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The Most Hurtful Words

When I was happy the most hurtful thing someone told me was, “I want to like you, Keturah. But you’re always behind a facade of laughter and I can’t ever get to really know you.”

When I was falling apart, the most hurtful thing someone told me was, “Keturah, stop dwelling on it. Just get over it.”

Both times these things were said to me by people that I respected and loved as close friends.

I didn’t think my laughter was a facade … humor is always how I’ve dealt with life. But because of that, I was unable to laugh for a long time.

When I was consumed with grief, I was trying desperately not to drown. I wanted to get over it. But being told that, when I desperately needed a friend to let me talk and rant, did not help me get over it. Instead, I pulled deeper into my grief and had no release.

(I want to take a moment to acknowledge the fact that I have a few VERY good friends that laugh at my weirdness and talk with me during my tears. They never condemn me for either, but are there for me in both.)

Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

In another’s happiness, one might be quick to envy them, to tell them to “get serious”, to “grow up and live in reality”.

In another’s grief, one might quote scripture, telling them to “stop worrying and have faith”, to “tell the Devil to flee”, to “stop being emotional”, to “pray”, to “deal with the sin that must be in your life and God will free you,” to “I know God will use this to make you a better person”.

These things might be true.
Just as the things Job’s friends said to him were true.

But ….

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven … a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Just because it is true, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to say. Yes, Job needed to stop wallowing in self-pity, but in that season of grief, he needed friends. He didn’t need to get over it right away.

When your friend’s heart is broken, shed tears with her and hold her. Don’t quote scripture to her. Don’t let the words “I’m praying for you” justify away and leaving her alone. Don’t only text her Bible verses that condemn her as being evil for her grief. Grief is natural … walk with her on this path so that she does not drown. She needs to heal, but first, she may weep.

When your friend succeeds, don’t put down his achievements. Rejoice with him, and be glad that he has won. Don’t wish for your own victory now when you should be rejoicing with him … the pie is big enough for all. Your own success is not undermined just because he has found his first. Don’t tell him that “money is the root of all evil”. Don’t tell him workaholics are never satisfied. It’s not a competition … this season if for celebrating.

When your friend has found love, don’t hate her for it. Laugh with her, and be glad. Now is not your season, but it is hers. So dance with her, and be happy. And if her relationship goes through a rough patch, don’t say, “Just be happy to have someone. I’d be overjoyed to be in your shoes”. You don’t know that … you aren’t in her shoes. You are told to mourn with those that mourn and laugh with those that laugh. Walk with your friend, don’t shove your envy down her throat.

1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Does this mean your friend shouldn’t get over it?
Does this mean that your friend isn’t hiding behind a facade, or making ridiculous jokes?

Maybe they should just get over it. Maybe they should meet reality.

But don’t forget that this might be their season of tears when they need someone to walk by them. They don’t have to get over it NOW. God gave you to them so that you might be there for them to listen to so that you might love them so that you might do better than Job’s friends in showing compassion.

God didn’t tell us to just pray and preach (all good things) but to love.

So when someone says, “I need someone to talk to.”
Don’t say, “Pray about it.”
Be that person and let them talk. Then pray with them. Show them that you love them. Don’t throw God into their faces.

So when someone says, “I have some good news to share.”
Don’t be envious. Be GLAD. Throw a party and celebrate, or whatever is appropriate. Dance and laugh, but don’t belittle.

I’m not saying don’t speak the truth. But allow God to convict, but don’t try to push the seasons. Remember that love is what we are commanded to do above all else. Even Satan can quote scripture, but only God can turn saltwater into wells overflowing abundantly with sweet water.

Be that person that mourns and laughs. Be that person that hugs and dances.
Don’t be that person that says, “Just get over it.” 

Comments

  1. This is all so true! There's a time to laugh and a time to listen...and I don't think anyone should be allowed to tell people to "get over it"! (Well, perhaps it works in some situations! But not grief.) My parents have always told my siblings that before we say something, it should be "true, kind, and necessary," not just true, or kind, or necessary, which seems pertinent here. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is definitely a time, a season, to say, "Get over it!"
      Oh, but wow. I LOVE what your parents say! Especially the necessary part. I'm going to use that proverb in my own life, and share it around ;)

      Delete
  2. Keturah, this is one of the most beautiful posts I've read, ever. So much truth AND love here.

    Just...everything you say here is golden. Thank you for writing and sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Megan! I'll be honest, this is one of my dearest posts for myself. A lot was felt and released and learned. And even now, I feel some conviction over how I've done the same to others. The circle of life ;)

      Delete
  3. Oh, I feel this post in my soul. <3 <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, this made me so grateful for friends who mourn with me and rejoice with me, and remember to BE that friend.

    "They don't have to get over it NOW" is...just...yeah. Yeah. Let's have compassion, let's enter into others' suffering and others' joy, let's care about THEM and what THEY'RE going through and not get so wrapped up in ourselves and what WE want out of our friendships. That's not what it's about.

    Thank you for this <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I too am so grateful for the friends that are there for me in the down times and the GREAT TIMES.

      "... what we want out of our friendships." Yes, yes. Friendships must give both ways, for sure ;) Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  5. this was so good. wow. you write from the soul. we were made to FULLY experience emotions....made in the likeness of an emotive God. there is such freedom in fully embracing grief and gladness, joy and pain. just love what you had to say!

    much love,
    ashley
    https://www.essentiallyash.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ashley! That's such a great point :) Grief and gladness, yes, both need embraced.

      Delete
  6. I do think at certain points people need to stop trying to fix and help people, and simply be there for them as they cry, scream, laugh. Sometimes you don't have to say anything.
    I hope you find more friends who can do that. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. of course, I also like to fix things and still try when I shouldn't, I think. But yes, it's good to just be there as people need you. Though sometimes we don't realize how we need someone until after the fact ;/

      Delete
  7. So true! I've been leading to understand this.

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I hope it's been an easy process for you :)

      Delete
  8. I had just read this post, then a friend was talking to me about a few times that I did this, and I was just like WOW. I had no idea, but this all makes so much sense and I hope to do better in the future. Thank you, Keturah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, I wrote this post, and then it was brought to my attention that I was not being a great friend, horrible at listening, etc, for a couple of my friends. Guess we often see our own faults reflected in another, but don't realize it until we're told. But the goal it to keep on learning and growing and changing and loving and doing it all over again, right? Kinda hard ;p

      Delete

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