Monday, September 14, 2015

Lessons Learned: How to Respond to Someone in Crisis

God doesn't allow horrible circumstances to happen to us because we need to "learn a lesson." I know this because He's a good Father and a good Father doesn't create heartbreak and hurt for such a thing. 

As a mother, I'm not going to slice off my child's finger and say, "Don't play with knives. Use them carefully. They're dangerous." No.  Ridiculous, right? A good parent won't do that. But, good parents will guide their children through hard times ... love them, hold them, help them in any way they can.

With that being said, God does speak through circumstances. When we listen carefully to His voice, we do learn and we do grow. And, when tragedy comes, we listen harder if that's possible. We listen harder because we want an answer to "why."

Thing is God usually doesn't answer that question. He may, but not always. Or if He does it's not until further down the road. Sometimes, there is no answer to "why" and you just have to carry on without understanding. You have to start asking the "what" and "how" ... "God, what are you doing through this? And, how are you going to use me or this situation for Your glory?" That's definitely where I've been for months with our own circumstances.

When you are faced with your own tragedy or hard thing, you become more compassionate toward others who are hurting. Your heart aches harder. You understand in a deeper way.

I have learned more about what to say and how to react to others in their own tragedies and hard times.

First off, KNOW THIS: There is NOTHING you can say that will make it better. Absolutely nothing. While your sympathy and compassion are much appreciated, this is not a time for you to preach to someone. Not. At. All.

Honestly, that has been the MOST annoying thing for me.
Number One: I know God myself. You don't have to explain Him to me.
Number Two: I don't need you to tell me that God wants the best for me or is working everything out for my good. I wish Christians would stop that. It's like our go-to when we don't know what to say. Just stop it.
Number Three: If you're going to send a Scripture to someone, make sure it's applicable and that God REALLY wants you to send it.

It's almost like Christians don't want to face the facts and truth that other Christians can really hurt. And, that bad stuff happens to them too. It's like Christian denial.

I'm here to tell you ... bad stuff does and will happen. Really bad stuff. Just because you're a Christian does not mean you're exempt. The only difference is that we have a hope when others don't. I can't imagine going through hard stuff without the hope I have through Jesus.

So, Christians ... don't try and tie things up in a neat bow and think saying "all things work for good" will make everything ok and you can wipe your hands clean of the matter. I promise you that's not what Christianity is about. Imagine if Jesus just walked around to all the sick, the dying, the hurting and just gave them a hug, looked in their eyes, and said "all things work together for the good" and some of those other Scriptures we like to quote. Thank God He didn't. 

No, He looked at them. Saw their hurt. Felt their hurt. And then He healed them. Of course, I know He's Jesus, the Son of God. But, we should do the first three and leave the fourth to Him.

From this point on, I will not send the standard Scriptures people send to those who are facing hard times. Actually, I won't send any Scriptures unless I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt God wants me to do that. Don't get me wrong ... there are people who have sent me Scriptures that were just right, at the right time. But, I received so many I stopped reading them. I know ... I sound like a horrible person. Really horrible.

A lot of times, as Christians, we can come off as "preachy" or "high and mighty" because we think we know best and we know everything. When someone is going through something hard, don't make it a time to try and think you understand or you can teach them something. You can't.

That's what I learned not to do. Here's what I learned to do.

Say what you truly feel. Don't be "churchy" and say what you think is expected. Sometimes there is nothing to say and that's ok too. But, do say something. There are those who I thought were my friends who have said nothing. Not a word. Not a call. Not a text. Not a message. Nothing. So say something even if it's "I love you" or "I'm sorry." Just say something.

Make that something simple. Sometimes "I'm sorry for ..." is all you can say. That's what you feel. Your heart breaks for them. You want to help them. If you really do, you say "what can I do to help you?" Better yet. Just do what you think they need. {I already wrote about that here.} 

And, lastly, pray for them. A lot of times we say we're going to pray, but do we really. I'm guilty and I'm sure you are. We get busy. We go on with our lives and it slips our mind. Commit to pray for that person, not only for them, but for you too. When you pray for them, God connects you with that person even more than before.

In a nutshell:
Say something.
Do something.
Pray something.

I don't claim to be anyone professionally trained in how to care for others. All I am is a person who's been on the hard-times side a lot lately. However, I've been on the other side much more. Through this, God has taught me how to respond to others.

He didn't cause this to teach me that lesson, nor any other lesson, but I have learned the lessons nonetheless. He has shown me what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus when others go through difficult circumstances. He teaches and guides when these circumstances occur when we lean into Him and listen.

If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here:  All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses. Thank you for your prayers and support!