By Brie Barrier Wetherbee, Crosswalk.com
My daughter, Brianna Barrier Wetherbee, has suffered more than most people can imagine. Even through serious chronic illness, past abuse and trauma, and great heartbreak, I’ve watched her persevere with a strength that can only be from God. I asked her to share some of her thoughts about dealing with a crisis—and I think that in these days of terror and pain, you’ll be well-equipped with her teaching. Please take her words to heart.
My husband almost died in July 2016.
Brad is an incredibly strong man. Tough as nails.
I was working over at Brad’s office, and I found him unconscious on the floor. When we got to the hospital, the doctors discovered an aneurysm on the artery that goes to his spleen.
The spleen is basically a big sac of blood. You don’t want to mess with a big sac of blood. Turns out, Brad had been bleeding internally for a couple of days.
They rushed him to the OR, and the aneurysm ruptured while he was on the table. It took three surgeons, two anesthesiologists, four nurses, a perfusionist, and SIX LITERS of blood to save his life.
Deep breath. My husband and my daughters’ father is alive.
The hospital staff nicknamed him “The Miracle Man.” Apparently, if he hadn’t been open on the table at the very minute that artery ruptured, he would have died in minutes. God’s hands were at work that night.
I’ve spent a long time learning what to do when a tragedy strikes your life.
This is what I do in a crisis. I’ve had a few too many, I think. Maybe these will help you.
1. First, cry out to God.
Sometimes it’s as simple as “Dear God, help!” and that’s ok. He’s there. And He already knows.
“Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me.” (Psalm 70:1)
2. Next, just get rational.
Figure out what needs to be done and do it. Call 911, help him breathe, etc. Put the emotions in the box and deal with the emergency. God gave us a great capacity for emotion—but also for rational thought. Use it.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5)
3. “Just keep swimming.”
Don’t let your mind run with future implications. Just put one foot in front of the other and walk. Not even one day at a time—one moment at a time. Sometimes trusting in God means doing what’s right there in front of you.
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
4. Lean on friends and family.
Ask for help. You are not “fine,” and that’s ok. Don’t try to be fine. God gave us each other for a reason—and people who love you want to DO something. Let them. You need it—and they do, too. Think about how Paul told the churches to support one another. That’s practical—not just in prayer or thought.
“But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself.” (Galatians 4:14)
5. Don’t be alone.
Don’t. Coordinate people to be with you at all times. You are NOT bothering them. Remember that love casts out fear. Let people show you love.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.” (1 John 4:18)
6. After the crisis, rest.
Stress and fear ravage your physical and emotional health. There’s a reason Psalm 23:4 is in the Bible—let Him lead you into green pastures and restore your soul.
I read Psalm 91 to Brad when he was screaming with pain in the emergency room. It’s been my favorite since I was a child, and my strength during suffering. I still read it, pray it, speak it, and sing it nearly every day.
Let me leave you with it right now. Meditate on the love and protection our Heavenly Father promises:
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
May the God of peace and all comfort give you strength and wisdom, no matter what you’re facing today.
Much love, Brie.
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Photo Credit: Vladimir-Vladimirov
Brie Barrier Wetherbee is a sought-after Bible teacher and conference speaker, author, analyst, and Christian theologian.
Editor's Note: This Ask Roger article features insights from Roger's daughter, Brie Barrier Wetherbee, a sought-after Bible teacher and conference speaker, author, analyst, and Christian theologian.
Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at [email protected].