I only have two more parts to this series and today’s is about things we, who are going through long term, chronic, and lifetime trials need to keep in mind in order to be able to find the joy inside the struggles. This week’s post is vital if you’ve never sat down to think of them before and even if you have. Stay with me.
- You’ll have good days and bad days. Dealing with issues like these, unfortunately, isn’t a straight upward trajectory. You’ll have good days and bad days. If you don’t expect that, you’ll be disappointed when the bad days come. If you do expect that, you can minimize the effects of the bad days and get more joy out of the good days.
- Watch for dangerous signs. Depression and suicide is an increased risk for those in one or more long-term chronic issues. Get help if you feel overwhelmed and depressed. We are only human and things can get to us after a long while of dealing with life’s trials. Don’t suffer needlessly. It happened to me a while back, but thankfully I was able to pull myself out after a short time.
- Make time for and pick your battles with your spouse. The divorce rate among those in trial is also much higher. Whether your struggle is financial or health-related, these things can make for grumpy spouses and that can affect a marriage. Take time to work through things together before it becomes a pattern or too big a problem for you two to face together without help. If it’s already gotten to that point, consider getting some marriage counseling.
- Keep in mind that things are not as simplistic as others would have you believe. Most issues are much more complex than the platitudes and pat answers would suggest and they won’t help. Life isn’t all packaged up neatly in a perfect box. Life’s messy and life in trial is even messier still. And that’s ok. Knowing this allows you to dig further to find your answers instead of feeling as if there is something wrong with you because someone thinks you should just “get over it.”
I would also like to take this opportunity to share some tips for finding more joy in the midst of struggle and suffering.
- CDs of church sermons you’ve not been able to attend for health reasons
- Online church sermons if you can’t make it to church one week or more
- Upliftng praise and worship music or music that makes you happy from when you were a child or when you were doing well.
- Watching humorous tv shows or funny videos
- Our parent company Grape Stuff has a set of four CDs that have serene instrumental music on them that is designed to reduce anxiety and to calm. It’s called the Serenity Package.
Next week, I’ll deal with what I find in Paul’s writing that leads me to believe how he was able to find joy in all that was his trials. See you then.
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