the hard times

Responding Well in the Hard Times

My boss asked me to step into the conference room to talk. The last seventy-two hours had been both a blessing and excruciating. Several days prior, my wife who was two months pregnant started to experience complications. She was showing miscarriage symptoms. We wept as she went to the hospital. Meanwhile, I stayed home to take care of our one-year-old son who was throwing up everywhere – a sickness I would immediately contract. Thankfully, the hospital revealed that our baby was healthy, but my wife would have to be on bed rest for a couple months. That meant we would lose her salary because she is paid hourly. When I returned to work after recovering from sickness, I was both grateful to still have a baby on the way but also trying to figure out how we were going to make it on just my salary. That’s when my boss called me into the conference room. “I have to let you go,” he said.

Hard times hit all of us at some point and in varying degrees. The question is how we respond when they do. Our kids are watching us and will follow our lead. Our response will affect their sense of security. Here’s how to respond well when things take a turn for the worse.

Grieve

Mourning a death is easily understood, but it is also a perfectly beneficial practice for other difficulties. There is pain, something is coming to an end, or investment in dreams will not be realized. Take the time to sit in sadness over those things. Don’t deny or minimize the emotions. If you can grieve and be vulnerable with the people who are in the hard times with you, it will only make you closer. Taking the time to grieve will build hope in future circumstances because you will remember easier how you have come through pain and loss before.

Reflect

Hard times can hit it quickly leaving us confused. It feels unstable and the first thing we want to do is run to get out of it as soon as possible. That’s when rash decisions and mistakes are made. Go to a quiet place consistently to reflect on what has happened and how. Take a look at it from all sides and digest it. Ask trusted and neutral third parties for their perspective. Be willing to be vulnerable to fully understand things. Learn and grow from it, then plot your next course.

Let People Help You

I recently was able to preview a movie coming to theaters tomorrow called 90 Minutes in Heaven that is based on the popular book. It is about a man named Don Piper who was pronounced dead by four different EMTs after a truck hit his car head on. Ninety minutes later, he was back. Beyond the heaven experience, one of the key things he learned in his recovery was to let people help him. One of the joys of going through difficulty is the love and support received from people. None of us wants to be a burden, but we steal a blessing from people who want to care for us when we steer them away.

Gratitude

Be thankful for the good things that you still have in your life. Maintain that attitude. You may have lost a loved one, but be grateful for the time you had. You may have lost your home in bankruptcy, but be thankful your family is still together. Perhaps you may even be grateful for the opportunity tough times provide to learn and grow as you go through them.

Hope

Never lose hope. Remember those times from the past where your back was against the wall, you were down, or experiencing great tragedy. Remember that these circumstances don’t last forever. The clouds will fade and better times will return.

Sound Off

How do you handle hard times?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • CJ

    Going through the most painful time of my life right now as my marriage is coming close to ending after 21-plus years. Just praying to God for a miracle of all miracles and reconciliation with my wife, who has made the choice to no longer love me and has hardened her heart to me over the past few years. Have gone through the grieving process and trying to find any kind of glimmer of hope and peace from God. Please pray that my wife and I can reconcile and God can redeem this marriage covenant that we can glorify Him! Thank you!

    • Mamamia

      CJ
      Encouragement found on a site called Rejoice Marriage Ministry for those standing for their marriages

  • Mamamia

    Eight years ago quite by accident I discovered photos of two children who looked a lot like my husband as I was searching at his request for some documents

    They were hidden in an old briefcase secure in the knowledge that I was not a snooper and honored my husbands privacy and trusted him fully

    It was the beginning of a very difficult season.

    We had just moved to a new state and as home schooled had no network and no new church body
    Frequent moves for the purpose of my husbands corporate climb to success had left his family somewhat disconnected

    Though I contained my grief for the sake of allowing him to become repentant his lengthy secret life had facilitated his developing a hard heart and a seared conscience

    His compartmentalizing skills had left him without any ability to empathize with my pain to regard the damage to our children …I guess thinking of them as Christians and young adults that they would have minimal damage

    Indeed continuing in the Word was the determined course in all aspects of life in this world but though I had some 40 years plus of a daily walk with the Lord this hit us hard

    How does a. Beloved spouse turn so quickly to establish a lying and deceitful lifestyle?

