I, like everyone else, have those
wonderful moments when life slaps me upside the head. Not only is it hard on me, but it’s also hard for my family and friends to see me deal with. If they don’t do a sufficient job of being there for me, I tend to push them away. It’s not something I’m proud of, trust me. There is no way it’s just me, although hard to admit for a lot of people. I can write about how to handle pain in healthy ways another day, but today we’re tackling another very tough topic: how can I help those I love who are in pain?//
Pain sucks. I’ll be real here, no trying to sugarcoat stuff. The way I see it, you guys hear that all the time and you know it’s not all necessarily true. (But you should listen to it all with an open heart anyway)
Whatever kind of pain it is on your friend, it’s painful on you too. You don’t want to make it worse, so a lot of times we just leave them alone or pray that God takes care of it immediately so you can have your buddy back. Sometimes that is all you can do, but sometimes you know they need you and just don’t like the idea of having to help out. I encourage you if God is leading you to be there for someone, do it. Please!
The best advice I can give you is to listen. Don’t try to tell them that “it will all be okay in the end” or that “this is all for a reason” – they have everyone else to tell them that. Your job as their true friend is to listen. Hold on to them and let them cry it out. Be sensitive to their feelings, and be real with them. Give them some words of wisdom if they ask, but don’t be fake and try to be a hero. They need you!
I know sometimes we see our friends walking into pain and we try to help them and they (of course) don’t always listen. They need to learn things on their own sometimes, so don’t take this opportunity to rub it in their face with “told ya so!”.. Instead, I challenge you to see them for who they are – imperfect, beautiful people who make mistakes and who need people like you to be there to listen.
I’m not saying that if your friend is thinking about hurting themselves or anyone else you should brush it off or not tell someone who can help. After all, we are not responsible as friends to fix everything. Godly friends are willing to listen and help (even when it’s tough) without trying to be some grand hero — being a hero sometimes means humbling yourself and washing someone’s feet for them.//