Are You Too Strong to Have Empathy?

Are you a strong person?  Raise your hand if you are.  Now, I’m not talking about your physical capabilities.  I’m talking about your mental capabilities.

I’m mentally tough where if an obstacle comes my way, I can just walk right through it with no problem but then there’s others who may need a little push.  They may need some assistance.  They need encouragement to keep moving forward. 

I attended a women’s Zoom meeting my aunt’s church held.  They were discussing how they were holding up since the Corona virus began.  Some of them got hit hard with their jobs becoming remote or non-existent, isolation became a new thing for them.  A lot of them were able to recover by continuing to work but there was one lady who said she has been jobless ever since.  It kind of puzzled me for a minute.  Now, don’t hate me but this was my immediate reaction, “Why hasn’t she tried to get another job somewhere else like other people?”  “Did she enjoy her job that much?”  “How is she able to take care of her family?”  “Where is the food coming from?”  

You may think I had a small amount of empathy here but, can I be honest?  I didn’t.  I really wanted to understand what was wrong.  Why wasn’t she doing anything?  She continued to say that even though she’s not working, she now has the opportunity to get other projects done she’s wanted to begin doing or continue doing.  

I thought to myself, “Okay.  That’s great and all but what are you doing to provide for your family?”  “Are you just living off of the Government assistance?”  

My mind was going a mile a second with numerous questions but as the conversation continued with other women chiming in, I realized that everyone isn’t trying to move in the same way, such as getting a job or maybe she thought about it and it wasn’t for her.  I also realized that other women were able to empathize with her in a sense where even though they still had a job, they’ve had the opportunity to pick up other hobbies they’ve wanted to do for a while.  I also realized that other women were feeling overwhelmed by their job and the additional responsibilities that had to be done with family members.  I was thinking, “Okay, shouldn’t you tell them you need a day off from them?”  But I wasn’t thinking that some of the women’s families, they’re all they have.  No one else may be willing or able to step up to the plate.  

See.  No empathy from me whatsoever. 

I couldn’t understand.  But as I began to continue to listen instead of raising more questions, I learned that everyone is different and everyone isn’t as mentally stable as I am.  They can’t just get up and dust it off.  They need someone to talk to, who will help them through it.  Yes.  God is in this as always.  These are church going people but sometimes, you want God to bless you with someone you can talk to.  Sometimes you want to just pick up the phone and want someone to help you get through the day because in that moment, you're not mentally prepared.  You’re not mentally strong.  

For me, if I had a situation and needed someone to talk to, I always go to God.  Why?  Because I haven’t had anyone else understand what I was going through.  I can’t talk to my family because they don’t get it.  The only thing they would focus on is that I’m finally opening up to them and letting them in on a secret in my life and they should be more than that.  They should listen.

I found out the only person who will listen and be there for me whenever I need them is God and that’s better than anyone I could possibly have because the hardest things I’ve recently had to go through, God was the One to get me through.  I prayed, listened, confessed, was healed, had breakthroughs, obeyed, read His Word.  That was honestly the time for me to draw closer to God.  Can I tell you, that’s what God wants from all of us.  

Now, don’t get me wrong.  If you have someone who you can call and talk to, go right ahead but I also want you to think about it and ask yourself, “If I pray and ask God for other things, do I believe He will be there to comfort me and bring me through my darkest times?”

It’s important that we understand this.  It’s important to know and understand that God will bring you through any situation.  A lot of times what I think it is, is we don’t believe God is capable.  We need a real living, breathing, callable human being who will answer our call and listen to us and relate to our situations right here and right now.  I get it but can I ask you a question?  What will you do when that person isn’t available?  Or the person you would normally run to has transitioned on?

I believe this is the time for you to believe in God and call to Him.  Have those long talks with Him.  He’s waiting to hear from you.  Guess what?  You can always go to your friend to talk with them about what’s going on in your life but you’ll always leave out the very important and deep issues because you don’t want to give them too much.  You only want to give them the surface of the issue and make them figure out how to help you through the small amount of info you’ve given them.  With God, you can give Him as much as you want but He still knows all that is wrong with you...even the deepest darkest secrets.  This is the time to connect with Him on a deeper level.

Yes, I understand better where people are coming from and know that one woman isn’t like the other.  We’re all different.  I may be strong in one portion of my life but another person may be weak in that portion but stronger in another.  Even though I can’t relate, I can have empathy and know that I can’t kick them to the curb because they’re not trying but to support them even though I may not have the answer.  Who knows, maybe God had them come to me for a reason.  Now it’s my responsibility to be there for them as best as I can.

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