How to Show Up for Your Friends
One of the most beautiful things about living this life of community is friendship. I’ll be the first to admit that friendships will ebb and flow and some will last and some will not. Those friendships that fall away, for whatever reason, are still beautiful. Even those friendships that were only there for a season are valuable and were there for us when we needed them.
After moving again (2 times in 3 years) I’ve come to realize that there are some people who will jump into this car you are driving. They will travel a little ways down the road of life together with you. You do life together. You laugh and play and mourn and weep. These are the people you do life with. Suddenly, they jump out. You are no longer doing life together anymore. You love them and there will always be a place in your heart for them. But they are no longer in your car.
Friends Come and Go
It’s ok because those that jump out of your car make room for new people to jump back in. We were made for community and God is faithful to provide it when we look to Him for guidance. Our family is in a weird place with community. But we are not without it. It has been important to me to make sure I am present with the community God has placed me in. I can wish and dream I had this person as a friend or be a part of this community again, but that’s not helpful.
What is helpful is to remember that God has a plan and part of that plan is to show up for the friends I have in my life right now. It takes intentionality. It takes planning and wisdom and sometimes courage to reach out to those we do life with and either ask for help or seek to be a blessing.
Here are three ways our friends have shown up for us in the past and how you can do the same today.
3 Ways to Show Up For Your Friends
Know the Need
- Know the need. If you are going to show up and be a blessing and encouragement to others you have to know what they need. That means you pay attention. Listen. Look. Ask Questions. Invest in their lives. How would I know that a friend’s mom is sick in the hospital? I text her. I’m getting together with her for coffee. Or I ask her, how is your mom? If every time I see her I talk about my own problems, how can I expect to know about hers? Ask so you can know the need.
- Do something, anything. Don’t wait until they ask you. Just do something. When we brought our daughter home from China people brought over meals for us. I didn’t ask or tell them that’s what I needed. They just showed up and brought meals. It was life-giving to not have to ask for help. Some way you can do something is to buy a gift card and slip it into their hands. See something at the store that their child might like? Buy it and give it to them. Text out of the blue and tell them you love them. Do something, anything.
Share Your Faith
- Share your faith. This one is big for me because I’ve been convicted lately of this thought. If all I’m doing is sending encouraging texts, gift cards, or meeting for coffee that’s not enough. Whether you have friends who believe in Jesus or not, it is important we encourage one another in the faith. Share what God is doing in your life. Share a Bible verse. Ask them how their faith is holding up. If all we talk about is surface-level things or our problems, that is not beneficial for anyone. Witness to those friends who don’t know Jesus. Encourage those who do. Share your faith.
Which of these can you do today? I encourage you to pick one and get started loving your friends. If you need help connecting, try my course “Let’s Read the Bible!” In it, you will have access to an active Facebook group where we get together and talk about the Bible.