There are times life can hit us in unexpected ways! We can be going on with life just fine and in one moment or one day we can find ourselves in the middle of a difficult journey! Life is made up of all kinds of experiences. We will often have joyful events, unexpected surprises, love, and much more but with life also comes heartache, trials, and grief! That is the cost of liven in a fallen world.
A few years back my husband was let go at work. He is in the IT field and a factory he worked for was closing down. We have been through several job losses over the years because of downsizing and it is never easy. We have had to wait months for employment at times and once only 1 week. It is hard not to be anxious and worry about the way off future. Our natural tendencies have us looking way off instead of day to day and this is something scripture clearly warns us of:
Matthew 6:34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our family has dealt with grief after losing my mother in law to cancer. One day she was perfectly well, the next she had stomach pain, and 2 months later she was gone. It left a huge hole in our family and honestly the first time I had experienced real deep grief. We were very close and I wondered if I would ever be ok again. I knew she was in heaven but honestly it didn’t ease my missing her much. I missed her daily phone calls, our weekly visits and her huge presence in my families lives. I also had to help my children and be there for them with their grief, they had lost a grandmother they were very close to. My oldest son struggled the most; because my other two children were quite young . My husband had just lost his mom and the house just screamed of sadness for quite some time.
We have lost pets, been hurt by friends, been hurt by one another and the list goes on and on!! Life can be so difficult at times!!
You may be going through hard times as well. They could be financial, a rough patch in your marriage, a sick child or family member or a million other things that hit us day to day!
I wanted to share some things that have helped our family in hard times, hoping they might help you!
Prayer – Pray as a family, pray as a couple and also encourage everyone in the house to pray on their own. We prayed hard for God to give dad a new job. We have done it in the past and we know he always provides! Our children need to see the mighty hand of God at work and prayer can strengthen faith like nothing else!
Get in the Word – Again do this together, and do it separate. We need to be reminded that God is on our side and HE will not forsake us, EVER!! Scripture can bring peace like nothing else. If your spouse is not a believer then you read it with your children and read it on your own.
Have Fun Times – It is so easy to just sit and grieve over our trials and for a little while that’s ok. .We know there are times to grieve, the Bible reminds us of that. Sometimes grieving is the only thing that will bring healing. However you also need to take some time out, even if it is only for a little while. Watch a funny movie, go get an ice cream, take a swim together-whatever you can do to take your minds off your struggles for a little while can do wonders for healing and getting through something! A couple of summers ago we lost our beloved lab dog of 14 yrs, we were so sad and having such a hard time. We went out and took a swim together and played a couple of games. It was such a lift to our spirits and a time out from crying so much.
Be a Team – My husband and I keep saying we are going to get Team Richter shirts for the family! I don’t think my teens are too fond of the idea. But we do need to be a team sometimes, especially in the hard times. We need to remind each other that we always have each other’s backs and that is way more than some have. Some have never been loved by anyone except God. It is hard for my children to comprehend but it is true! We are very blessed to have a family and to have each other. Sometimes it will be just be one family member’s trial. Maybe your son didn’t get that job he wanted or your daughter’s friends broke her heart. The family needs to rally around that person and let them know they are loved and supported by their family!
Give Hurting Family Members Space – Sometimes if one family member is hurt or struggling they need some time alone. If you have several children they need to learn to give the hurting one some time. Each person is different. I have children that want to be around people the most when they are hurting and ones who don’t. Respect one another's personalities and love languages and encourage your children to do the same!
Remember This Too Will Pass – As hard as a trial can be and some are very hard! It will pass! It won’t last forever and your will come out ok. It is the promise to believers and those who trust in HIM! Take it as another opportunity to grow, as hard as trials are they grow you like nothing else. They really do! Pray that God shows you how to grow in this valley. The closest I have ever been to God is when I’m hurting. I have literally felt the Holy Spirits presence in the room at times in my darkest hours! HE LOVES YOU and HE will use all of it for HIS glory! That is the best lesson for you as an individual and as a family!!
We can’t always stop hard things from happening in our lives but we can choose how we walk through them. Remember most to keep your eyes on Jesus and HE will see you through!
Blessings to you!!
Angela Richter, Together with Family