On Empathy

One of the biggest lessons I have learned this year regards the gift of empathy. 
I think we live in a society of sensationalism and instant gratification—two cultures that train even the best of us to hear if not seek out surprising stories and move on. It sounds so harsh, but I think it happens more often than we think—if for no other reason than we are simply surrounded by SO MUCH information every day, much of it is heavy, and as humans we can’t carry it all. So we protect ourselves by minimizing our contact with pain out of sheer self preservation or through our own busyness.

I have heard other moms who have expressed how lonely it is to walk through chronic/serious family health challenges. I think I’ve always been an empathetic person, but I have realized that my own past lack of understanding or EFFORT to understand more fully has stood in the way of my being able to best serve others. It is one thing to offer meals and child care and transportation. Those things are necessary and huge!! 🙏🏻 But I wish we gave more credit to the acts of genuine emotional service we can give each other. 
To those who have been praying for our family thoughtfully for months, you have lifted my burdens. 
To those who have called or texted or stopped me to sincerely ask how we are doing, you have helped me feel less alone.

To those who have responded when I have shared a piece of my heart, even though the words are heavy and hard to hear and maybe repetitive, you have helped me find healing.

To those who have heard our story and in turn share it with your children in the hopes of teaching them empathy and inclusion... my tears flow freely and my heart explodes with gratitude. You give me hope in the world and make me want to be a better person, in turn.

To those who have simply been there—present emotionally, whether or not they understand or have similar experience or special education or feel “adequate enough,” but who are there simply because they LOVE—you have taught me what it means to be Christlike. You have expanded my heart. You have made me better. We LOVE you.

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