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You Are Loved!

There are times I often think “Do I” really matter? This isn’t a sob or feel sorry for me article.

This article came about in my meeting with friends one on one, recently who needed to share their feelings and thoughts with me.  I am humbled that they feel they can share very personal and intimate thoughts with me and that what I give back to them is something they can reflect on.

I’d like to share one story without mentioning names as I think it relates to so many of us, even if we are not willing to admit it.

My friend shared with me that she is married to a man that she loves, he comes from a big family, and she is one of the few women in the family.  She doesn’t have a sister or brother she can talk to, and she is limited to those she can trust to share things with.  So, she said to me “Lynn, I often feel that I really don’t matter”.  I know I matter to my husband, and to many of my friends, but having no children for reasons that could not be helped, she tries desperately to reach out and have a relationship with her one and only sister-in-law.

Her sister-in-law is close by but doesn’t ever call or reach out to her personally.  Her husband and my husband (she informed me) are close, and they chat regularly. I noticed that as she spoke to me, she had tears welling up in her eyes, she paused for a few moments to get her composer.

I asked her why this made her feel she didn’t matter, and her response was, “not once in the time I have been married has my sister-in-law called me personally, just to chat.  I feel “she said” that if I was to become a widow would I ever hear from her at all?  It’s important for me to know that I am worth a phone call occasionally she said, “I have called her a few times but calling and waiting for the same from her does not happen.

After a few minutes, I explained to her that not all families are the way we would wish for them to be.  Everyone has their own agenda, and they may not think of how important keeping in touch with family members, in-laws, are.

I knew how she felt personally but let her know that the one person she can count on is God, He will always be there, even when things seem so bad, or she feels so alone.  I told her “She” does matter, and to focus on her husband and their walk together, not taking any day for granted and giving thanks to God for what has been given to them.  Think of all the suffering going on around the world and ask if you would trade what you are feeling for what is happening around the world.  Continue to reach out to your sister-in-law regardless and eventually things will change.  You do matter, as I shared with her, “someone I respect” once made that clear to me and I have never forgotten that.

She thanked me and I have followed up with her since this conversation.  She continues to reach out to her sister-in-law and doesn’t wait to hear back but feels good she makes the effort.  She knows she is loved! Friends you can pick but family you may not always have a choice.  Be one who reaches out.

Lynn Forrester-Pitocco
Lynn Forrester-Pitocco
LYNN is Retired from Law Enforcement as a Police Officer, with a background in nursing and previously a member of the Search and Rescue Team with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, A retired member of the Orange Police Department, she became the first female SWAT member on an elite team while becoming a member of the Olympic Shooting Team during the early years on the department. A mother and a grandmother, a devout Catholic who currently resides in Houston, Texas. Her hobbies include writing, painting, and a contemplative prayer life. She is in love with her faith, but the love she carries for her two grown children and grandchildren who rest in her heart surpasses everything except her faith in God. Since retirement, Lynn has done private investigation, worked as a gang counselor with middle schools, A member of Bl. Mother Teresa’s Order called the (Lay Missionaries of Charity), she is also a pro-life advocate, often called upon to give testimony and speak to youth groups, as well as adult forums. She has published a children’s book entitled “The Children’s Garden” and is currently working on two additional children’s books. She is currently working on the major one focused on her experience in Law Enforcement entitled “Heels and a Badge”. (copyright). Her paintings and sketches, writings, can be viewed on her Pinterest boards (click on the Pinterest ICON below). Her dream is to one-day write a movie for Hallmark. Dreams do come true … See Lynn’s entire collection of thought-provoking Articles by clicking on her byline. Lynn is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for a reminder Lynn of how important it is that we have people in our lives who we can share things with – beyond sports, weather and the news of the day kind of things. How very important it is also that I am the kind of person people feel free to share things of the heart with. During the few years I was a chaplain a friend gave me a book entitled ‘Ministry of Presence’. Dr. Jim Denison makes some similar very important points in his book, ‘Making Sense of Suffering’. I find the advice in these books to be practical, Biblical and invaluable in helping us to be the kind of family members, friends and neighbors we (should) want to be. Who can I talk to when things are NOT going fine? How do I respond when someone tells me they’re in the midst of a tragic circumstance……they’ve lost a husband, a wife, a child, a job? I’ve been confronted with all of these situations and more, and God knew that placing me in these circumstances is exactly how He was going to shape me into a more compassionate, caring person. Most of us tend to run from suffering because we don’t know what to say – we don’t realize that half the battle is simply being there. It may not be the time to quote Scripture or share my wisdom; but there may be opportunities to share Godly wisdom. It’s important to connect before we speak…..to listen…..or simply to sit in silence. On one ocassion in which a twenty-something year old incarcerated female had just received news of her mother’s unexpected passing, it meant that I sat and listened to her shouting and crying for some time prior to my saying a word. Other helpful advice I’ve received in one form or another includes being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, take whatever the time it takes, offer physical presence (a hug, a touch – that is unless you happen to be a male chaplain dealing with a female inmate), listen without judging, don’t minimize their pain by claiming to ‘know how they feel’, and importantly, don’t avoid them after your initial meeting. It may be a part of the aging process, but I’ve found that I desire more than ever to have real relationships……plastic may be great for soft drinks but it has no place when it comes to meaningful communication! Thanks again Lynn.

  2. It’s amazing how often, those whom I converse with share identical issues of Life that one can relate too. My heart goes out to those that hurt inside, cannot share, and have no one to turn to. Thank you for your response.

  3. Once again Linnie you have wrote a heartfelt article. Survivalist often state that you must have food, clothing and shelter. I agree that these are basic human necessities, however, I firmly believe that human contact is also a must! Be it family or friends, no one is an island.

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