Sunday, September 10, 2017

Learning from Loss Instead of Being Defeated by It

The loss of a relationship (or anything important to us) has the potential of revealing the ugly, selfish, and immature parts of our mindset and heart. We may become grumpy, cruel, bitter, or lazy as a means of coping. Our first instinct could be to turn away from God, stop seeking Him altogether, isolate ourselves from others, or delve deeper into sexual sin or other addictions for comfort.

Yet if we can somehow manage to keep our wits about us long enough to see beyond the tears to the bigger picture long-term and humbly ask God to bring to light what went wrong and why, we can more healthily navigate relationships in the future without being blindsided or overcome by disappointment and bewilderment. In having a mature mindset and knowing how to identify red flags, we will be spared much wasted time, thought, and emotion on those who might not be worthy of our full attention.

Being attached to a person and he or she leaving you unexpectedly can be compared to ripping a band-aid off. Because it was all of a sudden, you're going to be in pain! Losing a house, job, or car can bring similar agony.

Sometimes the wound was your own fault. Other times it was an unfair jab from someone else. Regardless, properly attending to it must take place if you are to ever heal properly. The right medicine is needed, plus time and enlisting the assistance of others to help nurse you back to health.

Lessons can be found if you ponder how and when the wound took place. You'll gain insight into what to avoid the next time around and discover how to live in a safer way.

Don't leave any of your wounds untreated. Doing so is to risk infection and the possibility of it being reopened within time.

The solution to our relational hurts is not necessarily to get back the person we have lost, but to move forward armed with lessons and a newfound desire to make better choices the next time we are seeking a potential mate or friendship. You don't have to let the circumstances and losses of life derail or pummel you. You can have a growth mentality and choose to see every good or bad occurrence in your life as an opportunity to change for the better. You can gain control of your emotions through logic and restfully trusting in God's sovereignty. You can use the loss as a stepping stone to maturity if handled appropriately.

Each time you let your mind wander by dwelling on what was, your ability to move forward is inhibited, keeping you stuck in the past. You begin to believe that your former circumstances and relationships were more ideal than they actually were and you begin to long for what (obviously) isn't best for you.

"People tend to see the past better than it was and the present worse than it is." Unknown

Please do not neglect to surround yourself with older, wiser mentors, counselors, friends, and family. You need people who will help you heal and commit to praying with/for you each day. You need words of life spoken to you from outside yourself as your own voice will likely fall short by convincing you that what you had was the best there ever will be...and this is a fallacy.

By prioritizing your relationship with God and keeping the lines of communication open with those you trust who will speak truth to you, I guarantee you will look back one day and actually thank God for His wisdom in removing anyone or anything that He saw fit to take away. As Timothy Keller has said, "God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything He knows." Echoing this reality, Nancy Leigh DeMoss has also stated, "God's will is what we would choose if we knew what God knows."

Let your losses serve a useful purpose. Rejoice in God and praise Him for His abundant mercy in allowing the unexpected for your greater good. What is the alternative? To run from Him and avoid good company because of your tears and confusion? To take matters into your own hands? To rebel and seek your own way? God's ways are best. They may seem excruciating at times, yet an all-knowing, sinless, and perfectly good Being only and always has our best in mind. If we choose to ignore this truth, we are sure to suffer. If we humbly submit to His will and ways, we are safe. Choose wisely. Your future depends on it.


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