Friday, April 17, 2020

Survivor's Guilt. Finally I Understand It.

"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."   ... 1 John 3:17, 18


For years I'd watch Oprah or Dr. Phil, etc., discuss survivor's guilt with their guests who'd not died in a tragedy, but lived. Their feelings from having walked (or limped) away.

Guilt that their loved one(s) did not make it, yet they, the survivor, did.

Man, that sounded odd to me. Why not choose extreme gratitude, instead? Why not move on with a heart bursting with thanks toward God for your second chance?

But oh dear. This week I got it. 

The coronavirus has shredded our Country into sad, confused, ugly little pieces, but Tom and I? We're fine. Thriving, even, as he works from home and I carry out 6 years' worth of prepper plans.

"I was born for this!" I've told myself, often at 3:30 a.m., meticulously checking food and supply lists, kneeling before shelves, counting things, watching instructional Youtube videos and then social-media-encouraging folks. And --

Then yesterday I stepped downstairs to Tom at his work computer and 3 big screens. He said, "Our stimulus check came." 

"What?!," I exclaimed. "Why did we get a check? You still have your job. Weren't those for people who'd lost theirs? No wonder our Country is financially wrecked! Couldn't they have just sent money to people who truly need it?" 

(I try to keep up, but I'd totally missed that everyone is supposed to get those checks.)

Then he said, "Well, actually, you got paid, too. Since we're married, the amount was doubled."

Oh my goodness. I saw red. Like red blindness. The room swirled, tipped.

"Me? I don't even have a job! Why in the heck would they pay me? I don't even want it! It's not right. They could've put my share into overall totals and given desperate people more."

And yesterday I finally understood survivor's guilt.

For me it means the feeling you get when you came out of tragedy just fine, but others did not. They are still suffering and you're good, all set for a normal, sweet life.

And more, of course, but this is a simple blog post.

Anyway, two things calmed me down. 1.) Tom reminded me that there is the little matter of the stock market having imploded with our retirement savings inside.

Well, yeah. There's that. ツ

And 2.) Naomi was, along with her restaurant co-workers, fired from her job last month. We can use this extra money to help her with rent. We can also be led by God to give it to the unemployed, do more take-out (to support small business), be more generous with gifts.

We can kneel and help pick up shards of peoples' dream glass.

Also, we can tell it far and wide that our God delights in bringing good out of bad and strengthening our hearts during tragic times so we need not faint in our minds, but trust and obey Him--

---while He shows us specific ways to make everything right-side-up and whole again.

And yes, I'm remembering to be thankful for the stimulus money. 


This? This is why I view the Michigan protestors as heroes, for their fighting for what they need. This shut-down is ramping up all sorts of other kinds of deaths--

Another reason America must get back to work? Here--

One evangelist heard a divorce lawyer last week say, "No more divorce cases! I can't handle another single divorce case! Our firm has too many right now."


Need help making meals from your pantry? Or stretching your food dollars? Or learning how to garden or save money on clothing or household repairs? Need to laugh or learn more about God?

Seriously, I recommend Youtube. Help and wisdom of all kinds is there from experienced, practical-minded online neighbors.

Just plug in your request in the search box.


Have a bit of extra time? I shared this at Facebook--

Yes! Confirmation City which did my heart a ton of good this afternoon. Taken from his latest Youtube video. 


Come Out Of The Caves!

..... God told Elijah to come out of the cave where he'd been wrapped in fear and loss of hope. He told him to go back to work and fulfill his calling...

(Today) get out of the cave! Exercise your calling whatever it is and make a difference. As our rights are being violated, justified or not, it's easy to retreat, to lick our wounds. That's a prison.

But there comes a time when we have to gather ourselves up, we need to cry, "That's enough!" Vacate the cave and confront the fear... For some of us that means taking up our swords in the spirit and engaging in consistent, aggressive... power-filled prayer. Or to worship with a determined warfare flavor to it. For some of us that means picking up the phone... and reaching out to brothers and sisters with encouragement and help. For others this may mean engaging in civil disobedience like the 10,000 angry people who drove their cars to the Michigan state capitol ... to protest what the governor of the state was doing to violate their rights in the name of protecting them from the coronavirus that is destroying jobs and lives.

It might mean raising your voice in some other way, some other means that's appropriate and available to you. 

No matter how it applies to you in some form of practical application, it means facing down the fear, breaking out of isolation and depression, rejecting passive submission, leaving the cave ... and coming alive again.
It's time to start coming out of our caves!

--- Pastor R. Loren Sandford

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15


Betsy said...

Amen! Amen! and Amen! I mean that sincerely Debra. About this entire post. I felt the same way about the stimulus check. And our retirement imploded too. And we decided to give the majority of our check to Samaritan's Purse who is helping all over the world with this virus and has a hospital set in in NYC even with the mayor treating them terribly because the are a Christian organization and still treating patients no matter how he is acting awfully toward them.
I saw that Dr. Phil interview on utube last night and heard about the people in Michigan. I'm afraid this is going to get worse before it gets better.
But God is bigger than this virus. If we all do our part and remember to turn to Him for strength we can get through this.
Take care Debra.

Rebecca said...

How wonderful of you to give away you payment! You set a great example for everyone complaint about the government's attempt to help we the people. Thankful I was not one having to figure out where to begin!

Pam said...

Great post, Debra! Hubby and I felt the same way about stimulus checks. We haven't gotten one yet, but we've already decided to donate it to local food pantry and local businesses. If all of us help those who are in need, we can make a huge difference. I am sorry for every loss that has been sustained in recent weeks, due to this virus, but we need to remember that cancer kills over 600,000 people in the US, every year. Just under 700,000 lives are lost in the US to heart disease, annually. During these crazy times, it's important for us to pray for God's truth for ourselves and our leaders. He holds the all the answers for us!

Debra said...

Thanks so much, Everyone! I always appreciate it when others share their own stories here in the comments and thus add to mine in the post. Thank-you again and may each of us go through this shut down time the way God would like us to---I'm still working on that--oh my! :) Blessings, Debra