Safe Friends

I hope you have one.  

That one person who knows your greatest joys and deepest pain and keeps it locked in her heart as if the secrets were her own.  

She is a gift from God to me, that friend.  

She’s the one I call when I’m wracked with sobs and the words won’t come.  She knows it’s me and just waits on the line until I can speak. She gets my jokes, knows my weaknesses, my strengths and helps me steer a better path on this hard road called “Life”.

She is a safe friend.

listening is a postive act

A safe friend listens.  

Just listens.  

She isn’t formulating an answer while I am talking, she isn’t rounding up cliches or Bible verses or platitudes meant to make her sound wise and shush my sharing.  She hears my heart even when my words might not make sense.

A safe friend sees.  

Really sees.  

She looks in my eyes and pays attention to my expression. She notices when my smile doesn’t match the tone of my words or the silent language of my hands.

She won’t let me by with a quick, “I’m fine!” meant to brush off the real need to spill my guts.

A safe friend stays.  

As long as it takes.

She doesn’t leave in the middle of a hard conversation.  Even if life gets in the way, she will come back and pick it up.  She checks in with me and doesn’t let time unwind the threads that bind us together.  If I don’t contact HER, she contacts ME.

 

 

A safe friend walks with me.  

No matter how steep the path, no matter how rocky the road. We might be hobbling along, broken together, but she keeps going and she keeps me going.

 

 

A safe friend encourages me to look to Jesus.

She admits that she doesn’t have all the answers.  She agrees that there are many things we will have to wait to understand.  But she reminds me that for this, we have Jesus.  We have a High Priest Who was tempted in every way yet was without sin.  We can enter boldly into the Holy of Holies because by His blood the veil is rent.

She doesn’t issue spiritual ultimatums that undermine, instead of strengthen, my faith in Christ.

friends pick us up

 

A safe friend doesn’t cut me out of her life when my life is a mess.  

Even if the mess is of my own making.  She helps me untangle the knot, own up to the sin, reach out to Christ and make amends.

 

A safe friend doesn’t just “happen”.

She allows the grace and mercy and love of Jesus to mold her heart so that He can use her.

Everyone NEEDS a safe friend.

Anyone willing can BE that friend.

kindness

 

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

3 thoughts on “Safe Friends”

  1. I am so glad you have that friend Melanie. I have been reading your posts for a few months now but never felt the need to comment because you speak what is inside me also. But in the last few weeks I have heard your voice screaming your anguish about how non grievers interact with grievers and how we just need a simple word or just a hug to soothe us. I wondered if you had someone , anyone , to comfort you. I wished I could hug you, to let you JUST BE who you were at that moment.
    I lost my 29 year old first born son in Oct 2015. He was my best friend , the one I could talk to about anything. We texted or called each other every day. Now there is “SILENCE ” where there once was a beautiful voice , smile ,laugh , humor. A bright light extinguished in an instant. After a catastrophic loss of a child its like WE become a newborn child trying to navigate a world that is foreign to us. In acute mourning our world becomes so narrow and people around us are compassionate and their words are comforting. Our crying and screaming are acceptable and they try and soothe us and it is comforting to know many people cared. As our new newborn self slowly adjusts to this foreign world we become like babies then toddlers teetering forward but often still crying and screaming. Non grieving acquaintances have moved on and don’t share our pain so they don’t want to hear the crying and screaming , they want to shush us , like we are an annoying child , or because they don’t know what to do with us. It is like a stranger trying to quieten or soothe a child who has fallen at the playground, when their attempt at comfort doesn’t work they are at a loss at what to do. Only a person really close to the child knows what will soothe and comfort her. As we continue to grow in our foreign world , less and less people understand why we are not ” better” and pull up our pants and get going. But what they don’t see is that inside we are only 2 months or 10 months or 2 1/2 years old …… and we still cry and scream and that we also carry this most grievous burden inside a body made of shattered glass. One small thing can cause it to shatter further and sometimes we can bear the pain of it but sometimes we just can’t and we cry out.
    Melanie , you also have friends out here who understand. Your words always comfort us because you speak what we feel but also know that we also feel your pain and wish you peace and comfort in return.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the analogy and the kind words. That’s a good word picture for how we progress in this journey. I’m thankful that I can sometimes comfort others by sharing. I actually have two precious friends that have been safe from day one and have helped me in so many ways. And I feel a bond with all my sisters and brothers in loss who also encourage and support me in a unique way because they understand the loss by experience.

      Like

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