Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Being a Burden Bearer

"A burden shared is a burden halved.
A joy shared is joy doubled."
-Author unknown

If you have a friend going through something difficult and feel lost as to how to care for her, take heart, you are probably doing more than you think.

Below are the five biggest blessings I've received from my burden bearers. These are the lessons I've learned about being a good friend from their example:

1.  Silence.
As a rule: Nothing is okay. What I mean by this is that it is okay to say nothing, because nothing right now in her world is really okay. Silence is wonderful; silence is the path that allows the burden to be transferred. It’s in the silent moments where her heart becomes lighter as yours becomes heavier. Bless your heart, dear friend of the hurting, for placing yourself in that moment. Don't be afraid of the silence. The one hurting knows there is not much to say, but having someone sit in silence {even on the other end of the phone} is truly enough.

2. Saying no.
Say no to hearing all the details – you’re a partial burden bearer – if one person could handle the whole truth, your friend wouldn’t be confiding in you in the first place.

3. Safety
Keep her confidence. Be someone that your friend can share anything with because she knows you won't tell anyone without her permission (with the exception of safety being compromised). But know that if she feels safe, then she won't be guarded; understand that her words may be illogical at times, she may need to vent to gain clarity for herself. Allow her to continue to speak without fear of judgement. Don't allow her to listen to lies; let her ask questions aloud without answering them yourself. And don't jump on the first thing she says that you don't agree with. Being a burden bearer requires trust and a certain amount of bandwidth for your friend to speak her thoughts; she may not agree with everything that comes out of her own mouth at this time, but speaking it aloud will allow her to realize that.

4. Truth.
Speak truth every time you meet. Truth about her worth to God, truth about God's character and truth about the situation. Don't allow her to listen to the lies of the enemy. Speaking truth repeatedly helps the hurting hear God more clearly and silence the lies.

5. Point to God
Finish each meeting well. Pray for her, when you're together, and afterwards. Always point the hurting to depend on God, to look for where He is at work (because He is), and to press in to Him. Point them to scripture. Model trusting the Lord in this time with that particular situation.

Remember that you are a vessel as a burden bearer. And ultimately, you are a partner in God's work. You do this for His glory; He will give you the grace and wisdom you need.

Praise be to the Lord,
to God our Saviour,
who daily bears our burdens.
-Psalm 68:19 

This post is linked to TimeWarp Wife's Titus 2sday Link up too!
This post is linked to WLW's Wednesday Link Up Party. Link up too!

1 comment:

  1. All good points, and #4-speaking the truth is really a key. Thanks for sharing these. I'm a new follower and would appreciate it if you'd check out my site: It features one-minute devotions for women. Thanks!