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 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 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 26

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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

DEALING WITH GRIEF 12

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Praise GOD! Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t spend all His time hanging around the Temple? It is so wonderful that He visits slimy pools and finds hurting people like us.

What a thought to think about the Scripture saying, He saw a “certain man”.

Always take special note when the Scripture uses the word “certain” because it’s vague enough to apply to each and every one of us. It could be any of us beside that pool.

A certain man had lain there for 38 years, and Jesus asked him in that place — “Will you be made whole?” This is a terrible question to ask an impotent man. He has no power! It’s a slap in the face to ask such a question. The man was probably thinking:
⏺Are you serious?
⏺If I had any power at all, I wouldn’t be in this situation.
⏺If I had a choice in the matter, I wouldn’t have spent the last 38 years lying in sheep dung.

I wonder why Jesus approached him this way. I’m always very intrigued with the way Jesus interacted with people.
➡️Sometimes He would move with compassion in one situation and then rebuke satan in the next.
➡️Sometimes He rebuked unbelief, and sometimes He asked, “Do you believe?”
➡️Sometimes He just healed.
➡️And sometimes He asked the person to do something like, “Show yourself to the priests, stretch out your hand, or wash in the pool”.

Why would Jesus say to a man with a 38-year-old weakness, “Are you going to be made whole?”

Please note — whatever this man’s problem was, it had caused him to lie down. He had given up. The fight was long gone in him. Jesus asked an impossible question to a desperate man because Jesus was fishing for another world-changer.

This story occurs at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus saw potential in the impotent man. He saw the potential for greatness in a place of negativity and no power.
↘️Where this man couldn’t do it, Jesus saw it done.
↘️How could Jesus see potential in this broken man?
↘️How could He see potential in a man who had lain there for 38 years?

It’s very simple. He saw potential in this man who had lain there for 38 years because he had lain there for 38 years. This man had hope! Jesus sees this same potential in you today!

↔️What were the odds that he would ever be healed?
↔️He was so impotent that he was lying down.
↔️If he couldn’t even stand, how could he ever get to the pool?
↔️He was incredibly discouraged, but he was still there.

Some of you can relate to this man. You feel utterly defeated, but you’re still here! That is victory.

Credits – Amanda Buys

DEALING WITH GRIEF 11

Please notice two things:

There is no healing in a stagnant pool. To make forward progress in water, you must create waves. Ifthere is no stirring, there is no healing.

There is no healing in a stagnant spiritual life either. We’ll see in just a moment that if we remain stagnant for too long, we won’t be able to answer the question, “Will you be made whole?”

Grief promotes stagnation. All enthusiasm and motivation subside when the painful waves of grief capsize the soul. That’s normal. It’s okay to lose focus and passion, but remember the healing process requires movement.

Don’t move rashly or prematurely, but please move. Don’t lie down and die. Even after significant physical surgeries, the patients are required to stretch and move.

Notice that the first to embrace the troubling of the water was made whole.

Human nature is to reject the trouble — but if we would embrace it and wrestle with it and talk about it and face it and cry about it, we would make quicker progress in healing and growing from it.

There was a packed pavilion hosting hurting, hopeless people. When the water stirred, it was a fend-for-yourself mad dash for the pool. If you had lain for 38 years in impotency and each time you neared deliverance someone stepped on you and took your miracle, would that produce the fruit of the Spirit in you?

Would you bless the man who tripped and elbowed you and sentenced you to another year of impotency? This was a selfish environment, and the Scripture says that Jesus knew that this man had been there “a long time”. He had spent a long time in an environment where everyone wanted to be first. There wasn’t a servant’s heart among them.

It was crowded. It was hot. People were impatient. They were mad. They were waiting for the slightest ripple. One wonders if there were some false starts.

One wonders if a sudden gust of wind ever troubled the water and signalled the start of the stampede. The race began, and someone got there first. This person flopped headfirst into the slimy sheep pool and stood up-still impotent and even more discouraged than ever. Their chance was blown. What would the odds be that they could get there first when it really counted?

This is the setting of our story. This is the setting of many Christian lives. Hurting, powerless, and waiting for something supernatural to fix everything, people lie in a selfish state of pain. Now, read the beginning of our text again …

“Jesus went up to Jerusalem”,
Into this place, Jesus comes.
Into this story, Jesus walks.
Into our lives, Jesus enters.

Into the sheep market, the Lamb of GOD comes. Into the midst of impotency, walks Omnipotence. Into a slimy pool walks the Source of Living Water.

Credits – Amanda Buys

UNDERSTANDING REJECTION 4

Can you IMAGINE the effect on your RELATIONSHIPS if EVERY DAY you gave SINCERE, positive feedback on how you VALUE them as a PERSON?!

HUSBANDS, take note of this for your WIVES. Your WIFE will BLOSSOM in you VALUING her for WHO she is, NOT for what she DOES.

Many times in marriage, the woman needs to know that she is valued for who she is. Men have a tendency to value a woman by providing, bringing gifts, and performance — that performance laps over into the bedroom.

The woman gets the view of herself as a being, but not a person. Many times she feels like she is just filling space on a shelf. When her husband needs the laundry done, he will run to the shelf, pick her up, put her down on the floor — she does the laundry and when it is done, he picks her up and puts her back on the shelf again.

When he wants to have intimacy in the bedroom, he picks her up off the shelf, puts her down on the floor, marches her into the bedroom — and when he is done, he puts her back on the shelf again.
The house needs to be cleaned, the children need to be fed and carted around — so, she is off the shelf and on the shelf — and so her life goes.
Husband feels that he is bonding with her and that they have a good relationship because he keeps on repainting the shelf every now and then — he lets her watch some television and brings her a gift while she sits on the shelf.

Men do not know how to value a woman for who she is on the inside. A husband will tell his wife she is beautiful, she looks great, but he never tells her how he feels about her as a person. He compliments her through the visual, but cannot compliment and value her as a person — feeling orientation.

Husbands, at least once or twice a day, find something of VALUE in your Wife. DON’T just compliment on how she LOOKS or what she DOES, but on how you FEEL about her as a PERSON! REMEMBER, we VALUE the person FIRST … and then we can VALUE the performance.

MEN, we know this is DIFFICULT for you — to recognize the little things a woman does in a relationship.

A man can really day dream in what he wants to accomplish — he has his dream structured in his mind as if it has come to pass. The wife pulls him back to reality — and this can also cause a conflict.
Women live in the reality of the here and now — where we are today. Men live six weeks into the future, and that is why they don’t see the little things that their wives are doing day-by-day, because they are so focused out in front — they cannot even express with appreciation what their wives are doing.

Another downside of men living in this dream world up to six weeks out in front, is that they express a lot of things to their wives about their dreams. They express it in present tense because in their minds it is already done.

The woman does not see it, but she goes along with it for a while — and then when her husband does not produce what he has been dreaming about — and this happens over and over again — then to her subconscious mind, he is lying. He talks big, but he does not produce. He has the lack of ability to follow through on his dreams, desires and goals.

Men need to flip into the reality of today and value and share an appreciation for all the things that their wives are doing for them every day — “How nice you looked on that day!” We get so used to each other in our relationships and we don’t recognize a change of hairstyle or a new dress, and so forth.

In ALL relationships, cultivate a DAILY appreciation of each  … and watch what HAPPENS!

Credits – Amanda Buys