What’s Help? What’s Not?

Hey Siestas! Happy Monday! I saw such ministry in action in your comments to the last post. Thank you so much for your compassionate hearts and authentic walks with Christ. You are a true privilege to serve.

I’ve been meditating on something for the last few days that I thought you might get all wound up in, too. We all know – I pray – that God is the only true Redeemer and wonder worker and that He alone is our Savior but, according to Scripture, He very much wills for His people to minister to one another through the power of His Spirit. Here’s the question I’m pitching on the table today:

When you’re trying to get back on your feet, whether you’ve fallen into sin, discouragement, distraction, pain, betrayal, or anything else that can tumble you to the ground, what do you find really helpful from fellow human beings and what do you find UNhelpful?

Really reflect on the questions before you answer them because I want you to think in terms of what is authentically HELPFUL. Not what your flesh or my flesh craves when we’re down. Not what simply soothes us for the moment but does us no real help in the long run. What really does help? And what doesn’t?? Also make sure that your answers are reasonable. In other words, our mentors may not be able to move us in with them for six weeks and cook for us while the two of us hash all of this through. Grin. No one can make us his or her whole life. Only Jesus is meant to be our lives. (Col. 3:4) Think within the bounds of what people are reasonable capable of doing. Within those lines, all is fair game.

Here are the ground rules: Be genuine. Be kind. Please do not try to get back at someone on here who has disappointed you. Let’s have pure motives here today. You know that I say that in love. It’s just human nature. Lastly, please answer succinctly. Just a few sentences for each question so we can read them all. If you want to participate, start each of the two answers like this:

It really helps me when someone…

It really doesn’t help me when someone…

We’re not looking for right or wrong answers. We’re just reflecting today on what reasonable things we can do for one another to actually help and considering what things simply do not. We are liable to discover that what helps one Siesta doesn’t at all help another. I think this is going to get very interesting.

You are the most wonderful blog community on earth. I am NUTS about you. Go for it, Girls! WHAT HELPS???


600 Responses to “What’s Help? What’s Not?”

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  1. 351
    Maureen Chabot says:

    My husband and I were going through what we call our “good/bad” time for about 15 months. Things were pretty tough…God called us to the mat and we spent much time in tears w/questions…lots of pain. WHAT IS BAD: We tried to keep our “good/bad” time secret…we lacked trust, we chose to make it between the two of us. As a result, we and our close circle of friends were hurt equally as bad.

    WHAT IS GOOD: COMMUNITY!! When we chose (or God chose for us)this wonderful community…especially our close, tell them anything, trust them w/our lives precious friends…the good, bad & ugly NEEDS to be shared. We lacked trust and faith. Praise Him…they gently came to us and w/ beautiful, (albeit) results.

  2. 352
    Kathy says:

    It really helps me when someone really takes the time to listen, and is not thinking about something else when my heart is breaking.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone jumps quickly to respond to the issue without even thinking or praying about the advice.

    I have learned the hard way, sometimes a person just needs someone to listen, pray and hug.

  3. 353
    Summer says:

    It really helps me when someone…gives a genuine heartfelt hug and word of encouragement along with a prayer.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone…responds with what has now become Christianese, “it’s just not your time,” or “of course there is someone for you” come to mind. Both imply that the speaker knows more than I do about the situation and in truth, the only One who knows about timing, whether there is someone or the answer to whatever question I have is God.

  4. 354
    Casey says:

    It really helps me when someone…prays with me and then quietly checks in on me with a text, phone call, email etc. Just to know that they sincerely feel my pain. While the may not understand it, they can empathize with it.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone… looks at me, head cocked to side and says, ‘Oh your so strong. It will be okay and just don’t worry about a thing.”

    *thank you for this post Beth* it will help me to know if Ia m helping or hindering a sister.

