Being A Caring Church Webinar
We all experience various hurts in our life. Our church family can be one of our greatest areas of support during this hurt. In this recorded webinar, we consider the mindset needed as well as some skills that can be helpful as we engage as a loving support during times of hurt. Learn more as you watch this webinar recording!
Welcome. My name is Arlan Miller, like I said, and I’m joined here with Ted Witzig. I’m here from ACCFS. And our topic today is on being a caring church. How do we as a church family, engage in a loving and helpful relationship as we walk through just the just life and, the things that life comes at us.
Arlan Miller: And two, I think two introductory comments here, Ted, maybe before we get into this, information. First off, this is gonna be a general overview. So there’s a lot of specifics that we probably won’t touch that maybe you have in your mind, but we’re gonna try to give some general points, general principles, general things to consider, and and use a few examples as we do so for, just be aware of that’s kind of the scope.
Arlan Miller: And then the second thing is, I think it’s easy, perhaps, at least in my mind, to think of situations when this doesn’t go well. And, maybe fixate on those and forget the many times when it really does go well, when the church really does engage in this. And and so our, hope today is that this is an encouragement and a motivation, for those who are doing this well and how do we even do this better as a church family.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yes.
Arlan Miller: So with those two things Ted, we’re gonna go to the first slide here, and I just, any introductory thoughts or comments as we just kind of read into this idea of, being a caring church and being members one another and just, what life is like, you know, in this church family setting?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yep. One of the things that’s really important to understand Jesus was very clear that he wasn’t promising us a life that didn’t have rough spots or even ups and downs. He, never made that promise. He did promise that we didn’t have to go through it alone, first and foremost with that he’s with us.
Ted Witzig, Jr: But secondly, his body. And that’s one of the neatest things. [00:02:00] And, it’s one of the things I hope that we can draw out through this, that, that actually much of the, many of the things that we go through in life losses, transitions changes, stresses and strains. One of the things that happens, we oftentimes can’t fix that for another person.
Ted Witzig, Jr: We wish we could.
Arlan Miller: Right. That’s what we wanna fall into is it’s like, how do we make this go away?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Exactly. I would love to just fix. And, the thing about it is that actually more often than not, the ways that we help. Are by connecting and journeying together. So it’s a, it’s accompanying people through things.
Ted Witzig, Jr: We, would just love to reach in there, grab it and, yeah. And, change it. And and maybe there’s, a time that those kind of things can, happen but, oftentimes it’s more accompanying people through.
Arlan Miller: Sure And, I think if you look, I mean, so that first at the top, there we’re members, one of another comes from [00:03:00] Romans.
Arlan Miller: It’s, and when you think about a church family, that is an aspect of what we are, right? Yeah. We are members together. Yeah. So when one part hurts, we should, we hurt, right? And when one part rejoices, we are to rejoice as well. But that interplay is, really key. I think it’s really, it speaks to a level of health, of relationship.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. And, I think that, by going through that together the church is going through times of sadness and joy. Oftentimes at the same time, you know, one person is mourning the loss of a parent. Or the next person is there’s the birth of a baby or a, wedding and, you know and, those kind of things.
Ted Witzig, Jr: So it, is, it’s, there’s constantly a, mixture.
Arlan Miller: Yeah.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I think the other thing to remember here is that that as we have some of these, things, we can predict some of the things that are gonna happen. We know that people are gonna pass away, you know? We don’t know exactly the day sometimes but, we know those kind of things.
Ted Witzig, Jr: We know that, we can expect that marriages will come, people will graduate and move out of the house and can but, sometimes there are things that happen that really they, they catch us off guard. They’re the unexpected losses. Sometimes it’s unexpected in terms of the timing, but other times it is unexpected in the sense that, we just didn’t see it coming.
Ted Witzig, Jr: It’s just a, it’s something that was not in our box. And yeah. And so we, we have to really step in in a different way in those things.
Arlan Miller: We lay that out. You’re exactly right. Hurts will happen. Right? I mean, that’s kind of a, there, there will be hard things, difficult things. Hurts that will happen.
Arlan Miller: So some are expected, some are unexpected, some are welcomed. Yeah. Some are unwelcomed. Yeah. You know, things that you look forward to and expect to happen and, things that are just thrust upon you. And then you, talk about challenges. That sometimes you need growth, sometimes you need [00:05:00] overcoming.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. So this church family it’s a living breathing and moving organism. Right. Made up of many different parts.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yes. And those, kind of things we need growth in. That can be, learning to become an adult, you know. Adulting, you know that, kinda thing. Helping somebody grow out that way.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Learning, learning to be a mom. But I think other things, like sometimes people are going through a depression or a time of anxiety, struggling with a kind of a loss and or some kind of an addictive behavior urge or substance. And so by being through this together, we do something that Satan hates, and that is we connect instead of isolate.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. But one of Satan’s most potent weapons with us in a very natural thing inside the human heart is shame. Okay. To go to shame and [00:06:00] isolation or to the other end sometimes go to pride. And I can do this on my, you know I’m gonna do this on my own and, you know, nobody’s gonna know. And, so we’re, constantly wrestling in that place of either I’m gonna do this on my own or I can’t let people know.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, really a, again, I’m not saying that everybody has to know everything. And I think that’s one of the things we’ll cover here. That, that we all. It’s not like we’re asking everybody to put their, stuff up on a billboard but to have people that are connected enough that can know us and grow with us.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. And, I’m guessing that, you know, each of us fits a different place and a different, I mean, there’ll be times when we are the helper. There’ll be times when we need to be helped. There’s be times when we’re giving, there’s times when we’re receiving. I, think that’s all part of this lens.
Arlan Miller: There’s times when there’s really big things that everybody knows about. There’s times when these, really quiet private things that, that hardly anybody knows about. And that’s all really important aspects of this. So the question at the bottom is, how do we engage in a [00:07:00] loving and helpful manner as a church family?
Arlan Miller: That’s what we’re gonna walk into. And we have five principles here. We’ll walk through each one. Each one has a couple of points with it. Starting at the top there, this idea, we’re gonna develop a helpful mindset, understand our role and whether role is not. Know our limits kind of ties in with that earlier one there, overcome our fears and then walk together in love.
