In great sorrow over the death of her favorite man, her adopted father Matthew, Anne of Green Gables breaks down crying in the middle of the night. Her adopted mama Marilla (the sister of Matthew) embraces her and says, “There-there-don’t cry so, dearie. It can’t bring him back. It-it-isn’t right to cry so. I knew that today, but I couldn’t help it then. He’d always been such a good brother to me-but God knows best.”
“I have to be strong” says the beautiful, middle aged woman battling cancer. She doesn’t want her mother or daughters to worry for her. I get it.
Back to four years ago when I sat in the hospital unable to walk unassisted, my instinct was to assure everyone I was fine.
“I am not in pain. I am just numb.”
“I can walk better today. I am still strong. Watch”. I lift up my leg to show how strong my muscles are.
We don’t want our loved ones to hurt for us so we protect them. We think we are doing them a service and sometimes we are; however, sometimes we are hindering the mental and emotional process that needs to take place with a chronic diagnosis. Here are some great ways to work through this process. These also apply to the spouse or close relatives of the hurting person.
- Be real with God. Marilla was wrong when she said, “It isn’t right to cry so”. God does know best and He gave us these emotions to process life and living. He captures our tears in a bottle and He cares about our grief and burden. It is healthy to grieve the life you thought you would live. It is healthy to grieve the loss of abilities and dreams for your future. You need to give yourself the freedom to grieve. When we go to God with our grief He comforts us. David, the man after God’s heart, battled out his emotions with God. He told the Lord his struggles and frustrations and then sifted through his thoughts to see clearly. In the end, He would be reminded of God’s precious love toward him.
“But now, Lord what do I look for? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39: 7
“How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.” Psalm 36:7-10
“Praise be to the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a beseiged city….Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:21-24
2. Choose a few trusted friends as counselor’s. These are safe people you can be raw down to the bone and process all you are experiencing. I highly recommend you have a professional or certified therapist/ counselor with a biblical worldview. You may need someone outside of your sphere of life. This will protect your loved ones and truly give you the freedom to work through your raw emotions. This may also aid in your mental health and enable you to thrive in light of your present circumstances.
“In the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Prov. 11:14
3. Keep your trusted friendships strong. You may not feel like being with people all day, every day but keep investing in your friendships. They are a lifeline to thriving. If you are not able to drive, allow a friend to pick you up and take you somewhere you can have fun. Allow these friends to come over and allow yourself to have fun.
Proverbs 18:1 says, ” One who isolates himself seeks his own desires; he rejects all sound judgement.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, ” Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
A great proverb, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” 17:22
4. Guard your thoughts well. Science backs up the bible on the power of our thoughts. God’s word says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think on such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 What you think about God, yourself, your life, present circumstances, and everyone around you, will effect your body and will either hinder you or build you up. Choose well.
5. Allow your family and friends the freedom to process their hurt too. This diagnosis effects them too. It effects their dreams and plans. Encourage them to seek a professional counselor as well.
6. Place your trust in God, not your circumstances or your feelings. Choose today not to lean into how you feel or lean on circumstantial evidence but to lean on God and His truth. He loves you!
“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anthing else in all creation, will be able to seperate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
YOU ARE LOVED BEYOND ALL MEASURE!
I am praying for you my friends,
P.S. This took me over a week to put together. The week was very busy and this heat sucks the life and brain power out of me. I am sure many of you can relate. I always write through immense prayer.