We all deal with stress throughout our life. At times it can be disabling and even cause physical harm to our body. Stress can certainly alter how we live our life, living far short of the dreams we once planned. It can be so discouraging to live life with constant stress always feeling we are losing in this game called life. It causes us not to think straight and it cause our heart to lose its zeal for others, for ourselves and for living life as it was originally designed. It can ruin a marriage or destroy a relationship with our children and it can destroy our career. Stress impacts every area of our life and it can lead to physiological problems such as severe depression.
Often time we are told how to deal with stress or how to manage the stress in our life or given techniques to deal with stress. We get great advice such as, avoid those who cause you stress, keep a diary, exercise, proper sleep, meditation, hypnosis, be optimistic, do a new activity, alter your behavior, and sometimes the only advice left is medication. It makes me even more stressed thinking of managing my stress or trying all the techniques suggested or taking a drug to alter my behavior. I just want peace in my life with a joy and a new zeal in living life. Is that too much to request of life?
There is an answer well beyond all the techniques of managing stress in our lives and it comes with a new zeal for life. We are promised a peace and a joy beyond our imagination. It isn’t new but I have discovered very few people actually live this way yet, it is ours for the asking.
No one finds it easy to continue on after the death of a friend, sister, brother, parent, spouse or child. Each brings its own hurt and pain. The intensity of the loss will vary tremendously. My feelings after the loss of a best friend were quite different from the loss of my parents and those losses were significantly different than the death of my wife.
I was with my best friend only a few hours before he died. I remember him pulling at the sheets and being very agitated. I sat beside him and held him for a long time while trying to provide comfort to my friend and companionship to his wife. It was difficult for her to witness her husband struggling and to know the end was near.
Sitting and staying with my mom in the hospital during her last five days and nights was quite a different experience. I recall looking at her countless times to see if she was still breathing. She was ready to go home to heaven; and that helped everyone who loved her. Nevertheless, watching your mother struggle to breathe during her last hours is never easy.
My dad, a wonderful 86 year old man who had lived a full life, died six years later with lung complications. He was also ready to go home. He had missed my mom terribly over those last six years. I wished I had known then what I know today. We provided him a good life but I failed to realize the hurt he was going through. The night he died, I was alone with him for the last four hours of his life. I held him in my arms during those last hours, just he and I. I was able to tell him what an awesome dad he had been and how much I loved him. What a privilege to get to hold him and to hear the death rattle. It was so sweet because I knew where he was headed, to see his Jesus and to see my mom.
I grew through these experiences yet, they did not prepare me for the biggest loss of my life. My previous spouse of 27 years was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Ten weeks later she also went home, just like my friend, my mom and my dad. This experience, unlike the others, rocked me to my core. It is a story all its own. Some moments I could smile, but at times the grief was all consuming. I would feel trapped in a box; breathing, merely surviving was all I could manage. It was as if I could only take one step at a time. It was during this experience that God began to mold, form, and change me beyond anything I could have imagined. He was preparing me to accomplish His work through my life.
I encourage you to take advantage of our complimentary gift, “God’s Answer?” It will demonstrate to you a power to not only live life, but also a power to change your life, beyond your wildest imagination.
We have all suffered from guilt at some time in our life. Some guilt is real because of our actions and some is imposed on us by others. Can you think of a time you felt guilty when you were not at fault? Some people attempt to burden others with guilt in order to lift themselves up. Often their accusations begin with a grain of truth. They distort the truth to place the blame on you. Feeling the need to prove your innocence can be extremely painful as well.
Sometimes our guilt is the result of moral failings. The list of wrongdoings can be quite long and can range in our minds from small missteps to sins that seem worse, or have worse consequences. Sometimes we can justify our actions by comparing our shortcomings to those of others. Feeling guilty is healthy. If we have no feelings associated with doing wrong, what does that say about us? People who appear to suffer no guilt or have no conscience are often labeled as hardened criminals, cold-hearted, or anti-social. They don’t feel guilty. In this sense we can embrace our feelings of guilt and set about to alter our behavior of our wrong doing or immorality.
Have you ever attempted to change your own bad behavior, or shortcomings, but find yourself repeating, “I am sorry” or “I will not do that again?” I know I have. I say I am sorry and promise myself that I will not repeat the same behaviors. Yet not much time passes before I am in the same situation again. I am trapped in a cycle of sinning, feeling guilt, and trying to change myself.
