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12.06.2018

What To Do When Tragedy Strikes- 3 Ways to Help You Overcome


What To Do When Tragedy Strikes And 3 Ways to Help You Overcome- Tragedy is no respecter of persons but God will help you overcome #christianblogger #morethanovercomers  #traged

What To Do When Tragedy Strikes- 3 Ways To Help You Overcome

As a Christian, tragedy is a hard thing to wrap your brain around.  Sometimes I feel like certain sicknesses and deaths are easier to understand than others.  The elderly person who passes after living a full life is an understandable death because we all know, that one day, death is inevitable.


 Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 "There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens: 
     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,"



We know that our life is uncertain and we won't live forever. I feel like most people expect to live a long life and die of old age, but that's just not the case for so many people. The accidental deaths that cut lives short are a hard pill to swallow. 


Recently, two terrible tragedies have happened, to people I know, that have caused me to really re-evaluate my life including the time I spend with my children and my service to the Lord.  Our lives are just a wisp of smoke that is gone in an instant.

James 4:14 "You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of 
 smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes."

The first tragedy made me think about what if something happened to my children. What would I do? Would I blame God or be at peace? Would I be able to trust God if the unthinkable happened?   

 The first week of October is a holiday week in Honduras. A family from our church had gone out of town and were having a family reunion in some houses that had a pool. The 18 month daughter drowned in a neighbor's pool. Everyone assumed she was with someone else and one of her cousins went to the pool and found her. I can't imagine what I would do if a tragedy like this would strike my family.  Just thinking about it literally breaks my heart. Other than praying for this family I started to pray that God would prepare me to trust him if I were ever to face a similar tragedy.  I don't understand why tragedies like this happen. I can't explain it. I just accept it. I remember when my husband was viciously attacked and was in the hospital for a week and and as a result lost his eye. You can read the whole story here Ruben's Assault Story. It was unexpected, it was a shock. I didn't know what to do, what to think, or what to pray. I remember going home all alone after being in the hospital all day (public hospitals in El Salvador don't let you stay at night) 

and collapsing into a ball on the floor and weeping myself to sleep. I'd wake up early and while in the shower I would just cry. I had no words to say to God other than thanking Him for sparing my husband's life.  I would put on worship songs and those songs would be my prayers. One thing I can attest to, after experiencing a tragedy like that, is God gives you exactly what you need to be able to make it through those difficult times.  That special thing that He gives out is called grace. Grace to be able to walk through the tragedy and not let it destroy you. 
  
2 Corinthians 12:8,9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."
    
The second tragedy made me think about what I would do if something happened to me. If I suffered some kind of accident or was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Would I have enough faith for God to heal me? Would I be able to keep going with a good attitude?  Would I trust God enough to take care of my kids if something were to happen to me? 

A week ago we received some news that three of our friends had been involved in a freak accident. They were working on their car and there was an explosion.  Karla, the wife of David, was holding the flashlight over the engine and was most affected. She has second and third degree burns on over 70% of her body.  Again, one starts to think "why?" They are good people, serving the Lord, pastors, with two young children.   I can't understand why something terrible like this would happen to them. All I know is that God doesn't cause the terrible things in the world to happen. The sin that has entered in the world is what causes terrible things to happen. When bad things happen we always tend to talk about Job but bad things happened all throughout the Bible. Mary and Joseph were normal parents that saw their son tortured to death.  Samson was betrayed by his wife and his eyes gouged out.  I can't imagine how terrible that must have been.  Bad things happen but God doesn't change. He gives us what we need to be able to overcome the situation and to be able to use it as a testimony for His glory.  This terrible accident with my friend has really burdened me. I pray for her and her family daily; my heart hurts and I hate what has happened. I don't understand it and that's okay. 

And once again I had re-evaluate my life. What are the things that really matter in my life? I spend time with my kids but sometimes that is just coming home from work cleaning the house, cooking dinner, getting them to bed. So I've decided to make sure that I take the time to just be with them. Do what they want to do, play with them. Not just take care of them.  With my husband I've decided to be more intentional.  Enjoy every moment we have together.  Seek the Lord on a deeper level.  Don't wait until something happens to draw closer to Him. 


