Family through crisis times
Leading a family through crisis period
Suddenly, the plane began to dance vigorously up and down, this side and that, as if about to break apart. The seat-belt sign lit up and the intercom voice said, "... remain seated and put on your seat-belts ..." This terrifying turbulence continued for minutes. The Pilot was reacting to it by rapidly changing altitude or turning this way or that as he saw fit. Eventually we were in the clear, but the memory of that experience remains on my mind as I reflect on crises that can come to a family.
And to imagine that we were up thousands of feet above the sea, in the middle of nowhere, with no possibility of a landing-strip anywhere near. Flying is like that. Storms can come unexpectedly; currents that sweep up to the thousands of feet can reach the plane and put fear in unsuspecting passengers like me on that dreadful night.
Likewise, a crisis can confront a family at any point in life. It can be a death in the family, loss of income and consequently of properties and it can be a sickness. Adults and children can experience turbulence in their lives where it seemed remote in the design of life, and in the middle of what appears to be the dark of night.
Dreams can turn into a nightmare for everybody and the things that one feared the most can become a reality overnight. The key is to know how to survive and more importantly, how to thrive, how to use the crisis as a stepping stone into a better, brighter future where new dreams and new realities become a possibility.
The first thing to do is establish clear roles for everybody and share information so that everyone knows exactly what is happening, the possibilities and options, and above all the family's capacity vis-a-vis this crisis. For a family of faith, praying together is of paramount importance. The ultimate goal is to be able to stand through the storm and through what might feel like a hurricane, to wait until the storm has passed and then to take up the pieces and move on.
Life must go on
The first thing that strikes you is how life goes on around you as if nothing untoward is happening with your family. People go to the mall for their shopping, they send their kids to school or to camps, they attend community activities public meetings, weddings and special parties; life goes on. They go for work, then to the ATM machine to withdraw some money and life goes on. No, it does not matter what you are going through; yes, life must go on. It is a good thing that life goes on; it is a bad thing that when assailed by turbulence of life it is as though no one notices.
When trials beset us and we sit by the wayside, sometimes wounded, often filled with doubts about ourselves, it is time to sit up and pray. There is power in prayer because it connects us to Heaven's resources that never dwindle or diminish.
Not time to quit
It is time to tell yourself not to quit. O how easy it is to quit; to simply lie down between the sheets and let the day go; to sit with head in one hand and sigh through the day. It is so easy to begin thinking of ending it all. It seems so easy to jump off and bring it all to a conclusion. It is time to be strong and courageous. It is time to see the world through new lenses.
The world through money lenses appears bleached with the power of money; look at the new cars on the road; the powerful houses in the neighborhood, the planes flying in the air and all the possibilities that money can purchase. There seems to be so much happiness everywhere, contentment and deep satisfaction of people that have plenty of money.
What those lenses don't show are all the struggles, the compromises, and often the cheating and manipulation that hides behind there, the masks people have to wear in attempts to get more of money.
Through the lenses of eternity
Of course money does not buy everything there is in life. Money can buy all the luxuries you see in the shops but shops cannot stock what really matters the most in life. That is what money cannot buy; true contentment (to be content with what we have), joy, the true happiness that transcends human understanding. Like joy money can not buy peace of mind. Money cannot buy self-control or heaven's blessings.
When we hit a crisis in life, it is time to focus on the things money cannot buy and to go for them earnestly, being intentional at that.
Keep information flowing
Information is like the lifeline, the lifeblood of a family in a crisis situation. Keeping everyone up to date at all times and being positive and optimistic, rather than resigned to the hand of fate. The process of sharing information enables each member to figure out how it affects him or her. The adults may be worrying about what to do next, the kids may be thinking what their friends at school will say about their family. The girls may be worrying about what their next house will look like and thinking of the worst scenario possible and having nightmares over that.
Crises come to all people. No one invites a crisis home. When a family is going through a crisis of any magnitude, divorce, abortion, loss of income or whatever it might be, every member should be informed so as to go through it together no matter what the results will be in the end. It is not the results that matter, it is the impact it will have on each individual involved. Ultimately the loss may be beyond calculation in material terms, but the hearts of people must be protected and directed to what really counts, that which is eternal, where true joy is found.
Suffering and pain may last for a while but the seasons of rejoicing will be through many years to come.
[This hub comes out of a personal experience of losing property and the value calculated in monetary terms.]
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