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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Children and Divorce – Helping Kids Cope with Separation and Divorce

For children, divorce can be stressful, sad, and confusing. At any age, kids may feel uncertain or angry at the prospect of mom and dad splitting up. As a parent, you can make the process and its effects less painful for your children. Helping your kids cope with divorce means providing stability in your home and attending to your children’s needs with a reassuring, positive attitude. It won’t be a seamless process, but these tips can help your children cope.

A parent’s guide to supporting your child through a divorce

🛑As a parent, it’s normal to feel uncertain about how to give your children the right support through your divorce or separation. It may be uncharted territory, but you can successfully navigate this unsettling time — and help your kids emerge from it feeling loved, confident, and strong.

🛑There are many ways you can help your kids adjust to separation or divorce. Your patience, reassurance, and listening ear can minimize tension as children learn to cope with new circumstances. By providing routines kids can rely on, you remind children they can count on you for stability, structure, and care. And if you can maintain a working relationship with your ex, you can help kids avoid the stress that comes with watching parents in conflict. Such a transitional time can’t be without some measure of hardship, but you can powerfully reduce your children’s pain by making their well-being your top priority.

What I need from my mom and dad — a child’s list of wants

🌞I need both of you to stay involved in my life. Please text me, write letters, make phone calls, and ask me lots of questions. When you don’t stay involved, I feel like I’m not important and that you don’t really love me.
🌞Please stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other. Try to agree on matters related to me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong and I feel guilty.
🌞I want to love you both and enjoy the time that I spend with each of you. Please support me and the time that I spend with each of you. If you act jealous or upset, I feel like I need to take sides and love one parent more than the other.
🌞Please communicate directly with my other parent so that I don’t have to send messages back and forth.
🌞When talking about my other parent, please say only nice things, or don’t say anything at all. When you say mean, unkind things about my other parent, I feel like you are expecting me to take your side.
🌞Please remember that I want both of you to be a part of my life. I count on my mom and dad to raise me, to teach me what is important, and to help me when I have problems.

Helping children cope with divorce…what to tell your kids

When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents freeze up. Make the conversation a little easier on both yourself and your children by preparing significantly before you sit down to talk. If you can anticipate tough questions, deal with your own anxieties ahead of time, and plan carefully what you’ll be telling them, you will be better equipped to help your children handle the news.

Credits – Amanda Buys

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Learning important lessons from a divorce or breakup.

In times of emotional crisis, there is an opportunity to grow and learn. Just because you are feeling emptiness in your life right now, doesn’t mean that nothing is happening or that things will never change.

Consider this period a time-out, a time for sowing the seeds for new growth. You can emerge from this experience knowing yourself better and feeling stronger.

In order to fully accept a breakup and move on, you need to understand what happened and acknowledge the part you played. It’s important to understand how the choices you made affected the relationship. Learning from your mistakes is the key to not repeating them.

Some questions to ask yourself:
❇️Step back and look at the big picture. How did you contribute to the problems of the relationship?
❇️Do you tend to repeat the same mistakes or choose the wrong person in relationship after relationship?
❇️Think about how you react to stress and deal with conflict and insecurities. Could you act in a more constructive way?
❇️Consider whether or not you accept other people the way they are, not the way they could or “should” be.
❇️Examine your negative feelings as a starting point for change. Are you in control of your feelings, or are they in control of you?

You’ll need to be honest with yourself during this part of the healing process. Try not to dwell on who is to blame or beat yourself up over your mistakes.

As you look back on the relationship, you have an opportunity to learn more about yourself, how you relate to others, and the problems you need to work on.

If you are able to objectively examine your own choices and behavior, including the reasons why you chose your former partner, you’ll be able to see where you went wrong and make better choices next time.
Credits – Amanda Buys

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Tips for grieving after a breakup or divorce:

🙄Don’t fight your feelings — It’s normal to have lots of ups and downs, and feel many conflicting emotions, including anger, resentment, sadness, relief, fear, and confusion. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving process.

