Me: Hello! How are you?
Friend: Good, how about you?
Friend: Okay, so how are you really?
How many times do we say that we‘re good when we aren’t? How many times do we smile when inside we are crying, hurting, or angry? If you are like me, probably a lot! Why do we do this? Maybe it is because most of the time when people do ask us how we are, they only expect us to answer with the usual, “good.” They don’t want to know more, really, or we don’t think that they do. Maybe it’s because we’ve tried before to say how we really are but have been met with someone nodding distractedly and not really paying attention to what we are saying.
Sadly, we can’t change the people around us. And it really isn’t our job, either…that would be God’s! 🙂 Bu, we can change ourselves and our approach. We can take what we have learned through our own hurts and experiences and love others. We can take the step to ask, “No, really, how are you?” We can also be transparent about ourselves. We can answer the question differently. A good bit of the time, they really do want to know how we are, even if we don’t think so! I have learned the hard way that you actually have to be purposeful about developing a deep friendship with someone… it doesn’t magically go from surface and fluff to real, deep fellowship. Sincerely asking how people are is such a simple yet powerful way to love others, especially since we know that there is a whole lot more behind the typical response of “good” that we usually give.
What about our own needs, though? Our own need to express what is really going on in our lives, and our longing for someone to ask how we are doing? We were not meant to do this on our own! We are not made to try and go through life without support from God and others. That is why God created Eve for Adam, He said that it was not good for Adam to be alone. We were created to simply delight in God and bring him delight! We were made for companionship. And yet, true companionship is really hard to find, isn’t it? In humans, yes. Even if we find people who we can have the kind of fellowship God designed us to have, they…and we…are still human. We will still disappoint, and we cannot completely fulfill that need in ourselves through humans. The real answer is God.
These are the things
That I need to pray
‘Cause I can’t find peace any other way
I’m a mess underneath
And I’m just too scared to show it
Everything’s not fine
And I’m not okay
But it’s nice to know
I can come this way
When I’m with You
I feel the real me finally breaking through
It’s all because of You Jesus
Anytime anywhere any heartache
I’m never too much for You to take
There’s only love
There’s only grace
When I’m with You
Nobody knows me like You do
No need for walls
You see right through
-When I’m With You, Citizens Way
We can’t hide anything from God anyway, and nothing we carry is a burden for God. He longs to hold and support us…to hear our heart, our dreams, triumphs, hurts, disappointments, and struggles. We may not be fine, and we may not be okay, but we can turn to God- even if humans don’t seem to care. And then we can comfort those around us. We can really care, really listen with the comfort and support we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
If you are hurting, or if you know someone who is hurting, please join me in seeking God’s comfort and His arms.
Your sister in Christ,