This year has been filled with some hard things. And looking back, they’re hard things that I’m thankful for, because ultimately they’ve grown my empathy.
I’ve always felt like I’ve struggled to be compassionate and have empathy for other people’s hardships. But I realize that every time I go through something difficult, I suddenly have a whole new group of people that I have immense empathy for.
So even though I wouldn’t ask for these hard things, I am grateful for them.
I’m grateful for a crazy limited diet and daily digestion symptoms, because it gives me empathy for people who have food allergies and other chronic health issues. I’m grateful that I’m forced to wait, because it gives me empathy for others who are forced into a season of waiting. I’m grateful that I don’t feel joyful every single day, because it gives me empathy for those who are downtrodden and sad. I’m grateful for constant appointments and pain and limitations because it gives me empathy for people that are in similar situations.
I’m grateful for these circumstances, because it means I can relate to more precious children of God, feel their hurts with them, and weep with them. It means I can reach out to them in love, knowing how they’re feeling, and serving them better than I would have been able to serve them before. I’m grateful.
And I’m sure this won’t be the only year that God grows my empathy. I’m sure there are countless more hard things on the road ahead, countless more opportunities for my empathy to grow. And that makes me both nervous and excited. Because I know it’s going to hurt, but I also know that my Jesus, who can empathize with me in every way, will be walking that road beside me, and will be preparing me to walk that road with more of His brothers and sisters. And what a sweet, sweet privilege that is.
Love, Team Douglas