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December 15, 2021 5:00 am
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Melissa suffered through 11 years of her husband's addiction and she feared the worst. How really caring guarding me guy being working and related air on Jim Daly this season. Help us give families hope and when you get to the your donation will be double donated focusonthefamily.com/family, there are still times when those feelings are connect, doesn't mean that I'm backtracking, but I have to acknowledge it to make space for that grief in my life and set of just ignoring and pretending it's not there because that grief in the sign moving backwards or that I'm not healed since the sign of the reality that in this world we will go through hard things no one to be able to face those with confidence and acknowledge those hurts make space for them is one of the ways that we feel that's never for later cheese or just begin on this best of 20, 21 Focus on the Family presentation.
Thanks for joining us on John Fuller and your host is focused president and author. Jim Daly here's a better statement were not free from stress and trouble in this life about that show you that were not.
This is the world and in the world you will have trouble. I think the threat of the Scripture even when we come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
The language we use as Christians and accept them as our Savior were still going to face times of difficulty but we can face them with confidence that we can overcome them, and have hope in our future as we read in second Timothy 17 God gave us the spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control and you know that's a hard thing to remain in balance in those things. And today were to talk with our guests about how to do that. She's got a great book. Are you really okay which I would say it's that Scripture directly about power, love and self-control and this could be a good program.
We started yesterday and mysterious.
Did you hold us.
Let us know how we can get that to you on a CD or you can downloaded the app you can watch on YouTube so many different ways. It was a great conversation. As you said, Jim and I guess I should say. Her number is 800 K in the word family or you can go back in here that first firstname.lastname@example.org/broadcast Deborah welcome back to Focus on the Family.
It's good to be with you as always so good and I love the content you bring as a counselor. Your husband is a physician you guys your power couple have four kids 10 85 and three months old breath lead to a full house just on behalf of all the moms that are struggling to keep it all go and how you just do that with everything you got going. This is why the book are you really really have to ask that question. These types of season now you let me start there for the moms that are trying to do it all really seriously, how do you remain healthy and I mean in every way, emotionally, physically spiritual how to remain healthy with all of the things that pull on you as a mom, your kids, maybe your profession outside the home.
The home your husband. You juggle all that remain healthy while the truth is you don't and you don't do everything it might look from the outside in. Like somebody's doing everything and doing it all out. I get that question a lot.
How do you do it all and my responses. I don't do it all. I can't do it all.
But I've learned to do a few things well, I'd like to set boundaries around my life and learn to take care of myself so that I can be filled and pour out to my family.
I think in the beginning of the mommies to feel guilty about taking the time to keep myself healthy but now I see it as a necessity because if I'm not full of no use to anyone around me know it's really good in that acknowledgment that I'm not doing everything well and I'm okay with that. That's a healthy spot. Let's do the recap from yesterday we talked about emotional well-being and spiritual well-being.
How would you recap the discussion yeah you know Jesus calls us to love him with our heart, soul, mind and strength our heart represents our emotional health soul represents our spiritual health. Mind represents our mental health and strength represents our physical health.
Yesterday we talked about our emotional health and or spiritual health and really taking inventory of those two areas mental health issues affect everyone from time to time we may not even be aware of it, actually. But how it's dampening down or feelings or sense of joy when God says we should be people that are joyful, but sometimes things detract from that.
How does the way we think connect with the way we feel. Scientists used to believe that feelings caused our thoughts that the most recent research shows us that thoughts actually trigger feelings which trigger behaviors. So for feeling off or doing things that aren't the things we want to be doing.
We've got a really good backtrack and take a look at our thoughts what's on replay like a collet. I have four little kids when I get in the car off inside and there's some child CD playing you now some nursery songs are what have you. Let me guess we'll on the bus goes round Focus on the Family is all their little kids. I member once I went on a trip in my car without the kids, and after an hour I realized you still used to what's on replay background. It just becomes the norm. Our thoughts are the same way we get so accustomed to certain thought processes on replay that we don't even feel the need to change them. Well, that's powerful.
How does God interact with in our lives. What is he saying to us in that regard. Will God wants us to replace the patterns of our past with his truth right and many times the patterns of our past is how we think those negative thoughts and counseling. We call them cognitive distortions and their faulty ways of thinking maybe something like black or white thinking where you see things in extreme. Maybe something like catastrophize and we always looking at the future and seeing the worst case scenario, we've got these default patterns of thinking maybe it's a self critique or were always thinking negative things about ourselves, are the people around us. God wants us to identify these thought patterns and begin replacing them with his truth is words come to have a freeze of truth before trivia.
