These questions are designed to challenge you to dig deep, you'll get out of it what you put into it. They're not necessarily easy to answer and there is no right answer. The blue notes contain some examples or ideas to help you through the questions. God may provide an exercise/activity for you in your situation, if that works better for you please do that.
Finally, don't use these to substitute talking with a professional counsellor, there are times when you will need to open up and share your story with someone who can spend time with you walking your journey to emotional health, this is not a shortcut to that.
1. What is the loss/hurt I am feeling that is reducing joy/hope in my life?
2. What are the feelings I am experiencing related to the hurt/loss affecting me?
Some examples are: Alone, Angry, Anxious, Broken, Depressed, Empty, Fearful, Grieved, Heartbroken, Hopeless, Numb, Resentful, Sad, Stressed, Stretched, Worthless
3. How is this impacting my thoughts and/or my actions? What do I believe about myself?
These questions are to get you to think through the lies you may be listening to, when we should be listening to God's truths.
Example: I am valuable (truth) VS I don't belong (lie) or I have nothing to offer (lie)
Consider trying this exercise: Fold a piece of paper in half and then unfold so you can see the crease. List the thoughts/lies/actions you are struggling with on the right side of the paper. Now list the corresponding truth (scripture or positive thought/action) on the left side. Work to memorize the truths, so that you can counter the lies you hear in the future.
4. What can I learn from this hurt/loss? Is there something I want/need? What do I feel I am missing?
I used these questions to refocus my mind from negative thoughts to ideas that could help me look forward. Things to help me through the emotional fog and towards positivity and hearing God's truths.
5. What are the 1 or 2 steps/actions that I can challenge myself to complete this week to help me continue working through my thoughts/feelings/loss?
For me, one actions item was writing this post/blog. It wasn't easy opening up like this, it's now out there for the world to read.
If you made it through the questions above, well done!! I know it was a challenge and I pray that God was able to revel some truths to you. My hope is that, through this you were able to experience some relief from the hurt/loss you are struggling with and experience a little more joy/hope this Christmas.
My last encouragement to you is to share what you have discovered with a close friend/family member, someone you trust and know will not share it, someone who will encourage/lift you up. Or you can reach out to our Pastoral Team at SouthRidge. Satan hates it when we become vulnerable in our hurt/loss/pain with others because he knows that he is losing the control/influence he has on your life.