Adversity takes many forms, including the more egregious issues of abuse and neglect and challenges such as divorce, death of a parent or caregiver, and even multiple moves. None of us entirely escape adversity. The earlier in life we encounter adversity, and the more adverse events we experience, the more significant their impact on our sense of identity and functioning.
There are many effective approaches to treating the impact of adversity. One thing they all have in common is connection. Adversity disconnects us from one another, from aspects of ourselves (such as overwhelming emotions), and even from God as we struggle to understand how a loving God can allow suffering.
Persistent challenges rob us of joy and peace, even calling into question some of our deeply held beliefs – that God loves us unconditionally and personally, that we matter, and that God hears our cries. The “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4, KJV) is a tender, sacred place. When we are traveling this difficult path, loving relationships provide a container for our wounded hearts.