Be prepared

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Monday was a rough day. It wasn’t just one thing that had my mind muddled and my heart hurting. Several events happened that could have made the day a total loss. My head hurt, my stomach churned, and tears flowed freely several times throughout the day. Part of those tears traced my cheeks because I felt weary and beaten down. Another part of them was shed for friends I knew were going through very difficult days.

I am so grateful that no one came up to me and asked the question, “How are you feeling?” I would not have had sufficient words to describe all that I was experiencing. Not wanting to chat with anyone, I actually packed my backpack and computer and headed off to work in the silence and solitude of my home. I knew what I needed to do in order to be prepared for the war that was waging inside of me. Time alone with God, listening to praise music, reading the Bible out loud, and reclaiming my joy and hope in Christ was paramount in taking back the day and honoring God with it.

Knowing that you will face occasional rough days, how do you prepare yourself? Once you are in the midst of the sorrow, in the grasp of pain, and feeling pulled down beyond your control, what can you do to come up for air and find relief from the despair that challenges you? Having this plan prior to your hard times is important to surviving them when they hit. And hit is an appropriate description. No other verb suffices. Grief and pain attack. They place blows below the belt that are capable of flattening you for a long time if you have not strived to be prepared.

Preparation is key in walking a journey of grief and dealing with any kind of loss. While it may not be possible to foresee the future and guard against events that are inevitable in life, it is possible to place ammunition in your stockade for the battle. Those habits you choose before for the skirmishes of life will either make you or break you.

If your habit is to rely upon others first and foremost in the midst of hard times, then you will find yourself ill prepared. While friends are valuable and precious, nothing should take the place of going to God first with your questions, your hurts, and your needs. I admit I have not always done this. There have been times I have chosen to “chat” with others about my dissatisfaction in life. I am learning, though, that all that gets me is disappointment and further pain in the times I may perceive that my friends fail me. Doing this is also a disservice to my friends, as I need to set the example of taking life to God first.

Being prepared to deal with life’s blows actually occurs when you admit your weakness and inability to handle things and give your heart and mind to God. When you have that kind of relationship with God to begin with, nothing will be able to jar you off base so far that you cannot recover your footing and continue forward on your journey. “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

How are you doing at being prepared for further shock waves of grief? Can you honestly say you are ready to hold fast no matter what happens next? If not, reach up for help. Call out and admit your need. Find someone who has a solid, firm, prepared relationship with God and ask them to walk alongside you, pointing the way so you can make progress and be prepared.

Until next time –

Karen

Let me encourage you to share Grief Letters with those you know walking through loss and sadness. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief.

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Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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