Stronger Than You Think: When You Get Hit With A Crisis

footprints-in-sand

It is amazing what we can live through. It really is. God has made us with a resiliency that is hard to comprehend. Most important, it not about the strength that we have in our own being, but it is really about the fact that He is with us, lives in us, and He will strengthen us Himself (Phil. 4:13).

We are probably all familiar with the parable of the Footprints in the Sand. It is the story about God and one of His children walking along the beach. When the child of God looks back from where she came, she sees the two sets of footprints most of the way, but then she is stunned when at some points there is only one set. Thinking that the Lord had abandoned her at the hardest crisis’, the child of God asks this question “Where were You, Lord?” That is when the Lord reveals this truth, “Those are the places where I carried you.”

Truly, He never leaves us.

Because His strength resides with us, we are stronger than we could ever think or know.

You are not without resources.

Try this:

  1. Remember that God is with you and that He is strong.
  2. Believe God when He says in the Bible about us,“I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” (Phil. 4:13).
  3. Declare out loud to God about how you need Him and will trust Him to help you.

What about you? Is there a time where you have been surprised about how you could endure a particular situation or experience?

~~~

Ask, and it will be given to you;

seek, and you will find;

knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7

Moments of Normal: Don’t Be Surprised If They Happen

normal moment

 

Have you ever woken up after a tragedy and forgotten for a few minutes how your life has been forever changed? For just those few seconds you might have been free of that heavy weight that you had gone to bed with. You may even wonder for a split second if it were just a bad dream.

You may think that when something this bad has happened to you that you will never smile again, and it’s true, it might seem like that for awhile.

But here is what is interesting: Occasionally, moments may occur where you might be distracted from what you are facing. It might be a lovely flower. Or a little child. Maybe it is even something funny. Do not be afraid to hold onto this glimpse of relief for a moment. It is perfectly okay.

Shield yourself from any guilty feelings that you suddenly forgot and felt fine for a moment when things are just not fine right now. Ironically, life keeps going on even when bad things happen. So enjoy this little bit of refreshment when it comes. It’s okay to do that. It’s normal.

Try this:

  1. Stick to your previous routine as much as possible. Doing what is familiar, and what is ordinary and necessary is productive and healthy, especially when you do not have think about it.
  2. Remember that just like it is okay to feel the relief of a normal pause during this time period, it is also okay to acknowledge and feel those bad feelings when they come, too.
  3. Always realize that we can and should be ultimately led by what is greater than our feelings. The truth that God shows us in the Bible will help you to avoid major pitfalls. Keep your Bible open and nearby.

As life continues, you will notice that, slowly, the moments of “normal” will happen more often. After a long time, you will be living more in the “normal” again and it will be instead, the moments of sudden grief that may surprise you when an event, or a smell, or a food triggers a memory.

~~~

“For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:13

Healing Through Talking

Healing Through Talking

At the same time that you want to be careful what you say while with a group of different people, or especially in front of children, or even out loud to yourself in your alone time (because faith comes by hearing, so what you hear, you start to believe), it is also important to realize that one way to heal is by talking about it and processing what you are going through.

Of course, some people prefer writing about it in their journal.

The point is to get the hurt out.

Try this:

  1. Talk to God first, and then to the others that He gives you. Make wise choices about who will hear the personal details, thoughts, and feelings of the situation. Do not lash out with words that you might regret later, or give away private information that you may also regret later.
  2. Find a psalm in the Bible (for example, Psalm 31 might be a good one) in which David pours out his heart just like you need to pour out your heart to the Lord. Cry the words of this psalm out to the Lord. Recognize how David ends his vents by returning to his trust in the Lord, even though his circumstances are so devastating and he shares it openly.
  3. Writing in a personal journal can also be a great source of healing. If you prefer typing, you can even delete the document after you dump out all the problems.

~~~

“Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.

I had said in my alarm,
‘I am cut off from your sight.’
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.”

Psalm 31:21-22

Choose Friends To Confide In Wisely

Choose Wise Friends

 

While you want to use your words wisely after you first get hit with a crisis, as time goes on, you will need to address opportunities to talk more about it.

Choose wisely whom you will share your deeper thoughts and needs with. Remember that Jesus had only twelve close disciples, and then three of those were the ones that were especially close (Peter, James, and John).

You will find that certain people will be able to support you in trusting God in this difficult time. Others, however, may challenge you or discourage you with their suggestions, and make it harder for you to follow God’s ways, even if unintentionally.

There are those who have certain expertise so that you may need their special input, but there are also those who may just want to voice their own feelings, thoughts, angers, or fears about your situation, and it may be better not to go into as much depth with every person or group of people. Not to mention, unnecessary sharing can be extremely tiring.

Psalm 1:1-3 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.”

Try this:

  1. Pray and think about 3 especially close friends or experts that you will go into greater detail with. Then consider a list of up to 12 individuals whom you might turn to at different times with different needs.
  2. Caringbridge.org is a great website available for posting information to large groups of people who want to keep up with your situation and be praying for you. You or a trusted friend could post regular updates to be shared in general with those who desire to know more as needed.
  3. Prepare in advance what kind and clear response you may share with the more general “curiosity seekers,” so that you are not be caught off-guard by the unwelcome questions when they come.

“A friend loves at all times,

and a brother is born for adversity.”

Proverbs 17:17 ESV

~~~

Guard Your Lips

Guard Your Lips

When you first get hit with a crisis, you might not think about how important the words are that fall out of your mouth.

What you say aloud about your crisis situation will impact the direction you take, and it will affect those around you, too.

So, choose to think first, before speaking.

Why?

For better or for worse, the spoken words that you hear yourself say will impact you.

• They will frame your perspective.

• They will define for you and everyone else the angle at which you view your situation.

• They will plant what you believe deeper in your heart.

So be careful what you say. Your words will be like the rudder on a ship that move the situation in a positive or a negative direction.

 

Try this:

  1. Remember The God Factor. God is involved in every situation. Acknowledging this out loud even when you do not understand the details will help to build your faith.
  2. Remain quiet instead of saying what you might regret later. If you need to, offer to others the simple explanation that you need some time.
  3. Realize that those around you are listening to your words. Say sincere helpful, faith-filled, healing words out loud as you can. Journals are for dumping all the extra thoughts.

~~~

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:17

It’s Okay To Cry

Okay To Cry

When you get hit with a crisis, it’s okay to cry.

We may be all over the spectrum on how much crying we do. Some of us cry a lot, and some of us might find it hard to cry.

Because of your particular situation, you may have needed to wait to cry.

Did you know that God’s Word says that He bottles our tears?

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

Each. Tear. Counts.

An amazing study was done which took photographs of tears shed under different circumstances.

Each tear looks different under a microscope, but here is what is interesting: The tears look different according to which emotion one is experiencing when they are being shed. Isn’t God amazing to create our tears to be different like that?

Try this:

  1. Give yourself permission to cry. This may sound funny, but you might even find it helpful to schedule a cry: A time to start, AND, a time to stop.
  2. If you find it difficult to cry, try watching a tearjerker movie, and cry with someone else’s story. God made crying to be a part of your healing.
  3. It might be time to phone a trusted friend to share your sadness with them. You may be surprised, because sometimes there are even those friends who will cry with you. Ask God to lead you to just the right people, at just the right time, to share your tears with.