  5. 355
    Lindsey says:

    It helps me when I share something with someone and they immediately stop and pray over me. They don’t just say “I’m so sorry, I’ll pray for you.” and then who knows if they ever really do. But to know that someone has stopped in her tracks and put my burden/need as priority in prayer for just a moment means so much. And when she follows up with me and continues to ask how things are going and I know she really cares and that she’s really praying for me. To know that someone else is begging God for mercy for me helps, even if she doesn’t have the advice I need or isn’t able to help physically, etc. To be prayed over and prayed for helps so much!

  6. 356
    colleen says:

    It really helps when someone listens without judging and allows me to say what I need to say. It is lovely to receive text messages with scripture or other words of encouragement. And of course hugs etc. Practical help also helps. For a friend just to walk the road with me as they can’t really fix my problem.
    What isn’t helpful is when someone tells me I am better off than so & so, or at least X hasn’t happened, it could be much worse or replies to my heartache by sharing their own story. Too much advice isn’t helpful either as people tend to advise out of their own experience or what they think will help when they don’t always understand your exact circumstances. Trite Christianese is also not helpful as I have been through many times when things didn’t work out. I have also been told many times that God is trying to teach me something – wow that hurts! Why do I have so many lessons to learn?
    As you can see, I have more experience of the unhelpful than the helpful. Let that be a lesson to me in my own supportive roles.

  7. 357

    It really helps me when someone….Prays with me and for me on a consistent basis. Nothing pulls you out of a pit or dispair like fervent prayer! Also, just a good shoulder to cry on or a good listening ear to just hear.

    It really doesn’t help when someone….tells me to “get up and get going” or “put your big girl pants on”. Preaches at me or makes little of my hurt or situation.

    • 357.1
      Lisa says:

      Yes, Renee! I do not want to hear about big girl panties in any way, shape or form. Where did that silly saying come from anyway?

  8. 358
    Sara says:

    I am going through the toughest season in my life so far. And those who have helped the most have been the ones who share their testimony with me that speaks to me and my situation and PRAYER! As a fellow siesta just said, I would rather have someone pray with me and over me then to just give me advice.

  9. 359
    Dina Martin says:

    I find it really helpful when my mentor calmly points me to Scripture. She can empathize with where I am and/or sympathize…but at the end of the day she holds my feet to the purifying fire of the Word. I may not be very receptive at the moment, but she always points me to true liberation and healing. Hugs and lunch together are an added bonus!!!

    I don’t find it helpful to be condemned or fussed at. The more you raise your voice, the more I don’t listen or get defensive.

  10. 360
    Joyce Davidson says:

    Wow! What an amazing blog community. Love all of your sweet spirits!

    Something extremely helpful for me: when the one I am sharing my burdens and concerns with is real with their own life as well. Not to the point of every minute detail, but just simply being transparent and identifying that they are struggling or have struggled and what God has done to restore and renew and when it’s obvious they have been touched deeply by our Almighty God! Siesta Mama – God has brought some amazing emotional healing to my spirit through your ministry. Love you dearly!

    Not so helpful – A “Get up and get over it” response or “That’s life”, as well as “This is what you need to do”. An attitude of judgement is very hurtful as well. I don’t confide too easily there anymore!

  11. 361
    Sarah says:

    What helps? Laughter! Sometimes, even in the darkest place, I have my best buddy that can make me laugh and turn my negative into positive. We have a good cry and then we take a deep breath and quote Phil 4:13.

    What doesn’t? I’m with most of you ladies on here, “Christianese.”

  12. 362
    Amy Beth says:

    What’s helped me the most, in the course of taking care of eight children ages 2 to 17 while being single, was someone offering to come and help clean my house. I know that sounds crazy but it was such a blessing to have a clean house, especially because I never knew when DCS was going to show up for one of their surprise weekly visits to inspect the house. Knowing that I had clean floors because someone had come over and Swiffered them for me gave me more time to spend tucking the kids in bed at night (and getting a little sleep myself!).

  13. 363
    Jo Ann says:

    It really helps me when someone…gets involved with me for a time, even a short time, by actually doing something that shows they were listening and caring, or going along side for a bit showing that their involvment or interest is genuine.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone…shows they really want me to conform into the way I should be acting and not display any need and I can tell that’s what they’re thinking, even while they give some advice or tell me what I shouldn’t have done.

  14. 364
    Sarah says:

    It really helps me when someone is first a good listener and sympathetic to my struggle. They can then help me by praying for me, pointing me to scriptures that deal with my situation, encouraging me to forgive (if relevant) and checking in with me regularly to see how I am doing and if they can help me in any way. I most need a friend that will continue to encourage me to deal with stress from a Godly perspective and to stay obedient to God’s leading and his word. Hearing examples of how other Godly people have dealt with my same struggle or situation is also helpful. It is ALWAYS helpful to know that I am not the only one dealing with a particular hurt or situation.

    It really DOES NOT help me for someone to blame me or others for my pain OR to say negative things about the people involved in my situation.

  15. 365
    AvA says:

    it really helps when someone……. takes the time to listen wholeheartedly
    it doesn’t help when someone…… says they know what you’re going through when they haven’t and gives advice when truly they don’t know.

  16. 366
    Bethany says:

    I think it depends on your love languages and personality/temperament. For me, listening is huge. I need someone to genuinely listen to me and let me share. What’s not helpful is when someone listens and tries to solve the problem or answers my sharing with a story of their own.

  17. 367
    Julie Elrod says:

    It really helps me when I have an accountability partner. I have one now and I keep a food journal and bring it to her each week. Sometimes we have time to discuss it and sometimes we don’t. However, just knowing that someone else is going to know every bite of food I put in my mouth helps.

    It really doesn’t help me one someone tries to push me to deal with a similar struggle the same way they do.

  18. 368

    When my Mom went to her heavenly home and I was in the midst of my grief, the thing that helped me was to share a hug and let me talk about my Mom. I have just passed the two year anniversary and it still helps me to reflect on her. I don’t typically respond well to a demanding tone or “here’s what you need to do” kind of talk. Let me voice and you can be silent and listen.

  19. 369
    Diana A. says:

    Sorry I missed yesterday…had to suffer with migraine.

    What is helpful…honestly going to God with the situation, He has really pressed this truth to my heart. I do also go to my bestie and she then points me to God too. She prays over me, speaks Scripture to me and allows me to vent out and then pushes me to my knees. Sometimes that is a very hard place to submit to, but I do know I need it.

    What is not helpful…my silliness to try to go it alone. God only allows that for so long. But to hear from the wrong people I need to give it to God – wrong people b/c I chose to speak when I should have prayed. Have I mentioned it is sometimes hard to submit to the LORD? Who wants to be told by “people” to go where it’s hard to go?!

    I am my worse enemy…subborn too much! HOLDing tightly to 1 Peter 5:6&7

  20. 370
    Peggy says:

    Hi Beth,
    Great questions!
    It really does NOT help me when someone just says what they think I want to hear. The truth spoken kindly, is ALWAYS the best!
    Thanks for all you do! Jesus, in you, is amazing!

  21. 371
    Stacia says:

    It’s really helpful to me when someone lovingly and gently says the hard things I don’t want to hear and then lets me sit with it without trying to convince me. No matter how much I don’t want to hear it, and I won’t be happy about it at the time, I will think about it and process it. Although I love to be comforted and co-miserated with at the time, it’s not helpful to me if someone can see that I have a part in a problem, or I’m not seeing the whole picture and doesn’t call me on it. If I figure it out on my own later, I wonder that no one cared enough to set me straight. Sometimes I think we are so concerned about not hurting someone’s feelings we forget that by having the hard conversations we are showing more love and investing in each other in a deeper way.

  22. 372
    Hilda says:

    Rev. 22: 20, 21 NASB

    He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

    The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

    Hilda in Pearland
    (…and they all [the redeemed] lived happily ever after)

  23. 373

    What helps me is accountability. If I’ve said that I would do something toward picking myself up; if you’ve said that you would pray for me; if you’ve suggested something to me that I have received and said I’d do–check back with me and see how it’s going or let me know that you have been praying. Knowing that there will be follow-up makes me much more likely to follow-through!

