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Our Christmas was…eventful and uncertain. It was supposed to be quiet and calm, and we were all pretty excited about our plans to stay home (except for my girls. For some reason life isn’t fun unless they’re going at 100mph).
However, early that morning, we received word that my grandmother had a heart attack. Thankfully, after a stay in the hospital, she is doing well and is back home. It was a happy ending for us, and I’m aware that not everyone gets those.
During the days when she was in the hospital, especially during the first couple of days, life felt pretty uncertain. Obviously we were praying she would recover without any repercussions, but there were moments we didn’t know what the outcome would be.
It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last time that life feels uncertain. That’s kind of the nature of life, right? It’s a roller coaster, full of ups and downs. When it feels like I’m on the brink, not knowing exactly which way the rails will take me, there are a few things I do to help me navigate the uncertainty.
First, I seek the Presence of God.
For me, this looks like praying a little (or a lot) extra. Sitting with my morning tea and praying, instead of Facebooking. Playing worship music that speaks to my situation. Reading or re-reading Scripture also puts me in God’s presence. I find that when I’m dwelling on Him and His Word, I worry less.
Second, I talk.
This differs from praying because I’m talking to those around me. Talking through the situation, talking about how we’re doing, explaining things to my kids. I’m a believer in not sheltering my children from things. Death is part of life, and unfortunately, it will affect them at some point. When they saw me upset, they asked lots of questions. We talked a lot about how Mormor (as they call their great-grandmother) might go be with Jesus, and why that made Mommy sad. I talked a lot with my husband about how I was feeling and what I was thinking. Sometimes just getting things out into the open air makes them feel less scary.
Third, I focus on the good.
I know, I know, this sounds cliche and trite. But when I choose to focus my mind on the good, I worry less about the bad. For me, this looks like focusing on things God has done in the past, miracles He has performed. Sometimes it looks like just reminding myself of His character, and His love for us. During my grandmother’s hospital stay, it also looked like reminiscing. Remembering the wonderful memories we have made, and the ways she continually blesses me and so many others.
Focusing on the good doesn’t fix the problem or take away the uncertainty, but it helps me keep a clear head to face whatever is ahead. When I wallow in the sadness and the bad or darkness, I get so bogged down emotionally that I can’t do much more than worry and cry.
While some of these things might not work for everyone, they bring me comfort and clarity in uncertain times. What do you do to help you when things feel uncertain?