    I was in a quandary as to how I had not realized how he was doing things that many people now seem to think the faithful spouse “should have known”

    Corporate life offers the perfect smoke screen for people consumed with self

    Truly the love of money is the root of all evil
    Just as true is your sin will findyou out!

    My husband has always been an over achiever and using vulnerable women who themselves lack any form of empathy or morals was his specialty

    Me and our children were props for his deceitful life

    We were parades out when the occasion demanded him to appear to be a good husband and a great father….he fooled us all

    The damage to trust is huge….trust of my own ability to discern…though that has been further instructed through study and application of scripture focused in on lessons regarding character and various fruit inspecting!

    Retrospect and knowledge of the true use of his time has been eye opening

    Certainly as I remain faithful to my cows I also hope in reconciliation but there needs to be more than “I’m sorry”….

    We went to a weekend to remember event shortly after some counseling and he did a renewal of our vows …but shortly after that he moved into his own condo despite all reasons why this was not the best move

    He is a very proud man and the more accommodating and respectful treatment he gets the more he takes the situation for use in his own choices to avoid accountability to anyone

    I have studied before…during …and after marriage to learn how to be the best wife possible

    He refused to discuss his various offenses with me even as I used to sense things and ask and even offer apologies for whatever was the unknown problem

    I think his method of controlling and getting the “freedom ” to go do whatever would make him happy was this silence

    This has been the loneliest 35 years of my life in terms of a marriage relationship

    I made sure I was available to him for the possibility should be ever want to do something with me

    I pretty much tried I meekness and gentleness to invite him to take part in our lives…reminding him of the loss of experiences with his maturing family and how I missed him

    He refused “nicely” and at the same time threatened me with financial losses …as if spending time with me or his family would ruin his career which he loved

    Now the millions he once earned along with all but less than a hundred dollars of our retirement has been depleted.

    Paying for the children of the OW who never wanted nor expected him to marry her…but did want to be a “single mom by choice” as one of her emails claims …has become the siphon through which our family’s savings has been depleted

    This in addition to his self imposed exile

    He is indeed having it”his way” as the song goes

    He hates the OW and has not seen her upon the DDay which tends to speak of his desire to get out of that relationship but for his desire to be a ” good guy” and pay for her house and support “lest the kids lose our”

    Losses to me and our children was given a sort of “lip service” sad face and then he fled

    I have known some selfish people in my time
    In ministry I have served in many capacities but this and other recent revelations among marriages tells me the enemy is at work in the minds and lives of those who do not take upon themselves to obey the command to study the Word and put on the at our of God

    Deception is abounding as Jesus told us it would be prior to His return

    The devil prowls around looking to strike at the vulnerable areas of a persons life

    The one main thing my husband did confess was he did not like me sharing God’s word

    So the main offense in those who live sin would indeed be the Word of God

    Without any direct addressing my husband he could not stand the Word…in me…or being spoken to anyone else

    Is this not an indication of the confirmations of Romans 1 and other scripture that speaks of the way the Word offends those who live the world the flesh and the Devil?

    So I pray for him …..and pray fervently as we are told for our enemies…and those in authority

    Soon our Lord will call us “come up here”

    Until then we abide in His word as our high tower and refuge

    Discovering the infidelity of one so loved and trusted is shocking but we see it is also what can happen when people do not love the Lord with all their hearts and keep His words

    It is sorrowful to observe the lack of concern for the way the consequences of their sin effects
    Their own loved ones

    Yet this is spiritual seduction and deception in its most sinister display

    The devil knows his time is short and he is stepping up is game as many generations now have been indoctrinated through the government schools systematic propaganda machine

    I once heard my instructor say to us as I was getting my teaching credential ” you need to transfer the respect children have for their parents to you”

    This is a direct action intended to replace the head of the family in terms of respect which lends itself to teach ability

    The devil knows the command to Fathers from God to teach their children all the time Deut 4:6

    The government directed the teaching of children decades ago to the end that there would be a “population easily led”

    Instead of “train up a child in the way they should go ” to live godly and honor their father and mother….children grew rebellious as the government. Schools usurped the God given ordianation of fathers jurisdiction of their children and parents have thought this “just the way it has always been”

    God told us “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge ”

    His Word has been neglected and then taught by hirllings and wolves…..people too busy to check what they think against all scripture and pusuaded it is “unnecessary” by skeptics..”scholars ” and charlatans !

