Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 King James Version (KJV)
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
We have all been there. Whether it is death, financial insecurity, illness, betrayal, or just life throwing us its worst, we have all been there.
Times when we thought we couldn't go on. Times when there was nothing left to do but weep. Times when we wanted to curl up into a ball and not go on anymore.
If you have never been through a time like this, hang on, because you will go through it eventually.
The year 2018 was not one I would like to repeat. It started off in January with a miscarriage. A traumatic miscarriage, and one that I still don't like to think about. Almost exactly a month after my miscarriage, I lost one of my very best friends to cancer, just a couple weeks after she turned 40. She left behind five kids and a preacher husband, along with hundreds of people that loved her. I dealt, and still deal, with the deep pain of loss from losing her. I am grateful for the hope of Heaven, but until I see her again, I have grief on this earth.
Now, another of my close friends goes through horrible life events. Betrayal at the deepest form, yet she is a shining light of how to handle horrible situations. As I sat pondering the whole year, I thought back to the beginning of the year, and my raw, open grief, and I thought I would try to pen some of the things that helped me through a very trying time in my life.
1. Remember that no matter what you are going through, God is there all the time.
I have never doubted God. I have lost loved ones. I lost my dad at age 17. But I never questioned God. God didn't bring sin and death into the world. Man did. Every death, every illness, and every sin committed is a result of mankind. Not God. God is holy. God is just. God is never unkind or uncaring. When it felt like no one else could possibly understand what I was going through, I would pour my heart out to God. God gave up his Son, so he knows the feeling of loss. I know he knows what I am going through.
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
2. When you can't do anything else, just do the next thing.
Step by step, minute by minute, day by day, and nothing else. Don't try to think of the future, because it will overwhelm you. Do the next thing in your life. Eat. Sleep. Feed your kids. Clean your house. Read your Bible. Pray. Talk with someone if you need it. Don't sit around thinking about it. Don't think, don't mope, don't obsess...just do the next thing.
3. Realize you need to grieve.
You don't need to pretend that you aren't affected by the tragedy in your life. You need to cry. You need to mourn. You need to feel sorry for yourself for one mini-scule moment. But then you need to pick yourself up and go about your day. You might need to go about your day sadly, but it will get better. Eventually.
4. Realize that healing will come.
You will stop crying. Your heart will begin to heal. You won't always have the feeling like something is sitting on your chest, threatening to suffocate you. The sun will shine again. It will. Although you don't feel like it, it will happen. Cling to that hope.
5. Never, ever, ever make a permanent decision based off a temporary circumstance.
Let me repeat this. NEVER, ever, ever, make a permanent decision based off a temporary circumstance. If you do, you are hurting the lives of hundreds of people. Hundreds. People that love and care about you. You are not alone, you are never alone.
6. Realize that God is always, and will always be, good.
He is nothing but good. He will carry you through this. This is not his fault. Man sins. Man betrays. Man is scum. God is not. He is holy , just, and always good. Keep your eyes on him, for he alone is your comfort during horrible times in life.
7. Joy will come in the morning.
When I was a kid, every time I would fall and get hurt, I used to hold my skinned knee or whatever, and I would say to myself over and over, "The pain will go away, the pain will go away, the pain will go away." I was able to develop a pretty high pain tolerance with this mindset. I kind of use that same philosophy and mindset as an adult, when I face traumatic situations in life. Sometimes I just tell myself, through my tears, "The pain will go away, the pain will go away, the pain will go away." Sometimes it takes awhile, but eventually, like storm clouds clearing after a long rain, the pain does start to dissipate. Some things take longer than others. I have a constant ache in my heart for my lost loved ones. I think I always will this side of Heaven. But even though that ache is there, my life is more joy than sorrow. It's more good than bad. It's more good experiences than awful. I have more friends than those that betray me, I have more people that love me than hate me. So, hang in there.
The pain will go away.
I hope these few simple things will help you the next time you go through a trial. We will face them. It's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when".
And when it happens, always remember- God is good all the time, All the time, God is good.