Today was suppose to be my follow up post about perfectionism but it just did not seem appropriate (I will share more about perfectionism next week).
In light of the recent tragic events in Boston and a friend of ours loosing all he owns in a house fire over the weekend, my heart has been heavy. These types of events have a way of shaking and waking me up to the world around me. When I hear of tragedy, it seems to highlight the blessings in my life and causes me to hold tightly to those I love.
This afternoon as I was praying and reflecting on the loss of those deeply affected by tragedy, I couldn’t help but wonder how do we continue to stand on peace in the midst of pain? In the midst of loss? How do we feel safe? How do we comfort our children?
Here are a few things that came to mind:
1) God is peace: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27
2) Breathe: When chaos strikes, I can feel as though all is lost. The simple act of pausing and taking a deep breath does me a world of good.
3) Pray: First and foremost in the midst of pain and tragedy I try to press into the Lord. He IS my strength and refuge. Each and every time I have prayed for the “peace that surpasses all understanding” the Lord has always followed through.
4) Comfort those around me: I can take time to stop and notice those around me. Give a hug to someone that needs it. Be encouraging to those in need of encouragement. By caring for others, I am blessed and comforted in the process.
5) Allow myself to be comforted: If I am hurting, I can tell someone I trust. I can allow friends and family to care for me. I do not have to have it all together 100% of the time.
6) Spend time with my children: Since I have children I was thinking through when tragedy affects them. If they have experienced (or heard) about a tragedy, I could spend extra time with them playing, reading, cuddling. It will reassure them that they are safe and loved.
7) Share with my children: Again, if my children are aware of a tragedy (they hear about them easier than we think), I can talk with them about it. I can share with them how I am feeling and acknowledge their feelings. I need to be sure to keep all information given age-appropriate.
8) Don’t watch the news: I can be informed but resist the temptation to continually watch the news or view photographs online. Even as adults those images can last a lifetime in our minds and often do more damage than good. To this day I can instantly recall the images of 911.
9) Look for the helpers: Tragedy is painful and heartbreaking however in the midst of all tragedy, the wonderful gift of humanity can be found. If I look hard enough I will see it. Those selfless people that step into a dangerous situation to help another or those willing to give to those who have suffered loss. It is a reminder that there is still good in our world.
10) God has a plan: I know how cheesy this can sound! But it is truth. Just as I love my children deeply and look out for their best interest, God does the same for me. I may not see it now or understand it but I can believe that He loves me and wants what is best for me.
How do you find peace during times of suffering?
© 2012 Standing on Peace