Learning how to cope with a devastating news and discovering that God that is there, ready to guide, protect and make “our crooked paths straight” (Isaiah 45:2) makes all the difference. Here are a few tips to help navigate these agonizing times of uncertainty.
- Life is full of pain. It is not abnormal and nothing strange is happening to you. Though your life may be turned upside down, God promises that He is with you in the suffering, that He will get you through it, and, ultimately, even bring good out of it. Cling to that hope.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalm 34:18)
- To find strength, guidance and courage, spend daily time in the Scriptures. God has special promises for you during this time of upheaval. Write them down, memorize and believe them. They will be a compass for your soul.
Remember your promise to me, for it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. (Pslam 73:25-26)
- When the waves of doubt and fear threaten to overtake you, declare God’s promises out loud and also repeat them to yourself in your heart. They are the same powerful weapons Christ used to defeat the temptations of the devil, and they will work for you, too!
Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:16 – 17)
- Every crisis tests our faith and our willingness to either trust God or lean on our own strength. One will bring you confidence and breakthrough, the other confusion and breakdown.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
- Determine what is within your control and what is not. Do you need to search for a doctor? Do you need a second opinion? To schedule appointments? Are there arrangements you need to make with your family? Do you need to take some time off work?
I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)
- Conquer the feeling of being overwhelmed by doing whatever is the next thing; then do the next, and the next thing after that. You do not need to see the complete picture or know the future, but you can take the next step and do what needs to be done.
Then, He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace be still!” And the wind ceased and there was great calm. (Mark 4:39)
- Do your best to maintain a daily routine. Make the bed, shower, put on fresh clothes, remember to eat, and tend to the elements of life.
He offers strength when we are weak. (Philippians 4:13)
- Take care of yourself and engage in regular physical activity. It will relieve stress, shift attention from your grief, and strengthen you mentally and emotionally.
He will be our Comforter in sorrow when our heart is faint. (Jeremiah 8:18)
- Keep a notebook or journal. Pour out your heart to God—what are your fears, obstacles and needs? Record His promises to you. This will free your mind of its burdens so you are able to hear God and receive His instruction. Keep track of answered prayers. Reread these daily for strength, courage and inspiration.
I will instruct you and teach you. I will counsel you and watch over you.
- Never go it alone. Stay in community and do not isolate yourself. Find safe people with whom you can express your emotions. Do not suppress these. Find a good counselor if necessary or join a support group.
Praise be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:4a)