You don’t have to weather the storm by yourself. Reach out to someone and let her know you’re struggling. You don’t have to be going through a major crisis to need support. Many times, the day-to-day details can wear on you.
I had one of those days recently. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong, but I just felt weary. I got frustrated and discouraged easily. I didn’t have much patience or motivation. I didn’t want to be around anyone, because…well, why make someone else’s day miserable, too? I cried out to God, and He reminded me I’m not alone.
Not only is He with me at all times, but I have really great friends who care about me no matter what. They know the best and worst of me. I have dozens more that would pray for me at a moment’s notice, but there’s something about revealing your weaknesses to someone who already knows them without having to go into details. Someone you meet with on a regular basis to do life with…face to face so that they know your expressions, hesitations, and idiosyncrasies. Someone who doesn’t let you off the hook easily when you’re starting to veer off the straight and narrow path. Someone who gets as excited as you do when something great happens, almost as if it’s actually happening to her personally.
When you do life with someone on a regular basis, you do a lot of sharing along the way, so that when the tough times come, she understands without needing a long explanation. And that’s a good thing, because if we’re honest, sometimes we don’t really have the explanation in the middle of the struggle. If we try to take the pulse of what’s going on, we can’t slow down enough for an accurate read, so we just spin and process and overthink until we’re making matters worse instead of better.
But shutting our mouths to avoid the explanation and trying to deal with it ourselves isn’t smart either, because we just try to explain it to ourselves instead. That rarely works out well. If you’re angry, you’ll often end up more angry. If you’re upset, you’ll often end up more upset. I’m not talking about the situations that just bump up against you, and you briefly struggle but keep moving through. I’m talking about those more rare moments when there’s a traffic jam of emotions and situations, then one small tap creates a chain reaction of collisions, resulting in a tangled mess that brings everything to a standstill.
I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I know God has placed someone alongside you to walk with you. She’s not there to solve all your problems. She’s not there to unconditionally support everything you do with no accountability. She’s there to do life with you…the triumphs and the messes. Maybe you’re not sure who that person is. Maybe you aren’t really struggling right now anyway. Fantastic! It’s a great time to look around and invest in someone. Make a coffee date. Begin to share life. It won’t happen overnight. It might not actually be the person you want or expect it to be, and you will probably have to go outside your comfort zone.
Investing in friendships is totally worth the time and effort. I know.
A man with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)