As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Sometimes things happen in families that can literally rock the foundation of the family unit to the core. Maybe it’s the death of a loved one, a prodigal child, sickness of a family member, or any number of things than can wreak havoc on your family. When we are struggling through these rough times, it’s so important to work to keep the family unit intact.
We have been going through a family trial for several months now and I find myself, over and over again, repeating that I need to focus on the people who are here, surrounding me, so that, as a family, we can remain strong.
When I lay in bed at night, unable to sleep due to stress, blog posts roll around in my mind but very rarely make it to my blog. This one, though, seemed like it could apply to so many scenarios, so I thought I’d share.
5 Simple Tips for Keeping Your Family Together During Difficult Times
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
It’s so easy, when in crisis mode, to turn inward and to try to keep our thoughts to ourselves. But, in so doing, we shut out the people that we love the most and who want to help us.
Please, don’t try to hide your emotions. If you’re hurting, cry. If you’re angry, yell. But, please, just talk! Share your feelings. Ask questions to prompt discussion. Maybe even plan periodic family meetings to discuss what is happening and what, if anything, can be done to bring about change.
Do Fun Things Together
When our issue first started, I found myself not wanting to go out and do things. I felt like our family wasn’t complete and, for that reason, we should just sit at home and wait. But, that’s not fair.
One of my favorite things to do with my family is to go out and see, do, and experience new (and old favorite) things. Don’t stop just because things don’t seem quite right. Keep having fun! It’s so, so important to do things together as a family.
And don’t forget to take pictures! It might seem awkward now, but I’m pretty sure we will one day be able to look back on these troubling times with fond memories.
Learn to Say, “No”
I don’t know why, but this is an area of my life where I struggle anyway. But, when things aren’t going exactly as I had hoped and I’m feeling depressed and upset, it’s so much simpler to just say, “no” to things, rather than putting myself (or my family) in a situation where we end up uncomfortable or just feeling sad.
Over the past 5 months, we’ve had to say no to family traditions, church functions, and other things that we knew wouldn’t seem quite right and would cause more hurt than good.
You know what? It’s OK.
Let’s face it, Satan wants to destroy families. If we choose to give in to the hurt and allow it to control us, cause us to argue and fight with our loved ones, etc. then Satan smiles. He’s doing exactly what he wants – breaking up the family unit. And he will do it in whatever way he possibly can.
Don’t let Satan win! Rebuke him in Jesus’s name. Do it out loud. “Satan, you are not in control of our family and you can’t destroy us. Our family is stronger than the arrows you can throw at us.”
I know some days it seems like it would be easier to just give in. There are literally days when I feel like my whole world is tumbling down around me and I can’t even bear the weight of it. But, this is what Satan wants. He wants us to feel alone and helpless. But, SATAN LIES! Philippians 4:13 tells us we can do anything through Christ who strengthens us.
Pray, Pray, Pray
God tells us to pray without ceasing. I am not a prayer warrior (I wish that I were!) but I definitely find myself praying so much more when my family is in crisis.
But, I also find it hard to be always asking for prayers for me and my family. So, I try to find others that I can pray for and lift up. I find myself praying when I’m driving along in the car, when I’m sitting in the bathtub, and when I’m lying awake in bed at night. I’m praying for God to restore our family in HIS way and in HIS time.
If you don’t know what to say when you pray, simply pray Scripture or look up some simple prayers online. I like the prayer in the video at the end of this post. Sometimes, though, I just tell God that I don’t know what words to say, but He knows my heart and my situation and to please just do a mighty work. He hears our prayers even when we can’t verbalize them.
And a few more suggestions …
Find a support system. This might be your pastor or members of your church family, friends, extended family. Or, maybe you can’t find anyone local who seems to understand your present circumstances. If this is the case, I recommend looking for an online support group – for example: search groups on Facebook. I’m a part of one, in particular, right now that has really made me see that we aren’t alone.
Along these same lines, DO NOT bottle your feelings up inside. And, DO NOT pretend like everything is OK. Trust me when I say this will catch up with you.
Seek counseling. There seems to be a stigma attached to seeing a counselor, but there shouldn’t be! I’m preaching to the choir here because I keep putting off making an appointment (because I’m too cheap to pay for it), but I know that I need to and that I’d feel better if I sat and talked it out.
Don’t forget about self-care. We moms, especially, tend to focus so much on caring for those around us that we forget to care for ourselves. I definitely sneak away for bubble baths and I enjoy going out and spending time with friends when I can. My husband and son enjoy going to the races. It doesn’t matter what you do, just be sure to do something for you – something that you enjoy that can recharge your battery.
If you are a family in crisis right now and you need some prayer, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. I’d be honored to pray for you and would appreciate your prayers for our family as well.
If you have any other tried and true tips, please do share!