A Question I Couldn’t Answer

Q & A

YESTERDAY I was asked a question I couldn’t answer. I was tempted to give a pat answer but that is unsatisfactory, and I knew it. Authenticity requires an honest answer . . . and honesty said I needed to think on it.

Two hours later we were still talking, by then I had an inkling of what I wanted to say in reply to her question. I queried for clarity as I danced around the central theme. We zeroed in and it became clear. It was a great question, one that more people should ask. She’d even gone to CBD to see if there were any Christian books that could help.

She wanted to know if I know of any books that explain how to prepare yourself for the stressful event, books that have information that will help you to prepare in advance and help prevent you from going backwards when said trouble comes.

My friend knows she is stronger than she used to be but that doesn’t help when the hard thing comes, when she finds herself returning to that painful place–being strong, then hurting, crying, struggling, regrouping–and then going forward again. She’d like to skip that middle part. I get it. So would I.

My Turn

The same thing happened to me this year. I was slipping backwards and knew it. And I didn’t like it because of the pain, sense of rejection and failure. It bothered me that I wasn’t stronger in my Christian walk, which left me feeling deflated and miserable. How much it reminded me that life is difficult and people are complicated. I knew what she was saying.

See what I mean? It was a key question; how to have victory before, during, and after the troubling event without the disappointment and pain. Is it possible? But I didn’t have much of an answer. I didn’t know of any book that is adequate to meet the need except the Bible, and said so. The Source is God and always will be. The closer we are to Him the better we do. She and I talked about how God walks with us and how He is enough. “Christ is the answer,” I said, and know it to be true.

The struggle is with our emotions, how they sabotage and give brain fog, and then it goes down hill from there because of our distancing from God. Soon it becomes a harder effort to remain living fully “in Christ” even though we wish it. He didn’t move; we did.

It should be possible to be so STRONG in the Lord that we are not blown away by adversity. We learn to recognize the signs, this one’s going to be hard. We know we will make it without falling apart, this is true. We already know lessons are learned in this place of adversity and struggle that stick with us for life. That part of it is good.

People do notice. Her family notices her strength. She was put in a strange emotionally charged situation last week where her strength of will and God’s strength (within her) carried her through in a remarkable way. Her son-in-law was impressed and said so. But the tears came once she was home alone. I’m that way too. I can get through the crisis with my dignity intact but then the release comes once the pressure valve is released (like an air pressure tank, PSSSssssss). You deflate.

I’ll be thinking on this for awhile now. I’m that way. I’ll worry it through until some answers come. Truly, I do believe Christ is the answer.

Do you have any suggestions for her? Seriously.

I’d like to know what you think.

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N. L. Brumbaugh likes to write contemplative thoughts about authentic spiritual living. A lot of heart goes into every one of her posts. She is a mix of reading specialist, country woman, writer, church leader, and storyteller. Norma loves creative artistry and celebrating life.