“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I love my life, but difficult “things” have and will happen. Some events or situations are little and may throw off my day, while other circumstances are larger and may take months to navigate. But I always know there are things I can do when life gets difficult.
I’ve observed what others do when life doesn’t go as planned. I’ve read about how to manage unpleasant situations. And I’ve prayed, a lot, during my own circumstances and tough seasons. What I have learned is that it is always easier to move forward when I place my trust in God. I am learning more and more to go to God first – He will supply all I need!
Here are ways God has guided me through difficult situations as I placed my TRUST in Him:
T – Take a “time out”. Allow yourself to let go of expectations, commitments and tasks. You may need to go off a PTA Committee or stop teaching Sunday school as you deal with things going on. There are circumstances and situations that take a lot of your time and energy. Be flexible and never feel guilty about rearranging your schedule during these seasons. Also, when my life is hit by difficulties, I may need to go outside and walk or play solitaire on my computer to let my mind wander. A “time out” can give your mind and heart a needed break!
R – Realize you may have a new reality. This is hard to do at first. Change is hard. Giving up dreams and roles is hard. Give yourself permission to grieve whatever is happening in your life. Whether it’s a divorce, loss of a job, death, health issue or other trial you will need to spend time processing the loss, change and a new reality of the situation. Give yourself the gift of time as you sort things out, make plans to move forward and let this new reality sink in. Don’t rush this step.
U – Use the resources available. When you are thrown a curve ball and a relationship ends or you receive a difficult health diagnosis, you may feel at a total loss of what to do next. Fortunately, there is a wealth of knowledge on the Internet, at your local library and in specific support groups. Your family/friends may have gone through something similar and can shed light and give suggestions. A counselor or pastor may be able to guide you through your next steps. Take full advantage of all the resources available to you. And remember, the “experts” are those people who have walked where you are walking….listen to their stories.
S – Support from others is a necessary blessing. During my separation and divorce, asking for help was probably the hardest thing for me to do. I’m not exactly sure why, I guess I didn’t want others to see my weaknesses. Or, I didn’t want others to see me in such deep pain. Whatever the reasons, God quickly broke me of this! Call your family and friends and let them know what is going on. Share with your church, Bible study, book club or other group of people who know and care about you. If you have specific things they can do to help, tell them. There are lots of people ready and willing to serve you. You do not have to go through this difficult season alone!
T – Time with God is crucial. When you receive bad news or find yourself in a difficult place, remember you are never alone. God is right there and He is able to comfort you. I spent hours praying, sitting in silence, listening to worship music, journaling, crying and just being with God. These are some of my sweetest memories of the divorce. Don’t think you have to know how to approach God or what to say…He already knows…and cares. Just pause and allow Him to fill you with peace as you give Him your struggles.
Life will have difficulties mixed in with all the joys and happy things. When life turns hard, know that you can place your trust in our loving God. He will open the way for you to heal and move forward.