DEALING WITH GRIEF 34 – Encouragement

A word of ENCOURAGEMENT!

The Hebrew word TRUST:
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart … know Him in all your ways.

The Hebrew word for trust is “bittachon”, from a root word batach that means “to lean upon,” to feel safe and secure.

“Bittachon” describes emotional acceptance of the goodness of the LORD.

Some of the teachers have said that while emunah,or “faith”, represents a state of understanding that GOD is intimately involved in all the events of the universe, bittachon means personally trusting that the LORD is present in every situation for your good.

Rabbi Bechaya put the distinction this way: “Everyone who trusts has faith, but not everyone with faith trusts.”

Bittachon is an intuitive awareness of the Personal Love of GOD for your life, coupled with complete trust that He cares for you (Romans 8:28). It is an expectation that the Love of GOD is “I-AM-always-with-you,” too.

The Greek word ANXIETY:
Where it is written, “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7), the word translated “anxiety” (merimna) comes from a Greek verb (merizo) that means to be fragmented or divided into parts and pieces. We bring our brokenness to GOD — including even those distractions that tear us away from Him and that tend to make us inwardly fragmented — in order to receive GOD’s Healing Care for us.

Therefore choose to regard your brokenness as an invitation to come before GOD for healing. Never let it keep you from coming to the LORD for help!

We are not to be ignorant of satan and his devices … despite our many sins, frailties, and even our own inner ambivalence, we know that GOD Alone makes us whole and He is the True Lover of our souls.

The Spirit always cries out for you: come … it is my prayer and hope that each of us will draw near to GOD for life.

May the LORD GOD heal you, body and soul … may He ease your pain, increase your strength, and release you from all your fears. May blessing, love, joy, and true shalom surround you and fill you in the Love of Jesus our Savior.

AMEN!

Credits – Amanda Buys

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DEALING WITH GRIEF 33 – Prayer

PRAYER FOR GRIEF AND LOSS

When facing the loss of loved ones, prayer is sometimes the only thing that holds any type of comfort. Sometimes we ourselves loose someone close to us, and at other times we just need to pray for someone else’s loss.

Emotions like anger, disappointment, and sadness can easily move us away from GOD. It is easy for those dealing with grief to fall into so much anger they walk away from the LORD.

Blaming GOD for bad things can go well beyond emotions associated with loss into a permanent distancing from our faith.

While grief may always remain with us to some degree, prayers can help us move past the deep sense of anger and sadness into acceptance and living.

Prayer always helps us grow with GOD, and when we are grieving or watching others grieve, prayers for grief and loss can be immensely helpful.

Sometimes it is the only thing we can do for someone. Here are some prayers you can use:

A Prayer for Personal Loss

FATHER, thank You for being my Rock and my Strength. I don’t know why this happened. I know You have a plan for each of us. But right now I’m hurting, and that hurt runs deep.
FATHER, I know that You are a comfort for me, and I thank You that You are by my side through this time. It feels right now like this hurt will never go away. It feels right now like I’ll never come out of this pain.
Everyone keeps saying that time will ease what I’m going through. I feel angry. I feel hurt. I feel alone. I cannot imagine going through this without You holding me up.
Sometimes, FATHER, it’s just hard to look at tomorrow, and I just don’t know how I will get through the day without my loved one in my life. But FATHER, I thank You that you are here for me, and You will never leave me, nor forsake me.
I receive strength to take another step and to cope with the loneliness and to move forward in my life. FATHER, thank You that You are making each day a little easier. I also receive hope for tomorrow. Though I may never stop missing my loved one, I am comforted knowing that they are now with You.
Thank You, FATHER for always being here for me. In Jesus name, AMEN.

