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What's New:

  • SAVE THE DATE: I will be doing a free webinar on Tuesday, December 4th at 12 PM ET and 7:30 PM ET. Keep an eye out for an invite in the next few weeks!

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Are You Facing Unwanted Change?

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, changes happen.

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 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 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 now 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 sometimes have 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 not this change 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.”

Friend, what unwanted changes are you facing? You can learn to accept them, prepare for them, and embrace them and thereby transform their negative impact on your life.

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Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy

by Leslie Vernick

Counselor and author Leslie Vernick has discovered that many people pray, “Lord, I just want to be happy!” With candor, Leslie reveals that readers don’t need new circumstances but a new perspective to discover true happiness. With biblical insight, Leslie guides readers to take simple steps as they…

  • recognize and change habits that, day by day, keep them from experiencing happiness
  • make good choices and learn from mistakes without beating themselves up
  • develop the skills that enable them to let go of negative and painful emotions more quickly
  • transform difficult circumstances so they can live with gratitude, joy, and purpose

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter.

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

The winners of Give Her Wings: Help and Healing After Abuse by Megan D. Cox are Simonne A and Sherry F.


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Upcoming Events


November 2nd and 3rd
AACC New Life Summit
Charlotte, North Carolina http://charlotte.cmhcsummit.com/


December 1st

Calvary Church of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
9am to 12pm

Want to have Leslie speak at your event? Click here to find out more information.


Was I Wrong in Speaking Up?


Question:
My husband and I began reading The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. I initiated this after many years of emotional abuse from him.

I read a third of it myself first and then I approached him, with a strong CORE and we had a calm discussion in which I said, we need help. I approached him by saying that we could read your book and apply it to our marriage, and or once again seek a counselor which we have done in the past. I told him if he chose not to do these things, then I would separate from him.

In summary one year later nothing has changed. I am strong and have a saving faith in Christ so really appreciate your beautiful and brilliant way you incorporate Biblical teachings.

My question is regarding the most recent episode of emotional abuse. It began about three weeks ago and often his way of treating me respectfully is to initiate sex.

Using my CORE I finally decided to confront him. I told him I couldn’t be intimate when we are not getting along emotionally and we need to practice more love and respect before I can have sex. This was the most awkward confrontation I have had with him. His response was to walk away in silence, a very typical one and used abusively.

Was that the appropriate way to confront him on this matter? How should I respond now that he is ignoring me?

I am so much stronger since reading and putting your book into practice but it is still difficult.

Answer: Good for you for speaking in CORE as well as refusing to pretend things are good when they are not. However as I read your summary of what’s been going on, I see you told your husband if he did nothing after one year, there was going to be a consequence and it was separation.

Separation would include not being sexually available but I wonder since you didn’t officially separate, he began telling himself things must be better and tried to connect with you sexually.

Rightly so, you spoke up again. You said, “I can’t be intimate when we are not getting along emotionally and we need to practice more love and respect before I can have sex.” That’s a fine statement in and of itself, but it’s slightly different than what you said earlier, which was we need to read Leslie’s book together and talk about it or go to counseling together or we will separate.

Here is What People are Saying About Our Leslie's Empowered to Change Group

Today I was looking through what I wrote for session one of our Empowered to Change class. At the bottom of page one of the handout you ask, "How would this change impact your life? Your body and health?" etc.

As I looked over that set of answers this evening, I remembered how hurt and hopeless I felt. You taught me much through the E2C class. You gave me tools I needed to navigate these difficult waters. I can now say that his words hurt less, my chest pain is much less, my blood pressure has dropped about 15 points, both systolic and diastolic. My headaches are fewer, and the rest is better too.

Things aren't all roses and sunshine. But they're better. The Lord taught me a lot through your class. Thanks.

~ Beth

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.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.

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