Arlan Miller: That’ll be kind of the outline here as we get into this. All with this mindset of how are we helpful in encouraging as a church, family. Okay. So let’s, dig into this first one. Okay. This idea of a mindset. Yep. You know, how do we approach this? How do we think about this? What’s kind of a level set here? Ted,
Arlan Miller: there’s a couple things on the screen. Walk through them as you wish you.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yep. So, I think one of the things to, to think about is, to understand whether we’re sprinting or marathoning. [00:08:00] And oftentimes right after something occurs, particularly if something happens unexpectedly, we go into a sprint or it’s kind of like the, you know it’s, right after something happens.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Like, we need to do something. You know kind of a thing. And, early on the, surge of we have to do something that’s really high. Unfortunately at that time, sometimes we’re stuck with like I wanna do something and there’s nothing for me to do. You know, I wanna fix this. Everybody’s hurting.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, so just, remember that, right after an incident like that when we were in sprint mode, we’re really focusing on kind of the things that have to do with the practical helps that people have. Okay. I mean if you think about somebody who goes through something right after an accident or a loss or whatever, and they’re thinking about rare, practical things it’s, eating, sleeping, short-term planning.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, so it, yeah. Even if, you know, when something happens, there’s gonna be long-term outcomes or incidents with this. At the end of of this you know, we have to come back and say, Hey, right now it’s the practical stuff we’re dealing with. It then shifts in the marathoning, and this is where for a lot of us, we are really good in the sprint.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Like, oh, hey, this person has lost their spouse, and we’re just we’re, right there.
Arlan Miller: Let’s get the meal sign up, get the Yeah. Let’s exactly, let’s, yeah.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And I would say, in many ways our church family really excels in coming around people during this, time of sprint. Marathoning is hard because a as somebody is dealing with that loss that at three months and six months and nine months and 12 months, or somebody’s dealing with that addiction, or somebody’s dealing with that child that is really creating a lot of havoc in, in the home.
Ted Witzig, Jr: It’s, easy for that to wax and wan in our minds and, even when we care deeply, it still rises and falls in our mind.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. And, you might not know exactly. I mean, when you think into that marathon piece, I mean, I’m mindful of a friend of mine who’s coming up on the one year anniversary of his spouse’s passing and, you’re kinda like, well, well, what do they need at this point?
Arlan Miller: Yeah. Right. You know, what level what is the appropriate level of help? And in the sprint you might, you kind of, okay, there’s some certain things that need to take place and you can kind of rally around the troops and, take care of the immediate, but then that wax and wane, they could be in a really good spot.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. And you don’t, I mean, again, this is my ignorance, right? Because I’m like, well, if I say something, am I gonna trigger like a, you know, reaction? You know, do we just kinda let it go? Or what’s the appropriate way to apply help, which is needed? In that marathon type format.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I think one of the best things we can do in the helpful mindset is if you think about it if, you’re thinking like, oh, it’s the one year anniversary of such and such, if you think about it I, can pretty well guarantee you they’ve thought about it.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. And, so I think one of the things to, to remember is, when you mention something I, can think of a sister that, that has had has mental loss and I’ll say, you know what? And I’ll, say something about her husband and what he did for me and, she’s just glad that he’s not forgotten and that she’s not forgotten.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I didn’t fix anything. I, just said, oh, you know what I was thinking about so and so the other day.
Arlan Miller: You brought some awareness though.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah.
Arlan Miller: And, the reality that I, haven’t forgotten.
Ted Witzig, Jr: That’s right. And I think that particular thing is that when people know that they’re, it’s kinda like this.
Ted Witzig, Jr: If you can know that you’re in my heart. Okay. Even if I can’t fix it for you, but that we’re connected that way, [00:12:00] then it creates a sense of comfort, a sense of community. And so that’s where things like, you know, the, and the, text just says, Hey, I was thinking about you and if I can be helpful or whatever.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. But I think that’s where we’ll talk about this later about fear. Sometimes our fear is, I don’t say it exactly right. I’m not gonna say anything at all. And, we can miss opportunities.
Arlan Miller: We limit ourselves as some of the good that we could do because we don’t, we’re afraid we’re not gonna get it perfectly.
Ted Witzig, Jr: For sure.
Arlan Miller: What’s this middle one, this public versus private dilemma here? You know, different individuals. I’m thinking if I read that face value, you know, some share everything, you know that’s happening and some are very private. So that’s not easy , you know do you, walk into that?
Ted Witzig, Jr: I’ll tell you this, it’s one of the challenges in the ministry working with, people.
Ted Witzig, Jr: It’s like when somebody, one person’s going in, in, in for a surgery and they’re like, put me on the prayer list, [00:13:00] email out, let everybody know, pray for me over the pulpit, and the next person’s going in for the exact same surgery of like zip, you know, . And so, so two things. First of all, people get the right to, to disclose how much they wanna disclose, and even if you think that they ought to be a little bit different. So one of the things we’re trying to do is I want you to think about this for a second, you know at the end of the day what you want is to, be helped in a way that feels comfortable to you. Yeah. So, so if comforting to you is kind of a more private and a few people that are close to you and it’s private, that’s gonna feel more comforting to you.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. If I pull the doors open and I shine a bunch light, then what’s that too?
Arlan Miller: That, actually raises the anxiety, right.
Ted Witzig, Jr: That, would be appeal. That’s to me, I want everybody know, he doesn’t want everybody know. So the thing to remember is, let’s, [00:14:00] we’re trying to be sensitive while not being assuming we’re, we wanna make sure they know we care.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And at the same time think, okay, how would they how are, they gonna receive it us? And, I find that what I do is just ask the question. You know I’ll, just when, I ask, say to somebody, say, Hey, you know what, I, you know, you’re having surgery. Is that something that that, you know, would you like to be visited?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Would you like to, yeah. And, when you don’t know, card and a text pretty, low key as lowkey. And it’s it, says, I’ve thought of you and you’re in my heart. Yeah. And that’s tho those, you know those, messaging kind of ways where we send a message to email the, card, the flowers those, kind of things.
Arlan Miller: So if you have to default you wanna default to the, more demur and the more personal versus the more public. Right. I mean, that’s where you can probably get into the place, like if someone is more private and you think, oh, well they need to have more public awareness, you can get yourself in trouble that way.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. Right. And, you know, but just that, that, that personal interaction, it kind of requires you to be a student of the individual. Yeah. You know, what do we know about them? How do I know, them well enough to know their preferences?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. And if we don’t, that’s where I, think that, the more you know somebody, the more you can,
Ted Witzig, Jr: can tailor your response. The, less, you know somebody, you know at church, but you don’t know them well, and you know what, it’s the, card, the email, the text, you know, those kind. Yeah, it’s fine. Yeah. We, don’t, we’re not all going to equally respond at the same level to each situation.
Ted Witzig, Jr: No expectation of that. In fact, that’s one of the things I would say for helpers is to lower the pressure on having to to.
Arlan Miller: Assume, yeah, this is what they need to go with. Yeah. That’s good. So that last piece here, this idea of engaging in the ministry of presence. I heard it, I think I just read it this [00:16:00] morning, something to the effect of they may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Oh, yeah.
