It seems so often when I turn on the news or log onto Facebook that there is an overwhelming sense of loss.
It feels like too much, the lump that develops in my throat is overwhelming and too much to swallow.
I hear stories about refugees fleeing their country and dying. I see pictures of sweet baby boys washed up on the shore when all their parents wanted was a chance of a new life, a “safe” life.
We’ve all heard the stories of people so deeply affected by trauma that they become numb to terrible things.
I don’t have that. I can’t ignore all the pain that this fallen world brings to each of us.
I never grow numb. Every time I read a story about a child who has died, see a husband standing by his wife’s grave, see a child scared to love again because last time all it did was cause pain I crumble. I stand there with them. Most of the time I stand silently with tears streaming down my face, but I am there.
Empathy– the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
It is a word that I feel and, most importantly, that I am. At times, I have thought of this as curse, but now I know better, it’s a blessing.
I spend hours praying for the fatherless.
I cry for children I’ve never had the gift of knowing, I cry for the shattered dreams of parents as they say goodbye to the most precious gift they’ve ever been given.
Honestly, it can be way too much. There are days I just want to stop feeling. BUT if I did that I wouldn’t be able to share about the beautiful other side of loss, the healing side, the first sunrise after the storm side.
It took going to a deep and dark place for me to see the beauty that surrounds me every day. My children’s laughter, the beauty of autumn before all the beautiful colored leaves begin to fall, the perfection of a snow storm out your front window.
It’s easy to forget all the beautiful things. You forget that babies are born healthy, that orphans do find families, and that the embrace of a friends arms after a long day is incredibly empowering.
The injustices of this world are many and can make me forget about all the good. I’ve really worked hard on not asking all the “why’s” anymore. I’ve decided to start changing the things that I don’t understand, stop asking all the questions and faithfully walk with God and go where he leads me.
Deuteronomy 31: 8- “Be strong. Take courage. God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.”
Jesus has always had a perfect plan for my life. He goes before me and he leads the path for me. I will not be scared any longer to stand up for those who can’t stand, to love those that may leave, to say “yes” when I know it will cause pain. Jesus, I trust you. I trust you with this messy life that I live.