Leslie Vernick
March 17th, 2015                                                                                
What's New?
  • CORE Focus Class - Do to an overwhelming response for the CORE Focus group which is now closed, Leslie will be offering a second group: Monday April 13, and April 20th at 12:00 EST to 1:30.  This is one of the few times during the year that Leslie offers this class during the day. More information to come soon 
  • To All Our Pennsylvania Friends: Leslie will be speaking in the Lehigh Valley on Saturday April 11th for a morning session on "Lord, I Just Want To Be Happy". Pre-Register by calling Jordan UCC at 610.395.2218
  • For All People Helpers: Leslie will be speaking at the Desire Conference, April 18th, and it will be held in Clarks Summit, PA.
    Register Here.

 

 
 
 
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Dealing With Unexpected Life Changes.

By Leslie Vernick
 
One of the certainties of life is that things will change. Some things we will change by choice such as our job, our furniture, our hairstyle, even sometimes our spouse. 
 
But some of the changes we face are unwanted and unwelcome. Whether it’s an unexpected job loss, health problem, divorce, or simply losing our luggage or wallet while on vacation, change happens. Most of the time we don’t know why, but we can successfully navigate through unwanted changes if we learn to do these three things.  
 
1. Accept change: Many times we acknowledge the truth of what happened but we refuse to emotionally accept it. We get stuck in the anger of this shouldn’t have happened this way. In doing so we resist the change and fight it. On the other hand, acceptance allows us to move through our anger to grieving the losses we face because of the change.
 
Allow yourself to feel your painful feelings. Let them serve their purpose. They are here to teach us something about life, about ourselves or others. Learn from them, but don’t coddle or save them, especially when they’re negative.They become more toxic the longer we hold on
 
2. Prepare for Change:  When we accept that life changes, we prepare for it as  best we can. Make sure your will is up to date and you know where your spouse keeps financial records and insurance policies. Preparing for your own death or your spouse’s death doesn’t erase the loneliness but it sure mitigates some of the stress.
 
Ask your aging parents to do likewise so that if they die suddenly, you know what their wishes are and where they keep their financial records. In the midst of grieving, you don’t want to feel angry at them that you have to spend precious time figuring out where they kept their things. 
 
Is an empty nest sneaking up on you?
What are some things you can do in preparation for the changes you will face once the children are all gone? Do you feel called to a specific ministry or to go back to school to finish up a degree long ago abandoned? What are some things you can do to refresh your relationship with your spouse now that you won’t have kids to distract each of you?
 
We all know even the best preparations don’t always hold up. Those who prepared for retirement are now having less than they thought they would have. The apostle Paul said that he learned the secret of contentment. He enjoyed whatever God gave him without holding it too tightly. We can practice not clinging in small ways today in order to prepare for letting go in bigger ways later on.
 
Part of accepting unwanted or unwelcome change is learning to let go of our dreams and wishes of what could have been or should have been so that we are free to embrace what is new in our lives.
 
3. Embrace Change: When we embrace unwanted change, we don’t deny that there is a problem or pain, but in the midst of it we ask ourselves the question, “How can I sit with this in a good way?” A while back my younger brother lost his wife to cancer. They were high school sweethearts and it terrified him to be alone.
 
He didn’t know how to do many of the things his wife normally handled. But he decided he could learn.Although he would never have chosen the path he found himself on, he learned things about himself and his strengths in ways that would not have been possible had he not embraced the unwanted changes in his life as a result of widowhood.
 
When change is unexpected and unwelcome, sometimes our attitude is the only thing we can still control.
 
When we choose to stay positive and look for the good in a situation, we often discover unexpected blessings and opportunities that would have never happened had this change not entered our life.Although my brother never wanted his wife to die so young, he now says, “I am not the same man I was back then. Not only my life circumstances have changed, I’ve changed. I was reborn. This is a very good thing.”
 
 
 
How Can I Shorten The Abuse Learning Curve?
 

Question: How can I shorter the abuse learning curve, so it doesn't take me decades to recognize it?

 

Answer: Last week I promised to talk about some things that would shorten the learning curve for women in destructive relationships and marriages. If we look at the difference between the woman who took action to speak up and set boundaries in year two of a destructive marriage and the one that waited over thirty years to do the same, what would we see?I think it boils down to three main areas:

 

1. A woman’s emotional and spiritual maturity: People who are emotionally healthy and spiritually mature are less likely to view “enduring” marital abuse a spiritual virtue.Many women suffer in destructive marriages believing that it is their only option if they want to please God. Since she’s been taught (and believes) that God hates divorce above anything else, taking action to protect herself or speak out against abuse is seen as destroying the marriage.

 

Therefore she needs a new awareness of who God is, and that he hates what’s happening to her more than he hates divorce (tweet this)

 

True spiritual maturity is not possible without concurrent growth in emotional health. In one of my comments to last weeks’ post, I said that what’s going inside of us often repeats itself in our outside world. For example, when we’re unhealthy on the inside, we attract others who are unhealthy. When we beat ourselves up on the inside for our faults, flaws, mistakes, and failures, we are more likely to tolerate that behavior from others on the outside.

 

When we don’t think for ourselves we are more likely to blindly follow or believe things people tell us without checking it out for ourselves. When we feel unhealthy, we also often feel incapable of taking care of ourselves or standing up for ourselves in appropriate ways. When we don’t care about ourselves or care for our soul, spirit, mind, or body then we are more likely to accept relationships with others who do not care for our body, mind, spirit and soul either.

