How many times have you received a call, text, or email from a friend who is in trouble or going through drama? They are crying so hard that you can barely understand them? Or they begin yelling in anger as they rattle off their grievances against someone or a situation?
It’s important for us to listen and be there for our family and/or friends. When we listen, we are allowing them to vent and get everything out. Venting allows people to expel the negativity and sometimes work through the problem by talking it out. Venting can decrease stress and pressure in a person’s mind, and you are giving them a safe place to open up their hearts and pour out the hurt. Ephesians 4:2 says, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.” It may be hard at times, but being there for one another is what life is all about.
As we help one another, we are strengthening our family and community bonds.
Just recently, I received a call from my very distraught daughter. She made it through the hello, but then the floodgates of tears opened up. She was dealing with college issues. She worked hard on a paper and received very good comments on it; but, unfortunately, the grade was 75%! She was beside herself. I had to stop her for a moment and ask what she needed from me.
“Honey, how can I help you right now, listen to you or help you solve the problem?” She said, “Mom, if you could just listen first.” So that’s what I did. She explained all the work she did. How she was very prepared for the paper and how the comments didn’t match the grade. I made soothing comments about my understanding of her angst and frustration. I explained that it’s hard to see your work not recognized. She began to spiral down as to how she’s failing, that she is all alone, and her whole college life was on the line. Then she gave me the opening I needed. Filled with tears and a defeated heart, she asked, “Mom, what am I going to do?”
That’s when I went into problem solving mode. I clarified that she wa asking me for my advice and then started by telling her some major truths. First, I explained she is not a failure. We are all learning new things daily. Failure comes from not even trying. I reminded her that with practice comes mastery.
I went on to explain that she is not, and never will be, alone. The Lord promises to never leave us or forsake us. His presence is with us forever; and He calls us into community for just this reason. It may seem like we are all alone in our lives, but there is always someone else going through the same thing. It’s up to us to reach out for help and for us to offer to be there for one another.
Then, I assured her that life is not defined by mistakes unless we don’t learn from them. Everyone makes mistakes, but if we let our mistakes consume us we are going nowhere fast. If we learn from our mistakes and work to do better, we set the foundation for our lives and build a character of perseverance, determination, and grace.
Finally, I told her that professors are people too, so she needed to go and talk with the professor. It’s important to end on a positive note. So, I asked her to think about three positive things. What has she learned? What characteristics did she display that are positive?
Phil 4:8 tells us that whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good, if there is any excellence or worthy of praise to dwell on these things. By the end of the conversation, my daughter had learned about herself and had a plan of action. In return I got an, “I love you Mom. Thank you for listening and helping me.” More precious than gold.
Love one another. Share with one another. Reach out to one another.
Categories: Devotion of the Week