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It is so awesome to be able to call someone friend. Someone you are able to walk through this world with and call upon in time of need. Especially when it is someone who really gets you! Ya know? It can be so comforting. To be honest a blessing from God. I believe God extends His own hands through the friendships we make this in life. We call it Jesus with skin on!
Sometimes in this life our friendships change. They shift or move in a different directions. I am actually walking through this myself. It has been emotional and raw. Mostly a roller coaster. My friend is in a place where she is unsure and often confused. I am often the supporter, encourager and even the challenger. I find some people do not enjoy or want to be around people who are giving you truth. I believe this to be because it hurts so much. Right now she does not want to face the truth. She is hurting right now! I love her dearly and consider her to be one of my closest friends.
So, how do you maintain a healthy relationship when your friend is suffering?
First, look to the bible for guidance. The first story that comes to mind is that of Jonathan and David. I Samuel 18:3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. King Saul(Jonathan's father) is so jealous of David because the people love him so much and he is popular. So The King tries to kill him. Jonathan was trying to protect David from his spear throwing father. In 1 Samuel 20 Jonathan warns David of his father's intentions. They both make a covenant of friendship. The story continues through several chapters and we see in chapter 24 David is strengthen by Jonathan's friendship.
I am personally encouraged by that last statement. When we choose to stand strong for our friend our strength is given to them and can empower them. Just like Jonathan did for David. They endured some tough stuff through their friendship. They had to face a crazy mad angry father and hide in many different places for protection. They were on the run! Jonathan had to go with what he believed to be right and true which was against his own father's belief! Very inspiring!
My strength only comes from the Heavenly Father. John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay one's life down for the other! I will be honest it would be so easy for me to walk away or say this is too hard. I could be selfish. After all doesn't our flesh want to be act upon? What would that accomplish? I can still be a source of strength for my friend and be there for her while setting healthy boundaries. I do believe in my heart of hearts those boundaries are not permanent. I know she will come to the place she needs to be. I may not know when but I do know it will happen. Especially since what she is going through is her own personal struggle. I will be standing on the other side waiting for her to come through that door when she makes that decision.
Second is LOVE! 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. I love this verse. No pun intended. When all else seems to be failing, just love them. It is hard sometimes to put our own needs aside or desires so that our friend's needs can be met. I know I am not giving much detail here but in this situation I could easily stomp my foot and demand for my feelings to be known. Very childish. Trust me my flesh is screaming at me to think of my feelings. That is just it, I can not trust feelings. I am not saying don't acknowledge your hurt but recognize the deeper underlying root of the why this person is striking out at you. You may be the one sounding board that they have in their life. When we look past our own limited vision then our eyes are able to see the picture fully.
Third is to Serve. Job 16:5 But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief. Ask them what do you need from me? They may not know. Sure is nice to be asked though. Most times what they need is a word of encouragement or a note. Don't you love snail mail? I do! I love getting notes, cards and especially when it comes through my mail box! So exciting!
Lastly, Pray pray pray! Matthew 26:41 "watch and pray so that you may not fall into temptation. the spirit is willing, but the flesh is so weak." Pray for them, over them, with them and pray for God to guide you during this time.
Obviously, I do not have all the answers about this topic. This is just what I am experiencing and what God has shown me through this friendship. I know we will be closer and stronger for it.
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