This post is by Deb Alexander.
Recently, I decided to resign from a job that I loved. Although the choice was mine, it was both unexpected and unwelcome. I described it to my husband as both gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. I was grieving.
My friends and family did three specific things that helped me navigate this season with both strength and hope. I’d love to share those things with you, so you are more equipped to ask for this kind of help when you need it, and to offer it to a friend in crisis.
First, my friends and family prayed for me. Bringing your friend’s needs and concerns to the Lord on her behalf is one of the most helpful actions you can take. Here are some of the most helpful verses that were shared with me recently:
— My husband prayed Psalm 27:5 over me: “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.” He also reminded me often of Psalm 37:7: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” His prayers brought me peace.
— Another friend called me and prayed all of Psalm 143 over me. Two specific verses gave me such a sense of hope: “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” (v. 5-6)
— And one of my coworkers reminded me often of this truth, which gave me strength: “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always.” (Proverbs 28:14)
My friends and family also intentionally connected with me over these past few weeks. Before we finished talking, they always told me when to expect to hear from them next. This was comforting, and it gave me something to look forward to.
Knowing when and how she can expect to hear from you next will be comforting for your friend during her hard season as well. Will you reach out tomorrow morning with a verse of Scripture, call her tomorrow evening after her kids are in bed, or maybe FaceTime her over the weekend? Recently, one of my college roommates had surgery. Eight of us hopped on a Zoom call with her the night before her surgery, and before we ended the call we told her when we planned to check in with her next. She knew what to expect from us, even though her world had recently been turned upside down. She never had to wonder if someone would text or call - she knew that one of us would, and she knew when.
Finally, I want to encourage you to remind your friend to move her body. Moving your body - especially outside - is one of the very best ways to release stress. Encourage your friend to go for a walk outside, to gaze up at the sky and to look down at the ground. These actions are grounding. They help to settle both our hearts and our heads. If your friend can’t get outside, encourage her to simply stand up, walk around the room, and swing her arms. I didn’t move enough during those hard two weeks, and I’ll tell you - I felt it. That stress built up in my shoulders until I could barely move my neck!
My friends and family prayed over me. They reached out, and then they told me when they would reach out next. They reminded me to continue to get outside for the long walks they know I love and need. These actions are simple, but their impact was profound: I knew I was loved by them and by the Lord. (And if you need someone to come alongside you in prayer during your hard season, I’m here for you. Please feel free to reach out to me!)
Deb Alexander has been married to her college sweetheart for 32 years. They have two children, and have recently become grandparents to a sweet baby boy. Deb was born and raised in New England, and she and her family have called Central Illinois home for nearly 25 years. She is a writer, a tutor and a coach who loves birds, books, long walks on the trail near her home, and family dinners. Deb would love to connect with you on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/debalexander/.
Jumpstart your mornings with my free workshop and the 3-Minute Morning Kit.