Sometimes life throws us for loop.
- The death of a love one
- Financial collapse
- A child gone astray
- A new diagnosis
Yep. We can just humming along, feeling blessed. Walking on cloud nine. We’re doing exactly what God asked us to do and it’s working! Then smack, like a giant wave we get bowled over. See that word I used above? FEELINGS. Then we FEEL differently. Depressed. Despondent. We don’t want to go on. Depending on the severity of the situation, that’s pretty normal. Those sorts of feelings tell us something is not right.
When my mother died, I couldn’t fathom why the world kept spinning. People kept going about their lives, shopping, eating out, going to work and worst of all, smiling. How could people smile? Laugh? Then when my step-father, Bud died, it was the same. The problem was, my new kiddos had arrived the week before he “went on to glory” as he called it. I now had a houseful of seven children, four fresh from an orphanage in Poland. My grief and their habit of fear (survival mode) could have had disastrous consequences.
I had something happen yesterday that brought all of these memories back to the surface. It’s not my story, so I won’t tell it. Suffice it to say, I watched someone die. I did everything I could to help this not happen. It didn’t work. My prayers were not answered in the way I wanted them to be. The whole event sent me spiraling into dark places. (Please say a prayer for this family, you don’t need to know the name, God does).
What can do we do when we get stuck feeling something? When a trigger takes us back or circumstances keep us down?
- Tell your story. Ever wonder why counselors ask lots of questions and spend a lot of time listening? It’s because telling our stories brings healing. Find someone you trust and tell them your story. Ask them to pray with you. If your issues are serious, this may take weeks or months, maybe years. Don’t give up. You’re worth it. Work for your healing.
- Don’t isolate yourself. When bad things happen, we want to hunker down in our little bunkers and leave the world behind. Don’t. Just don’t. I’m all for a little time alone, but a habit of isolation just breeds more of whatever you are feeling- depression, despair or despondency. Go out and do something with friends. If you have a few minutes of crying during your outing, it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. Try to keep your normal routine as much as possible. When Bud died, my nephew Josiah said that God sent me my new kids cause he knew I would need them. I had to get up every morning and make food, homeschool and run my household. I even had to smile.
- Look at life with fresh eyes. Amerey did a live on this on The Whole House Facebook page. She and her family rented a beach house for a week. When they arrived, they were disappointed that the ‘rustic charm’ was more rustic than charming. Their little girls didn’t notice the dirt or the ‘rustic’. They loved the beach house and didn’t want to come home. Sometimes we need to see live through the eyes of a child. During the season after the deaths of my mother and Bud, I laughed at my children’s jokes. I watched their puppet plays and smiled. I watched my newbies experience things for the first time, Christmas, birthdays and riding a bike. I had to look with fresh eyes.
Whatever you are going through right now, remember, this is not the end. It’s just a page in your story. Whether it’s a diagnosis, the loss of a job, a new baby keeping you up all night or the death of the loved one, this too shall pass. There is one thing that is a constant in our lives, that’s change. Things change. While you are in the midst of all of it, don’t let despair rule. It’s okay to feel these things, but don’t let them boss you around. Schedule time to grieve. Write down what you are feeling. Work on your healing. I’ll leave you with this:
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, The Message