It is so easy to be self-centered and be focused only on working on ourselves. Recently I was talking to a girl who has become a dear friend. She expressed how when she came out of a different season none of her friends reached out to see how she was doing and for her to process with the people she holds dear.
It got me thinking that even though I love people so much, I am not quick to ask them how their season has been and if they want to talk about it.
Even though we have our own issues and struggles, we can still make room to reach out to our friends and genuinely check on them.
It is good to ask questions and allow your friends to process out loud conversationally what they experienced, genuinely care and be a listening ear for them.Checking on people who have helped us grow and thrive should be something that we all do.
In taking the steps and reaching out: it’s what brings healing, develops a genuine community, and a place for many to come to experience freedom and peace.
Sometimes its hard to figure out where to start, and that’s okay. But it is better to reach out than to regret not doing so later. The following are a few simple steps I have found help when it comes to reaching out to friends.
Send a Text
I don’t know about you but when I check my phone and I see a sweet message from a friend, it makes me smile.
A simple “ Hi,_______ I have been thinking about you. I hope you’re doing okay. Let me know if you need anything” is a great place to start.
9/10 you will get a response and that is an opener to really ask how they have been, what they have been doing, and how you can keep them in your prayers. In today’s world, there are so many ways to stay connected and check on the people you love. If you’re not great with texting, try calling or facetime.
If you get no response, that’s okay. Sending that message reminds the person that they are seen, important, and loved by someone.
Acknowledge. Acknowledge. Acknowledge.
When a friend chooses to come to talk to you, they just want to be heard. Whether their feelings are right or wrong it doesn’t matter.
They just want to let it out and express it in a raw and vulnerable way, dont abuse that true unfiltered authenticity by correcting them and offering unwanted advice.
If they want advice they will ask for it because they are fully capable of asking for it themselves. In other words, do not listen to respond, simply listen and process it silently in these moments.
Usually the best thing you can do for them at this time is let them know that you understand where they are coming from and that they are heard. Allowing someone to process out loud is a powerful force of change in this world.
Remember there is a time for everything. The Holy Spirit will bring correction where it is needed. Do your best not to step into vulnerable space that only the Lord is able to heal.
Make Plans: Follow with Consistent Action
Checking in on your friend is not a one and done event. We go through the motions all the time, so if your friend is in a difficult season then consistency is important.
It’s nice to have something to look forward to, especially when you’re in a difficult season. Imagine a friend reaching out wanting to take you to breakfast, brunch, or a day trip. It can be as simple as sending a message and letting them know you would like to have a movie night with them.
Sometimes it can be low-key and sweet like Grabbing your favorite snacks, a bottle of wine, wear your comfiest clothes, and have a kick butt night in watching your favorite movie or sharing your feelings in a safe space.
Take a step to make plans with your friend, show them you’re intentional, committed, and in it for the long haul. You are no flake! … unless you do nothing. Make your thoughts and ideas that you want to do for people a reality by taking action quickly; stop hesitating and just love them.
Sometimes our friends are facing things that we will never fully understand and don’t have knowledge in how to help them. The best thing you can do is listen well and offer helpful resources. Guide and direct them to a place where they will find healing and freedom.
Let’s be a people that strive to love people to life.
With joy, -Winnie