 

A Prayer for the Loss of Others

FATHER, I come to You now in Jesus name for my friend. May they receive strength and comfort in this time of deep need. Their hurt and grief run so deep. I feel so much pain for them, but I can only imagine how hard this time must be for them. I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit, they may maintain their faith in You during this difficult time.
Be their greatest Shoulder and biggest Provider during this time when daily life can be burdensome.
Grant patience from others as they work through their grief. Surround them with understanding so that they can work through all the emotions this loss brought up.
In this time when so many things get lost — bills need to be paid, homework needs to be done, etc. … grant those around them the wisdom to help keep regular life on track.
And FATHER, I receive Your wisdom to be a comfort to my friend. Let me be what they need during this time.
I receive the comforting words, the kindness in my heart, and the patience to allow the grief to take its course. Let me be part of Your Light and comfort during this time.
I pray these things in Jesus Name, AMEN!

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 32 – Divorce And Children cont’d

Normal reactions to separation and divorce

Although strong feelings can be tough on kids, the following reactions can be considered normal for children.

😖Anger. Your kids may express their anger, rage, and resentment with you and your spouse for destroying their sense of normalcy.

😳Anxiety. It’s natural for children to feel anxious when faced with big changes in their lives.

😞Mild depression. Sadness about the family’s new situation is normal, and sadness coupled with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness is likely to become a mild form of depression.

It will take some time for your kids to work through their issues about the separation or divorce, but you should see gradual improvement over time.

Red flags for more serious problems.

If things get worse rather than better after several months, it may be a sign that your child is stuck in depression, anxiety, or anger and could use some additional support. Watch for these warning signs of divorce-related depression or anxiety:
🙁Sleep problems
🙁Self-injury, cutting, or eating disorders
🙁Poor concentration
🙁Frequent angry or violent outbursts
🙁Trouble at school
🙁Withdrawal from loved ones
🙁Drug or alcohol abuse
🙁Refusal of loved activities

Discuss these or other divorce-related warning-signs with your child’s doctor, teachers, or consult a child therapist for guidance on coping with specific problems.

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 31 – Divorce And Children cont’d

Helping children cope with divorce … work with your ex

Conflict between parents — separated or not — can be very damaging for kids. It’s crucial to avoid putting your children in the middle of your fights, or making them feel like they have to choose between you.

Rules of thumb

Remember that your goal is to avoid lasting stress and pain for your children. The following tips can save them a lot of heartache:

👍🏾Take it somewhere else. Never argue in front of your children, whether it’s in person or over the phone. Ask your ex to talk another time, or drop the conversation altogether.

👍🏾Use tact. Refrain from talking with your children about details of their other parent’s behavior. It’s the oldest rule in the book: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

👍🏾Be nice. Be polite in your interactions with your ex-spouse. This not only sets a good example for your kids but can also cause your ex to be gracious in response.

👍🏾Look on the bright side. Choose to focus on the strengths of all family members. Encourage children to do the same.

👍🏾Work on it. Make it a priority to develop an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse as soon as possible. Watching you be friendly can reassure children and teach problem-solving skills as well.

The big picture

⭐️If you find yourself, time after time, locked in battle with your ex over the details of parenting, try to step back and remember the bigger purpose at hand.

⭐️Relationship with both parents. What’s best for your kids in the long run? Having a good relationship with both of their parents throughout their lives.

⭐️The long view. If you can keep long-term goals — your children’s physical and mental health, your independence — in mind, you may be able to avoid disagreements about daily details. Think ahead in order to stay calm.

⭐️Everyone’s well-being. The happiness of your children, yourself, and, yes, even your ex, should be the broad brushstrokes in the big picture of your new lives after divorce.

Helping children cope with divorce … know when to seek help.

Some children go through divorce with relatively few problems, while others have a very difficult time. It’s normal for kids to feel a range of difficult emotions, but time, love, and reassurance should help them to heal. If your kids remain overwhelmed, though, you may need to seek professional help.

