A new wave has surfaced. We continue to learn the differences between sympathy and empathy.
Sympathy allows you the ability to feel badly for one’s situation.
Empathy allows you the ability to know what it’s like to walk in someone’s shoes.
For years, I have reported on the good, the bad and the REALLY ugly. From death, destruction and loss… I have been the deliverer of news. I have reported on accidents. I have muddled through scripts of children dying under horrible circumstances. I have reported on ugly politics and I have delivered nightly news stories on the unemployment rate.
There are valleys and there are depths of a valley that some people find themselves walking through or paralyzed in. Ken and I recently went through a valley. Both of us being “phased out” of a ministry due to tough economic times is a nice way of putting it. Bottom line; both heads of a household with children, a mortgage, numerous bills and car payments without any income can be a scary place to be. Instead of being the face and voice of a news story, telling people of how tough times are without having to walk that uncertain road is one thing. Being one of “them” is completely different.
I praise God for that. Why? God doesn’t make bad things happen. Bad things happen and sometimes, like it or not, He allows us to go through it. How many times have you heard that God works best when we are at our weakest? Brothers and sisters in Christ…it is so true! My faith was tested. Being the financial “bread winner” in our household for all of our married life, I was without a paycheck. I was without the “identity” that, I thought, God had given me. Let me tell you something…God WILL NOT be kept in your comfy, convenient box and stay there for long.
I will hold close to my heart, for the rest of my life, the conversation/interview I had with a woman whose story I have not yet been blessed to tell. She lifted her lifeless, 10 year old daughter’s body out of an upside down van after a horrific accident. She carried that precious little girl to the side of the road and wept while waiting for paramedics. She grieves every single moment of every day over her loss and as I write this I am saddened and sickened over her “valley”. Yet, she speaks of her love for God and her faith, although shakened and weak many days, her faith remains in tact. HOW CAN THAT BE? Only she and God will eventually come to terms with.
Here’s my point; what satan intends for evil, God can use for good. I don’t know what good can come out of such tragic circumstances and I am certainly not comparing my valley with the loss of a child. I am, however, saying that God is a good and merciful God. Wherever we find ourselves in life, we can either blame Him or cling to Him and His promises. We can also fall somewhere in between, which is where I was. I didn’t blame Him but it took me a while to stop feeling sorry for myself and my family’s circumstances to let Him do what He intended to do all along, glorify Him in ALL circumstances.
What did He do during this time? LET ME TELL YOU! He gave us amazing support through friends and family. He gave us incredible counsel through Godly instructors. He blessed our finances through people we never would have imagined. He gave us calm during a storm that only He can give. He blessed our marriage through this time and He blessed our children
The Bible tells us to surround ourselves with Godly people (Proverbs 13; 20), those who will give us the instruction we need at the time we need it and that’s what He gave to Ken and me as a beautiful gift . Not only for a time such as this but for a time that He has ordained.
Please remember this: God loves you through it all and is there to walk with you or carry you, if need be. Be faithful to Him as He is ALWAYS faithful to you.
Blessing to you, my friend! Betsy Singer Quattrin