Arlan Miller: Right. Which is this idea that it’s, about, you know, words. Words are important. I mean, you can say the wrong thing. Right. You know, you can. But it’s as much about the presence. Yeah. And being together. Yeah. Is the right mindset to have. Yeah. Correct.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. And I I think that the, concept oftentimes in visitation lines or when you’re visiting somebody, we feel like we have to explain it or take away the hurt.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, that’s the thing that I would say that lower your expectations of that. I, remember a specific situation where I was working in a hospital and I went and I visited somebody who was very, ill and gotten really bad news. And I was really I was trying to figure out the right thing to say and I was so anxious.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I finally went into the room and sat down with a, with this couple, and I just sat on the bed and I cried and they cried. And then I had a prayer with them and they thanked me like crazy for coming in. All I did was just like, come in and acknowledge. And just like, this is hard. And I prayed with them and, you know, held their hands and they squeezed mine and, I left.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And I, ministered to them. And what was what, really taught me the most was I didn’t actually. Have some profound thing to tell them.
Arlan Miller: You didn’t have a, you didn’t have a theological view of suffering.
Ted Witzig, Jr: No.
Arlan Miller: Figured out. Right. This is why God did what he did.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Cause, cause it didn’t make sense to me either.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. You know, I it, the situation didn’t make sense. I wanted it to make sense, but what they needed at the time was just the present. And, I think that’s the, that’s the the way to go there.
Arlan Miller: That’s a good point. I think we’ll get back to just a little bit this idea of certainty and, the impact it can have on us.
Arlan Miller: Yep. One, one more point, we’ll switch here. So at the bottom, you know, so, so lean towards others, you know, be willing to engage and be present with them. And then [00:18:00] offer, don’t demand. I, get this picture with that one. I like that phrase, you know, you know, offer maybe a social outing for someone who has, you know, lost their spouse, you know, six months down the road, but don’t demand you will be here, you know?
Arlan Miller: Right. And if you’re not here, then there’s a problem with you. You know that that’s, the, we don’t wanna go that way.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Right. And I think the other thing is, let’s say somebody’s been going through a, depression or has missed church for a while or been maybe, maybe somebody has kinda walked away for a while and they’re coming back just, to offer and say, Hey, I just want you to know,
Ted Witzig, Jr: I’d love to, I’d love to sit with you, you know, and we’ll sit wherever you’re comfortable. And and, what you’re trying to do is just pave the runway. And, that’s what the offer is. I’m gonna, I’m gonna help pave the runway. But if you wanna do it differently, that’s fine. But I I, think that, when we do that it yeah, you’re trying to think about again, what would pave the runway for them.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. A again, you know what, for me, I would say, Hey, Arlan, you’re gonna, you’re coming to church. Let’s go right up to the front row. You know what I mean? Like, right. That’s for me.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. Let’s go on to the next one here. So, so now the second point here is understanding our role. Okay. So we’ve kind of got our mindset set, you know, this is
Arlan Miller: what it looks like. Now, what’s our role? Okay. And so this, the first thing that we talk about is where vessels we’re not solutions. Yeah. Speak into that. I mean a, that’s a point we can say easily, but there’s implications there to, think about.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yep. This one comes out of the fact that, many times when we look at a situation and we see all these various things, sometimes there’s 45 needs.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Or, sometimes you, you see that person. I, remember working with kids in foster care and there there would be, times I would be like, I wanna take you home. I wanna take you home. I wanna take you home. And I couldn’t bring 16 kids home.
Arlan Miller: Donna would appreciate that too.
Ted Witzig, Jr: No, she’s, lovely, but she wasn’t.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. Yeah. So but, I think that, that concept is that I had to be reminded that instead of thinking that my job is to solve all things. That my job is to be part of God’s solution. Okay. Now again when I say the solution for us, we’re oftentimes trying to find ways to fix things that are broken.
Ted Witzig, Jr: There are really broken marriages, there are really broken families. There are really situations, health-wise that we can’t fix. But the flip side to that is where we can be that spot of light, where we can bring healing, where we can bring truth and kindness, mercy into a situation. I think that when we see ourselves I, like to think of a, quilt.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Okay. And, [00:21:00] this quilt was made up of all these blocks. And, if each of our listeners could think of themselves as a quilt block, okay, you’re part of the quilt. You’re not the whole quilt. Whenever we feel responsible for the whole quilt, We will feel anxious. Yeah. Okay. We’ll get really anxious or we will feel so overwhelmed.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, I felt that when I when, things like, oh no, I’ve gotta do all this, and then I have to be reminded, okay, God just asked me to be a steward of what I can do. He’s not asking me to do what I can’t do. Yeah. He’ll he, and I think that, what happens is when we see a hundred percent of something that needs to be fixed, we start in with I have to do a hundred percent.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. Or I’ll do no percent. And really the question is, am I a 5% block? Am I a 20%? Am I my, the, you know? And, that’s why walking with others is so, so more important than is fixing. Because quite frankly, for most things in. It’s not like a tire that’s flat. A tire that’s flat is a point in time issue that you need to walk up to it,
Ted Witzig, Jr: take, find somebody to take off the tire, get the tire fixed to put a new tire on. Then it’s done. Right. Relationships are rarely that way. Spirituality rarely that way. Our health rarely that way, you know?
Arlan Miller: It is that more marathon mindset mentality. It is. And, I, the other thing too that, strikes me, Ted is, you know is, God becoming bigger in this picture or are we becoming bigger?
Arlan Miller: Right? And, you can get to this place where it’s up to me Yeah. To take care of this or to be the whole foot blocker to, fix all those things. Now let’s, lean into God, you know, so we have, we remember the power of prayer. That’s not to be, we don’t wanna ever diminish that. We think, oh, all I can do is pray.
Arlan Miller: Well, all you can do is pray. And no, that is a very big deal. Right.
Ted Witzig, Jr: For sure.
Arlan Miller: And it puts us in that right frame of mind to say, Lord, cuz we will, we’ll face things that are too big for us. Yeah. And and what’s Corinthians say? You know, we have this treasure and earth I vessels that the excellency of power can be of him and not of us.
Arlan Miller: Yep. That’s the mindset we wanna walk into it. That’s the role we wanna play. Yep. I think in these scenarios.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I think the thing to remember also is that just because we’re not the whole solution doesn’t mean that our part of the quilt block isn’t important. And it is, part of making up the body.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And in, first Corinthians 12 talks about that whole body concept. And, yeah. You know what, you know, you might be the ear and, I’m the eye and and that’s, great. So I would encourage everybody, to remember that in different situations you’re gonna be, you’re gonna have a different role to play and the size of that is gonna be different and to not diminish your role.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Because well, you might go, well it’s a 5% role. You know, what, if somebody in my church, the church of Morton sent me a text in the middle of the day and said, Hey, Ted, you’ve been there. There’s a brother that sends me texts or wants one of scripture and just a, just an encouraging thing. I can’t tell you how many times that has just lifted my spirit.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, he would go, it’s no big deal. I could do it. This, it’s no big deal. I will tell you it might not be a big deal to him, but God knows how to bring those quilt blocks together.
Arlan Miller: Magnifies it, doesn’t he? He puts it through that magnifi.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. It gives me, actually, I got chills right now just talking about that because I can’t tell you how many times that 5% or even that 1% action has spoken to my heart and it’s reminded me of God’s presence and power.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And so that’s, really cool. It’s helpful.
