Steps to take in Dealing with Tragedy
From one day to the next it sometimes feels like nothing is solid. We are often on edge wondering what catastrophe will hit next. And this is in our immediate family not even taking into consideration the tremendously stressful other things going on in the world. Bad new feels like a sucker punch in the stomach. It sends our heads spinning! Here are 4 things you can do to manage your emotions and behaviors during tragedy.
Spend a Few Minutes Alone When Receiving Bad News
When I received the news that the Cancer had returned, I felt shocked, defeated, sad, and confused. Allow your tears. Process your thoughts. Do not rush to share bad news! Think about who needs to be told and how. Do not...and I repeat...Do not blast on FB before family is notified. I have unfortunately found out things on FB that way. Dang. You may want to calmly make a list of who you need to call. This will keep you focused.
Land on the Soft Place of God's Care
Picture yourself falling backward onto a very soft feather bed. That comforting feeling is nothing compared to how God envelopes you with His love and provides us with a soft place to land when we are in desperation. We read in Psalm 55:22, "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you." Sustain means, "To strengthen or support physically or mentally." God knows we are suffering. And know this...It breaks His heart when we don't ask for help. He is waiting to supernaturally calm us and comfort us. Fall into the soft place of God's care and simply say, "Jesus, help me."
Be Patient with Well Wishers
When someone dies, often people can't think of another thing to say except, "Sorry for your loss." When you hear that over and over, it all just runs together in a blur. Sometimes it doesn't convey the kind of thought-felt wish we are wanting to share. By thinking just a minute we can come up with a more authentic and powerful condolence. Here are a few comments that ministered to me with the loss of my Father.
"His laughter could light up a room."
"He sounds like a wonderful Dad!"
"Heaven just became an even happier place!"
"The love and faith he showed you will be evident for generations."
"You'll always be Daddy's Girl."
"He gave you a great foundation for your ministry."
"Your Daddy was very proud of you."
Can you just feel the bright, liveliness in these more personally touching comments? It makes a huge difference when you put an effort in to share a more personal approach.
Focus on All That You Still Have
This is so very challenging to do at times. Especially when you have lost a lot or you are at the center of a very stressful storm. Gratitude touches the heart of God. He sees us making every effort to look for the blessings and what we have left. It would be easy to focus on the loss. I have lost my health and my Daddy. Those are huge stressors. But I have a home and everything I need. I have my children and grandchildren who need me. But most of all I have a God who loves me. A god who is working in my behalf and will bring me through any and every challenge according to His power!
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” ~ Psalm 34:18