    No amount of money thrown down the hole of the system will turn this tide…only a return individually to the Lord and investing time and urgent study of His word motivated by LOVE for God

    May He grant repentance to those who are captive to the false things of this world

    And soon!

    • CJ

      Hi Mamamia,

      For some reason, my path on All Pro Dad led me back to this post from long ago. I wanted to say thank you for leading me to the Rejoice Marriage Ministry website for I have used it and it’s daily devotionals to help me in my quest to restore my marriage.

      This was the first time I read your story that you posted, too, and I am praying for you and your estranged husband. It is unbelievable the amount of pain that happens when a spouse steps across those marriage boundaries and outside of God’s marital covenant. All these months later, I am still enduring the daily pain that hits in waves — as I see you have been experiencing yourself for a long, long time.

      It is amazing how sin can distort and damage even a believer. In my case, my wife and I are both believers in Christ, but circumstances in life hit us hard over the last decade and she disengaged and withdrew from me even as I pursued her and tried to be the best husband and father I could. Then in July I found out she had been having an emotional affair (texting mainly) with the youth pastor of our church (her sin found her out) and that is the reason over the last two years she had ultimately hardened her heart and quit loving me.

      So now we are working on reconciling, but it is a long, hard process. We are going to counseling, but it seems that things just keep coming up and the waves of pain and emotion just hit me and discourage her to the point of hopelessness. It is a vicious cycle that I can only pray that God one day works through both of us and breaks so our marriage can be restored and redeemed in Him!

      Keep standing in your faith in in God’s Word. I start my morning in the Word and in prayer and just pray that God can bring beauty from ashes. I will pray the same thing for you! Stand strong, my sister in Christ!

      • Mamamia

        CJ

        Dear CJ , I was thankful to hear from you. So much of our recovery from the shocking reality of infidelity in our marriage is a seeking a source of comfort and some acknowledgement of how painful this is. Our world is so twisted in it’s understanding of what GOD has intended for us in our walk as Christians and in what marriage is to be in glorifying His relationship with us and the church that we often times suffer in the very places we seek some wisdom and understanding among others who are Christian.

        Just naming ourselves Christian does not immediately follow that we have the wisdom to counsel others. When we seek HIM and His kingdom FIRST in all areas of our need in life we will find that we are told to CONTINUE in His Word.

        Many counselors who hang their shingle out may be ‘qualified’ as such by some training in the world of psychology but that does not follow that they are equipped with what God has set forth as what we are to be doing to follow Jesus Christ.

        This is not to ‘dis’ them but they have also not been brought to the understanding of what the Truth in Jesus Christ is calling for us to learn , know and practice which will bring about the ” peacable fruit righteousness ” in us and in our relationships.

        I have spent 47 years in seeking things out in the Word ….and the past 8 plus years pursuing what to do that is the RIGHT thing by God’s wisdom to do in the case of such a broken heart and a broken marriage relationship.

        As we observe the many opinions that people have about marriages touched by infidelity in and outside the church it is easy to see that there are few who take heed to James 1 in seeking the knowledge that comes from above and are more inclined to seek ‘happiness’

        Marriage was intended to bring about contentment but then again we are commanded to “be content with such things as we have’ and to ‘be thankful because this is the will of GOD concerning ” the believer in Christ

        Apart from walking by His spirit …His words which Jesus told us ARE spirit …people are moved by their emotions and urges ….the body of flesh begins to ‘take the lead’ by ‘what seemeth right unto a man [ or woman] and they fall into sin.