Sometimes we do things that we cannot justify and that seem unforgiveable. Forgiving yourself and being guilt free may seem impossible. Maybe it is an affair. You cheated on the love of your life, your children’s father or mother. You have caused hurt and deep pain to those you love most. Perhaps you or a girlfriend became pregnant and chose abortion only to discover you feel tormented day and night by your decision. You are trapped by your wrong doing and nothing seems to ease the pain and the guilt that is tearing at your very soul. Guilt like so many hurts in life robs us of the life we want to live.
Loneliness is a fact of life. Well, that is not very encouraging nor will it help me to cope with loneliness. It is a first step. There is not one person on the face of this planet who has lived a few years who has not faced loneliness, perhaps many times.
Loneliness can be temporary; your spouse is out of town on a trip and you miss them. Maybe you are the one traveling and you are alone in a hotel room. If a spouse is away at war, you not only face loneliness but you also battle worrying about your loved one.
Some loneliness is much more permanent because of the death of a friend, parent, spouse or a child. Loneliness can also come from a relationship break up or a divorce. Loneliness that has no timeline, no endpoint or future reunion, brings a permanency of your grief and hurt.
You may see yourself as a lonely person not because of the absence of a particular loved one, but because you spend the majority of your hours alone. Perhaps you have no family or just a few relatives, who you do not see much. You may lack friends and find yourself facing life all alone. You might spend many more hours by yourself than you do with others, leaving you longing to have someone with whom to share the adventures of life.
Loneliness leads to anxiety, stress and even depression. Loneliness literally hurts. I heard it described once by a young woman as a physical pain in her chest from the grief of her husband’s death and the loneliness that took his place.
I have a close friend who lost his wife from cancer. After a recent visit he told me as I was leaving that he had to figure out how to fill the rest of the day so he wouldn’t be lonely.
Can someone be lonely with people around? Yes; people are not the answer to loneliness. If it was simply being around people, individuals who live in large cities would never face loneliness. Yes, people can take up some of our time but loneliness runs much deeper. The answer for loneliness is the same answer for so many of our hurts and pain in this life.
I encourage you to take advantage of our complimentary gift, “God’s Answer?” It will show you how to live life through a power that will transform your life. This journey of yours is not about your talents or abilities or anything you can do to change your life. It is about allowing the power of God to radically change you.
How many years have each of us struggled to alter our path by our own talents and abilities, only to find we fail or fall short most of the time. I had been a Christian for many years. I had taught, preached, and traveled to very dangerous places to spread God’s Word; yet, I still lacked the freedom and the transformation God had planned for me.
I encourage you to pay very close attention to the information in “God’s Answer?” As you do, you will see that God, in His perfect timing is waiting to take you on a journey that will be beyond your wildest imagination.
Is a Breakthrough Really Possible?
Absolutely! I have seen it in my own life, witnessed it in the lives of others and know for certain that God’s Word says His power to save, transform and empower us is available to all who ask and believe.
The most prevalent form of stress is acute stress. It results from present or upcoming short term events. Arguments with loved ones, disobedient children, unpaid bills, illnesses of family members, or upcoming changes could all be triggers for acute stress.
Episodic Acute Stress
This type of stress is the result of a certain disposition, or way of dealing with life’s events. People who suffer from episodic acute stress might have aggressive personality types. They might also be those people who have an extreme drive to succeed or who are always on the go. Their lives might appear chaotic and out of control. Having a pessimistic or worrisome view of the future might also lead to episodic acute stress.
This is the continuous stress that never seems to let up. It goes on day after day wearing you down both physically and emotionally. Chronic stress often harms all of your relationships. It can leave you without hope and can even cause you to want to end your life. This type of stress stems from seemingly unchangeable circumstances such as broken marriages, financial ruin, or chronic illnesses. When you are suffering from chronic stress, even the slightest additional burden feels like it will send you over the edge.
Many times we are told how to deal, cope or manage our stress, but feel that we do not have the emotional energy to follow the various strategies. Our souls cry out that there must be a better answer. We ask, “Is this how life was supposed to be lived?”