~~~

Remember this: “Jesus wept.” John 11:35 (NIV)

~~~

Take Care To Eat the Right Food For Your Body, As Well As For Your Soul

apples-cut - Blog Post #4

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35).

Is there a certain Bible verse that jumps right out and straight into your heart?

The Bible, being God’s Word, contains what is true what we need to know and remember, especially during the most difficult times.

It’s so easy to forget some basics sometimes, isn’t it? Basics like God loves you, He really does, He is with you, and He has good plans for you.

When you get hit with a crisis, you may not be able to read and study the Bible at first because it might be hard to concentrate, you might feel stunned.

Do you remember a children’s song which words went something like this?

“Oh be careful little eyes what you see,
Oh be careful little eyes what you see,
For your Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
Oh be careful little eyes what you see.”

 

There is another stanza to this song that went something like this:

“Oh be careful little mind what you think,
Oh be careful little mind what you think,
For your Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
Oh be careful little mind what you think.”

 

Holding in your mind what God’s Word says is an important key for your safety at all times, but especially during times of fragile-ness.

The Bible is Living and Alive and Active (Hebrews 4:12), and recalling it will water seeds of new life and hope in your soul. His Word is like a seed that takes root in your mind and that God miraculously causes to sprout and to bear fruit in your life.

It is the most important seed that you can plant of all in your thinking.

Try this:

  1. Write out the words to Proverbs 3:5-6 on an index card and carry it with you in a pocket or purse.
  2. When you have a few moments of time, pull it out and just let your eyes rest on the words. Say them out loud, slowly, if you can. Let your ears hear.
  3. If you have access to a smartphone, then download the app to one such as biblegateway.com. If you click the left corner, you will see an option to listen to the audio version of the Bible. Let yourself hear the words of life from the Bible while you wait during the day, or while you fall asleep during the night.

~~~

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

~~~

Which Bible verse do you like to cling to during hard times?

Remember That You Are Not Forgotten in Your Fragile -Ness: God Sees All

Have you ever felt shocked that life goes on “as normal” after a crisis, at least for everybody else?

Make The List

When you get hit with a crisis, sometimes it is surprising that time still marches on. You might feel like the clock should be stopped. Why are people still moving about in their own lives as if everything is normal?

The sun still sets at night, and it rises in the morning. Sometimes this seems like an injustice. It seems like you might want to shout to those people acting so ordinary and ask them if they do not know any better.

Friend, you are not forgotten. God knows all that you are going through. God sees all. He is with you.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

God can help you, and He will. Remember to keep crying out to Him.

Recognize this: Right now you are very fragile. You need to give yourself some time and rest as your life is restored to a fresh plan.

Try this during your first couple of days after a crisis has hit:

  1. Take care of your body by what you eat. Drink water. Avoid sugar. Eat protein such as almonds.
  2. Take a nap. Especially if you have not gotten enough sleep at night.
  3. Grab a notebook and make a list of what you can be thankful for. Make this a regular habit. Do not overlook this step. You may be surprised at how many items you can add to your list each day. Truly, it will help in your perspective if you will follow this step.

Remember that you are in a season of fragile-ness, and you need to take care of you, and it is okay to do that.

 

 

Stop First, Save Your Crisis Reactions for Later

If you get hit with a bad situation, then stop first, and save your crisis reactions for later.

If…

words-wham-frame (1)

Then…

stopsign300x300

Before Reacting.

 

When you get hit with a crisis it is often a surprise, and not a very good one.

You might feel like you have been knocked off your feet and thrown to the ground. You might feel dizzy and experience a loss of perspective.

You might feel alone, scared, sometimes even misunderstood. It could even be hard to even think straight.

Just as if you were actually knocked to the ground, you must take a moment to just stay put. Don’t try to stand up too soon.

Do you remember ever falling off a bike when you were small, and not knowing how hurt you were? Did an adult come by to check you first by seeing what you could move, and then what part of you especially hurt?

The grown-up might have lifted up your arm with care to make sure that you could still bend it back and forth like normal. Then your grown-up might have had you lean on them while you began to stand again.

When a crisis hits, just sit for a bit, before reacting, before standing up. Give it a few minutes. There will be time to “thrash about” later. Right now, just stop. Wait.

Try this:

  1. Take some slow, deep breaths. Try breathing in deeply for 10 seconds. Hold for 10 seconds. Breathe out slowly for 10 seconds. Do this 5 times.
  2. Realize this fact: You are still alive. This might surprise you if it’s an especially bad situation. But your heart is still beating. There is still an important reason that you are here. Don’t forget that.
  3. Cry out for help. The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” This verse refers to our salvation. But it is also the step to follow no matter what your situation. Call on His Name, the Name of Jesus. Look to Him. Say it out loud. Talk to Him first.

God is Very Real. God is Good. Call out to Him for His Help.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 46:1-2

~~~