Originally, I had planned to sit down on Wednesday to write a post about my recent trip to London and give some tips for some low-budget activities and my favourite spots to visit. However, instead of thinking about all the fun and beautiful things about London, I was glued to my news app reading about the terrible tragedy that was unfolding at the Grenfell tower. In case the news did not reach where you are – a London tower block caught fire early Wednesday morning and the fire spread rapidly, trapping the people living in the higher up floors. At this point, there are still many people unaccounted for.
Too much empathy?
I am a very empathetic person and very sensitive. I never managed to watch the whole of titanic and I am unable to read reports about human trafficking. I just cannot take it. So, it really did not do me well watching eye witness reports about the fire and reading through person profiles of those who are still missing. My mind just spiralled downwards and I started feeling extremely depressed and anxious. I could not stop imagining what it must have felt like to be on the 17th floor with your children and loved ones. Or standing outside that building seeing friends and family die in front of you, unable to help.
It got to the point where I was near a panic attack and so I took a bath and tried to breathe deeply but the thing is – normally when I get anxious I can tell myself: “It really is not that bad. You can get through this.” But in this case – the suffering of those people is probably worse than I can imagine. I cannot ‘breathe it away’. I cannot rationalise it.
So, I called my husband and he prayed for me on the phone and reminded me that in all the suffering in the world God is still sovereign. I might not understand why things like this happen but He is good. Events like this do not change this truth, do not change the hope in which I live.
I want to be vulnerable and open with you
I know that normally I try to keep things more positive around here – I want to inspire and uplift you guys not pull you down. But I also want to be real. I want to share with you that I struggle and what I do to deal with the days that I cannot function because my mind is working against me.
Miraculously, I was able to fall asleep and get through the night without any nightmares. I woke up the next morning feeling calmer and slightly more upbeat. The thing is, every day is a new battle. Praying with my husband that night helped me so much but every day is a new challenge and new prayers are necessary. So again, I turn to God. I pray for the victims. I thank him for His goodness and the hope He gives.
And I want to turn to you guys. I am trying to figure out what a good balance is in terms of being informed what is happening in our world. I do not want to cut myself off and ignore the suffering of people around the globe but equally, I am of no use when I get so downtrodden and anxious that I can barely function. What do you guys do? I would appreciate any tips and insight from you guys’ experience.
For now, I will leave you with this quote by Timothy Keller:
“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.” – Timothy Keller in Walking with God through Pain and Suffering