You know who you are – you feel it all. You feel the pains of your broken family, friends, and neighbors –you carry them. I do too.
You persist in your love for the people who slam doors in your face left and right. You care for the people you know don’t care for you back.
Your acts of service and thoughtfulness often go unnoticed and unthanked.
Your capacity for compassion is great, deep, heavy.
When someone confides in you, you actually feel what they’re feeling. You listen with your heart.
The floodgate of tears is always open and ready for business.
Some label you “overly sensitive” or “emotional” but the truth of the matter is, you just really care.
You struggle arguing with others because you feel what they’re feeling, and can honestly see their side.
Being honest with your feelings can be hard, especially when telling the truth would mean they may get hurt.
I’ve always known I’m “that person” because I’ve watched my own mother carry this identity. I saw myself take on that trait of hers over time. It became truly apparent when my husband told me early on in our marriage to stop caring about his feelings so much.
While Christ has clearly called us to love, it is important to remember we cannot carry all of the weight of another's sin or pain on our back. Christ has already done that. As Jesus carried the rugged cross; He took on the pain of our brokenness. So, there’s a line. Draw that line in your heart – feel, care, but do not carry all of the weight.
The command to "love one another" appears eleven times in the Bible, all in the New Testament. The word "love" occurs 310 times in 280 verses in the KJV.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
So, while being hard-wired to “feel everything”, how do we balance our emotional health while still loving others well?
1. Ask the Lord on a daily basis, “Lord, who do you want me to invest in?” “Who do you want me to spend my time and energy on?” “Guide my steps.”
2. Pray for the people you love. There is no greater way to love others than by remembering them in prayer. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
3. Surrender your burdens to our only true Savior. Let Him take over. Relinquish any sense of control you may be holding onto. You are not the fixer; it is not your responsibility to fix everyone’s problems.
4. Remember, our Heavenly Father loves even greater than you. There is freedom in meditating on God’s power and love. While we fall short of being able to fix virtually every problem, He can redeem everything.
5. Allow God to cover your heart and spirit with His protection. Ask Him to pad your heart to the pains of this world. He is the greatest comforter after all.
6. Give without expecting recognition. We give because that’s part of what God has equipped and called us to be. It is your make-up, your spiritual strength. Finding justice in receiving an acknowledgment is not a part of our job description.
I pray for you, my friends, my sisters who bear the same pains as mine. I pray that our compassion becomes a joy instead of a burden; received as a gift. Allow God to be God and us His tools.
Always, always remember – where there is God, there is hope.