🙄Talk about how you’re feeling — Even if it is difficult for you to talk about your feelings with other people, it is very important to find a way to do so when you are grieving. Knowing that others are aware of your feelings will make you feel less alone with your pain and will help you heal. Journaling can also be a helpful outlet for your feelings.

🙄Remember that moving on is the end goal — Expressing your feelings will liberate you in a way, but it is important not to dwell on the negative feelings or to over-analyze the situation. Getting stuck in hurtful feelings like blame, anger, and resentment will rob you of valuable energy and prevent you from healing and moving forward.

🙄Remind yourself that you still have a future — When you commit to another person, you create many hopes and dreams. It’s hard to let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones.

🙄Know the difference between a normal reaction to a breakup and depression — Grief can be paralyzing after a breakup, but after a while, the sadness begins to lift. Day by day, and little by little, you start moving on. However, if you don’t feel any forward momentum, you may be suffering from depression.

🙄Reach out to others for support through the grieving process.

🙄Support from others is critical to healing after a breakup or divorce. You might feel like being alone, but isolating yourself will only make this time more difficult. Don’t try to get through this on your own.

🙄Reach out to trusted friends and family members. People who have been through painful breakups or divorces can be especially helpful. They know what it is like and they can assure you that there is hope for healing and new relationships.

🙄Spend time with people who support, value, and energize you. As you consider who to reach out to, choose wisely. Surround yourself with people who are positive and who truly listen to you. It’s important that you feel free to be honest about what you’re going through, without worrying about being judged, criticized, or told what to do.

🙄Get outside help if you need it. If reaching out to others doesn’t come naturally, consider seeing a counselor or joining a support group. The most important thing is that you have at least one place where you feel comfortable opening up.

😯Cultivate new friendships. If you feel like you have lost your social network along with the divorce or breakup, make an effort to meet new people. Join a networking group or special interest club, take a class, get involved in community activities, or volunteer at a school, place of worship, or other community organization.

😯A divorce is a highly stressful, life-changing event. When you’re going through the emotional wringer and dealing with major life changes, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself. The strain and upset of a major breakup can leave you psychologically and physically vulnerable.

😯Treat yourself like you’re getting over the flu. Get plenty of rest, minimize other sources of stress in your life, and reduce your workload if possible.

😯Learning to take care of yourself can be one of the most valuable lessons you learn following a divorce or breakup. As you feel the emotions of your loss and begin learning from your experience, you can resolve to take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward.

It is not the end of the road, you have victory in Jesus Christ.

Credits – Amanda Buys

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Coping with a Breakup or Divorce – Moving on After a Relationship Ends

It’s never easy when a marriage or significant relationship ends. Whatever the reason for the split — and whether you wanted it or not — the breakup of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling feelings. But there are plenty of things you can do to get through this difficult time and move on. You can even learn from the experience and grow into a stronger, wiser person.

Healing after a divorce or breakup

Why do breakups hurt so much, even when the relationship is no longer good?

A divorce or breakup is painful because it represents the loss, not just of the relationship, but also of shared dreams and commitments.

Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hope for the future. When these relationships fail, we experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief.

😪A breakup or divorce launches us into uncharted territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity.

😪A breakup brings uncertainty about the future. What will life be like without your partner? Will you find someone else? Will you end up alone? These unknowns often seem worse than an unhappy relationship.

😪Recovering from a breakup or divorce is difficult. However, it’s important to know (and to keep reminding yourself) that you can and will move on. But healing takes time, so be patient with yourself.

Coping with separation and divorce:

🤗Recognize that it’s OK to have different feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, and confused — and these feelings can be intense. You also may feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Even if the marriage was unhealthy, venturing into the unknown is frightening.

🤗Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you’re accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup, and re-energize.

🤗Don’t go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Consider joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.

🤗Allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship.

Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and the breakup or divorce of a love relationship involves multiple losses:
☹️Loss of companionship and shared experiences (which may or may not have been consistently pleasurable).
☹️Loss of support, be it financial, intellectual, social, or emotional.
☹️Loss of hopes, plans, and dreams (can be even more painful than practical losses).

