We are each burdened with our own crosses to bear… it is our journey in life. So how do you carry your burden and give glory to God in the process? How do you deal with the strife and chaos of the world while lifting His name in praise?
I myself have struggled with this. How do I find the sunshine in the storm?
God never promised us easy and he never promised us calm, however there were many things that he did give to us in our times of need.
He gave us mentors. He gave us people and families that went before us and faced similar heartbreak so that we can help one another. Do not keep your troubles to yourself. Don’t let your ego keep you from the benefit of having mentors who can share with you the words and advice of those who went before you. Sorrows and troubles are to be shared with those who love us so that they join us in prayer and give outlet to our words.
Don’t take blame. I’m the world’s worst at this, but we are not to take it to heart when those around us step outside the path of the Lord. It is not something they are doing against you. In fact oftentimes it has very little to do with you and is all about them — what they want, what they need — you are not in the equation.
Don’t enable. Recently I’ve had mentors try to explain to me the difference between supporting and enabling. There’s a fine line. I want to make everything easy and quick for my loved ones, because I can, and because I love them. But helping them is a far cry from enabling them. Enabling them means you are protecting them from the consequences of their actions, you are standing in the path so that they aren’t reaping what they have sown. Are you enabling? No one learns a lesson when there are no repercussions for actions.
Understanding the change has been the hardest aspect for me. Acknowledging that even if tomorrow everything were to go back to normal, it still wouldn’t be normal. The new reality is the hardest to understand much less acknowledge, but once you do, you begin to heal. You also realize that while you can do all you can, you cannot make choices for others. For instance, when you have a child that has removed themselves from your authority, you no longer have a child, you have an adult. The hardest part is understanding that you are no longer responsible for that person. They have removed you from that role.
Remember those in the trenches with you. There will be others in the situation that are as devastated as you are, yet you can’t leave all your attention and your focus on the ones who are outside of your control. While I have one child who I have put into the Lord’s hands, I also have one at home who deserves my full attention and devotion. I can’t focus on the limb that is missing from the body just because it hurts so badly.
When you are just drained and emotionally can’t go on, remember that God loves your loved one so much more than you ever could and you need to hand that person over. You have to stand on the knowledge that He has a plan for their life and throughout all, his will… will be done. Bad things happen and good people error and in the end, God will use those times to further his will. Your loved one may feel so very far from God’s will yet even in those times of strife, God will use them to bring glory to his kingdom.
Remember when you pray… don’t ask God to be with so-and-so… because He is and has never left them. "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:8). He knows what trials they are facing and he is in the midst with them.
Don’t forget that nothing is beyond God’s control. Walk on faith.
Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Now living in the remoteness of North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.