As a therapist, I’m often meeting people for the first time when they’re smack dab in the middle of hardship, grief or conflict. Sometimes it’s during the most difficult time of their life.
No matter how hard their circumstances are, these people are somehow continuing on with life, one day at a time.
I always like to ask people what’s helping them cope through this hard time. I like to get a good idea of what keeps them going.. and what’s keeping them from giving up.
I don’t know why it always touches me so much, but when I ask someone how they are getting through, I often hear the answer, “I have a really good friend.”
This brings tears to my eyes, because I know that a friend isn’t required to stand with someone in their storm. A friend doesn’t have an obligation to a person like a family member might.
A friend chooses it.
I also know that it can be incredibly uncomfortable to walk alongside someone in their pain as a friend, because… what do you say? How can you possibly help? It can feel really heavy to be around someone in their darkest times.
As a friend, it can feel a whole lot easier to just stand back until they’re feeling better.. or more like “themselves”… (which depending on what happened, that version of them may never exist again).
So, when a friend chooses to be a partner in the pain, it’s an incredible blessing.
I know many people will say, “I’ve never had a friend like that”. And gosh, I wish everyone did.
But I will say, even if you haven’t had a friend like this, you can be one to someone else.
I just wonder what this world would be like if we all decided to be the kind of friend who outlasts the storm.
The friend who sees their friend through their suffering.
The friend who is as present in the bad as they are in the good.
The friend who truly mourns when their friend mourns, and rejoices when they rejoice.
The friend who points back to Jesus as the healer. Like the friends of the paralyzed man in the Bible, we can carry our hurting friend to Jesus because we know He can heal. Sometimes it’s our faith that can help inspire them to dig deep for theirs, too.
The friend who is a friend even when it’s not convenient. But knows friendship isn’t supposed to be convenient.
A friend’s job is not to save. But God did design friendship so we wouldn’t have to walk through the good, bad or excruciating times without a shoulder to cry on, arms to receive a hug from, or words of encouragement to hear.
What I’m saying is, a good friend can change a person’s life.
A good friend, with the help of God, can impact the trajectory of a person’s life.
Friendship can be fun, easy and light.
But a friend who stands through the storm until the sun comes back out…
They are truly a gift.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog