When It’s All Too Much: Afghanistan, Haiti, and My Own Little World

“Is this normal?” My friend asked today. “Has the world always been like this? Or do we just know more about things since the news is at our fingertips?”

The overwhelming turmoil in Afghanistan, the Taliban taking over as US troops are pulled out: we’re seeing videos of people grasping onto a plane, lines in the airport, people desperate to flee their country. Men, women, children—lives truly at risk, falling apart. Uncertainty, terror, at every door.

The major earthquake in Haiti, ravaging an impoverished country that’s been wrecked before. Damage, devastation, death amongst a beautiful people whose economy and infrastructure haven’t recovered from the last time.

Our nation being upended yet again by Covid, being pulled apart by the arguments over the vaccine, hospitals overrun, fear and anxiety taking over yet again.

Our own day to day lives. Kids starting school with masks on their little faces, or maybe it’s homeschool now because you don’t feel safe. A new baby at home, a surgery coming up, a grandparent battling illness. It’s financial problems and marriage problems and kid problems and just a lot of things that seem to be piling up. A pile that feels like it’s growing every day.

So what can we do when it all feels like too much?

Pause. Take a minute to be still. You’re not alone. Women around you are feeling the same things, asking the same questions, navigating these big decisions. You’re not alone.

Breathe. Release the tension, stretch your body, let the physical anxiety release. Notice what’s around you. Kiss those toddler cheeks, hold that little girl hand, hug that wriggly teenager.

Take that deep, long breath. Let it out. Do it again.

Pray. Lift your eyes to Hope. Unburden the heaviness of your heart to the One who holds it all. Don’t keep all the words and thoughts swirling in your head. Let them out whether it’s a whisper or a shout.

Do. What can I do? Is there an organization to donate to? Is there a family to help? Is there a friend I can encourage? When things feel heavy, looking to the needs of others, sparks hope.

It’s easy to want to numb. I feel the temptation to block it all out, both the bigger picture tragedies and the day to day frustrations. But instead, I pause, I breathe, I pray, and I do: latching onto that spark of hope and moving forward into tomorrow.

Is this going to “make everything ok”? No. But while everything might not be ok, as our hearts move towards caring and compassion and seeing, we can be part of bringing the hope we long for.


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