Allowing yourself to feel the pain of these losses may be scary. You may fear that your emotions will be too intense to bear, or that you’ll be stuck in a dark place forever. Just remember that grieving is essential to the healing process. The pain of grief is precisely what helps you let go of the old relationship and move on. And no matter how strong your grief, it won’t last forever.

Credits – Amanda Buys

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Grief ministry to CHILDREN.

It is important that we support and help our children deal with their grief properly (watch http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=foOHvyv9CVI).

Learning to mourn, and to be comfortable with the grieving process, might not seem like a parenting skill. But grief is a part of every life, and how we handle loss has a huge impact on the richness of our family’s emotional life. Our comfort level with loss also gives our children an important role model.

At times, there will be nothing we can do for our child except to sit with him and let him experience his grief — over a sports defeat, an inconsiderate peer, a dead pet, or even an ill or deceased loved one.

To work through his grief, our child needs what therapists call a “holding environment,” and we are the ones who do the holding, both physically and emotionally. If we are so uncomfortable with loss that we cannot allow our child to mourn, we give a destructive message that is far reaching. Accepting loss as a normal part of life is important for optimal mental health for all of us. The more we allow ourselves to grieve when necessary, the more joy we can feel.

Thankfully, grief is never interminable. Like all feelings, if we let ourselves feel it, grief swamps us, and then, eventually, diminishes. Not that grief ever disappears, but we can think of it as a slice of the pie of our lives — at first an important loss pervades the entire circle of our life, but gradually the slice of our life in shadow becomes smaller and smaller. Eventually, we can go on with our lives in a healthy way, although we may always revisit the pain of our loss. But if we fend it off like an unwelcome visitor, grief doesn’t leave. It takes up residence like a shadow in our psyches, and we become stuck in its bitter influence. Unresolved grief compromises resiliency, threatening to burst out at even minor provocations, leaving us fragile and prone to depression.

Our children, therefore, not only need to grieve sometimes, but need our help to do so. Give children ongoing opportunities to ask questions and to talk about their loss. Create large and small practical exercises of remembrance, and to honor the deceased and help them keep them alive in your child’s heart. As the months go by, make a point of mentioning the lost loved one’s name in conversation when appropriate. Don’t insist that your child grieve when he or she is trying to be happy, but don’t act as if the loss didn’t happen, either.

Be aware that children grieve differently from adults. They need ROUTINE that offers safe space for grieving, and then a defined end point so they can play again and go on with their lives without guilt. The kids who successfully live through loss are the ones who find ways to feel connected to the person they’ve lost AND to go on with their lives. Even children experiencing severe losses need time off from grief.

They need safe space, such as school, where they will not be reminded of their loss and can forget for a time. They need to hear that we are there for them when they want to talk, and they need us to normalize talking about the loss, but they also need our permission to go on with their lives.

Credits – Amanda Buys

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Dealing with “INTENTIONAL” separation

What about DIVORCE, suicide, or REBELLIOUS separation?

This can WOUND a person even more than the normal death of a loved one since it involves the CHOICE of a living person to abandon his/her family. There is the PAIN of loss AS WELL AS the pain of REJECTIONA SPIRIT WOUND! BETRAYAL!

Added to this is usually a burden of GUILT over how things MIGHT have gone differently. “WHAT IF ... ?” With these kinds of SEPARATION there are underlying spiritual principles or laws that have been VIOLATED. The CONSEQUENCES of the sin of that event and those sins that led up to it must be DEALT with thoroughly.

SUICIDE carries even more PAIN — it is so final. The act of suicide is inherently anti-relational and can produce GAPING personal WOUNDS. Unanswered questions abound — “How could (so-and-so) just leave us like that?” This kind of pain is the most INTENSE kind of anguish, wounding, and ANGER.

Both GRIEVING and FORGIVING often takes longer. SELF-forgiveness and forgiveness of GOD (for allowing the events) may be especially DIFFICULT. (These are very important guidelines, because many people do not know how to and sometimes never work through grief.)

Credits – Amanda Buys