Editor’s note: This week we are pleased to welcome Ziglar Family team member Janie Seltzer, M.A. Pastoral Theology, as our guest blogger. Janie is a Spiritual Director, a poet, and writer of the spiritual life. She also is a retreat leader and speaker. In 2016, she also became a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer, and she is one of our Ziglar Family coaches.
Janie’s passion is to help others understand where God is at work in their lives. She loves to motivate and inspire others to become all that God created them to be! You can learn more about Janie and her work here.
The sad truth is that many families across America and the world are fractured.
Many grandparents are forced to be parents all over again to their own grandchildren due to the brokenness of their sons and daughters who cannot be healthy parents.
Addiction of all sorts is often the cause. Rampant divorce has added another layer of confusion for children. Many single parents struggle to keep their heads above troubling financial waters and the constant demand and responsibility of their children’s lives.
Life, for many, is a circus of stress in the midst of juggle, juggle, juggle.
How do families manage to be whole when the rhythm and rhyme of life is inconsistent and even threatening?
How do parents provide their children with a sense of safety with the level of vulnerability all around?
Those are the real questions that press on the hearts and minds of many.
These are not easy questions and there are no easy answers. Yet, I believe there is help if we will receive it.
My husband and I have been tending broken people, couples, and families all of our married life—now for over 44 years. Our present ministry is centered around providing a safe environment for people to unpack their messiness and brokenness.
Don and I gave ourselves to God and to serving others with a sense of purpose and joy. The road has not been easy in the changing landscape of our own lives and the changing landscape of the culture of this world.
Yet, we still find that there are unchanging principles that must guide our lives and the lives of others in order to do more than survive in this world. They are the same principles that guided Zig Ziglar.
1. A strong faith is essential. If ever we need to take the hand of a mighty God, it is NOW. The Scriptures declare: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). He is as close as your breath and He WILL help you! “God is our refuge and our strength; our very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
2. Forgiveness is key to family health. Have your grown children disappointed you by not stepping up to adult responsibility? I encourage you to forgive them. It is important to realize that forgiveness does not signal approval of unacceptable behavior.
Did your husband walk out? Did the mother of your children desert the family? Forgive and move forward.
Are you the victim of some heinous crime? Even then forgiveness is called for.
Here is the reason why: forgiveness is CORE to faith and to life and family, because without it, bitterness gnaws away energy, love and even health.
Unforgiveness keeps the soul in prison—your soul! And it will pollute the soul of your family.
That said, it is NOT easy! True forgiveness with deep, deep wounds is truly supernatural; however, the power to forgive is available and possible by the unfailing grace of God, if we ask. Jesus emphasized that we MUST forgive others as we ourselves have been forgiven (Matthew 6:15). All things, including forgiveness, are possible for those who believe!
3. Maintain stamina through self-care. In the end, if you do not care for the health of your own life and soul, you will find yourself drained and overwhelmed with the load of responsibility. There is no substitute for soul care.
What is soul care, you say?
At its most basic level, soul care is the process of becoming whole—emotionally and spiritually— as you bring your fractured parts into the light and love of God, who becomes your RESTING place. It is connecting to the One who sees you, understands you, accepts you, forgives you and cherishes you. In order to do this, you must carve out time for yourself to focus, to be still, to read and reflect, and, if possible, journal or create. Creativity is healthy and fun.
Find some joy every day. Take time for friends, for recreation, for the beauty of nature, and BREATHE. By all means, BREATHE. You will get through this . . . step by step.
Years ago, my husband watched his good friend and faithful secretary at our church in Encinitas, California languish in sorrow and pain as her life dwindled away from the ravages of cancer. One day as he prayed, these words came to him to deliver to Karen, and I share them with you now. He and I can only hope and pray that they will touch your heart and they did hers: