Do you ever take the expectations of those around you–family, friends, foes, colleagues, and beat yourself up with them? Let your own assumptions sneak up into your emotionally tender spots and bite you? Paralyze you with the fear that you don’t measure up? Me too. Keep reading.
Turns out I grew up surrounded by a treasure trove and didn’t know it. The gift of having girls and women older than me in my life. Women who, whether they knew it or not, poured into me out of their life experience and faith in God. In my 30’s and 40’s, while in the throes of momming two tween-into-teenage girls, serving a husband who had suffered a physical disability and the loss of his career, and losing my dad and walking through my fifty-six-year-old mother’s grief with her, I discovered the value of hanging out with older women who could speak life and shine light on my dizzying days.
If we live long enough you and I will stare down many harbors of heartache. The burial of a loved one. Betrayal. The loss of a career. A chronic illness. Financial disaster. The list is long. Right now you might feel stuck in a season of sorrow. Or have a friend who is camped in a hurting place. This resource is for you.
We can hold a hurting friend, cry with her, wash her dishes, pick her kids up from school, and fix a supper, but when we pray Scripture over her, we’re giving her a gift that God promises to sink deep into her soul and give it roots. In today’s post, I’m sharing 12 of the verses I pray over my suffering sister-friends.
We donate blankets to the homeless shelter and canned goods to the food bank. We pack Christmas boxes of hygiene and personal items for children around the world. We purchase goats or chickens for needy families in Uganda. All these good acts express love for my neighbors. Some of our neighbors. What about the woman seated alone on the far side of the sanctuary or even the woman who sits in front of me at the Sunday service? Week after week.
Have you ever shared a painful experience with a friend who surprised you with canned answers that felt like a disconnect? Have you ever hesitated to come alongside someone in their struggle because you didn’t know what to say? Check out these five traits of a best friend who knows how to listen well.