Wednesday, March 5

The 5 Best Things to Say to a Friend Today

I remember sitting in the smelly middle school gym like it was yesterday. I’d survived the awkward and much dreaded moments of changing into my PE uniform in the girls’ locker room. And now I sat on the hard bleachers listening to the squeak of tennis shoes, the uneven cadence of bouncing balls, the teacher’s sharp sounding whistle, and the girls laughing behind me.

They weren’t laughing with me. That would have meant I was accepted and wanted and invited in to be a part of their group.

No, they were laughing at me. This meant I was not accepted, not wanted, and not invited in to be a part of their group.

I was the subject of their gossip. I was the punch line of their jokes.

And it hurt.

I imagine you know that hurt too. Change the scenery and the people and this same hurt can be found in most of our lives.

When your coworkers all make plans to go out to lunch but somehow your name was left off the email chain.

When that other preschool mom said, “Several of us moms are concerned with how your child seems so aggressive on the playground.”

When everyone else’s social media makes marriage look dreamy and uber-romantic as you’re crying yourself to sleep at night feeling like the loneliest married woman alive.

Then a friend steps in with a gentle smile and a few simple words of encouragement and suddenly, you’re not alone.

I want to be that friend for you today.

In the midst of whatever it is that’s made your heart feel a bit knocked off-kilter, can I whisper what I believe are the five best things one can say to a friend?

You’re wonderful.

Me too.

I’ll pray.

I’ll share.

Come over.

The 5 Best Things to Say to a Friend Today

These aren’t incredibly profound but oh so needed. You know what I mean?

And if we need to hear these simple kind words, then might we dare to believe someone near us needs to hear them as well? I think a lot of us girls are terribly lonely.

So, imagine what good these words could do. Loving someone else is one of the most God-honoring things we can do today. After all, we’re reminded in Scripture that all the commandments can be summed up and fulfilled if we will love others (Romans 13: 8-10).

I came up with this list of 5 best things to say to a friend from Romans 12: 12-13 in a section appropriately titled, “Love.”

1. “You’re wonderful.”
(Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope…”)

What a loving thing it would be to infuse joyful hope into your friend’s life by reminding her of ways you think she is wonderful.

The world is quick to tell us girls of all the many ways we fall short. We are hyperaware of our faults and frailties.

So, what a precious gift to remind a friend of specific ways you notice that she’s a wonderful friend, a wonderful mom, a wonderful Jesus girl, a wonderful wife, a wonderful coworker, a wonderful person.

2. “Me too.”
(Romans 12:12, “…Patient in affliction…”)

What a gift it is to remind our friend that we all have afflictions, hurts, faults, and tender places. We all get sick both emotionally and physically.

The patient friend is one who freely gives grace because she so desperately needs it herself. “Me too” acknowledges that I’m no better than you but together we can get stronger. It is such a loving and disarming admission that we’re all in this together.

3. “I’ll pray.”
(Romans 12:12, “…Faithful in prayer.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to express to a friend that you will absolutely be faithful in your prayers for her? I have a friend that prays for me so faithfully. She texts me Scriptures that she prays over my life.

But here’s what I really love about her. She doesn’t just pray about my situations. She prays me through them. She’s willing to circle my circumstances over and over with her prayers.

I honestly don’t know how she hasn’t gotten tired of praying for some of my same issues for so long. I get so tired of me… but she never does. What a gift. A gift I know I must pass on by being faithful in my prayers for others.

4. “I’ll share.”
(Romans 12:13, “Share with God’s people in need…”)

When we notice a need in a friend’s life, might we be willing to step in and at least be a small part of the solution?

I have a friend who literally lost every possession she owned due to a chemical spill in her home. So, we threw her a “Job (like the man in the Bible) Party.” Each of us brought a few things to help her family start over.

We didn’t even come close to fully meeting their financial needs. But we helped build a foundation of restoration and gave this family the assurance that God was working on their behalf.

5. “Come over.”
(Romans 12:13, “Practice hospitality.”)

Throwing open our front door to welcome a friend inside the sacred space of our home is such a needed gesture. There’s just something about relationships that are less pixilated where we get eye-to-eye, voice-to-voice… and talk. Really talk.

Over broken bread we share broken hearts. And then we celebrate the parts of us that are still intact. We reach across the table and across our differences to grab hold of the glorious bond of friendship.

Yes, these are 5 great things, maybe even the best things to say to a friend. Yes?

You’re wonderful.

Me too.

I’ll pray.

I’ll share.

Come over.

So, today, I pause and say them to you. Now, I haven’t quite figured out how to do that last one. It would be such a hoot trying to fit you all in my kitchen, but I sure am dreaming about it. What a crazy fun time we’d have.

