Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Family Crises (Don't Panic)!

What is a crisis? defines "crisis" as: a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life. This definition is directed toward individual crises, but can definitely be expanded to explain family crises by changing "a person's life" to "in a family." Chances are, all of us have experienced some type of crisis in our families. For class, we had to make a list of 10 crises that our family had experienced or that we had observed in a family we were close to. This was a more difficult task than I had initially anticipated, not because my family is perfect by any means, but because a majority of the trials we have faced (or are currently facing) don't necessarily feel like crises. Similarly, a majority of the things that have created "dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval" in our family, have not necessarily been negative upheaval. For example, when we started doing foster care about 7 years ago, our family of four underwent many changes (some very emotional) in order to accommodate for the new changes occurring in our family structure. Also, there have been situations that could technically be viewed as crises, but the outcome was good and even though it was difficult to get through, we did it and our family turned out much better because of it. One example that triggered the decision to do foster care, is that my mom experienced several miscarriages and infertility after my sister, Katarina was born. This was a hard time for my parents, but they overcame the situation and can't image our lives any different. 

These examples lead me to one of the most important things about family crises - its all about how you view them and how they are handled. Many families undergo illness, death, job/income loss etc. and while all crises are difficult, they can all be blessings. I know, this sounds weird, but in all honesty, crises are really just trials and trials are essential for us to grow and develop as disciples of Christ and to become better people. We also learn (in 1 Corinthians 10:13) that God will not give us more than we can handle and he will always provide a way for us to overcome the things we are facing in life. I can honestly say that I am truly grateful for the trials my family has faced because they have brought us closer together as a family, closer to the Lord and more prepared for things that lie ahead in our paths. 

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