        To walk by what feels good or seems good causes us to become OPEN to any idea which is appealing at the time ..and especially in times when the marriage relationship has not been nurtured and held to the standard of what GOD has intended for those two made one and for how it is to influence people’s view of GOD …Christ and His bride the church.

        Lacking this knowledge and failing to ‘eat the bread of life’ personally on a day to day basis has been one of the failings of a church which departed from each person seeing his own relationship with God has key to avoiding deception and leaning a bit too much upon any one person who has taken up a pulpit .

        Without the Word in our own day to day personally led by the Spirit of GOD we are vulnerable as Eve was who began to slid into thinking God’s Words were prohibitive rather than protective.

        Adam was to ‘guard ‘ the garden …as to ‘keep it’ also means guard. He was to protect Eve from things like the Serpent by way of stepping to remind her , if not go back to God together to get a refresher on what GOD indeed DID say. We observe her loss of reverance and regard for God’s intentions and thus His wisdom in terms of how she was to avoid deception.

        So both were held accountable for not renewing their minds upon what GOD had told Adam and then regarding Him as loving and trustworthy in order to jusitfy themselves in disobedience.

        Things have not changed all that much for the fallen nature of man. Born again believers need to fortify themselves in their view of GOD and His Word and Jesus said …come daily.

        Lacking wisdom the lust and carnal condition of the mind will become more and more responsive to the temptations of this world…the flesh and the devil.

        People who neglect the Word even as they believe in Jesus Christ must realize the devil never takes a holiday and he is ramping up as he knows his days are numbered.

        He works the SAME temptations upon any of us that he found useful with Eve and Adam …but did not gain anything with using those same tricks on Jesus …the answer to Jesus’s ability to avoid obeying sin was His WORD stuck right in the eye of the devil !

        We have the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of GOD but many of us stumble over our own ignorance of what the whole context of the Word speaks .

        In my own having to investigate what to do in this situation I was drawn to go to the scriptures in areas I had not had a true doctrinal understanding based upon what the Word actually says.

        Many ‘christian sources’ had missed a lot of what the Bible actually lays out for us .

        Many are weak and falling due to the lack of knowledge of God’s Word and they often times are tripped up by OTHERS who intend well but are not speaking what the Word actually does say or they do not have a depth of understanding having been taught by men.

        This is nothing new….with so many activities abounding ‘for His church’ or ‘to make a living’ …or just to invest in entertainments ….because after all ‘doesn’t God want you to be happy’ …people are falling into sin because they are not taking seriously the reality of our world and the enemy of the soul.

        Going to a counselor seems like a good idea …but being cautious because many of those are not well equipped to do much else than judge by the flesh…which falls short and oftentimes slides into simple manipulations of the flesh to ‘fix’ what is a deeper issue.

        Only GOD knows the inner workings of the human heart …and the Word tells us that natural man receives not the things of God NEITHER CAN HE KNOW THEM….so what counsel can anyone apart from those who have lived submitted to God and in that studied to show themselves approved unto God a workman that needs not to be ashamed …Rightly dividing the word of truth …offer to anyone???

        Now those who reject the Word of GOD as the TRUTH will find themselves opposing it wherever the love of the world is exposed and challenged…

        People often like to quote the love chapter and then make their judgments based upon their own worldly ideas of what ‘love ‘ is …but indeed if we have learned from GOD that the ‘love’ spoken of there is not the emotionally driven love but a love FOR GOD then the reading of that section takes on another understanding.

        If we give our body to be burned , and have not love FOR GOD …we are nothing….

        Lots of people DO things that are kind …loving in the sense that they help others but GOD has put his own definition FIRST …’this is love that you keep my commandments’ ….” this is love keep my words’

        In keeping His WORD …all of it ….eaten with hunger and thirst after RIGHTEOUSNESS…pursuing HIM ,…then it will work within us ..and the wisdom will not be according to man’s flesh but according to what HIS LOVE would influence us to think…say and do.