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 30 – Divorce And Children cont’d

Your own recovery

If you are able to be calm and emotionally present, your kids will feel more at ease. The following are steps you can take toward improving your own well-being and outlook:

⏏️Exercise often and eat a healthy diet. Exercise relieves the pent-up stress and frustration that are commonplace with divorce. And although cooking for one can be difficult, eating healthfully will make you feel better, inside and out — so skip the fast food.

⏏️See friends often. It may be tempting to hole up and not see friends and family who will inevitably ask about the divorce — but the reality is that you need the distraction. Ask friends to avoid the topic; they’ll understand.

⏏️Keep a journal. Writing down your feelings, thoughts, and moods can help you release tension, sadness, and anger. As time passes, you can look back on just how far you’ve come.

You’ll need support
At the very least, divorce is complicated and stressful — and can be devastating without support.

🔴Lean on friends. Talk to friends or a support group about your bitterness, anger, frustration — whatever the feeling may be — so you don’t take it out on your kids.

🔴Never vent negative feelings to your child. Whatever you do, do not use your child to talk it out like you would with a friend.

🔴Keep laughing. Try to inject humor and play into your life and the lives of your children as much as you can; it can relieve stress and give you all a break from sadness and anger.

🔴See a therapist. If you are feeling intense anger, fear, grief, shame, or guilt, find a professional to help you work through those feelings.

You will surely come through victorious and a great help to others😀

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 28 Divorce And Children cont’d

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How much information to give

😶Especially at the beginning of your separation or divorce, you’ll need to pick and choose how much to tell your children. Think carefully about how certain information will affect them.

😐Be age-aware. In general, younger children need less detail and will do better with a simple explanation, while older kids may need more information.

🤔Share logistical information. Do tell kids about changes in their living arrangements, school, or activities, but don’t overwhelm them with the details.

😯Keep it real. No matter how much or how little you decide to tell your kids, remember that the information should be truthful above all else.

Helping children cope with divorce … listen and reassure.
👪Support your children by helping them express emotions, and commit to truly listening to these feelings without getting defensive. Your next job is reassurance — assuaging fears, straightening misunderstandings, and showing your unconditional love. The bottom line: kids need to know that your divorce isn’t their fault.

👶🏾Help kids express feelings.

👧🏽For kids, divorce can feel like loss: the loss of a parent, the loss of the life they know. You can help your children grieve and adjust to new circumstances by supporting their feelings.

👦🏽Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected.

🧒🏽Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk.

🧑🏽Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Let them know that whatever they say is okay. If they aren’t able to share their honest feelings, they will have a harder time working through them.

👩🏾Acknowledge their feelings. You may not be able to fix their problems or change their sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them. You can also inspire trust by showing that you understand.
Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 27 Divorce And Children cont’d

What to say and how to say it
 
😪Difficult as it may be to do, try to strike an empathetic tone and address the most important points right up front. Give your children the benefit of an honest — but kid-friendly — explanation.

😌Tell the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, but long-winded reasons may only confuse them. Pick something simple and honest, like “We can’t get along anymore.” You may need to remind your children that while sometimes parents and kids don’t always get along, parents and kids don’t stop loving each other or get divorced from each other.

❤️Say “I love you.” However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message. Tell them you’ll still be caring for them in every way, from fixing their breakfast to helping with homework.

❇️Address changes. Preempt your kids’ questions about changes in their lives by acknowledging that some things will be different now, and other things won’t. Let them know that together you can deal with each detail as you go.

☹️Avoid blaming.

🌞It’s vital to be honest with your kids, but without being critical of your spouse. This can be especially difficult when there have been hurtful events, such as infidelity, but with a little diplomacy, you can avoid playing the blame game.

🤗Present a united front. As much as you can, try to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce — and stick to it.

👍Plan your conversations. Make plans to talk with your children before any changes in the living arrangements occur. And plan to talk when your spouse is present, if possible.

✅Show restraint. Be respectful of your spouse when giving the reasons for the separation.

Credits – Amanda Buys