Arlan Miller: It puts us our role in the right, place. So this the second piece here. Yeah. Give permission for others to have complex mixed emotions about a situation. I mean, sometimes that’s what we’re doing here, right? Oh, we’re just saying, Hey, this is not easy.
Arlan Miller: This is hard.
Ted Witzig, Jr: It isn’t. So, so when people have these mixed emotions about you, you know, and it, it’s mixed emotions happen all the time. You know I have my daughters right now, one just got married in June, one’s getting married in March. And, the fact is I am so excited. I am happy and it’s a big change in our house.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, yeah, I have a like, oh wow. And my wife is, we’re like, oh, wow.
Arlan Miller: Is it okay for you to have a little bit of sadness with this? Right?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Imagine? I’m just thrilled about my new son-in-laws and, for the happiness of my daughters. But it’s different and. And I don’t need, I don’t actually need right now somebody to to, fix this.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I just need to go through it. Y you know and, it’s gonna be okay. But I think other times, you know, when somebody is when, we, as Christians go through difficult times, we know God is present, but sometimes we’re in that place where we’re really spun out and we’re just going, God, where are you?
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, how is this fitting your plan? And I, this doesn’t make sense. I’ve been trying to serve you and I, hit this. . And I think that that, we have to give people permission to grieve, to have the questions, to walk with them. And, the concept of the growth mindset versus, versus the perfection mindset.
Ted Witzig, Jr: We have to remember somebody right after a loss or somebody that says they’re gonna be having the Yeah.
Arlan Miller: They’re gonna be balled up.
Ted Witzig, Jr: They’re gonna be, have a lot of those balls of emotion. And, over time that’ll, work itself out. We’re gonna help them walk, through that. And, if it doesn’t work itself out we’re, gonna help them down the road.
Ted Witzig, Jr: But to say oh, you hurt. You know, right now you’re gonna, no. Just, to be able to, I think one of the things that’s very helpful is to say yeah. You know I, don’t have a solution for this. I’m just so glad you told me. Yeah. And, we’re gonna walk through this together. I, don’t have a solution. And
Ted Witzig, Jr: some people feel like if I don’t have a solution, it’s gonna be really discouraging. I think what’s more important is just to say, Regardless what comes, we’re gonna do this together. Yeah. You know.
Arlan Miller: It is it’s, a, it’s an interesting world we live in here where there’s this idea that, we walk by faith and not by sight.
Arlan Miller: And, I think we, can get so fixated on one sight. I can. Yeah. You know, and I mean, it is just not, you know, why did this happen? Or what’s gonna look like, what is this gonna look like six months from now? And part of what I think is encouraging is if you have someone walking through this with you, you know?
Arlan Miller: Right. That’s the role that we can play as a caring church, as a helper. Is, I’m gonna walk with you and it’s okay. I’m gonna help us separate the force from the trees. Maybe sometimes, but it’s okay to, have these mixed emotions. I mean, within reason. Right. You’re probably watch, there’s some warning signs maybe to be looking out for, you know, stems that people might be saying.
Arlan Miller: You’re like, okay, well maybe we need to gently redirect over time here, but it’s we, wanna oversimplify, I think sometimes.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that that, that, rolls into that third area down there of, having a should way of supporting. And one of the things that happens is when you bend through something and you know what has worked for you.
Arlan Miller: It’s gonna work for everybody.
Arlan Miller: That this is the, key, right?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yes. And it makes sense, you know, if you have, you find something that’s like, this really helped me. It’s like, I want to help you. And, maybe I think what happens though is we accidentally project sometimes and, what’ll you’ll, hear somebody say, oh, always do this, never do this.
Ted Witzig, Jr: You must do this. You shouldn’t do this. And, I’ll tell you the, more I sit with people as a counselor and, as a pastor, one of the things that I find is, you know, what one person needs is not the same thing as what the next person needs. And if I put everybody into the same bucket yes, we all need Jesus but, but, past that, you know, when what one person, you know, needs to talk it out, the next person needs, some quiet silence.
Arlan Miller: And so that takes us back to that place of being a student. Yeah. That takes us back to that place of, listening well of, observing and, being available, but not assuming Yeah. And not pushing.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yep. I think one of the things I’ll give you an example of this. I, had somebody say I just heard somebody say as somebody, you know, oh the, first year of marriage is so hard.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Okay. Okay.
Arlan Miller: And or been, they’ve been married one year, you know?
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, I think one of the things is like, really, I mean maybe, it is for some people, maybe it isn’t for some people, but project that onto every couple Yeah. Is, incorrect. Oh. The empty nest. It’s just, oh, it’s just it’s a burden or, it’s wonderful.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Well and I’m, glad for people to say it’s wonderful. I want it to be wonderful. But, I think what happens is when one person’s experience it’s, better actually to say, yeah, you know what, this was, you know, this was an interesting challenge. I had a lot of mixed emotions and and, I know the, be interested to check in with you about how it’s going for you.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And I hope it goes well. And, is, and you’re just like giving people the freedom. And, this is true about medical treatments or health healthcare in general. This is a very common thing. To kind of just say, this worked for me, it worked for you, or this didn’t work for me, it won’t work for you.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And just to be gentle about that it’s, okay if you wanna give somebody a suggestion, but just to put, to give it as an option. Not a command.
Arlan Miller: And I think the better we can probably stay on the problem solving mode and more about journeying together mode or just being alongside. Yeah. Someone’s mode.
Arlan Miller: That probably helps us with that a little bit. This ties real close to the third point here. Yeah. So knowing our limits, right? So we know our role and now we need to think about our limits. And in there are roles that the supporter and those supported both play. Yeah. Right? And, we’ve said before, you don’t have to take away another person’s pain, or sorry, we’re not gonna probably fix it.
Arlan Miller: We’re, vessels, not solutions. And just actually embracing those limits Yeah. Is actually, there’s a freedom there, isn’t it? I mean that there’s a almost a, there’s a fear. We’ll get that next. If we think we have to have all the right solutions, but to embrace in the reality of like, there are no, there’s only so much I can do.
Arlan Miller: That’s a good spot to be in it.
Ted Witzig, Jr: It is. And I, think that, to remember that one of the things we oftentimes try to do when we’re trying to be a supporter is we’re trying to read somebody else’s mind. We’re trying to predict and anticipate and, whatever. And, we’re laying out plans that we haven’t actually checked in with another person.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, it is true that there are times that, another person may not. That if somebody’s really overwhelmed, I mean let’s, say I’m working with a mother who is postpartum depression really severely and, is having trouble just even figuring out how to do basic things in the home.
Ted Witzig, Jr: They’re gonna need people to come in and, help with structuring things. Yeah. And that’s okay. But, even that, the goal is to, kind of work ourselves out of a job over, over, time. And, I think that, remembering that one of the things we wanna do is, really practice asking people what they what they need and want.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Is otherwise especially if you are trying to help another person that’s going through it, through trying to learn something or overcome something. If you’re just gonna try to predict this goes down. I’m actually jumping down to my second point down here about mentoring and accountability relationships.
