How many times in a day are you asked, “How are you doing?”

The answer is probably “fine” more times than you can imagine. I can remember after my son Tyler’s accident up to this very day three plus years later, someone asking me that same exact question, “How are you doing?” Most times I would come back with the answer of “fine.”  There were times I didn’t have any feelings or it was just not the right place to really discuss how I felt. So I said “fine.”

God does not expect us to be fine. He reminds us in the verse, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5:16. He is waiting for the day we realize we are broken and not fine. He already knows how we are feeling at this very moment. We just keep trying to make ourselves think he doesn’t.

I would define the word “fine” as a place on a scale between 1-10 smack dab in the middle at a 5.  It’s neither high nor low, but safely positioned in the middle. When a person says they are “fine” they are playing it safe like the number 5. It could mean they are really not able, ready or want to truly talk about how they feel. Or in some cases they don’t even know how they feel.

I remember many times I would say “fine” and smile. Usually it would end the conversation or it would be a good way to change the direction of it. There were times I didn’t feel anything or I actually didn’t want anyone to know how I felt. I wanted to be strong for my family and myself. I needed to be “fine” so I didn’t have to deal with life. I didn’t want to tell anyone my feelings of hurt, brokenness or sadness. Even on the days when I felt good, I felt bad that I felt good. Even though they asked the question, they didn’t always want to know the answer. Most people were being nice and making conversation. The real answer would make them feel uncomfortable and make for an awkward moment. So to be strong for others, I would avoid the true answer and say “fine.”

It wasn’t until I was sitting by my daughter’s bed trying to make sense of things that changed everything for me. We were talking about how we missed Tyler just a few short days after his accident. The tears started flowing uncontrollably and I remember how I wanted to be strong and not show her how I hurt, but out of nowhere I had this feeling that it was OK. We were both hurting, tears showed we are human and it helped to wash the hurt away.

From that moment on, I realized it was OK to not be fine and strong. I realized tears are part of grief and healing. I know when I cry it helps me to feel better and it feels like it cleans my soul. Once I realized that it was OK to say how I felt and not say “fine” I would answer that question, “How are you doing?” with a different answer. If I started to cry or they don’t know what to say, I kindly said, “It is OK.  These are tears of hope.”

I don’t always know what to say either. Honestly a hug and no words are many times the best. I have learned that letting go of being strong tells God I trust that he will take care of everything. Remember, He already knows every little thing about you and how you are feeling this very moment.

Why not let go of being “fine” and let God take over?

Missy Hillmer

My name is Missy Hillmer. I’m married, live in a small town named Palmer, NE and have 3 children. Jake is our oldest who is 19 years old and Gracie is 11 who lives here with us. Tyler which was 15 years on August 20, 2013 is now in Heaven. He was killed in a car accident just 3 short days after his 15th birthday. I am very honest, very real sometimes to the point of not being fun, I guess that’s because I’m a black and white kind of girl. I like to look at the positive in every situation. I really believe there are two ways to look at things. Look for the bad or the good. The “bad” does me no justice and can spiral out of control in a heartbeat. The “good” however gives me hope and it connects with my belief that God is with me through everything. I believe my faith has gotten me through life and especially since my son’s accident. I pray a lot more, watch for the signs that God gives me, listen to my inner gut feeling, as my husband calls it and really focus on living a simple life. Family means everything to me, I love to laugh and think it’s the best medicine for any problem. Music soothes my sole and being outside in the sun brings me great joy! I have learned that many times you cannot control the storm in your life but, you can learn to dance in the rain. I really mean it when I say DANCE in the RAIN! The summer before Tyler’s accident, Tyler, Gracie & I danced in the rain. This memory I will never forget! Since Tyler’s accident I am passionate about telling my story with the hope that it will help or inspire at least one person.