another thought just came to me: i used to think i could only help someone else if their circumstances had been the same or worse than mine. i wouldn't even think of trying to help someone who seemed more normal or healthy than me. i didn't feel like i was qualified or had anything to offer. i am starting to see that maybe i can also help those who didn't go through things as bad as my experiences.

when one of our kids had a broken bone, the doctor said that when it healed it would be stronger at that spot than it was before the injury. maybe that can apply to us survivors, too? - that the places we have been hurt and healed might end up stronger than the same place in a "normal" person's life who had never been hurt or needed healing? that is reason to hope.

lee
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We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9