Welcome, I'm Anastasia!
Daughter of the King of Kings, wife, mom, friend, and bookworm. I am so glad you are here! I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy reading these blog posts.
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I am sorry
I am sorry. Is this something you say to a friend when they share about something they are going through? Do you listen for their benefit? Or does your focus shift to yourself and what you are going through? Listening and truly caring. I know this is an area that I need to work on. It’s tough though. But the more I share about things happening in my life, the more I am learning what people need.
The past year has been a year of many trials for me. I have had various responses to all that I am going through. Sometimes I have just wanted to yell at a person because of how they respond. Other times, I have wanted to hug the person because they get it.
From all these experiences with people, I have learned a thing or two on how to respond and how NOT to respond. Here are a few tips for you and me when someone shares about a hard time they are facing.
- Just listen
- Say I am sorry
- Don’t try to make sense of it for them
- Pray for the person right then and afterward too
The first thing I have learned is that I need to just listen to people. When they are sharing something heavy on their heart, the best way I can love them is listen. But, I need to make sure I am listening for their benefit, not my own. I need to focus on what they are sharing and not be thinking about a situation in my life that is similar. Too often we want to relate. This is not a bad thing to do, but when we are listening to a friend share, we need to do just that, LISTEN. A time will come when your friend may ask you a question about what to do, but until they ask, please just listen.
I am sorry
The second thing I have learned is to say I am sorry. Those three words are so simple but so powerful. When a friend shares about a struggle that is very real to them, they are hurting. What they are facing is not easy. They need someone to care about them and validate their hurt. Saying the words I am sorry shows that you care about them and the hurt.
Don’t try to make sense of it for them
The third thing I have learned along the way is to NOT try and make sense of the situation for your friend. What do I mean by that? Too often when a friend shares about a hard time, we don’t know what to do with their hurt. We are uncomfortable with it and don’t know how to handle it. So, we label it and try to make sense of it. We even pull God into it by saying “God wants to teach you something through this” or “This is where God wants you right now.” We cannot know why our friend is facing a hard time but the best thing we can do is encourage them instead of trying to make sense of it to make ourselves feel better. It goes back to saying “I am sorry.” Show your friend that you will be there for them and that you are there to listen.
Pray for the person right then and afterward too
The final thing I have learned along the way is to offer to pray for my friend when they share. I need to pray right at that moment but then afterward too. When your friend shares what is on their heart, they need support to get through it. It’s important for us to be checking in our friends. Let’s not let our support end at the conversation but continue in praying for them. Another way to show you care is by asking your friend at a later time how we can support them.
Being a good friend is hard. I am in this with you. It’s hard to just listen and say I am sorry. I am constantly trying to keep my mouth shut when a friend shares about something they are facing. I am also working on not trying to make sense of it to make myself feel better. Instead, I am focusing on what I can do to support my friend in what they are facing. Will you join me in this journey? I hope so!