Being a pastor's wife, mom of five daughters and working with teen girls means one thing: DRAMA. Well, it means more than that (miraculously amazing things) but it certainly includes other people's dramatic life experiences. I think every woman can relate to hearing someone else's problems. At times, it just gets to be too much. We hear it at home, at work, at church, in social media, in the neighborhood and on the news. People's issues and burdens are everywhere we turn!
So how should we handle all the things we hear without going crazy? My personality carries every. single. thing. people share with me. It could be so remote from my life, yet because I know of their situation, I am now carrying it emotionally. This is honorable according to Galations 6:2 which says to "Carry each other's burdens...". However, I often fail to remember WHERE and to WHO I am carrying the burden. In fact, sometimes I forget completely to carry it at all so I just stand there in place becoming more weighed down by the minute. But God hasn't asked us to do that.
As stated in Ps. 55:22, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you." We are to take our burdens to the Lord. We are called to let them go to Him and then He sustains us with His power and strength. WHAT RELIEF! No longer do I have to keep all the emotions and mental weight driving me crazy from the situations others share with me! I can give them to the Lord and leave them there.
So here is what you have to do when someone decides to trust you enough to share their problems with you: Listen then Leave It. I don't mean listen then walk away but to listen sincerely then leave their problems with the Lord.
1. Listen to them in love. Go there emotionally. Take time to understand. Give your undivided attention. Let their situation be as if it were yours.
2. Leave it all with the Lord. Go there spiritually. Take time to explain to the Lord. Give your prayer undivided attention. Pray as if it were your situation.
After countless desperate, tragic, horrific situations we have encountered hearing through the years, the "listen and leave it plan" has kept us grounded and sound. So, when you experience first row tickets to the next drama of someone, all you have to do is love them and then go pray.
P.S. And if there is something tangible God calls you to do after that then do that too. For example, if you encounter a poor college students needing finances and you are a millionaire, listen and pray...then cut them a check!
(Re-posted from 2014)