Editor’s note: Join us on September 11th for the Building a Resilient Life Online Bible Study! Sign up today!
Pain is always pounding on the door of our lives and seeking to knock us down. This should not surprise us. The first step in growing resilient is acknowledging our pain, naming it, and taking wise steps to face it head-on.
Group leader, read the introduction to the group before showing the video for this session.
Erika’s GPA is over 4.2. With regular Advanced Placement classes, she is positioning herself to graduate and enroll in whatever college she chooses. She plays two sports and writes for the school newspaper. Her friends like her, and she has a vibrant social life—when she can make the time. To all outside observers, Erika appears to be happy and well-adjusted, living the dream! What no one knows is how she feels anytime she looks in the mirror (if she can force herself to do it). She avoids eating because she thinks she is overweight. Erika is pretty, athletic, and thin, but she carries the pain of self-hatred and sees herself as profoundly unattractive.
Char has two healthy and active children. Every Sunday, she arrives to church early, and her kids always look well-dressed and well-adjusted. Her husband, Ken, works on weekends, but Char tells everyone he says hi and wishes he could be there. Her smile lights up a room and her care for others is an example of the love and compassion of Jesus. To all casual onlookers, Char seems to have an ideal life and family. What no one knows is that Char and Ken barely speak to each other, and when they do, the sparks always seem to fly. Ken does not actually work on Sundays, but his drinking on Saturday nights makes it almost impossible for him to get up and make it to church.
Harold is retired, plays a lot of golf, and volunteers in his community whenever he can. He is gregarious and outgoing, and he tends to be the life of the party. When he’s with others, Harold seems to be doing great. When he goes into his condo and closes the door, his smile fades quickly. It has been ten months and three days since Harold buried his wife, Sue, and it is rare for his friends to ask about her anymore. The world seems to have moved on, but after forty-eight years of marriage, a piece of Harold has died, and he simply has no idea how to fill the chasm in his heart and life.
In the worst of grief God promises to hold us, keep us, carry us, and never leave or forsake us.
TALK ABOUT IT
Share a time when you were walking through loss or pain and the people around you had no idea what you were really facing day after day.
VIDEO SESSION 1
As you watch the teaching segment for this session, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you.
Why write a study on the topic of resilience?
Adversity can strengthen us or crush us... What will it be?
Adversity awakens us to what we are made of, what we care about, and what is worth fighting for.
God shows up in times of adversity and pain... Always.
Adversity awakens us to a choice... What will you choose?
The ambiguity of loss
Resilience Defined: 2 Corinthians 3:17–4:18
Resilience is not:
How Jesus modeled resilience... Hebrews 12:1–3
It is tempting to try to move past pain as quickly as possible.
Death of a dream... A liturgy by Douglas McKelvey
Name the Pain
- Understand Shame
- Unfiltered Confession
- Invite Others In
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Come share your thoughts on Building a Resilient Life session one on our blog. We want to hear from you.