        Then we will find that we are enabled to do what HE has directed us to do

        To cast down imaginations and every high thing that holds itself up against the knowledge of GOD and to take captive EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ.

        Jesus told us ‘it is the spirit that quickeneth …makes alive…the flesh profits NOTHING …the words that I speak ARE Spirit …and they are LIFE.

        The Bible talks about ‘reigning’ the flesh …I see this like taking the fleshly person and guiding it to obey the things GOD tells us are going to keep us from beginning to build up affections for things which will violate our relationship with HIM and with our spouses.

        That means we do not give our time, attention and admiration to anyone else repeatedly stealing from our view of our spouse.

        That means avoiding to keep company which will build a bond with anyone that is not our spouse.

        The youth ‘pastor’ ought to be brought to church awareness! What is he doing ‘ministering ‘ to young people ! WHAT ???? Fathers were commanded to train up and teach their own children for a reason!

        Todays people are turned from heeding GOD and we have what we have in terms of the nation trained up by infidels and God rejectors! Who themselves are the product of a long term effort to transform our nation. They have cast off the Bible and GOD because somewhere in the past the Fathers of families bought the lie that someone else was better equipped.

        IT was JUST THIS challenge by which GOD would have taught the Fathers…as well as the children.

        I found in homeschooling our children I was brought to study much of what I might not have taken to heart for the sake of teaching my children

        On the other hand my husband scoffed at the responsiblitiy of doing so and he did indeed ‘teach’ our children …and especially our son ..that once grown he would not need to read the Bible…

        By his life and example my husband lived in opposition to GOD and did so in the eyes of our children.

        What a child experiences growing up will either equip him to value and heed the command of GOD to continue in His Word and be continuing to be taught and trained by Him…OR he will view the Bible as nothing useful once grown up .

        This is the destruction which the devil has had to do very little to bring about since the carnal mind is enmity against GOD and people who do not realize WHY they are compelled to always go for what FEELS good will do so without any further consideration.

        It was Alaster Crowly’s quote which was raised up in the minds of people during the 60’s that pretty much sums up the ideas that are now bringing forth much bad fruit today ” Do what thou wilt for love is the law’ ….God’s WORD tells us ‘THE LAW IS LOVE”

        Indeed it is the law of sin and death which draws people by their flesh that Jesus Christ took the punishment for all who trust in Him for their salvation from the wrath of God which justly comes upon those who reject the payment HE laid His life down for .

        Today people cry out for ‘Justice’ and say ‘No Justice …no peace” ! They don’t realize what they are saying. God demands justice but His mercy offers us the peace that passes all understanding …not as the world gives through compromising the Way , the Truth and the Life found in Jesus Christ but the peace that HE gives us which is peace WITH GOD who justly could have destroyed all as He demonstrated the ‘wages of sin’ by way of His dealings with Sodom and Gomorrah…..

        Instead of your wife being flattered by the attentions of such a weak , ignorant and wicked man who is set before youth as a Christian “example’ she should be insulted!

        Such is deception. I pray you will continue despite what your wife does but by way of your godly submission to the Lord in all that He has required of us as His children …and Jesus defined those who are HIS brothers and sisters as those who ‘do the will of my Father’ .

        Not secular Humanism …Not social justice or social gospel …not fleshly appeals to fill a pew but TRUTH in CHRIST applied to life is what is going to bring about the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

        this life is but a vapor …Live for Christ and all else will do what it does. This world does not love God nor Christ and those who have set their affections upon this world will be stolen from and lost if they do not repent and forsake what GOD defines as sin which will kill them ….sin kills the body and the soul …so lest we wobble on that …we MUST be grounded upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets ….with Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone..

        Jhn 7:24Judge not according to the appearance, but judgerighteous judgment.

        The righteous judgment of GOD is found in ALL Scripture …2 Tim 3:16 ‘which is INSTRUCTION in rigthteousness”

Subscribe to the Play of the Day for daily advice, videos and updates on how to be better dad.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is hardest thing you have experienced?”

foster and adoption
Did You Get It?
Florida Prepaid