When you experience a tragedy, heartbreak or crisis, it may look as if your world is falling apart.
However, as a TV and Radio Host, invariably my best interviews on the most inspiring “stories” or books, are those that are born from seeming disasters. Of course I am not saying we ever welcome these events, but there are two responses: you either stay bitter or get better. I have found in most of these folks, as well as in my own life, when you put the heartache to use to help others, you find yourself being healed.
God knows we all have grief and times of sadness – even horrific things that happen in our lives.
However, I interviewed a young teenage girl whose arm was bitten off by a shark – she now has a huge speaking platform – especially to teens. A young man born with cerebral palsy asks his audiences what their excuse is for not moving forward. I was a troubled runaway teenager who ironically became a high school teacher and helped initiate our alternative school. I believe that where you have been hurt the hardest is where God can use you to help others the most.
I recently was the guest speaker for an educational administrators convention. An honored professional principal waited for me after the engagement. With tears running down her cheeks, she said that I had just confirmed what she had been pondering. She was to use the death of her 16-year-old son who was in a tragic automobile accident, to somehow help others through the same grieving process that she had experienced. She is saving her journal notes to write, and is also making herself available for one-on-one counseling for others.
It is no accident that you are reading this right now.
You may feel helpless and hopeless today about an overwhelming situation in your life, but God knows exactly where you are being set up for healing, by reaching out and helping others. Some of you reading this can look back on your life as I have, and see where the very difficult situations you have been through were somehow used to help, comfort and encourage others in the very same way. Don’t waste the pain; remember, where you have been hurt the most is where you can help others. The difference between sympathy and empathy is that the empathetic person has indeed “walked a mile in their shoes.” I don’t understand – but I do know that tragedies can indeed be turned into blessings. Ask yourself where you are being “set up” this week, this month, or next year. The Chinese word symbol for crisis is composed of two other word symbols for danger and opportunity. Your crisis can become an unbelievable opportunity. Write it, speak it, teach it. Just use it – in your own way, in your own time. That setback has become your setup. Now let it happen.