It is often more fun to be a friend through the joyful seasons of life, but sometimes we need our friends the most when in seasons of pain or sorrow.
Sometimes life gets the best of us with difficult times, challenges and seasons. This is what we call “life”, and it happens to all of us – there is no escaping it. When you know that a friend is hurting, and going through a crisis, I would suggest calling them up and offering to meet them for coffee or lunch. Be a true friend – not just in happy, fun times. Be a friend for all seasons. Sometimes, truly, I have missed the mark with this, and I have felt bad afterwards. As I get older, I realize just how precious life can be and how important it is to be there for people when they are going through a difficult time or a crisis. After all, “life isn’t always a bowl of cherries.”
When you talk with your friend who is going through this difficult season in her life, let her share her heart! Don’t talk – just listen! She probably just needs a shoulder to cry on and someone to lean on. Ask her how you can help in practical ways, too – maybe you could watch her young kids for her, so she can get out for a bit, bless her with a grocery store gift card or small cash gift (whatever you can afford) if they are in a financial crisis, or take her to a funny movie if she tells you she just needs a good laugh.
If your friend is going through a crisis – maybe a death of a parent, a marriage breakup, a loss of a job, problems keeping up with the mortgage or bills, be sure to follow up with her – a call, a simple text or two, and maybe an e-mail or drop her a sweet card; she will be glad to know she has someone in her corner who she can rely on, and who is providing emotional support.
And above all else – pray, pray pray for her and her situation. Tell her you are praying and mean it! Put “sticky” reminders on your work station or on the refrigerator – so you can pray for her several times a day.
These are just a few of the simple gestures some of my friends have done for me during one of those tough seasons. I have gotten phone calls or texts at just the right moment from just the right friend… who made my day by reaching out to me! They made me feel like I could survive another day, another season through my difficult journey. Many of my dear friends have enriched my life so much, and I don’t know where I would be today without them.
Remember all the fun times and happy moments with your friends, too! I feel like life is “cyclical” and thank goodness, right? I have fond and wonderful memories of my dearest friends.
I recall when I was pregnant with our 2nd baby (over 23 years ago) another friend in the office, Kristy, was pregnant at the same time as me. The two of us, plus my dear friend, Andrea, would go out to lunch several times a week and one time “to cut back our consumption of food”, we got an assortment of “appetizers” and ended up eating probably more than a five course meal. We would laugh, giggle and ….. eat. I remember, Andrea, would say later, “I gained 10 pounds while those two were pregnant, and I wasn’t even pregnant”!!!! I have such fond memories of those times.
I also recall going to the movies one time with my friend, Lori, and the movie had started already so the theater was dark. For some reason, we were already in a silly mood. Lori was in front of me, and I couldn’t see her. I tripped on the back of her heels, but thankfully we didn’t fall. That just seemed to spin us into the “giggles cycle”, and we were so loud with laughing trying to find a seat, we were fortunate the movie manager didn’t kick us out! (I love to laugh).
And, I have such fond memories of going to concerts in downtown Jacksonville to see “Cher”, “Elton John”, “Chicago” and more “oldies bands” with my realtor friends several years back. We would all chip in and rent a limousine, and it was lots and lots of fun! I don’t know which I enjoyed more – our fun ride in the limousine or the concerts!
My dear friend, Pam, is such a fabulous cook and has girls’ lunches several times a year for my friends and me. We enjoy the fellowship and the food! I have fond memories of Ladies’ Bible Studies in the past with friends, matinee movies with my dear former next-door neighbor, Jeanette, and wonderful lunches and dinners and day trips with lots of other friends.
Friends refresh my soul and really are the “flowers of life”.
Just be there for those close to you – be a true friend in every season. Remember, they will do the same for you in your time of need!