Ted Witzig, Jr: No mentor or no accountability partners gonna be able to predict always when their mentee is gonna need them. Yeah. Okay. It’s the mentee’s responsibility to, to reach out, you know? Phones, and texts work two directions. And so we have to be able to say, Hey, yeah I, can’t. I can’t always predict when you’re gonna have temptation.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. You need to reach out to me.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. I, think that’s a key point here, Ted. Let’s just draw on that for just a second. You know, we’re responsible to each other and for ourselves. If, we get that mixed up, we can get to this place where it, is up to us to fix and it is up to us to protect and it is up to us to make sure pain never comes back into somebody else’s life.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. And, then it’s we’ve, become big. Right? And, the other person has kind of removed themselves from, responsibility and that’s not gonna be a healthy place for us. No. So, so to keep that right limit in place it is really important. And it does, it varies. If it’s a sprint or if it’s a marathon, it varies on the situation.
Arlan Miller: You know, everything is a little bit different. But really stepping back into that role of, being a learner and, seeking to walk beside and understand what’s going on. That’s, important. You, talk about mentor relationships, you talk about accountability, relationships. I mean, usually individuals have different relationships in their life.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. And, so somewhat it’s, kind of knowing, okay, so what is my opportunity in this space? Sure. And what role do they play? Somebody else play, you know, how do we, you know, it takes a, village, they say, and it’s so true. Right? And we don’t have to be everything to everybody or anybody.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, in the church family, this speaks to that, sense that different you will have a different role in each person’s life.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, so, so let’s say that you’ve been mentoring somebody for a number of years or, even a previous mentor or a time, and you’ve had some connection with somebody versus somebody you rarely know. If, down the road they’re, going through a hard time, one person’s going to, you know, have the opportunity to step in
Ted Witzig, Jr: deeper into that situation than another. And that’s okay. That’s okay. I think that, I would, also just say that [00:36:00] in the situations that occur, sometimes we have to think about is, my role kind of encourager from the outside? Is it the person that is kind of helping them closely?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Or am I elevating the situation? Do I need to help somebody else move this to somebody else? Because that’s goes down to that third point, when do we elevate and who do we elevate too? And so what that means is sometimes you know Arlan, you’re welcome to come and ask me a question any time, but if you have questions about taxes I’m not your man.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Okay. , I’d love to help you, but I’d love your help. No, So, so the point is, but you can come to me and I can help to get you over here. Right. And so, so even as, even your ministers in approaching ministers,
Arlan Miller: it’s free though. Right. That is, that’s freeing in many ways to say, okay, I can do X, but I can’t help do y.
Arlan Miller: That’s right. And, I probably would, I’m, you know, to communicate that upfront in a gentle, loving way. Yeah. Right. You know as opposed to like saying up this false expectation Yeah. And then having disappointment later on. Yeah. It’s good to kind of just know our space and know how we can support. Yep.
Arlan Miller: In the right area.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I think that’s a, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to know that, because. Then what you can do is sometimes somebody might say, Hey, you know what I, need some help with childcare while I go to a counseling appointment or, this kind of a thing. And, you know what, Hey, you know what?
Ted Witzig, Jr: I can help on, some Fridays you know I’m not available all the time, but I could help on such and such a day. And, so it’s, kind of balancing the, this kind of a yeah. This kind of a thing.
Arlan Miller: And, really, and being willing to embrace your limits. I mean, we’re always gonna be stretched a little bit, but Yeah.
Arlan Miller: But understand that it’s, there’s a, there is limits.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I will say one thing about that is where we stretch our limits is also oftentimes in those times when crisis occurs. Yeah. In times of crisis, it’s okay. It’s, understood that. That time limits and things like that kind of go out the window. When crisis when, the house is burning we’re not actually asking about people outta the house. We’re, not actually, you know, do you work today? It’s, we’re moving in, but outside of times of crisis, we have to figure out that we’re actually better off to kind of pace.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Well.
Arlan Miller: Let me back up just one point here. Sure. So we don’t miss it. Proactive versus reactive accountability. Explain that real quickly so in case anybody’s got a question, what the terms mean.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. So, so this is like an accountability and mentoring relationships particularly, but this is about, let’s say I have a particular habit or issue or sin that I’m trying to get over and you’re my accountability partner or my mentor.
Ted Witzig, Jr: The fact is that if, that, if I only call you, yeah. After I stumble, yeah. After I fall, that’s more like confession. It is confession and confession is good, but it’s always after the fact. It’s reactive. Yeah. Okay. What we wanna do is move from reactive, particularly let’s say I fall, but then I don’t tell you.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. You know, and then I’m embarrassed to come back. Yep. So what we want is we wanna actually kind of move it up and say earlier on to proactive, where I’m saying, Hey, I’m gonna be in a situation. These kind of situations have been tempting to me. Yeah. And I wanted you to know that I, you know, and so I’m, heading through this, afternoon.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I’m on my way to class, or I’m on my way to this thing and it’s and, so I, I want you to know that I’m feeling tempted. This is what I’m gonna do to deal with it. I’m gonna call you later. I’m gonna text you later to let you know how it goes. The fact is that making that call, the amount of power that breaks, in that temptation, is enormous.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Doesn’t mean it goes away, but to proactively shine light of truth on it. Yeah. Huh. You know.
Arlan Miller: Or even get to that point when, let’s say you’re dealing with a loss or, hard experience and the anniversary is coming up to be proactively in your minds kind of reaching out or thinking about it. Yeah. That’s okay.
Arlan Miller: That’s helpful. And there is that piece of accountability that the person who had walked through it, that was being helped or supported. They, need to have, and it’s okay for them to have some of that. Yeah. And those of us who are helping, are supporting we play a, little bit of a different role.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. I think one of the other things is that, that it can when something’s deeply on our minds it isn’t necessarily on everybody else’s minds and it can feel lonely. For that. And I think the other thing, sometimes one of the things that can happen is then, internally we started going, well, if they loved me, they would just, yeah, they would just, and this happens in marriage all the time.
Ted Witzig, Jr: If they love me, they would know. But it can happen in church. Don’t they know that this is the [00:41:00] time of year that such and such happened, and maybe we should know. Maybe we should remember, but the fact is.
Arlan Miller: You’re asking for a mind reading and goes on.
Ted Witzig, Jr: That’s the thing. So I would say that one of the best things I could do is with, you, Arlan, is just say, you know what this is, you know let’s, say we’re, on long lunchroom.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And I say, you know what? Wow, you know, at this time of year is, always kind of hard for me because this is, you know, this just reminds me of of such and, bring that into the relationship. It allows that to be, become part of the relationship again. And then I don’t care the isolation.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And then I also don’t look at, you and think you know, what’s wrong with you that you that, you don’t care. And it’s actually that, not that you don’t care.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. It’s, you’re given permission Yeah. Of communication, which is really good. Okay. Number four, overcoming our fears. And now we, let’s go back to this idea of, certainty to some extent, you know, the desire for certainty.
