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Resilience

In the words of Henri Nouwen: “Hope frees us to live in the present, with the deep trust that God will never leave us.”

Dear Friends in Christ~

One of the words that I’ve been coming back to time and again this week is “resilience”.

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. One thing we can do to strengthen our resiliency is to tell our stories of where we experienced resilience as we are “sheltered in place”. As time goes by we may be having feelings of isolation, depression, loneliness and a whole host of other emotions.

One of the things that we can do is reach out to each other during this time of trial and tell the stories of our lives as we face a reality we many never before have ever had to experience. Telling stories about what we are feeling as we are home-bound can be a cathartic release. Telling our truth can be a testament to overcoming adversity, and it can be a gift to the listener.

Research shows that connection to other people through shared experience, even if we do not know them well, strengthens internal psychological resilience while building social bonds. The links between storytelling and resilience-building is part psychology, part neurobiology and part spirituality. When we share our stories, when we witness to how the Holy Spirit has been working in our lives, we are able to put our reality into perspective, we are able to share empathetically, and we are able to connect with others who are experiencing similar stories.

Here’s a story about resiliency that a United member shared with me this week: “Yesterday, I was feeling a little sorry for myself, wondering when I’ll be able to hug and play with our sweet granddaughter again. A few minutes later, I received a text from our daughter sharing that when our granddaughter woke up she said, “Mommy, I had the best dream, that Grandma picked me up from daycare, and we went to the park to play”! That made my day! The little ones will lead us. This too shall pass, and in the meantime, there will be phone calls, skyping, and dreams!”

May you discover your resiliency during this time of seclusion.

Faithfully;

Pastor Paula