    What doesn’t help? Unsolicited input from someone that I haven’t invited into my life. I’m sure there are times when just the right thing is said at a time when my heart is open, but there are probably more times when someone who hasn’t earned the right to walk my path with me intrudes and my heart closes down. (But if I’m praying for God to speak into my day, I would probably be pretty open to hear from any believer.)

  24. 374
    Sherry Anderson says:

    It really helps me when someone gives me specific scripture and how it relates to what I am going through.

    It really doesn’t help me at all when someone tells me oh, that happened to me and I did this and they did that. It is about my issue!

  25. 375
    Kathy says:

    I am offering the perspective of one who was able, through God’s work, to bless a number of people who have been hurting and in need. I have felt the joy of helping a number of friends and seeing God’s glory come through. And those I have helped in the following way have come back to me in tears expressing how much I have blessed them, to which I quickly respond that it was God. And it truly was because the answer has always been to pray to God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit before and during conversations and interactions with those who were hurting. I pray for the words to say, the best help to give, to fill me with their spirit and compassion, and I ask God for His will to be done. When God is in my help, it is amazing how the perfect words come out, how perfect scripture floats from my mouth like it never does on it’s own, how I feel compassion and understanding for the person, and how everything just “clicks” for them and they understand and accept. And then God begins to bring us to places where help is needed because He knows His work will be done, His glory will be shown and faith will be increased. God has used me to help Him heal an alcoholic in the throws of a divorce, another alcoholic who was suicidal, a dear friend whose marriage was on the verge of divorce, and God planted me on the doorstep of someone whose life was imploding at a perfect timing and with perfect words. When we bring God into our help and pray for the person and pray for God’s will and the right words, of course things go perfectly as He planned and great healing comes because it is done from our hearts and handed over to Him for His glory. And of course He keeps His promise. Sometimes there will be the occasional case where the person might not accept the help as I thought they would, but I have found that it still brings them to a different place of understanding that I feel God must have wanted them to go to next. We have to sometimes remind ourselves that it is God’s will being done and not ours. As we begin to go to Him in times of helping others, we will find ourselves in more situations needing help because He will know He can use us to heal the aching hearts that only He knows the depths of. That may put it on our hearts only in the form of a smile or saying a kind word to a stranger. We may never know the healing. But, through us, He will be able to give His mercy and reveal His glory through His and our works. In this way, He ultimately increases the faith of all those involved through the revelation of His presence and His healing in the helping we did. It’s all about being part of the Kingdom, as Beth has revealed with James Robison! All the glory to God and Our Savior!

  26. 376
    Patrice says:

    I have recently finished chemo and radiation treatmentsmfor breast cancer. What helped?
    A quick hug, an email or a card saying “praying for you”.
    Asking if I have any needs.
    Sincere offers to help.

    What didn’t help?
    Medical advice. (I have great doctors and nurses for that)
    Being pushy about helping. ( when I say I’m all set,I mean it)
    Statements like: “just keep a positive attitude and you will be fine”. “You are strong, you can do it”. (only God is strong enough!). “my friend went through the same thing and she didn’t have headaches. I wonder what’s wrong with you.”. (now I’m just venting, sorry!)
    Treating me like a child. I know my limits and need you to respect me enough to let me make my own decisions.

    As someone said earlier, people mean well and are just trying to help. But if this can help someone else minister to a friend better, then hurrah! Not everyone reacts the same way to difficult times. You really have to take the time to know them and really listen to them. They will tell you what they need.
    God bless

  27. 377
    Joanne Davis says:

    I really help MYSELF WHEN ….I am sensitive to whom I am sharing the details of my hurt or issue. It needs to be someone who is spiritually mature, or someone that God is leading me to share it with. Blabbing to any and every girlfriend that comes along is not wise. Better to be still and wait on God to bring the right person along.

