Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Facing Adversity - REMEMBER


This too shall pass.

It won’t last forever; it just feels like it will.

Peter wrote to Christians who were being severely persecuted for their faith:
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. [1 Peter 1:6]
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. [1 Peter 5:10]

God gave us this verse to keep in perspective the brevity of life.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. [James 4:14]

Acknowledge your pain.

Most pain comes from loss.

Your loss can take many forms. You could lose a possession, through financial problems, weather, a fire, or a burglary.

Your loss could be a person – a failed marriage, a child that dies, the untimely death of a spouse, the passing of a parent, a broken relationship, a friend that moves away.

Your loss could be your job, your career, or your reputation. Your loss might be your health.

Maybe your loss is the loss of a dream or aspiration – somewhere you want to live, something you want to accomplish, having a family, or a hobby that you don’t have time or money to pursue.

You are not in control. 

Surprise! When something painful happens, we often get angry too because we can’t do anything about it.

I can’t control other people or most circumstances. When I try to control my circumstances totally, I have to try to control others too, because they often determine my circumstances.

I can’t control the weather, the economy, my boss or the place where I work, even if I am the boss.

It’s okay to cry.

Crying doesn't make us weak. Crying is a valid expression of pain. 

However, I have to be aware that usually it is best to cry privately, alone or with someone that can comfort me. Crying often puts other people in a difficult situation. Husbands, co-workers, and children don't know what to do when we cry. My husband may withdraw. My co-worker may dismiss me. My children may feel insecure and/or very sad.

We often get angry when we are in pain. Anger can be dangerous for me and those around me. Anger is a mask to disguise the pain. Anger usually makes the situation worse, not better.

Everyone is different. 

Not everyone reacts the same way to the same situation. Losing a job may be devastating for one but not for another. Comparing my loss or my reaction to my loss to another person can create more despair. It takes some people longer to get over a  loss than others.

Everyone grieves differently. No two people are exactly alike. No two situations are exactly alike.

Grieving a loss is vital to healing the heart. Grieving can be healthy or unhealthy for our emotional state. See our next post on Healthy Grief.