I was speaking with a wise, successful woman on the phone today who loves the Lord with her whole heart and who has committed her life to serving Him. She is going through a situation that I would call "family trauma." The pain was written all over her lovely face and heard in every word that she spoke.
I have been where she is—have you? Family trauma is one of the most difficult roads that a man or woman travels this side of heaven. There is no pain like family pain.
If you are dealing with family trauma today, perhaps these simple choices that I have made many times will help you ease the pain as they have eased mine. These choices may not change your circumstances, but they will, indeed, change you.
1. Strengthen yourself in the Lord. You will never be able to encourage your family or tap into the necessary wisdom needed unless your faith is vital and active. Continue to read your Bible daily and attend a life-giving church. Choose to worship the Lord in spite of your pain. Keep worship music playing loudly whenever and wherever possible.
When David's family had been captured by the enemy and when his entire village had been burned to the ground, the Bible tells us, "David strengthened himself in the Lord his God" (1 Sam. 30:6b, NASB).
2. Build a prayer team who will pray for you and for your family without ceasing. This should be a group of people who are committed to holding up your arms in the battle until victory is accomplished. These prevailing and relentless intercessors should also be ready to encourage you with Scriptures and with words of comfort. Mountains move when men and women choose to pray rather than to panic.
You should not be in this battle by yourself, so make a list of people who will take the time daily to lift you and your family to the throne of the Father.
3. Engage with a practical support system. This group of people should be friends and family members who are willing to go the second mile time after time. Perhaps they will babysit for you, clean your house or bring a meal. Maybe they will mow your lawn, drive someone to a necessary appointment or just ease the burden of daily life.
If you don't have a tribe of people such as this, reach out to your church and ask for practical help.
4. Go for counseling if necessary. We all need wisdom from trained professionals who are able to offer mental, emotional and spiritual guidance.
5. Find a Scripture verse that holds a promise in it that applies to your situation. Once you have identified this verse, share it with your prayer team. Pray this Scripture, share it on social media, write it out and keep it in front of you day and night. When a child of God connects with the promises of God, a miracle is on the way!
6. Remind yourself to stay in a place of faith not in a place of doubt and fear. Don't allow yourself to speak words of discouragement or sad resignation, but speak forth the power and the authority given to us in the Bible. What you say during a traumatic experience in life matters very much, so be sure that only words of praise and faith come from your mouth!
Family trauma is certainly one of the most devastating experiences we encounter, so build into your life these strengthening disciplines of faith to guide you through the fire.
Carol McLeod is a bestselling author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor.
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