The Importance of Being Understood

Have you ever felt the ache to be understood? As mothers, I think there is a strong desire to have our fellow mama’s understand us, our choices, and our life situations.

We want people to understand, not just tolerate, why we’re late to church again. We want the picture-perfect Target moms to get why we’ve got circles under our eyes, a double shot Venti latte in hand, and three uncombed children practically spilling out of the cart. I think we want to be seen for the mess we are and accepted with a hearty “I’ve been there, I understand” smile.

I know I do.

Lately, I’ve been longing to be understood. I want people to understand the ache in my heart when I’m scouring grocery store aisles for prune juice and probiotics. I want to be understood when I walk through Hobby Lobby with a darling son and equipment that won’t stop alarming. I crave the acceptance that only comes from similar experiences.

I know my heart’s cry is needy. Why do you need to be understood, Frannie? Just do you. Be you. But it isn’t that easy. Feeling alone in your situation, whatever season of life it is, can feel exhausting.

Imagine the pure joy I had when someone accepted, understood, us. We were cruising JoAnn Fabric’s aisles and I was starting to feel myself shrinking as Uriah’s ventilator kept alarming. It’s this loud, repetitive sound that occurs when he is breathing fast and, since he was so happy and excited to be out of the house, the whole store could hear us coming. 😉

And whenever you carry a child with loud medical equipment you tend to get sweet, kind, pity-filled looks or stares. And as well-meaning as those looks may be, you can’t help but wish to be normal, not pitied, and understood.

As I was cruising past one aisle and entering another, I turned and saw a 15-ish year old young man with Dwarfism looking Uriah over. And, without one ounce of pity or look of sorrow, he looked me in the eyes and said, “That is a cute kid.”

That is a cute kid. 

No “how can I pray for your son?” No awkward side-eyes. No bold stares. No pity-filled, lip quivering looks. Nothing but pure admiration for a little boy who is so much more than the trach sticking out of his neck or the machine beeping wildly beneath the stroller.

It was in that moment that I realized that young man understood us. No, I’m not saying he understands everything about our medical journey or difficulties. He probably has no experience with a trach or feeding tube.

But he did understand what it means to be different. He understood sticking out in a crowd. He understood the fear, the worry, the awkwardness of not being normal.

And in his innocent way, I felt embraced. I felt like he was part of the tribe I needed to find. I felt like Uriah was seen for who he was and accepted without question.

(I always worry when I share these posts that you, my amazing reader and friend, will worry that you’re making me feel uncomfortable, that you’re part of my complaint. I promise you, you aren’t. We have an amazing group of friends across this nation who have embraced us, given us courage, and love! I tend to only struggle with these feelings when I’m surrounded by folk who don’t know us.)

How about you, friend? Are you longing for someone to simply look at you and understand? Are you hoping to find a tribe who accepts you, your children, husband, home, and time schedule without question or judgement? You’re not alone, I promise. We’re all looking for friends who understand. 

The beautiful thing is that there is always one Who does understand and that is our Heavenly Father. He knows our hearts, knows why each tear falls, and invites us to cast every care on His Son, Jesus. He came to tend to the broken, the weary, and the hurting.

And after He works on us, we can find ways to understand and be there for others. 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

4 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Understood

  1. Frannie that was absolutely beautiful!! So well said and such a beautiful glimpse into your heart and feelings and life. I have tears in my eyes as I thank God that I am part of your tribe; that I have the privladge to be your friend, Dalton’s friend, and be part of Uriah’s life! He is most definitely “a cute kid!!” 😊 One who is so sweet, funny, mischievous, and adorable!! ❤️And I’m grateful for what you’ve taught me about how my actions might unintentionally effect others who I don’t know. So if someone catches my attention I’m not going to be pittying or stare, I will smile and understand and accept. ❤️
    Love you my friend!!!

  2. Yayayyay for removed writer’s block!!! I love it when you write, Frannie, and I’m proud of you for sitting down to put your thoughts on paper!

    You are an encouragement! You are walking a journey that I am so proud of!

    And Uriah….well, he’s a sweet pea!!! Plain and simple! My sweet, sensitive, conscientious grandson who is growing leaps and bounds.

    I know one thing I find when I’m out and about with you and Uriah…..and maybe this is different because I’m grandma….but I have such a sense of PRIDE! Even though people we pass in the isles may not know….I’m grinning ear to ear (either physically or in my heart) because I’m proud of how far he’s come! Because I’m proud of the fact that we have him with us! Because he’s no longer in that hospital bed! Because I know of his recent video call with his momma how he hugs you and looks longingly into your eyes! Because I know that he is your life….and how at anytime in his past….we could have lost him and wouldn’t be pushing him through the store and instead my daughter would be walking through alone and heart broken! Because God created all of us the way that HE saw fit….and that we are all so special!

    But I also have never walked a mile in your moccasins and I so appreciate it when you write. You help us understand BETTER from the eyes of Uriah’s mother. Thank you for taking the time to put ‘ink to the paper’….

    I love you and I’m so proud of you.

    Love,
    Momma

  3. Uriah is a handsome kid.
    He is wonderfully and fearfully made.
    He is a child of the most high
    God has him in the palm of his hand
    Let them hear y’all come in the store . That is okay! As a deaf mother with a hearing child, they see us and stare often time as we communicate in ASL. I would often wave and say *how are you?* . God bless y’all on this journey.

    1. Miss Kay Day, you are SO right! He is all those things and it is good to be reminded about how God’s hand so carefully made him. I appreciate you shaing from your experience and perspective! I will try to copy that amazing attitude!! <3 Thank you for commenting friend!

      -Frannie

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