My only request is that you bring one of those awful pictures from middle school you keep hidden away in the back of your closet. Then we can laugh and bond and wonder together why we ever thought it was okay to do our hair that way.

Discussion

  1. 56

    This encouraged me-helped me know I’m not the only lonely tired mom & wife out there. It is true I have cried much over my marriage but I must say God’s kept us together though at times it’s a thin thread holding us together. I have also read posts on someone’s wonderful husband and children and how they rose up early and baked bread and I’m thinking…bread…did. buy it ? Is the store bought bread still in the freezer -what about as supper??? And as I’m doing tasks I hear fighting from the kids-yeah not anything to post or share with anyone…but I’m learning to live this life God put me in-even though it’s uphill and don’t go on Facebook very much is another lesson learned:) My life is God’s and do what if I don’t bake bread at 5am-I play with my boys-snuggle and love and that’s enough:)

  2. 57

    Love these. Especially the first. I think being appreciated helps us to step more fully into who we already are. Instead of feeling like we need to work up something different or better. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 58

    Found you via Amy Lynn Andrews Useletter.
    A beautiful and welcoming post!
    Ugh. It took me years and years to get over that left out feeling. I was a rural kid bussed into our local city high school where everyone had gone to school together since they were little. In addition to being an outsider, I was a bit on the heavy side and shy. Nothing like clingy, horizontal striped gym uniforms to give a girl a boost. Ack!

  4. 59

    I just experienced all of theses with my friend this past week. I am so blessed. Now just let me say:
    You’re wonderful!
    Me too!
    I’ll pray!
    I’ll share!
    Come over!
    Really!

  5. 60

    Thank you for all of the wonderful insights and Scripture that you share with us. I love what you’ve said this time and how condensed your phrases are! Could I make one suggestion? Oftentimes we say, “I’ll pray,” but the friend has no idea if we really did and, I hate to say it, but feel like many well-intentioned friends say it but then don’t really pray. I would love the words to be, “Let’s pray,” meaning you stop everything and pray right then and there for your friend. When others have done this for me, it has been so powerful. I’m working on getting better at it, but love to do it, esp. with my poor memory.

  6. 61
    Jo Crews says:

    THANK YOU so much for sharing these and for sharing “heart to heart.” Absolutely wonderful — and needed by us women :)

  7. 62

    So needed this. Thank you.

  8. 63

    Thank you for sharing this; sometimes we forget that it’s important to let others know we are *there* and understand. Great “5 things” reduction to help us remember.

  9. 64

    Don’t really have any friends. None close by, anyway. I ran them all off with my sadness when my husband left almost 5 years ago. I do try to be a good friend when the opportunity comes my way. I will remember these words. Thank you, thank you.

    • 65

      Dear Tracy, wishI lived close to you. I would say come over for tea or coffee. You are wonderful. Be healed of broken heart. Hugs.

    • 66

      Dear Tracy, I too feel your pain of not having many friends. My husband was a cheater for all the years of our marriage. The few friends I do have are so treasured to me…but my best friend being Jesus is all I really need. If you lived close to me, I’d have you over for some coffee or iced tea….we could chat and give Praise to God for all he has blessed us in our lives. Stay strong.

  10. 67

    That’s so right on the spot! I am sure so many of us can relate. I definitely can! I love them all…..your comment for praying is beautiful! What a loving friend you have.

  11. 68

    Excellent; thank you & I agree. I am going to text my friend right now! Blessings~

  12. 69

    Lysa is there anyway I can get you to email me? Please I have been looking for a way to get in touch. Thank You so very much :)

  13. 70

    Today, I went to the beach front with my children.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had
    to tell someone!

  14. 72

    I am personally going through a tough season. I have read Made to Crave and it has really helped me with my grieving process. Could you recommend a similar read geared more towards relationships and healing. Thank you.

  15. 73

    Does anyone know how applicable the Unglued Devotional is for a 13/14 yr old girl? She is an athlete at the club where I coach and is really struggling with how mean the girls at her school are to one another. She is normally full of life and her joy is outpouring to others, but she feels so lost and like there is no hope in the people that surround her for most of her day.

  16. 74
    SHIRLEY SCHUY says:

    beautiful, forwarding this to my friends. thank you Lysa

  17. 75

    Wow there are times in my life I have been to busy or worried how my house looked. Yet the most inviting homes were the lived in homes of some of my precious friend’s. I need to work on this more and become a better friend.

  18. 76

    Thank you for these words today. I sit here crying over the loss of a dear friendship and a heart that yearns to have someone reach out and build another friendship like that. I pray that God would fill that void, that a new friend would step in and we could encourage each other.

Leave a Comment

*