    It’s really helpful when someone listens and seeks God for the right words to say..,again, “waiting” on God. And if they don’t have direction specifically from the Holy Spirit, to simply say, I’m not sure how to answer, but I will pray.

    Bottem line for me….when I’m hurting….I NEED GOD. Nothing else will do; He’s the One I trust with my life. Where else can we go? He has words of eternal life! A sister who understands that is the best help. Love you, Beth. Thanks for your ministry!

  28. 378
    Kari says:

    What is helpful to me is when people put action to their offers, no matter how small! The biggest thing we continually deal with is a special needs child. I have friends that will take him to the front for the children’s sermon and then walk him back to the pew…5 minutes max…but that’s 5 mins that I get to sit in the pew and not be his sole caretaker. Also, when someone asks, with genuine concern, after our well-being and allows me to tell them.

    What is not helpful are cliches! (God only gives special children to special people, God won’t give you more than you can handle, etc., etc., etc.) Also, it is not helpful for people to pity you.

  29. 379
    Michelle says:

    Michelle Calgary Alberta Canada
    ‎’The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.’
    Proverbs 15:28

  30. 380
    Marcy says:

    It really helps me when someone…gives me truth (from God’s word)

    It really doesn’t help me when someone…tries to reason with the situation

  31. 381
    Corinne says:

    It really helps me when someone listens to me and allows me to talk through my pain without claiming to understand or to compare my story to their story. To listen lovingly and without comments, suggestions or advice.

    It really does not help me when someone insists that their experience compares in any way to my experience and then proceeds to stop listening to me in order to tell, usually in length, their story. To come away feeling invalidated and unloved and empty.

  32. 382
    Beverly says:

    My family has been in crisis this year because of the action of a family member. Two things have really helped me: a group of ladies who meet with me every Monday to pray for our situation and my Sunday School teacher who is walking through this with me. She takes me shopping once a month and then she calls to take me out to eat on off weeks. She has bought books for me to read. For me, what helps most is for someone to take action – not say “Let me know if I can do anything.” I’m not the type of person who will ask for help.

  33. 383
    Kiersten says:

    It really helps me when someone speaks truth in love to me. So many times God has sent a friend to speak what I needed to hear, even if I didn’t want to hear it.
    It really doesn’t help me when someone attacks me for what I said or did.

  34. 384
    Judy Googins says:

    My eldest son took his on life one month short of his 16th birthday. What was helpful was the scores of church family friends that showed up at the emergency room and silently prayed while we waited for the doctor’s answer, that lined the halls as I exited the trauma room where I said goodbye to my son, that brought food to my house and washed dishes, that took my other children to their house to care for them (unasked)until I could return, that took a steam cleaner to my house and cleaned up the blood in the carpet so that we didn’t have to see it when we returned, that came to my house unbidden and checked on us and did chores, mowed the lawn, took my other children for a coke or to an event. Some of those same friends still remember the anniversaries 19 years later, call to check on me, call to say they remember, and send a card of encouragement. Others who had lost a child were helpful when they shared their stories and comforted me int he way that they had been comforted. (II Corinthians 1)
    What was not helpful? Those who postulated long-term positive benefits because of my son’s death: “You’ll be a better psychiatrist because of this loss.” Those who were nosy: “Was it because he got into drugs? Did he get a girl pregnant?” Those who blamed me: “How could you let this happen?” Those who thought suicide is the unforgivable sin. Those who thought I could handle it better because I am a psychiatrist. Those who thought I would be okay because, “At least you still have other children.” Those who thought I should get over it in a designated period of time. Those who dropped our friendship and evaporated because the “terrible” happened to our family, and they didn’t know how to handle it.

    • 384.1
      Lindsee says:

      Judy, I am so sorry this happened. I don’t have any words that can comfort or encourage, but thank you for sharing your story with us. Asking the Lord to be so near to you today, even though I know it was years ago, the sting of death is very real. You are loved, Sister.