All of this caused me to reflect on the tragedy that I went through. I thought about how I made it through as the bystander.

Being the one whom the tragedy directly affects is a completely different experience than the one who is watching the tragedy happen.

This process is what I went through after I passed through the initial shock.  Emotions are normal so don't let anyone make you feel guilty for questioning or being angry at the situation.  You will go through a wave of different emotions and that is normal. However, after all that when it starts to really sink in. When you start to accept the reality of what happened; that's the critical turning point. What attitude are you going to choose? Will you draw closer to God or pull away? The only thing that gives me peace in situations such as these is our hope of eternity. Whatever terrible thing happens in this life I can look forward to a eternity where there is no sickness or pain.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

My husband and I decided to not lose heart. We decided to draw closer to God.  These are three steps that personally helped me to overcome when tragedy directly affected me and my family.

1. Find Professional Help

It is so important to talk to someone professionally. Every tragedy is different and it is important to have someone who can listen and give sound advice.  My husband saw a psychologist to help him deal with losing a member of his body.  He went through some times of severe depression and I couldn't help him.  We also talked to Pastor friends of ours who guided us, gave us advice, and prayed for us during this time. Ruben bounced back pretty quick. He only saw the psychologist for about a month. Each person is different and depending on the level of the tragedy would you need to decide how long to seek help.


2.  Writing the Word of God

Really getting into God's word.  Writing His word; praying the word of God.  You can read more about why it is beneficial to write the Word of God.  I didn't have words to say. I didn't know what to pray. So I took the promises from God's word and made them my own. We prayed and prayed for a creative miracle, that God would give Ruben a new eye.  It hasn't happened but we still believe and pray that God will do it. The miracles God did in the Bible He can do today. So you have to get in the word. You have to know what it says. Write and pray those promises as your own.


3. Power of Praise

It's hard to praise in the midst of suffering. It's hard to praise when you don't understand what is happening or why it is happening.  Something supernatural starts to happen when you start to praise the Lord in the midst of your pain and suffering.  The only things in that moment I could praise God about was that Ruben's life was spared.  That they didn't shoot him in the head. That he wasn't in a coma.   As I started to thank and praise God it became easier and more and more things came to my mind.  One thing that truly helped me were certain worship songs. There were songs that we just took as ours and we would sing them together as we wept together but through those moments the Lord was honored and gave us the strength and the peace that we needed to overcome.
 
We did not overcome this trial overnight. There were ups and downs. Good days and bad days. Trauma issues we both had to deal with.  I think it may have took up to a year to get back to "normal." Sometimes the bad moments come up out of nowhere to haunt us but you just have to remember who God is. He is bigger than any tragedy, bigger than any circumstance.  He will take your hand and lead you through, and you will overcome.

6 comments:

  1. These are such important questions that you shared! I learned at an early age that a long life is not a guarantee when my 10-year-old brother drowned. You are so right that trial isn't overcome overnight! I find that it is usually a quite lengthy process for me, particularly when the trial is severe. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    www.malindajust.com

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    1. I agree. The more severe the trial the longer the process. When the tragedy ends in death it may be something that you never truly get over.

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  2. "I started to pray that God would prepare me to trust him if I were ever to face a similar tragedy."
    This has been my exact prayer lately. As Christians sometimes we tend to think of God keeping bad things from us. But really His intention is to help us grow by keeping us through them.

    Thank you for a wonderful testimony of a growing trust.

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    1. Exactly! We don't see the big picture and God always has a plan even though we don't understand it. It's scary but we have to trust Him

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  3. Wow, you and those you love have experienced a lot of hardship. Sometimes the presence of God can be experienced more when we are in horrific sorrow caused by the enemy. Some day all things will be made right.

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    1. Yes, we have that hope in Jesus. Some day all things will be made right....I love that.

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