Happy October! I hope you’re off to a great start to fall!
Today I’m super excited to introduce you to my friend Sarah Forgrave. Woot woot!
Sarah and I met this summer at the Speak Up Conference, and from the minute I met her, I was drawn to Sarah’s sweet, compassionate spirit.
Sarah is a wife, mom, author and wellness coach. She worked in corporate America for eight years before health complications from pregnancy changed the course of her life forever. Sarah loves inspiring others toward their full potential.
Enjoy her guest post today!
5 Ways to Support a Friend Who’s Going Through a Hard Time by Sarah Forgrave
Several years ago, I faced one of the darkest times of my life. I’d given birth to my son and dealt with medical complications that stayed with me for a year and a half. I was unable to work or care for my newborn since I was in and out of surgeries.
When I look back, I’m filled with memories of friends who stepped in to help. If you have a friend going through a hard time, you may feel helpless to know how to best support her. Here are some specific ways that come to mind.
1. Pray right now.
So many times I’ve said, “I’ll pray for you,” but then later forgotten. Whether you’re with your friend in person or not, pause and pray immediately when the words, “I’ll pray for you,” are on the tip of your tongue.
If circumstances aren’t right to pray with her immediately, let her know you’ll pray, and then schedule a reminder on your phone. When you pray later, follow up with a brief message to encourage your friend and let her know you were thinking of her.
2. Buy a thoughtful gift.
If your friend isn’t feeling well, think of creative gifts that will soothe and help her. Here are some ideas:
- Coloring book and gel pens
- Heated eye mask or neck pillow
- Uplifting book or devotional
If you visit her at the hospital, you might stop by the gift shop first and buy a healthy, portable snack she can keep by her side. Examples include nut mixes or dried apple chips. (For more hospital gift ideas, check out this post.)
3. Sit and listen.
Pay attention to the location or posture of your friend and do your best to meet her on her level. Some of my favorite doctors have been the ones who sit on the edge of the hospital bed next to me, rather than standing at a distance “talking down” to me. Where is your friend sitting? Can you get close by and let her know you’re in this with her simply through your presence?
As you talk, remember the age-old advice, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Sometimes when we’re not sure what to say, we dominate the conversation to avoid awkwardness. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone. Ask your friend how she’s doing and then truly listen. Try not to jump in with your story, but let her do the talking.
4. Show up and help.
Asking how you can help may create more stress for your friend. The best thing might be to show up with a plan in mind. If you know she hasn’t been able to clean the house for months, show up with a bucket of cleaning supplies and get to work. It might feel awkward at first, but I guarantee she’ll appreciate it.
If she’s struggling to put meals on the table, show up with a pre-prepped freezer meal she can reheat later. Ideas include broth-based soups or stir-fry.
5. Do what you can.
If time is tight and your life is busy, do what you can. Send a quick text with a prayer typed out or a simple note that says, “I’m thinking about you today.” If you can’t deliver a meal, you could mail a gift card for carryout or delivery.
Bottom line: Don’t underestimate the power of any gesture, small or big. Your friend is likely facing lonely hours each day. Your message or gift could make a world of difference in reminding her she’s not alone.
Wow, thanks, Sarah!
Sarah just released a book this week called Prayers for Hope and Healing (Harvest House, October 2017). You will want to check it out!
I’d also encourage you to visit Sarah at www.sarahforgrave.com, or at the following sites:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahForgrave
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/SarahForgrave
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/SarahForgrave_Author
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/SarahForgrave
Here are some finally words from Sarah…
No matter the road ahead, you don’t have to face it alone. Even in the depths of your worst emotional and physical pain, God is right there beside you, offering His comfort, love, and peace…. Above all, know that you are never, ever alone.
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*, sweet friend! I’d love to hear from you!
Leave a comment letting me know the kindest thing someone did for you in the midst of one of your hard seasons. I’ll pick one winner from the comments and send you a copy of Sarah’s new book!
God’s richest blessings to you—