What to do on the day that the bottom falls out of your world…(or your friend’s world.)

For most of you this day will never come and for that I am truly grateful. For a few too many of you than I would like, the day has come, for some it has come and gone, or perhaps you are sitting right in the middle of the worst day of your life right now.

There’s a few things I would like you to know about yourself now and who you will become.

  1. No two stories are identical. I know mine is certainly not one I’ve heard before or since. Yours is the same. Don’t let anyone compare your pain to their own, your pain is real – it is yours. This is about helping you right now.
  2. You need to lean into and on God more than you have ever done before.
  3. God will not let you down.
  4. You will find that you will lose some friends. The true friends will separate themselves from the rubberneckers, very quickly. You won’t need many, one or two genuine “sit with you while you cry, listen to you cry on the phone” friends are all you need. They are rare, but they are precious, and they are one of the ways your God will help you through this.
  5. You need to realise no matter what you have been told — this is not your fault. This is not because of you, you have not driven your spouse to this – no matter what he/she may say. You are not responsible for the actions of your spouse.
  6. God will not let you go.
  7. Regardless of the outcome you will come out of this stronger than you ever believed you could be.
  8. There are days when you won’t know what to do with yourself – read your Bible. Take up residence in the book of Psalms. If anyone knows the pain of rejection, the desire to get away from it all – it is David.
  9. God will not leave you.
  10. When people you love and trust want to help — let them. Sometimes you might need to tell them what you need. Some of us are great at offering to help but are never sure what we should do. If you need them to sit with you say it. If you’ve run out of milk, or worse, coffee and you can’t bear the thought of going out in public – because you know everyone can see “it” on your face – say it.
  11. You will feel a little paranoid when you go out in public – the truth is no one can see what has happened to you. The truth is most people are so wrapped up in themselves that they won’t even notice you. Don’t let other people keep you confined to your house – which is also probably one of the last places you want to be.
  12. God will not let you down.
  13. You will need to remember to eat. You will need to force some food over that choking pain in your throat that seems to radiate out from your heart. You will need to eat something through the nauseating feeling.
  14. Sounds minor but stay hydrated too, or you are going to end up with some of the worst headaches you’ve ever had.
  15. God will not let you go.
  16. You will be fine – one day you will find yourself writing your story, counselling a friend, or praying through the night for someone who has told you about their world falling apart.
  17. Most people won’t know what to say or do for you. Some of them will say so – some of them will try to offer advice from their point of no experience. That’s fine – I know you can be polite and listen, well maybe not listen so much as look like you are listening as your pain and heartache screams over the top of the “wisdom” they are offering you. You probably know which friend list to put them on.
  18. You need to find people who love you more than the sound of their own voice.
  19. You need to find people who will set aside their feelings of uncertainty about what what to say to you – who will just sit with you, people who will pray for you.
  20. God will not leave you.
  21. If you have children, no matter how old they are – they need you. They also need truth – they need to see you grieve. Possibly the biggest regret I have from those dark days – is that I hid my pain from my boy. I did it in an attempt to protect him from what was happening and I did it because he was far too young for the whole terrible story. This meant I hid it all – I’m not sure that was best.
  22. Also – don’t look back on these days and blame yourself for doing what you thought was right at the time.
  23. See a good Christian counsellor as soon as you can. This will be a lifeline for you. If you have kids — make sure that they do too. It’s their world too – the only one they’ve known up to this point.
  24. You will need to sleep. I know how hard that sounds. But you have to. Find some beautiful voices singing some old hymns – pop those ear buds in and go to sleep. Let words of truth wash over you in all of your moments, your waking moments and your sleeping moments.
  25. You are going to be fine. You are going to learn about someone you have been out of touch with for a long time – you.
  26. God will not let you down.
  27. Read your Bible. Read 1 Peter 1 – Rejoice in your suffering – praise Him for who He is and the good things in your life.
  28. Sing “It is well with my soul” as loud as you can as often as you can.
  29. Read Isaiah 53 and Ephesians 1 – 3 — Remember what Christ went through because of His infinite love for you; remember who you are IN HIM.
  30. see #3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 20, 26

The worst day of your life, my friends, will lead to the best days of your life. Even though you can’t see it now, I can promise you that there is always going to be better ahead of you than what is behind you. Now, I don’t know what the better might be for you and it would be foolish of anyone to suggest what that might be. I could suggest some options but that would not be wise. One thing I can say with certainty is — your loving Father in heaven does know what the “better” is that’s ahead of you. I can assure you that He knows it all, and that He’ll get you there.

I still haven’t reached the point where I can write about the day the bottom fell out of my world. One day I will – today is not that day.
Today is about where you are, where you are going, and who is with you. Look around you’ll see some gems if you look. I know I did. You’ll also see that God is beside you. I can promise you that He will carry you through day after day, He will lift you up and strengthen you and enable you to do things.
He will.
One day you will look back and say: I have no idea how God brought me through those days .. there were days where I believe He carried me – some days when it felt as though my feet didn’t even touch the ground.

Finally, find the friends who will sit and pray with you – the friends who will pray through their tears for you… the friends who after these days will forever be engraved on your heart. They are part of what this is all about, and one day, if you haven’t already been that friend for someone,  you will be, and you will mean the world to them.
For them, you will be just like Jesus.

He will not let you down.

P.S – This one is from both of us. For the first time my “editor” actually added some thoughts. 🙂

P.P.S – If this relates to you today – we know you’ll get through it – and we’re sending you our love.

 

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