured my attention...today (Jan. 13) is the anniversary of my miscarriage.

Thank you for the reminder about our words.

micey said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and your life stories. Be blessed <3

Susan said...

To my sweet Laurie Ann,

I'd like my words to echo in your mind over and over,


I love your heart and your willingness to be so real, so honest. You love Jesus so much and your walk of freedom and healing is so encouraging to me.

Thanks for sharing today. I always look forward to your posts.

Thanks for being such a blessing to us all♥

Michele Williams said...

This post brings back memories of my miscarriage in 1981, my daughters 3 miscarriages, and other loved ones... It is so comforting to know we will see them in Heaven one day! What a day that will be!

Denise said...

Amen. Bless you dear.