When we were in the hospital with Samuel, it was a VERY emotional time. There was a lot of frustration and disappointment. And there was a lot of fear. I will cover how to handle fear in a later process. Dealing with the sadness, disappointment, and frustration was just as important to keeping my faith solid. It is out of these things that bitterness grows.
I discovered a three step process in Psalms that David consistently used, and I implemented it in my own life.
Step 1 – David told God EXACTLY what was bothering him. Every fear, every frustration, and every struggle.
Step 2 – David would declare the promise he was standing on.
“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”
Step 3 – David would then turn to God in worship.
That’s the meat of this, the rest is supporting story. If you catch nothing but what’s above, then you are solid.
Excerpt from the book
I stayed at the hospital with Stephanie that night, driving in to work a little late the next morning. I took a short lunch since I started work late. While on my shortened lunch, I took a few moments on Facebook to share with my friends what was on my heart. My morning reading had been on Psalm 57.
David is writing this song in a cave. He is hiding from the king of Israel, King Saul, who has gone crazy. David was not only his greatest warrior; he was the best friend of his son, the husband of his daughter, and the man who had taken care of him when he was tormented. David was extremely loyal and was King Saul’s best asset.
While in this cave, David is taking a familiar refrain. Over the past month, I had begun to notice that David took on a similar pattern in many of the Psalms that he wrote.
~ Excerpt from “For This Child I Have Prayed: 6 Heart Surgeries, 18 Months”
Above, I took out an excerpt from my book to discuss how to handle the negative emotions from these situations.
My battle for Samuel was very prolonged – 18 months is a longer than most branches of the military will allow you to stay overseas in a warzone. My battle was here in my presence, and I couldn’t take leave. In the psychology realm, it’s a well-known fact that after 6 months of trauma, the brain re-wires itself to cope with the circumstances. This is why many people who grew up in rough situations or come home after war need medications – the brain has literally rewired itself to be constantly anxious, or constantly fearful, or constantly down. How do you handle getting knocked to the floor over and over again in a life threatening situation? How did I come away not having major emotional Trauma and PTSD?
I’m not a psychological expert, nor do I have degrees in psychology, nor do I play one on TV. However, I have studied people and relationships all of my life – both through observation and through reading many books. Some of it may be pop-psychology, but understanding how we tick has been a passion of my life. That said, I believe the reason I came out of the hell of fighting for my son’s life were for three reasons:
#1 – I wasn’t a victim of my circumstances because I had a way to fight back. That’s the reason that I’ve written these earlier steps, so you have the ability to fight back as well.
#2 I had a great system for processing the emotions of frustration, anger, sadness, and disappointment. That’s the point of this post.
#3 I wasn’t living in fear. I will cover the fear in a few weeks, because it’s an INCREDIBLY important topic
In the passage above from my book, I am actually sharing the exact moment that put my coping plan into words and made the discovery that King David made through his words.
As a child, I had often been shown the example of sharing my problems with everyone. While having a voice is healthy, sharing every problem with everyone who will listen is not.
As an adult, some people coached me to share our struggles with anyone but a trusted mentor. There’s a healthiness in not complaining or sharing every bad thing with everyone you know, but there’s also a healthiness in having trusted friends and mentors carry your burdens. As with many points of scripture, there’s a balance.
But what do you do when don’t have someone who can help you share your burdens? What do you do when there’s no one who offers you a safe place to heal? What do you do when you are all alone. David dealt with both.
Sometimes in life, there aren’t people who understand your pain. God ALWAYS does. Your pain is important to Him. If you think it’s not, then you are wrong. I hate to be so direct – but God says He is close to the broken hearted. He longs to wipe our tears. If you are angry about something – He cares as much about your emotions as He does about you doing the right thing.
I hope and pray that in this season, if you are hurting and in pain, you can find people who carry your burden. But whether you can or you can’t, I hope and I pray that you learn to take your cares to God without judgement.
You can catch the next post here: Principle 5 – The Power of Relationships
If you missed the prior posts, you can catch them here: