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ARTICLE 4- HANDLING ADVERSITY

HANDLING ADVERSITY

So What are adversities? Does everyone really face adversity?

One thing we know about life even from our experiences is that sometimes we are up, while some other times we are not – this fact is completely relatable and this means we all face adversities. Now, handling adversities are subjective, this means that what one person regards as adversity might not be exactly what someone sees as their own downtime. Nevertheless, we all can agree that things would not always go the way we plan and we will never have everything on an even keel at all times. Now, our responses during our downtimes build our character and enable us to grow.

It’s very easy to have faith and character when things are good but who we really are or what we are made of, surfaces in the front of adversities and that’s the real challenge. Adversities should help us grow and stretch, circumstances should help us gain the needed perspectives and experience especially because it is not of our choosing although we can decide if it will be for our benefits at the end of the day.

So how do I handle adversities? How can I grow better in adversities knowing that they will definitely come at some point as I journey through life? How does one build resilience to react or respond quickly and constructively to crises?

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed”, 2 Cor 4:8-9

 

This is a quote from the bible describing adversity in the time of the Apostle Paul and his attitude towards it this should be our disposition too

 

 

TRUST

Trust matters and even much more in handling adversity for instance during the COVID-19 pandemic emotions depression and frustration were on the high, there were so many questions even existential questions such as, what really is the goal of life? Will things ever get back to normal? Where is God in all these? This period was a time of adversity and uncertainty for the whole world.

Life is not predictable but we can learn to trust God even when we have valid questions. God is trustworthy_ He cannot lie and that he keeps his promises. Trusting God is more than a feeling, it also is not ignoring the reality of your circumstances, trusting God is basically living a life that upholds the character and person of God even against contrary notions and this conviction comes through prayers and through studying his word.

Trust firstly should be to God; adversities would always reveal the extent to which we trust God. We have a perfect example in the Scripture, Abraham who had a promise of a son even when he and his wife Sarah were old and long past the age of such possibility. He trusted God and had a son, Isaac, and yet at a point in Genesis 22, he was to sacrifice that same son but he was a man of faith and because he trusted God he was able to overcome his adversity.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

 

NEGLECT

Neglect is a form of maltreatment by individuals resulting in a form of inadequate attention especially through careless disregard for the needs of others. There are different kinds of neglect which include physical neglect, emotional neglect, financial neglect, and even self-neglect. Neglect can be a source of adversity when you literally feel you are all alone and by yourself. Most times neglect would involve exploitation and a form of emotional abuse.

How does one really deal with neglect?

Most times neglect occurs during childhood but Its effects are seen even down to adulthood if not properly handled. Neglect has an emotional effect so most times it’s not noticed because it can’t be seen. In dealing with neglect you might have to diagnose your emotions thinking back into your childhood and this would be best if you can employ some professional help. Take a journey towards self-esteem and consider your own ideas, values, and preferences.

Dealing with neglect is an internal work so you would have to find support as well as investigating God’s love for you which he expressed in gave His only Son for our deliverance (John 3:16-17).

Affirm God’s love much more in this season accepting all the help you can get even when it’s difficult because one of the most reoccurring signs of neglect is an exhibition of emotionless attitudes that plays out most times because emotions due to neglect have been suppressed for so long. Therefore, accept all the help and love you can get and set healthy boundaries so as to keep all forms of negativity away from you as much as you can.

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

 

BETRAYAL

Betrayal can be another major source of adversity. Have you been betrayed before? Do you still have burdens from past betrayals?

Most times after been betrayed we want to retaliate or hurt back to feel better. For some people, they would want to wish away the situation.

However, betrayals are wounds and if we cover them up they get worse, they need to be exposed to healing. It’s important to understand grief is a process in healing and we must endeavor not to deprive ourselves of healing by disregarding our emotions. Accepts the situation, allow yourself grief, and if you can find support do not hesitate to reach out to someone you trust.

It is important in your healing process that you don’t slip into self-doubt. Betrayals happen and are part of life experiences; it was expressed to you and not from you. So Pay attention to yourself and give yourself time and do not hesitate to seek God for whatever is beyond your control.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1 PETER 5:7-9

 

EMPATHY

Sympathy can be easy to find but Empathy is such a rare virtue to find. Empathy is simply stepping into someone else’s shoes with the aim of understanding how it hurts. Empathy is the capacity to comprehend and relate to what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference. This ability is really lacking in the human race; it goes beyond feeling sorry for someone to allowing yourself truly relate to their pain.

How can you expand your empathic potential?

Empathy as a habit can be cultivated and it begins with cultivating curiosity _desire to know, this may involve listening more and making researches. When we enquire more we know more, we begin to have a wider view of things which requires courage.

Volunteering to help will also help you become more empathic because when you do, you experience more and all genuine education comes from experience. Volunteering is a better way to conduct our own experiment.

In addition, be supportive, be encouraging step out of your comfort zone for your friends and loved ones, share how you feel, and also acknowledge how others feel too.

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. ROMANS 12:11-13

 

RESILIENCE

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. 30 Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. 31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

Building resilience is very important especially since we already agree that adversities are part of life. It’s however more important to prepare for them.  Resilience is the ability to adapt well to adversity and pressure, in other words, it means to be dogged. We don’t just want to suffer through adversities we want to thrive through them. So how do we thrive through adversity?

It’s paramount to prioritize and build your relationships consciously; firstly, with God and secondly with people. We’ve discussed how it is that trusting God is how best to face adversity but this is ideal before we are encounter troubling situations. Learn to pray and find reassurance in the word of God.  Keep healthy and empathetic friends who can be a support system and also be there for them.

In building resilience, you need to take care of yourself, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Embrace healthy thoughts and decisions. Learn to protect your heart; the bible said in Proverbs 4:23 to” guard your heart with all diligence for out of it is the source of life”. Accept change and have a positive outlook on life. Do not live in fear because God has not given you the spirit of fear. Remember to learn from your past, this is proof of growth.

 

FORGIVENESS

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13

Forgiveness is a deliberate process that takes time and patience. The best approach to forgiveness is to remember that God forgave us regardless of all that we have done and will still do. Forgiveness as the bible teaches us to be in the same manner that God forgave us. Forgiveness is indeed beautiful when we let go of resentments and give up any claims of compensation for the wrong done to us.

Forgiveness does not mean intentionally condoning ill-treatments or remaining in an abusive relationship or even pretending the offense never happened. Forgiveness is rather setting yourself free from anger and resentments and embracing peace and happiness.

You can forgive deliberately by remembering how it is that God forgives you of your sins and keeping before you the benefits of forgiveness.

You can also develop a forgiving habit through empathy. This is not to excuse bad behaviors but to find reasons to forgive by empathizing. In conclusion in forgiveness, you honor God and yourself as a person knowing that you are fallible too.

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