 

On the other hand, when we are healthy and spiritually mature, we are less confused about truth and what God says is good and right. We are not double minded, or tossed about by every other person’s opinion because we have listened and read God’s word for our own self and studied to see what it says. (See: James 1:7,8;Ephesians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 2:15)Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart.” Enabling or allowing someone who has promised to love us to abuse us is not a godly virtue.

 

It is poor stewardship of the body, mind, soul and spirit that God has given us to nourish and protect.It’s important as women and mothers to teach our daughters how to be God-centered women (not man centered or self centered) and good stewards of themselves. My CORE Focus Class teaches women how to change their view of how God sees a destructive marriage. If you struggle with thinking God will love you less if you leave an abusive marriage, I encourage you to learn  more about my class by clicking here.

 

2. Peer support and educational resources: Educational and informational resources on abusive relationships and destructive patterns are easily located on internet search engines including sites with Biblical values and support. If a woman wants to know what’s going on when the water she’s sitting in starts to feel hotter and hotter, she can find out.Domestic violence support groups, on-line support groups and blogs (for example, A Cry for Justice ), validate a woman’s (or abused man’s) feelings, provide Biblical support, and give good information on what steps to take to gain safety and sanity. Isolation is not as powerful as it once was 20 years ago there was no Internet to easily access information and support.

 

3. Positive Peer Pressure: There is a good deal of research on the effects of positive peer pressure. More and more women (and men) are speaking out against all kinds of abuse in the news, on social media and thankfully in the church. For example, when bullies are confronted by other strong men and told, “We don’t act that way around here” or “We don’t treat our women (or our friends) that way” it does yield positive results, especially with young men.

 

Once I encouraged a client of mine to disclose to her small group the abuse she was experiencing at home. When she did, the couples surrounded her and her husband with truth and love. The men said to her husband, their friend, “We don’t treat our wives this way, it’s always wrong. No excuses.” And they said to her, “If you are ever afraid, you call us, night or day.” It was the love and support of the men from this group that kept her husband accountable and focused on learning new ways to manage his temper and how to love his wife. She also felt heard, valued, supported and safe.

 

The apostle Paul encouraged the use of positive peer pressure. He tells believers, “don’t fellowship with certain kinds of people who say one thing but do another” (1 Corinthians 5:11-13). Paul is advocating the use of positive peer pressure to help someone wake up and come to repentance.

 

Women will feel braver and be empowered to step out in faith and to take necessary action steps if they know their home church is behind them and will exert positive peer pressure on her spouse to look at his attitude and actions and repent.As a church we must do much better in this area.

 

Together, both men and women must exert consistent and relentless peer pressure for pastors and other Christian leaders to pay attention and as a group speak out publically against abuse.They need to prioritize educating themselves about abusive relationships and how to handle them. We must refuse to allow them to minimize or cover-over abusive behaviors of any kind.

 

The Bible says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defending the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8).I believe with peer support and positive peer pressure a woman who feels afraid, frozen, or stuck, can find her voice more quickly and secure the resources to take positive and godly action hoping that her spouse will come to his senses.

 

If not, then she and her children will be supported to find safety.George Albee said, “No epidemic has ever been resolved by paying attention to the treatment of the affected individual. Healing is important but abuse will only stop when we impact the hearts and actions of abusers.


Connect With Me
 
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE
 
ARTICLE

Dealing With Unexpected Life Changes

 

COACHING 
Accepting Coaching Applications
Click here to get started.
 
WHAT'S NEW? 
Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie
 
BOOK GIVEAWAY 
12 Smart Choices For Finding The Right Guy
 
LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
How Can I Shorten The Abuse Learning Curve?
 
 
COACHING INFORMATION
For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below:

 

Coaching Programs

 
 
BOOK GIVEAWAY
Interesting Image
12 Smart Choices For Finding The Right Guy
by
Georgia Shaffer


Are you frustrated with dating or know someone who is? Christian psychologist and life coach Georgia Shaffer reveals how to avoid unhealthy people, build vibrant relationships, and find romance! These 12 smart choices will help you...

 

- determine if someone has integrity and is trustworthy

- deepen your capacity to connect romantically

- minimize emotional reactions that can block intimacy

- create a social network that makes life satisfying right now

 

Steer clear of losers and find emotionally and spiritually healthy people with great relationship potential.

 

 “Save yourself time and heartache by applying the principles shared by Georgia Shaffer.” 

 

-Gary Chapman Ph.D., author of The Five Love Languages

 

 

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide your name and email address.

 

The Winners of I Believe In Heaven  by Twila Belk are  Christine S. & Sheri H.

 
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS
 

April 11, 2015
Leslie will be speaking in the Lehigh Valley on Saturday April 11th for a morning session on "Lord, I Just Want To Be Happy". Pre-Register by calling Jordan UCC at 610.395.2218
 
April 18, 2015
Desire Conference
Clarks Summit, PA
Register Here.

 

May 22, 2015

NCBA Conference

7 PM - 9 PM

Lancaster, PA

 
 
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S COACHING
 

 "The coaching sessions have been an eye opener for me and surprisingly superior to some of the counseling I have received in the past. I think the limited distractions of travel time, person and place allowed me to focus more on what you were saying, hear you better and get deeper into my own experience.

 

Your style is objective and goal oriented and yet you are very empathetic to the pain experienced and the slow process of growth. Some of the conversations are still alive in my memory and are a source of continued encouragement towards my stated goals.

 

I gained a lot from the sessions because they were Christ centered, focused, relaxed and profoundly effective. Thank you so much."

 

-Cynthia

 
 
LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS
 

Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.


Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.


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Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States