I still like to look at and gather a lot of information, but as a believer in trying to let God's word. The Scripture be my reference point for the day and where I spent a lot of time it's not like it's for every minute I read an article online reading the Scripture, but I want his truth to be the thing that's transforming my mind, not the world, making my thinking off-base. I love that and it's essentially the question of what my downloading my downloading each and every day and are the things I'm downloading from my pastor the things I'm downloading from what I'm looking on the Internet scrolling Google or am I filling my mind and heart with God's truth when you mentioned the book several things that you need to understand in getting your mind straight with truth right so you use the terminology black and white thinking.
All or nothing thinking, overgeneralization, minimization and magnification mind-reading fortune-telling in this one I can really relate to this catastrophize thing is I think the culture we we are living in that right now everything is a catastrophe. I mean you talk with family members and if it's not covert related something is you know it's fear speak to some of those or maybe one or two that really capture you had emotional reasoning should codeword statements labeling personalization. There's a lot there. It's all in your great book and people need to get it for the complete definition, but what what are one or two of those that I've mentioned that's standout something like said could what you spend so much time thinking about what she should have done in the past, blaming yourself like you mentioned catastrophize and were always thinking of the worst case scenario filled with worry and fear the way that we think begins to change our brain physically speaking, it begins to change the neural pathways which then begin effecting our emotional health and mental health, and so there's so much power because how you think impacts your life when you change your thoughts, you begin to change your life and that's why something that people are so passive about what's on replay think twice about it.
We've got a work to take inventory of our thoughts and the Bible says take every thought captive and counseling. We call that cognitive behavioral therapy.
You know that God thought of it long ago, transforming our mind and making sure that what's flowing out of her mind is bringing us health and not the other way around. So when you're dealing with the person sitting in front of you and your counseling office.
What are two or three things you can encourage them to do what are steps they can take to begin to not be overwhelmed by the world and to transform their mind. According to Christ. First and foremost I think you've got to face your thoughts sometimes are so automatic you don't even recognize them. So one thing that I have people do, and in fact, this book is actually interactive. It's not meant to just be read you journal through you know you you Journal as you're going through and one thing I have people do, especially during this section is begin keeping track of their negative thoughts to put them on paper to start seeing patterns in the way they think that they might not have recognized before. And then we do that we have the one side, but then we begin to replace that with God's truth.
What is God ultimately say about these things limit ultimately believing in my believing this side of the spectrum, the dark side, or my clinging to the light of God's truth and in the book you do go to great lengths to talk about areas where we need help mental illness being one in the way the culture, and particularly the Christian culture can shame people that are struggling in that area. I just want to make sure were really clear on that.
We've done some programs on that before and we get a lot of response from folks who feel very strongly on both sides of this issue as a counselor with that person again. Sitting right there from the how do you encourage them to seek the help they need and still maintain a healthy understanding of God's love for you.
His concern for you, but yes you can get some help. If you don't have enough serotonin on your nerve endings can be that simple. You're absolutely right. I recently on my blog wrote an open letter to the depressed Christian and I explained to them that which I also cover in this book that this is not a reflection of your faith. This is not a reflection of your strength. This is not a reflection of your relationship with Jesus you know this is a struggle that you're walking through and many times this is the catalyst to your faith look at the times of depression the darkest seasons for me. When Jesus was truly the closest I felt him near to my heart and I'm grateful he walked me through that process of healing with therapy and medication because you know what even therapists can benefit from therapy and counseling.
I don't just preach this because I'm a counselor I preach it and teach it because it actually impacted my own life during those hard seasons. It is so good and I hope people are hearing that heart that you have and that we share in a Focus on the Family sometimes in the Christian community. You know we get criticism for talking about the idea of the people can get help through counseling they can get help through medication, etc. break down some of those myths just hit them bang bang bang. What would you say I think many times what we try to do is offer spiritual solutions was that sound like two men colors problems, you know, things like you need to pray more. Or here's a Bible verse dwell on Scripture when you think of depression or anxiety or panic attack and your brain is not working properly. Your amygdala the part of your brain that's responsible for emotional memory is going wild you, Neo cortex, the part of your brain that's responsible for logic is dull down think about Scripture in that moment because you're that part of your brain is actually working properly and so for eyes. We have to realize that sometimes those blanket statements actually cause more hurt than help.
Of course we need Jesus and the spirit and his guidance. We need prayer. We need to meditate on Scripture at the proper times, but I think just putting those spiritual solutions on these mental and emotional issues can actually cause damage can leave people feeling shame and defeat rather than being encouraged that they can find hope and healing. Yeah it might be in. This is just a thought but you might want to stop and actually pray with that person.
Rather than give them advice as to what they can do that right pray for them. So you cover them in prayer. But not only that it's really taking the next step.
