Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Privacy Doesn't Give Permission to Assume

Once, I was visiting some new dear friends and the wife was showing me their basement with all of their new baby furniture. She was not pregnant, and they didn't have kids. I was confused and asked, "Why would you have this stuff?" Later I learned they were traveling 400 miles away for infertility treatments. I was horrified at my behavior. Still am.

Once (okay, multiple times) I was angry with my husband because I assumed he had forgotten things I had asked him to do. Instead of asking, I accused him, only to find out he'd already done it.

Once, I assumed some online behavior of mine was justifiable, until it started to hurt people --and my own soul.

Once, I thought not very nice things about a woman in my ward, only to find out she was suffering from mental illness.

Once, I assumed a friendship was solid, until a new calling (in the ward) caused all kinds of horrific treatment (of me).

Once, I was really sick. Brandon was out of town (China, maybe? England?) and I was pregnant with our fifth child. I was in the midst of the February birthday week and my daughter (#2) was expecting her birthday party to be held as planned. I was literally on the couch, feeling like I was going to die. It was the flu of some kind, and in desperation, I called my sister who, at the time, lived 30 minutes north in SLC. I begged her to come and help me.

She said, "No." She didn't give much of a reason, either. She just couldn't, wouldn't, etc.

I was so hurt. I assumed she was being selfish. But luckily, my dear friend came over and helped out. It all worked; everything was fine. The party was a success, and, of course, I got better.

Two months later, I found out why my sister refused to help: She was also pregnant! But at the very precarious beginning, afraid of getting sick, herself, and had absolutely no energy to take care of her other two boys, let alone me and my kids! She's also a very private person and didn't want to share the news, yet, not even with me. And that's okay.

All of these stories (and more) have taught me a great lesson, one I'm still trying to learn/implement. One I hope others learn, too, as I face my own private experiences:

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