These last few weeks have been hard for so many people. I had something else in mind to write about this week, but after the recent devastating hurricane and flooding that affected Texas, I changed my mind.
When I think about the enormous devastation my fellow Texans have gone through this past week, there really are no words.
I was home in Montreal when hurricane Harvey struck. I live in the northern part of Texas, so I was not personally affected by the flooding, but as I watched the effects of the storm on the news I wondered what I would have done, if I were in that situation.
What would you do if you lost everything in a matter of minutes as a result of a natural disaster, illness, loss of a job or any significant loss?
That’s something to really pause and think about.
We have all experienced loss at some point in our lives, some with more significant loss than others.
When catastrophic tragedy strikes we generally move into survival mode needing the most basic necessities of life to move forward, such as air, water, food, shelter and feeling safe and secure with some sense of well-being.
Then at some point you come to a crossroad, where you have to make a decision to stay where you are, keep living in the past or determined to continue to move forward.
You may feel like you don’t have the strength or the energy to do what’s necessary to keep moving forward after a significant (or devastating) loss, and you may need to take some time to be still, regroup and rebuild your strength, but then at some point you have to begin to make choices, and that can be challenging and scary.
There will be times when you may feel completely alone, but know that Jesus is always near.
His word says in Deuteronomy 31:6: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
We have to lean on our faith and our hope and have a strategy in order to move forward.
What is a strategy… it’s a plan of action.
James 2:17 say, In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Faith without works is dead.
Take time to acknowledge and grieve your losses. If you don’t grieve your losses in life you will eventually get stuck and be unable to move forward.
Life is inevitably full of challenges and losses.
And many times there is a tremendous emotional and mental impact.
Viktor Frankl wrote: When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Life truly can be hard at times but we still have a choice on which path we will take and that path will eventually lead us to our destiny.
Lean into God for help and strength and seek His peace and comfort. He gives strength to the weary and comforts those who are oppressed.
Ask for outside help if you need it, talk to a pastor, priest, counselor, mentor or trusted friend.
Remember, there’s no shame in seeking assistance in whatever area you’re struggling. We were not meant to do this life alone.
Take some time to renew your mind, the Word of God says, that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Seek truth and be honest with yourself, journal your thoughts and feelings. Get appropriate rest. Take some time to do something that you enjoy. Focus on taking one tiny step at a time.
And remember your blessings with a thankful heart. Being thankful may not come easy when you’re in the midst of crisis, but know that gratitude has the power to heal.
Healing will take time, but you can’t lose hope.
May you continue to experience His presence and find His peace in the storms as well as the calm periods in your life.
Be encouraged. Blessings…