How can I help you, just like you. What if somebody was sick with cancer or someone just had a baby and they're unable to help themselves in certain ways come alongside of them. Stay present. See what they need.
Ask them how you can help. I think that's the thing that we as the body of Christ can do a better job at it. Helping people walk through their struggle, rather than dropping off a Bible verse and saying goodbye Deborah you touched on this a while ago, but I do want to come back to because it is such a tender spot and it's something that a lot of women and their husbands experience in that's miscarriage take us through that both as a wife, a mom, but then also as a counselor and what you yourself went through and how that can benefit others and I went through a traumatic miscarriage that didn't actually impact to me until a few years later. I think sometimes we think that the impact this can happen right away and were not prepared for when the trauma comes back a little bit later we did you feel disconnected at that point. I mean, you're in it you have this miscarriage and you know the language and her counsel were you questioning how come I'm not feeling this more deeply.
Are you just trying to survive and get through it and hugged John that's what it is. I think as a mom. When you go through something traumatic like a miscarriage and for me it was even an emergency surgery where I almost lost my life.
You come home and life doesn't stop. You've got the kids at the time we had three kids, you've got the ministry you've got work you've got your husband you are in survival mode and when you're in survival mode. You don't have the time or the energy to stop and really process that loss. Of course you feel the loss on a superficial level, you cry, you talk about it, but I think were surprised sometimes when trauma comes back later.
Sometimes we feel like were backtracking, you know, maybe I didn't really heal, but I want people to realize that God has made it that way.
We heal in layers. One layer at a time and just because whatever trauma you've been through might be coming back in this season doesn't really mean you haven't healed, but it might mean that God wants to heal. The next layer and the next layer in the next layer.
That's really insightful and I think it actually indicates something for all of us as human beings created as we are that we might expect that to happen, not in layers but in like one stage. I go from wound to healed and the fact the way you describe it as being in layers. I don't know what if it's in patent were just not patient enough. We don't understand the mechanisms that God is giving us for healing, but all that's come wrapped up in their right and I could just feel the person shaking his fist at God because that healing is not occurred.
They want to get there and they're just frustrated right we want to see immediate results as the reality nobody wants to linger in the process of healing. But that's exactly when the process of healing is most effective think about losing weight. When you do that die and lose 10 pounds in a week that 10 pounds is going to come right back and then some. But when you take your time to heal.
When your deliberate and intentional about really getting into those wounds in dealing with them little by little. That's when healing is more long-lasting and permanent. That's when it becomes a part of your life.
In that respect. How do we measure this so that we know were not standing still. We may not be there yet but were making progress. How do we measure that I think being deliberate about setting goals.
We talked earlier how easy it is to go get a physical checkup but how rare it is to stop and take an emotional, spiritual, mental inventory so the question I would be asking is what is God healing in your life today. That's what we need to stop and ask ourselves is, I don't know. Not much you actually worry me the most because you feel like there's no need for healing. You feel like you've arrived. There's nothing that you identify in your life whether it be emotional, spiritual, mental, physical for us to constantly be growing in the process of sanctification.
We've got to be doing these check ins on a regular basis. I would think that another way to make that statement is that in this life. We should all be striving for something better is always the next level is to grow. I got as long you take in that regard.
Let me us this the this is something personally for me that's been a bit of a struggle because I do generally tend to feel them in a good place. I want to represent that feeling. So all be honest about it for me. I think Jean might say well because of your trauma as a child.
Maybe you're just looking at the shiny side of everything and you're not dealing with the pain of what happened.
I understand that I think I have but speak to me and the people like me who have kinda said okay. I think I've gotten through it. I think I forgiven people would've wounded me. I think I know come to grips with what I had to go through as an orphan kid, but those that knows best.
Might be saying emotionally. You may not be as connected, you're protecting and God gives us that mechanism.
It's a protection mechanism so you you don't go as deep emotional you do become an inch deep and a mile wide as you don't be hurt. Speak to those people that may be not in tune with what the real soul hurt is now that's a good one and I appreciate you for being so vulnerable you know I'm the type of counselor that tends to be a little more candid and so I'll tell people right off the bat you not as healthy as you think you are you now live because the Lord is longing to take us to a better place and I think when it comes to our past wounds. Of course we we eventually get to a place of peace. May you know it's not like a journey for the rest of time dealing with those past ones, but we can't be surprised when they come up at different times.
It's kind of like grief and when you look at your past childhood wounds, sort of like grief something that was lost.
Grief comes in waves. There may be seasons where he doesn't impact you. But then there's other seasons where it comes through and that's what you have to be aware of what seasons might my past experience becoming through and how does that impact me in the present.