    • 384.2
      Carol says:

      Dear Judy,
      My heart broke as I read your comments. I am so, so sorry. I agree with you that when others remember, it is so precious. Whether 19 years, 11 1/2 years, no matter the time, it can seem like just yesterday to me.
      Oh how I pray for God’s richest blessings and joys for you and your family.
      Your sister,

    • 384.3
      Laurie in ontario says:

      Thank you for this post. A close friend of mine had the same thing happen 11 years ago when her son was just 18 years old committed suicide just 2 days before Christmas. He was their only child..
      She still opens her home on that day and many of his friends come from a distance, from their own busy lives, just before Christmas to remember and laugh and cry and hold eachother up.
      There were a lot of terrible, hurtful responses, but interesting how the few true supporters still play that wonderful role

  35. 385
    Karen says:

    It really helps when someone practices, “Be Kind. No exceptions.”

  36. 386
    Victoria says:

    It really helps me when a friend calls, emails me or sends me a note to let me know they are praying for me and my children. (As a single parent, it helps to be reminded I’m not alone in this journey.) It does NOT help me when people act as if their lives are blemish free and if only I were a better Christian, mine would be too. God is easy to live with and He longs for us to run to Him in the midst of our muddy messes!

  37. 387
    Amanda says:

    There are times when the most helpful thing for me is when folks let me be, rather than asking “what’s wrong” constantly and wanting to help fix things. BUT when I am ready to talk, they are ready to listen, and love, and hug. My best friend has an innate ability to know when I need that quick “I love you and have a wonderful day!” text. And when I yell, “what does the Bible say about why everything I touch is turning to crud?” that person quietly comes in and gives me a sweet verse (that’s a true story–happened about two weeks ago at work!)

    What does not help: telling me to just deal with it, get over it, get used to it, or “that’s the way life is.” Those responses don’t give or inspire hope in any way.

  38. 388
    Carol Hulin says:

    It really helps me when someone GENTLEY, lovingly speaks a word of scripture to me when I’m in stressful, fearful, sinful, shamed situations…
    It really doesn’t help me when someone CRAMS scripture down my throat, like eat this or else, get this or else, smarten up or else…

  39. 389
    Pamela says:

    What was the most helpful thing anyone has ever said to me happened when I lost my twin babies to miscarriage and the first words out of a dear friend’s mouth were “Oh – I so hope that I get to be nearby to see you when you meet them in Heaven.” She understood my love for my unborn and the longing heart of a mom to know them.

    What was not helpful was people saying that we will have others…it makes them sound disposable and removed their value as my babies.

  40. 390
    LindsayN84 says:

    What helps is prayer, humility, and love. If correction is necessary, it needs to come in love and humility. You cannot act judgmental, holier than thou, or be vengeful in what you say. Transparency and sharing your own experiences also helps.

  41. 391
    Heather says:

    Years ago, when I went through a devastating betrayal in my life, crying out to the Lord every minute is what truly helped me to go on but the love and support of trusting family and friends helped ease the blow tremendously. They listened to me, loved me, hugged me, prayed for me, cried with me and sometimes even laughed with me.

    One thing that was said to me and that I have heard other people say through the years when there is some sort of public betrayal is, “How could you not have known?” or “Surely you knew!” That is not only not helpful but it is hurtful and can make the person feel judged and misunderstood.

    God is such a good God filled with grace and love!! How thankful I am that He pulls us through and uses people to help!!!

  42. 392
    andrea says:

    It really helps me when someone…
    Keeps focusing me back to God’s Word and asking Him for answers. I also love to hear their stories of faith and the things God has brought them through. To see that they are still ‘live and kicking and still walking faithfully, keeps me encouraged to press on.

    It’s not so helpful when someone…
    tells me what they think is best. Although sometimes I desperately WANT someone to tell me what to do, in the end, I don’t think it’s what I NEED. Even the people who love and know me best and have a great relationship with the Lord can give me the wrong advice…which is why I love when they encourage me to seek the Lord 🙂

  43. 393
    Brittanie says:

    It helps me when people reach out in ways of encouragement. I was down a few months ago and a friend from my Sunday School class brought me a book, “Heaven if for Real” and it was very uplifting. I don’t read much but it was a great read and it helped me through a hard time! I also received lots of text of love and prayers and I know those prayers helped me through the harder times. So, prayers and LOVE!!

