I needed to make a decision yesterday and I wanted some “outside” input so I texted a trusted friend. I immediately went into what I needed without much greeting or care for her. She, of course, gave me invaluable insight and confirmed what I already felt like I should do. Case closed.
As we were wrapping up our session of speed texting, I realized I hadn’t even asked how she was. Even though I knew that she’s been going through some stuff lately. So I followed back up with a quick, How are you? Turns out her heart was breaking. She’d gotten some news that her son did something a little dishonest. It’s very unlike him and she’s concerned about the implications of his behavior. Worried about what’s really going on. I immediately busted out all my wisdom and told her exactly what she should do to remedy the situation.
No, no I didn’t.
I have zero ideas about how to remedy the onslaught of puberty and the actions of a child pushing the boundaries of his independence. I could tell her what we’ve tried. I could tell her what I’ve heard that’s worked for others. And that’s how my brain works… like flashing lights complete with loud sirens screeching: Quick! Fix it for her! Avoid pain! Avoid Pain! But that’s not what she needed. (and thank goodness I’m learning to catch myself)
She needed to know she wasn’t alone.
She needed someone who could sit with her in the pain of it. She needed someone who recognized the pain because she’s traveled that path before. She needed a friend who could look in from the outside and see an intelligent, capable woman with nothing but genuine love and goodwill for her son.
She needed a prayer and a hug.
She was in her office in Dallas and I was in Frisco, so our entire exchange happened over a stream of text messages. So she got a text prayer and a virtual hug. And even though it was stretched out over 30 minutes, it took a total of about 5 minutes of our time. Five minutes!
Healthy relationships are not for the faint of heart. Parenting is hard. Wifing is hard. Working is hard. Leading is hard. Showing up is sometimes hard.
Life is hard.
But we can point each other toward peace in the middle of the hard. We can shoulder some of the load, just by listening and being present. We can help each other feel held with a simple text message.
When you open your heart to a friend you make the world more beautiful for us all.
Who could use a little peace in your world today?
Show her the way.
to more love,
P.S. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that when you feel depleted, like you’re the one who needs it the most… go offer what you need to someone else. It will fill you in ways you can never imagine.