Excited for her success, she called and invited a friend to meet her for coffee to celebrate. She arrived first, and as she was waiting for her friend, another woman entered the coffee shop with her young son. The boy loudly exclaimed, “Mommy! That lady is fat!” Discouraged, the woman recounted his comment to her friend. However, the friend had some very wise words: “That boy only sees where you are now. He has no way of knowing how far you have already come. Don’t let his ignorance take anything away from all the hard work and effort that you have put into your journey toward health. The progress that you have already made is noteworthy and you should celebrate it.”
After an abusive marriage and difficult divorce, I moved to Guatemala in 2013. Shortly after arriving here, a well-intentioned person told me that it was about time that I “move on” and find a Christian man so I could have a serious relationship. After all, a year and a half was plenty of time to “get over it.” I was stunned and hurt. I was working closely with a therapist to deal with those issues, and I had made significant progress. This person only saw the “100 pounds” that I had left to lose; he didn’t know me, so he didn’t know that I had already “lost 100” in the previous year, through therapy, prayer, and hard work.
We will all encounter difficulties: the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a life-changing event that leaves us shattered and broken. The timeline for dealing with these situations is different for everyone. Some people can recover rather quickly, while others may take months or even years to work through their grief. Maybe someone has a bad habit that they have been trying to quit and they have been asking God to deliver them from that temptation. Just because someone seems to be taking “way too long” to “get over" their grief or to quit that habit does not mean that they have not already been working. It would be prudent to reserve judgment for how they are dealing with it. Unless we are their therapist or their close personal friend, we likely have no idea how far they have already come. And if this person is you, keep up the good work! You'll get there!!