How does it impact my relationships in the present. The people closest to you will probably give you the most insight because what's happening in the present your problem spots in the present.
Your conflict patterns in the presence tend to be a signal of the things that you might still need some healing from in the past. Keep reaching people working, keep working. I like to you know reminded of a family. I will mention the name but they had catastrophic situation were their son and daughter-in-law got married they took off from the reception in a helicopter crash into a mountain so that only been married for five hours and I remember standing with him months after the event and we were out by the barbecue and he said how are you doing and he said well what else can you do. You just get up and keep moving forward, trusting the God is who he is and all these things are taken care of. I can imagine the pain of that kind of loss.
He said it was the best day of my life and the worst of my life. It just me. Tears now talking about it, but as a counselor speaking to those kinds of situations it's kind of the reality is it up and you gotta keep going even with incredible devastation and I think it's important for us in those situations. To realize that dealing with these type of departs doesn't have a timeline. You know, we say that time heals all wounds will it doesn't. It really doesn't. In fact, some wounds when left to themselves will only get infected with time, they will get worse with time. And so for us being intentional to really say some of that pain and realize that there's no time limit.
You know, even for me.
I feel like I've dealt with my trauma.
My miscarriage in a healthy way. But there's still times when those feelings are in a come up that doesn't mean that I'm backtracking, but I have to acknowledge it to make space for that grief in my life.
Instead of just ignoring it, pretending it's not there because that grief is a sign that I'm moving backwards or that I'm not healed. Is this a sign of the reality that in this world we will go through hard things you know and to be able to face those with confidence and acknowledge those hearts make space for them is one of the ways that we heal. It's amazing thing. I think God's formula for this life we are going to suffer an organ. I need him some way. Whenever can I walk without a limp. One of my favorite sermons is that John Corson actually preached it and he said you know in one scenario, Jacob, who wrestled with God and ended up with a length for the rest of his life, which reminded him of his need for Jesus. Every step of the way his need for the Lord in the other scenario man at the pool of Bethesda was healed, healed, and people said who healed you and he said I don't know sometimes when were fully healed. We lose that connection with the Lord. We forget that sometimes the limp that we carry in life those hardships those struggles remind us of what a great place in their conversation with Deborah for later.
This is been the best of 20, 21 Focus on the Family and she is done a terrific job relating God's desire for us to be whole and healthy.
She really has.
And I hope you'll intentionally pursue some of these aspects that Deborah's been talking about you know here Focus on the Family we know life can be a strain or struggle. We are here for you. We have a team of caring Christian counselors who want to help you can give us a call or go online to set up an initial consultation. We also have lots of other resources to help you. In fact, Deborah's book are you really okay. Getting real about who you are, how you're doing and why it matters, is a great place to start. You can get that directly from Focus on the Family and when you do the proceeds go right back into ministry giving other families hope every day and we hear from so many who need answers to some of life's most difficult questions we do, do privilege to be able to help and Jim we just quickly sure word that we received from Judy. She writes I started listening to this radio broadcast in 1983 when I was a young mom and I've been listening ever since. I would know how to raise my children without focus and then she went on to say I appreciate how focus speaks into and understands the cultural changes and issues that are going on, you know we've been through a tough couple years culturally and we want to continue to lead that charge for the family, but we need your help, especially here as were heading toward Christmas and the end of the year. God can use your support to provide Scripture-based resources and programs to save and strengthen families when you give a gift of any amount today and will send you a copy of Deborah's book as our way of saying thank you and through a special year and matching opportunity. Your gift will be double. That means you can really have an impact toward saving marriages, rescuing mothers and babies from abortion equipping parents to raise children boldly in their faith redeeming, broken families, offering emotional peace, caring for children in foster care and so much more. There's a lot going on and your support is critical so that we can finish the year strong and plan to reach even more families in the coming I'm eager to see how God will work through you and Focus on the Family 2022. Donate today and get your copy of the book are you really okay. We got all the details in the episode will plan to join us next time.
As we feature another best of 20, 21 Focus on the Family Dr. Meg Meeker will help you as a parent to navigate a toxic culture with your daughter developing a strong relationship with a father with her daughter or mother with her daughter. That's what's going to change that daughter and rude her so that when she hits her 20s. She has her wits about her, she has faith and she knows who she is.
On behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers. I was so done I had reached my breaking point. I was desperate for a shred of hope. So I called the hope restored team.
It Focus on the Family they they listen to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage. They encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensive's for couples in crisis and they prayed with us. They help me believe that my marriage could be saved.
I agreed to go but was skeptical that anything could help us but the whole environment was so safe and nonjudgmental. I felt my heart open up as we work with the counselors.
Both of us still have work to do in her marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over.
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