    It doesn’t help me much when people try to do too much. A little in my world goes a long way. Just knowing someone is thinking about me and they said a prayer for me is great.

  44. 394
    Sheryl says:

    It really helps when someone prays with me, gives me scripture for my spiral that will help me focus on truth, and gives me a book or article that applies good wisdom to my situation.

    It is not helpful when someone says. “I just know it will be fine,” because they don’t!

  45. 395
    Pam says:

    What helps is when a friend really hears what I am going through and prays with me in the midst of it. Even though she may not feel all that I am feeling, she is there offering hope and encouragement, helping me keep my focus on God.

    What does not help is when a friend listens, but is not able or willing to really hear what I am feeling and experiencing.

  46. 396
    Rachel says:

    It is helpful when a mentor/peer/close friend stops and immediately prays over you. It helps when said person understands where I am coming from (the pain) and does not judge or throw around cheap advice. Sometimes you just need to hear that someone understands you are hurting.

    It is not helpful when the person dismisses your pain as something to get over, when advice is thrown at you without obvious thinking and/or prayer, or when that person gossips. It is not helpful to hear I will pray for you in a nonchalant way, especially when you know they most likely will not.

    On the other hand – it hurts for those of us that also want to help but are left out because we don’t know the pain the person is feeling. I may not know that specific pain but I do know pain. I want to help by just being a friend and just listening or just being there but I am left out because I don’t belong to that particular pain club.

    • 396.1
      Barb says:

      I don’t really think you have to belong to the pain club, if you can ‘mirror’ back what you hear them saying their pain is – repeating their words back in a summary-sometimes even the same words, I have found that is what helps for some to feel that you are at least listening & hearing them – you care enough to pay attention. That seems to be what most of us need. 🙂

  47. 397
    Rae Lyn says:

    It helps when people… Listen, share their story, tell me truth and pray.

    It doesn’t help when… they try and “fix” me. Comes across as “all knowing”!

  48. 398
    Dianne says:

    It really helps when someone shares a verse like Psalm 103:14 where God knows our frame and remembers we are like dust. It helps that my friend understands.
    What does not help is when a friends wants to fix the situation by making suggestions.
    Above all, God’s ‘Time-Out’ is a great healer.

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    Jana says:

    What a great topic and one i feel compelled to share something my brother wrote a year before losing his cancer battle called, SIXTEEN THINGS TO GIVE A DYING CHRISTIAN:
    1. PRAYERS, that she will stand firm to the end.
    2. A HUG, if you can do so gracefully; a SMILE if it is given with warmth, or, an ENGAGING GLANCE, if there is a twinkle in your eye.
    3. WORDS of HOPE, not so much in this life, but in the one to come.
    4. AN ATTENTIVE EAR as she tries to relate the lessons her trials are teaching.
    5. RECOGNITION that any courage or strength you see would not be there without the Lord.
    6. The ASSURANCE that her lot will not rob you of your joy.
    7. CHEERS, as if rooting for a marathoner striving for the finish line.
    8. CONVERSATION centered on something other than her health.
    9. The ACKNOWLEDGMENT that this, too, fits into the Master’s plan.
    10. A SHOW of SORROW, but not despair; the feeling of gray skies, but not total darkness.
    11. A GENTLE REBUKE if she becomes focused on self.
    12. CREDIT that she will not be offended should you say the “wrong” thing.
    13. A CONFESSION if you’re envious she may enter heaven before you.
    14. HONESTLY SAYING what you think, not what you think she wants to hear.
    15. EVIDENCE that you too are examining your beliefs about life and death, heaven and earth.
    16. The REALIZATION that no one is guaranteed her last breath.

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    Shelli, Fort Worth: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (familiar verse inspired by my daughter)

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