Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Empathy: understanding and entering into another's feelings.
In college I remember sitting in a room with a bunch of other woman at some sort of a Bible study or something. The speaker asked if anyone in the room has the "gift of empathy." One girl raised her hand. The speaker went on to explain what it was, and I sat there thinking something along the lines of it's not possible to feel what someone else is feeling.
If the truth be told though, I didn't even enter into my own feelings at that point in my life. I refused to show weakness by being "emotional." I was strong. I was able to handle almost anything and stay the rock that I am.
Okay, so it was all a lie. One that God has been slowly chipping away at for quite a few years now. Apparently emotions are good, and given to us by God. Even He feels joy, pain, sorrow, and happiness. So the rock that wrapped itself around my heart has been painfully falling away as I learn how to feel.
However as a result of opening myself up to this whole "feeling"thing, I found out that I have the "gift of empathy." That's in quotes because it mostly feels less like a gift and more like a burden. I mean sure I can love people better because I care about how they feel. But I also don't sleep when I hear stories about someone abusing someone else. I lie awake thinking of what they must feel like, how they are doing, what I might be able to do to help. Even if they are worlds away. This is how my gift works.
All of this leads up to my past few days. A week ago Saturday a man that we love, and that will always hold a special place in my heart for a variety of reasons, was in a motorcycle accident. He broke his neck, collar bone, ribs, crushed his right cheek bone, and has some road rash. And he is physically doing awesome. He isn't paralyzed and needs no surgery. Miraculous, truly.
However his mental capacity isn't all the way back. He is married to an amazing woman who has been with him since it happened. We have been praying for them, and although I have been praying for his healing, I can't help but feel the pain of his wife.
We went and visited on Sunday. It was a good visit. He knew who we were, and watched Abigail with a smile the whole time we were there. He said some thing that didn't make sense, and remembered some things that were astounding. We are still praying for God to restore his mind.
And I spent time talking to his wife. Talking about what it's like to live in the what ifs. How I truly understand the future unknowns and waiver back and forth between trusting that God has it all in His hands and being okay with that, and then going through all the scenarios of things that could happen.
Since we left that hospital our daughter has been praying for her friend and his boo boo over and over. It brings tears to my eyes at how compassionate she is. She is asking to go see him again...which we may just have to do soon. And me. Well I have dreamed of them, and find myself unable t think of little else than how they are, and what their future holds.
I'm mostly thankful that God has given me the ability to feel so deeply. It means I can't watch the news, but it also means that my once hard heart now knows what it means to fully feel things. I am sharing this though so you all can join me in lifting this family up.
Heavy hearted,