Arlan Miller: It know it, it, actually, there’s a correct correlation between certainty and fear. Cause we’re never gonna have certainty and in many things, if any and, the then when we get to this place where we don’t feel like we have it, we start to fear and get anxious and all those kind of things. Right?
Arlan Miller: Yeah. And so there’s a piece of this, I’m guessing that if you’re a helper or you wanna be caring, but you’re nervous, you’re not gonna have the right thing to say or you don’t know how to fix it, or what if they don’t wanna talk? Or what if they do wanna talk and you don’t, you know, know how to handle if they really start to spill the beans?
Arlan Miller: Yeah. I mean that’s, yeah. That all gets you into place where you just, it’s easier just to not do anything. Sure. Right.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Okay. Arlan with this, one of the, we, the finding the right thing to say is one of those things that’s a quintessential problem. I, distinctly remember early, in my counseling career, I read a book and, it was called Finding the Right Words.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And I was sure that this book was gonna the right, all the right answers. And, the whole point of the book was there are no right words. Okay? So, so here’s the thing. [00:43:00] What we’re trying to do is instead of saying the right words, we’re trying to be able to connect to the other person’s emotions. Okay?
Ted Witzig, Jr: And so if, for example you’re aware that the other person might be sad, you’re just wanting to be able to acknowledge their sadness, okay? If they’re going through a time of transition, you’re trying to acknowledge their transition okay? If you’re trying. And so, so the concept is instead of saying, I have to say the right things, And that’s why just saying I’m sorry for your loss.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. I’m praying for you. Yeah, it is. Is okay. Yeah. Let’s say there’s, you know, somebody is pregnant out of wedlock or somebody’s going through a divorce. Those are hard things for families to, to deal with. And, sometimes people feel shame and, or somebody’s, you know, they have a family member that’s in a treatment center or, whatever.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And I think one of the things is just to [00:44:00] say, Hey, you know what? I know this is a, I know this is a tough time for your family, and I just I, don’t know what you need right now. I don’t know, but I just want you to know I love you. Yeah. You know .
Arlan Miller: And, that’s the reality is, Ted, we’re not gonna get it right.
Arlan Miller: No. All the time, right. I mean we’re, not gonna get it right all the time.
Ted Witzig, Jr: No. And, I would say that the way that, that, I will say 90% of the time, the way to get it wrong comes into two things. Okay. And that is trying to explain why God does something, okay? right? And, so it is, try it is making a pronouncement.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Okay. Or how God is going use this or, whatever. And again, I’m not saying that He can’t, I’m just saying when, we are the pronouncers. So that’s, one. And, number two, when, because we’re nervous, we just talk too much. Okay? And we go on and on, okay. And we’re trying to fill in the gaps.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, and ultimately again, based on your relationship with somebody, maybe you can go on on. Maybe that’s the kind of relationship you have, your deep, and .
Arlan Miller: You can be a sounding board perhaps while they wrestle through those complex emotions and that kinda thing. But it’s the pronouncement pieces.
Ted Witzig, Jr: But I’ll say this, like these things, like what if they don’t wanna talk? You know, I think one of the things is, I, my, my rule of thumb is to let them know. That they are in your heart. So it’s the, it’s pinging them somehow. Okay. You are in my heart. If the, other thing though, and if they don’t want to, then they don’t pick up on it.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And you have to not read into that. If you send an email, a text to somebody and say, Hey, I’m praying for you and, they don’t respond, let it be okay. You, don’t have to go, oh, they don’t like me. I did the wrong thing. You know what they’re, and if they do wanna talk and, you’re, and you don’t feel either the time isn’t [00:46:00] or it’s, too much for you just to be able to say, Hey, you know what?
Ted Witzig, Jr: I, just I, this is one of those times when we do a transition and we just kind of say, Hey, you know what? I need to you, got a lot going on here and I think it would probably be good for you to talk to so and so.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. Yeah. There’s a couple of verses at the bottom there I think are really good verses that first John four is a great passage.
Arlan Miller: But it just speaks about the power of love. Yep. You know, he, that feareth has not made perfect in love. Fear has torment, but love casts out fear. And then Timothy, you know, says he’s not giving us the spirit of fear, but of love and the power and of a sound mind. There so there’s an aspect of this is saying, okay if, I let, if I get my motive about be about love, having them in their heart, realizing I’m not gonna be perfect or have certain answers for every situation but I wanna just love. Yeah. And with the love that God has given me you know, that’s, let’s not, we lose it before, don’t let good that can be done, be removed from the equation because we’re so fearful that we’re not gonna get perfect.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yes. I think the also, one of the things that hampers us is because we’ll, read verses like these, are wonderful verses, but then we go, okay, I have to have absence of fear. Yeah.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Before I move. Okay. And it’s kinda like, oh, if I have any fear, then I have to kind of resolve this perfectly before I move forward. I will tell you that I want you to think about a train here, Arlan. And I want, in this sense I want the, engine. To be love. Okay. And the, second, there’s just, three pieces of this train.
Ted Witzig, Jr: The, it’s love, action, and then the emotions. The, fact is our motivation is in love. We take whatever kind of action or, move that we can do, and I, we get doable, not perfect, and then we let our emotions kind of catch up with that. Yeah.
Arlan Miller: And often we get that, get it reversed.
Ted Witzig, Jr: It’s kinda like, I want my emotions to be right.
Ted Witzig, Jr: So I’ll know exactly what to do and then I’ll know I was loving. Yeah. And that gets us tied up.
Arlan Miller: Let’s, use the last point here and then we’ll, give a little bit of time for questions. If you have some at the end, you can chat ’em into the chat box if you’re able there, or we’ll give a chance to, go live and ask a question.
Arlan Miller: So, A little bit of a summation here. So, so we’ve got the right mindsets. We know our roles and our limits. We’re overcoming our fears. So now we walk in love together and we journey together. We’ve used that language here a couple of times. There’s a key piece of this. So there’s times when you, we might be brought into a level of confidentiality or privacy.
Arlan Miller: You don’t wanna abuse that. No. And you don’t wanna abuse that for the sake of, well, I just wanted to share this prayer request, or I just wanted to kind of just share it just a little bit too much and then that just starts to snowball. Yeah. Right. I mean, speak to just kind of maybe the importance of that privacy and confidentiality.
Ted Witzig, Jr: It’s, it is one of those things that that again, because people vary, first of all, people vary and how private or pub or public that they are. And two, the content what, one person would, share about and what another person wouldn’t share about.
Arlan Miller: The disclosure piece is.
Ted Witzig, Jr: So the disclosure piece is so different for people and, we want to to maintain that so that people feel like once they’ve shared something that they could share again.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Now, again, I we’re not talking about here, that you have to main maintain privacy at, all costs. I mean, if somebody’s divulging that they’re gonna harm themselves, yeah, we need to do something about that. And that’s okay. It’s okay to, say, Hey, we need to do something to make sure that you’re safe and we need to talk to somebody. That, makes sense. But, again, [00:50:00] you take a scripture like James 5: 16, confess your fault one to another and pray one for another that you may be healed. The fact is if I share with you at church lunch, that I am let’s say I dealing with anger. Yeah.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I have an anger issue. And I’m saying, you know, I’m really just not overcoming and, I need some help with it. And I’ve been thinking about you know, whatever. I’ve opened myself up to you. Yeah. And that’s a gift. I’ve handed you a gift and I’m trusting you with that. And, the fact is that the fact that you hold that well and respond to that well is, so precious.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Again, I don’t, you know and, that’s where, you know.
Arlan Miller: Trust is earned over a lifetime in lost an instant. Yeah. Right. If suddenly the, down the, you know, across the hallway, then you hear, oh, did you hear so-and-so has an anger problem? Yeah. And that’s, destructive. Yeah. Right. And so that, that’s a key piece.
Arlan Miller: Exactly why I treat how you’d wanna be treated. Yeah. Walk how you’d wanna walk but walk in love.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. I, often say here at ACCFS, we have lots and lots of our counselors have lots and lots of, confidentiality requirements that are brought on fed by federal law, by HIPAA, by state law, like the Illinois Mental Health Confidentiality Act, by our professional associations, by our company policies.
Ted Witzig, Jr: But, those things aren’t actually why we keep confidentiality . We keep confidentiality because that’s what we want somebody to do to us. Yeah. You know we, abide by these, believe us. We do. But, actually I want my stuff to be private, so I want them to be, fill that safety as well.
Arlan Miller: I think the last point here and then we have a verse to kind of summarize is, there’s times when we’re gonna need help ourselves, right?
Arlan Miller: We, kind of bounced back and forth between being the helper or the help in this webinar here. But when we will never have all the answers, and we will go through [00:52:00] hard things ourselves. And so be willing to, reach out for help yourself when you need it. Yeah and, model that. I think that’s one of the beauties of the church is, it’s an organic living thing, but the modeling of love and, help and hope that takes place in that setting is, powerful.
Arlan Miller: And it removes some of those stigmas maybe that says, oh, I need to be perfect, or I need to have it all figured out. Or if I say something then, I’m gonna go into a, lower class situation of Christians. Right. And that’s, just not true.
Ted Witzig, Jr: That, is. I, appreciate you saying that the, concept of stigma that, you know, whether somebody’s dealing with a you know, a mental health issue, a marital issue, some of those things or, just going through whatever kind of struggle, Satan wants us silent and isolated and ashamed.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, I will tell you as a as a psychologist and as a pastor and a minister, even an elder I have felt personally that pressure that I was, that I should have it, I should have all the answers. I don’t have all the answers. And, I think one of the things is, my initial response to that was the feeling of shame myself.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Okay. I should, have all this. And, what the Lord has really been teaching me is that he hasn’t called me to, be somehow outside of the body, outside.
Arlan Miller: Outside of his grace.
Ted Witzig, Jr: He and outside of his grace, he’s called me to be part of the body. Yeah. And, you know what? And sometimes I’m ministering to the body and sometimes the body is ministering to me.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And we need brothers and sisters. We need to let the body minister to us and we need to minister it. It’s gotta go both ways. It’s gotta go both ways.
Arlan Miller: And that really actually speaks to this verse here. You know Corinthians, we kind of bring it to a close here. This idea that God redeems our hearts. Let me just read this.
Arlan Miller: It says, “Blessed be God, even the Father of Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercy, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in any of our tribulation. That we may be a comfort. Those who are in any trouble by the comfort we’re with, we ourselves, or comfort of God for the sufferings of Christ abounded us,
Arlan Miller: so our consolation also bound within Christ. And whether we be afflicted for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual, and the enduring of the same sufferings, which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, is for your consolation and salvation.” I love that interplay.
Ted Witzig, Jr: That was beautiful.
Arlan Miller: The, there’s times when we are receiving and there’s times when we are giving, and that’s part of being members one of another as a beautiful church family. Yes. He comforts us in our tribulation that we can help those who are in any trouble. Yeah.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. Beautiful stuff.
Arlan Miller: Any, last thoughts, Ted, before we open it up for questions or any any further thoughts to share?
Ted Witzig, Jr: I think that, verse sums it up for me.
Arlan Miller: Okay. I, appreciate that. You know, there’s some things that have been out there as we kind of listened in here. You know, we start with our heart, of love. We’re gentle as we engage with others, seeking to understand rather than to be understood.
Arlan Miller: Less can be more at times. You know, and communicate don’t assume don’t try to read minds, but communicate. I mean those are things that stood out to me, you know, helpful places for me to try to, put myself in. Are there any questions that are out there? If you have a question feel free to, to unmute your mics and and, ask a question.
Matt Kaufmann: So trauma is a word that we hear a lot of and kind of come back, comes back to the people who are caretaking. Like, oh, you don’t understand this is trauma. And sometimes it puts us on the heels of trying to care for people because what do I know about this? Yeah. What should we know about trauma as a character activity?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Okay, so the question was about trauma and so and how to care in those situations. It is important to understand that, that trauma it by its definition is a shock to the system that has, overwhelmed the system to some degree. And again, that can be mild, moderate, and severe.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Sometimes they’re repeated, sometimes they’re one time events. But one of the things that’s, very common, Is that, that they kind of, you know, there’s an event that occurs, but then the outcome of that is worked out over, over time. And sometimes when people are going through that and they’re receiving help, sometimes they’ll say to the helpers, you don’t understand.
Ted Witzig, Jr: This is trauma. You don’t understand me. And, the point is this that, I think that it, is good as a helper regardless of what the, person you’re helping is dealing with. If they’re dealing with addiction, if they’re dealing with depression, if they’re dealing with whatever, to, to do something that gives you a little bit of education on it.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And again, doesn’t mean you have to be an expert. I, don’t mm-hmm. mean by any stretch that you have to go out and, you know, get a degree. But I think one of the things is that, that, particularly if it’s not something that you’re familiar with, to be able to, have a little bit of of understanding.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And that’s where our website. Other podcasts and, webinars can be helpful. So like, for example, we have a a webinar on Five Keys to Overcoming Trauma or, you know, trauma podcast. Okay. But the other thing is you can call into ACCFS and talk with a counselor in, a triage call and get some, pointers from that but I think one of the things to remember is that trauma by its nature oftentimes down the road is kind of in a in a background level. And then things will kind of poke it a little bit. Like if you have a on your computer screen, you have the, like Microsoft Windows or whatever. And when you double click that icon of it, it opens up it pops up, and it takes over your screen. Trauma,
Ted Witzig, Jr: when it gets poked by something something that, that reminds somebody of it. It, it, opens up and it fills the screen. And then depending on how strongly it is, sometimes it fills the screen and it’s kinda like refills the screen over and it’s like Microsoft Word opening up 50 times and it doesn’t have an X.
Ted Witzig, Jr: That’s what it feels like to the person, and I feel overwhelmed by it. So oftentimes then helpers when we’re trying to say to trying to give [00:59:00] suggestions, sometimes people will if they have felt shame or if they felt misunderstood, they’ll sometimes push back against help.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And that’s, I get that. Yeah. So one of the things to do is to oftentimes ask the person and just say, when you get triggered, okay, how would you like me to help? What’s the best thing I can do? What are the skills that your counselor has said you’re supposed to use at these times? And how could I be helpful at, with that?
Ted Witzig, Jr: That’s probably one of the best things I can say is educate yourself. And then to understand when they’re in that triggering, understand what your, role is and isn’t.
Arlan Miller: Ask them what, role can I play? Yeah. And, maybe they’re not ready for all the help that they need, then your role shifts again to be, how could I support and gently steer towards further help knowing that it’s up to them to eventually pick it up at some point. Yep. Good point. Great question. Any other questions out there? I think hopefully I got our speaker situation fixed. [01:00:00]
Matt Kaufmann: Yes, go ahead.
Listener: Or, so my question is on their point of overcoming fears and kind of the train illustration that you talked about, how do you know where you’re at on the train?
Listener: So like what markers do you look for if you’re if, you wanna be working on the train towards emotions. Having the emotions come last how do you, start with the actions and the love and not let your emotions affect the, two other cars on the train? Does that make sense?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. If I understood that it, let’s go back to that train analogy.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. And, kind of emotions. Yeah.
Arlan Miller: How do you keep the emotions Yeah. In the rear car, so to speak.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yeah. So, so a couple of things. So a couple of things I, understand a human being we’re we’re, embodied beings. It means it’s all [01:01:00] coming together. Our body and mind and spirit are, all together.
Ted Witzig, Jr: We, we would love to be able to kind of move it outta the way. I, would say two things. Number one, by considering this, that when you when, any of us starts to face something, that creates a little bit of anxiety, the anxiety goes up. Okay. And we, kind of do this, it kind of goes up the hill and it’s kind at the top of the hill.
Ted Witzig, Jr: We call that panic peak. And then what we wanna do when we get to panic peak is we wanna get out of there, we wanna avoid, and it actually reinforces the fear. And so one of the things I would say is, the goal is to get up and over panic peak, and then coast down the other side. And what that means is sometimes, let’s say you wanna call somebody and just ask how they’re doing or ask if you help ’em in some way.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, yeah, I’ve done this. I’ve, thought about calling and I never call and, that kinda thing. At the end of the day, it is, it was the repeated action that kinda smooths that, that smooths [01:02:00] that out. Yeah. Okay. It is the, first time is gonna be, is gonna be higher anxiety. And, what I would say is to realize that the goal is to move towards your values instead of to rid yourself of the anxiety.
Ted Witzig, Jr: The, desire would be to like, have no anxiety while doing this. Now again, if somebody has an anxiety disorder and they need help getting their anxiety down we, can deal with that, that, that. But that’s a different issue. But I will say that I would not, say it this way. I would not say you’re either gonna be in love or you’re gonna have some anxiety with it.
Ted Witzig, Jr: I, think that you can actually, you know, moving in you know, moving into that, like when I go meet somebody at church that, I’ve never, that walked in off the street and I’ve, and I don’t met, I met ’em and, then there’s, I’m supposed to be on the pulpit in like three minutes and there’s people coming and, you I’m anxious and I don’t know how it’s gonna go.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to get that. I’m looking for who I’m gonna hook that person up with. And all this stuff’s happening. I wouldn’t say either love or have anxiety at that moment. I’m a ball of all of it. I’m a ball of all of it right there. I’m acting, I’m in love. I, have love but, I’m also stressed at that moment.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, I think one of the other things is just to say that our goal is to handle it well enough. Yeah. Okay.
Arlan Miller: The first time especially. Right. Repeated experience. What I heard you say is repeated experience. Yeah. Helps that go away. It won’t ever all the way go away. Yeah. But that helps kind of persevere and you say move towards values, I’m guessing.
Arlan Miller: I mean, what you know that your desire is to love and to care and to engage with someone and let that kind of purpose persevere you through the anxiousness that you might feel. Yeah. Or the fear that you might fear and knowing you’re not gonna be perfect. None of us are perfect and we’re not gonna say the right thing.
Arlan Miller: And, I mean, I can look back on many conversations or phone calls that I’ve had where I’m just like, why? What was I, thinking? You know why did I, say that? You know? Yeah. But yet as we walk through it, we kind of get, we get the engine where the engine can needs to be and the caboose where the caboose needs to be overtime.
Ted Witzig, Jr: Yep. Yep. Another time where people oftentimes have anxiety is if there’s a relationship that has been a hard relationship, oh, that’s fun. You know and, it’s then there’s tension in a relationship, and you’re like, I am sure whatever I do, it’s gonna be wrong. You, know, in, in their eyes. And, I would just say this, your job, my job is God never asks you to predict other people.
Ted Witzig, Jr: He never asks you to read their minds. He asks you to be loving. And so I think one of the things is that, that, you know, let’s say it was Arlan and I, we had the issue. I would go up and, I would, you know, shake your hand and Yeah. And, hi, how are you? And, am I gonna feel, am I gonna feel some anxiety?
Ted Witzig, Jr: Am I gonna wonder if this is gonna be Yeah And, it’s okay. And yeah. I wish that relationships that, we just didn’t have tension. Yeah. But, tension is part of relationships. And, I think one of the things is like, even like talking to somebody, we’re oftentimes a fearful of what the person’s reaction is gonna be.
Ted Witzig, Jr: You know, how’s they gonna, how are they gonna take it? And, it that’s, real. People take things better and worse. And, I, for one am somebody that, that some of the times, I’m sure that people will, talk to me and get the, calmest, most kind response ever. And sometimes it’ll be jumpy and, reactive.
Ted Witzig, Jr: And, so what are people supposed to do? They’re supposed to, well, you know what? They’re supposed to, they’re supposed to do their best and, they’re supposed to do our best, and we’re supposed, yeah.
Arlan Miller: I hope that’s, helpful. Yeah. I appreciate the question. Really. Do, we’re gonna I think we’re gonna bring this to a close mindful of time, thankful for each one that’s joined.
Arlan Miller: There’s, a lot more we could walk into and a lot more topics that we could go deeper here. But hopefully this, serves as a gentle encouragement and and hope as we start into this. And thanks for being the church and thanks for engaging in love. Yeah. Humbly with each other.
Arlan Miller: Yeah. And being willing to share the comfort and the consolation and grace that God gives you. With those around you. May God bless you and have a good day. Thanks so much.