Have you experienced loss within the past sixteen months? What are some recent or lingering changes or losses [death and dying are the exceptions]you are still facing? Two losses, which really hit hard during the pandemic are the loss of our jobs and relationships. And yes, our reaction to grief is huge and rightly so because we face financial instability and/or the abrupt change in the status of “us” becoming “me.”
We may view our loss as the end of our dreams or as new beginnings. Our perception of the change determines whether or not we will move forward to pursue new and exciting opportunities for growth. If we view ourselves as having great potential, then we may cry, but we will take baby steps [some individuals can take giant leaps] to pursue another path. Still, we cannot utilize a cookie-cutter approach to rebuilding our lives. Every situation is unique, along with various factors that determine the strategies to move forward.
Identify your resources:
- God: Always approach Our Heavenly Father–Jehovah Jireh when the “Restart” button is pushed. Daily we must pray, God, not my will, but Your will be done. When we give God permission to initiate His plans for us, remember that we may endure hardships at any point in our lives. Because God knows the beginning to the end, we must trust His process. Admit in your prayers that you are not feeling your best, yet, you fully trust Him.
- Study the biblical stories of victory: When defeat appears to be our only option, trust that God has you in His hands. God delivered the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt, opened and closed the Red Sea, destroying Pharoah and his army [Exodus 14], David, a shepherd boy, took Goliath down with a slingshot [1 Samuel 17], and Joshua marched around Jericho [Joshua 6]. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6
- Spiritual Support: Speaking to your pastor, a prayer warrior, community resources leader, or even joining a support group is vital to prevent depression or hopelessness.
- Family and friends: Identify the friends and family who you can trust to provide emotional and/or financial support during the transitional period. Do not isolate. Satan can present our challenges as overwhelming or cause us to see ourselves as victims. Often the break-up or unemployment is not our fault. Someone else made the choice that would change our lives. Still, we must not harbor or allow negative emotions to overtake us, or we will never move forward. Live one day at a time.
- Pray for God to reveal your spiritual gifts, talents, and develop hobbies.
- Research and identify your community resources.
There is another scenario that I must mention: What if you are without friends or family you can present your situation too, or you do not have a church home? Seek God in prayer, and thank Him for sustaining you. Establish a daily schedule. Get out of the bed or off the sofa. Go outside at least once a day for a walk. We may live alone, but God is always near.
Whether we are the only person in our home, have children, or extended family members living with us, never forget, our Father cares. God says He knows the number of hairs on our head. It is our trials and sorrows that build our faith. No, it does not feel good. Even so, God knows our circumstances before they happen. Trust Him to see you through.
Bible study: Matthew 6
Prayer: God, we are not feeling our best right now and we pray that you will comfort us and reveal your plans for our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
©2021 Sonya Johnson