Following the recent events, I began to encounter a number circumstances and people that made it more difficult and it’s from this experience that I want to suggest some helps for loving people who have been through recent shock/trauma or hardship.
- Listen – If someone is trusting you enough to share, please don’t feel you need to fix their problem.
- Saying a quick prayer that God would guide you in your responses to their pain is ALWAYS a great idea. (we often come into conversations carrying a LOT of our own troubles and this can hinder and hurt the person who has come to you desiring safety)
- Be careful with your words – when someone is raw, whatever you say and how you say it will land heavily. Let your words be safe, comforting and easy. Be lovingly honest with Godly filter.
- Showing that you understand why they might respond this way, is freeing for the person – knowing they are not alone. If you are unable to be kind and gentle in your honesty, don’t say anything….please……
- This is not the time to educate or lecture – just be present with your loved one.
- Understand that you may not respond the way they do, but you are probably designed differently to them. They are not wrong, just different to you. Please don’t try to squeeze them into a you shaped box at this point (or any point) Endeavour to accept and encourage them as they are.
- Offering to pray with someone in pain is powerful.
- If you are struggling yourself, feel free to articulate this to the person (details are not required or helpful), as your harsh response can cause further damage if you’re raw yourself. Healthy boundaries are always worth setting.
- Listening to someone who needs a friend does not mean you have to carry or be burdened by their journey. Just being available has spoken volumes to them.
- Offering appropriate physical touch, hug, shoulder squeeze or whatever is welcomed between the two you can mean so much. Words are often not needed.
- If the event is fresh, feel free not to offer advice or observation that bring more heaviness. Let your words and actions be soft pillows of safety.
- Asking the person if there is anything you can do to help them, makes you a heaven sent angel from above. People like this are few and far between, thankyou those of you who ask this.
- Following up with the person, telling them you are thinking of them is incredibly encouraging to the raw person. Well done for caring enough to check in with them.
- Understand that although you might feel as though you have nothing to offer, God does! And as you are His precious messenger, what He gives you to bring can be like gold to someone walking through hardship.
There are many more I could add, but I want to esteem those who have made it to reading this far.
God bless you for desiring to love people well. I ask the Lord now to bless your heart with an extra measure of awareness of His great love for you.
You are appreciated.
You are valued.
You are a rare and precious jewel to this world.
Thankyou for being willing to care for others in such beautiful ways.
I’d love to hear your ideas on how to love others well, feel free to leave life affirming comments below. We’re all on a journey and have so much to learn. I’d love to hear how others have been cared for well or what has helped them following trauma. Be blessed precious one.