Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Encourage Hurting Friends

This post was originally scheduled to publish in a couple of weeks, but my friends at Circles of Faith adjusted their schedule. So, today it is, along with my ebook release! Be sure to click over to my earlier post and join in that party ... there are gifts to be won!

Encouraging friends when they’re happy, healthy and successful is one thing. I can buy their books or like their social media posts. I can host a baby shower or a birthday party. Congratulations and well wishes can be texted, emailed, telephoned, or spoken aloud.

But what about encouraging friends when their life unravels?

Earlier this year, I watched people I love experience pain. Our community of friends was hurting – in more than one way at times. A marriage close to me has shattered. Another friend has struggled physically through all her pregnancies and each time she has more people to take care of while she attempts to function through the nausea. I’ve seen broken relationships and hurt feelings. I’ve processed some of my own childhood wounds. People at church are grieving and healing and waiting.

Certainly, pray for and with your friends. Acknowledge you believe God’s promise for everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

In her devotional “What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days,” Holley Gerth writes: “To encourage literally means ‘to give courage,’ and that’s what God wants to do for us on the hard days. He says to us, ‘I’m here. I will help you. I will give you strength to take one more step.’ He looks at your life with infinite love and tenderness. And he knows how hard it is to be us sometimes. He lived in this world. He experienced pain. He died on a cross. Jesus understands how brutal this world can be.”

Yes, God knows about and redeems the hard days, but they’re still difficult and exhausting when we’re in the midst of them. The pain doesn’t necessarily subside when we want it to, but we can share God’s love with our friends when they’re struggling.

{Read the rest, including five specific ways to encourage hurting friends, at Circles of Faith ...}

Want more stories? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

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