A note from Kelly King: Do you have a friend who walks through the tough times with you? We all need someone who loves us in the midst of our struggles and gets in the ditches with us to help us find our way out. You can be that kind of friend to someone today. Follow Kaye’s suggestions as you walk with someone through a difficult season.
This has been a particularly painful season for me. I have often said that I feel called to pain, specifically people in pain. If that is true then I have moved out of book learning and entered into the lab portion of the class! I’ll spare you the details, but I am in a season of physical pain, parenting pain, and church pain. One thing I know for sure is this: pain challenges your perspective. I said it “challenges,” but if we’re not careful, pain can easily change your perspective. In this season, I am committed to standing firmly on the promises of God, fixing my feet on the Rock of my foundation, and anchoring my soul to the hope that is Jesus.
Something else I have learned in this season of pain is the importance of having “one anothers” in your life to help. In God’s perfect timing, the Lord brought a friend from Florida to visit for 10 days. Over the past several weeks I have experienced God’s presence in many ways; one of those ways has been through my friend. She has loved me well. So, from my own very fresh experience, here are six ways you can help someone who is in a season of pain.
1. Speak words of hope and the promises of God. Every now and then she’ll say, “Remember, He will never leave you; He has a plan for you in this.” Words that are not unfamiliar, but when your brain is foggy with pain and other thoughts, it’s comforting to have someone speak them over you. Note: Don’t share promises and words of hope to shame someone for not experiencing them in the moment; share them as a reminder. When your hope is waning, it’s nice to hang on with someone who is stronger in the moment.
2. Listen well to her story. Listen without judging and without the need to solve or fix or counsel. Listen.
3. Exercise together. There are so many benefits from exercise to body, soul, and spirit. However, when you are in pain, it’s hard to get motivated on your own. Several times we have biked the 15-mile bike trail through our local forest preserve. God has met me there in the beauty of that space every time.
4. Help around the house. Even as I write these words, she is cleaning my kitchen cabinets. No, I can’t give you her number to come to your house (although she probably would)! When your internal life is cluttered, the external clutter becomes even more overwhelming. Together we have organized my pantry and my spice cabinet. Small things, huge reward!
5. Worship together. When I’m feeling wounded and vulnerable, my tendency is to isolate. That’s partly due to my wiring and in part a temptation from the enemy. Instead of isolating, we drove to church together, sang, prayed, served, and studied the Word. It’s healing to know the person next to you knows your story (and won’t let you stay home).
6. Pray with her and for her. Praying for one another is not just a nice idea, it is scripturally mandated. Prayer matters, and hearing someone pray over you personally is powerful and meaningful.
The Lord has blessed me with some dear friends who love me well. If you are reading these words and feel “friendless,” I’m so sorry. I am praying for you now that God will prompt someone to come alongside you in your pain. Perhaps you are reading this and the Spirit is prompting you to be that friend for someone in pain. Do it! In the name of Jesus!
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.