I wish people would tell you what they want or need you to do. I hate sitting back and watching friends go through hard times. I rack my brain to try to figure out what to do. Send an encouraging, “You can do it” email? Call them and leave a message letting them know that you were thinking of them? Make them cookies? Set up a time to hang out? It is so hard to know. My intent is not to bother them or give them someone else to stress about. I just want to be there for them.
The problem is that we are all different and our needs/wants greatly vary. But all people, no matter how similar they may seem, are so different! Yet we are all the same. We all want someone to care and magically be able to know what we need of them as friends. But most of the time we don’t even know what will make us feel better.
But the truth is, there are important moments in each of our lives when we need to cry ourselves to sleep, hash it out to our journal, or just think about what is going on in our lives by ourselves. We must pass through these hard times alone. It’s a time where we grow and progress, or at least put ourselves back together.
So I conclude that “being there for them” means that we are willing and ready to help them when they are ready for you. This means you might have to sit back and watch them struggle and cry. As much as I want to, I can not force my “help” on them.
Therefore, my dear friends, here is my commitment to you:
“I care about you. I want to be there for you. I don’t like to see you sad. I know that you might not know what to tell me to do to help you feel better, but I’ll try as many things until you do. I’ll talk through what is worrying you until we’re blue in the face (and then some). I’ll take you out to dinner so you can feel spoiled and eat some good food. I’ll give you hugs and tell you that you are good enough and let you cry. I’ll sit and watch a funny movie with you to help you forget about how you feel. I’ll put on my running shoes and run a few miles with you until you feel better. Or if you just need time to yourself, know that I’ve been praying for you and wishing you the best. Just know that I love you and I am ready to do whatever it takes to make you feel better. I'm here.”