Dear Friend, Who is struggling…

Dear Friend,

I sat across from you today. You are struggling, you are tired.

As looked into her eyes I recognized the exhaustion and the fear. I recognized the question, the one that asks am I going to be okay? I remembered a dark season in my life. I remembered when I was so undone with anxiety that I couldn’t take the kids to the beach or even make it out of the house.

I remembered when I had no hope.

I remembered a friend who showed up every single day on my doorstep. She’d ask, “What are you afraid of today?” I’d tell her and she’d listen. She’d really listen…that was the gift. When I’d run all out of words I would sit shaking on my porch trying to feel the sun that beat down all around me, but never touched my skin.

Then she would say, “You are okay, your kids are okay. This is just fear and anxiety,” and I would cry until all the tears were gone.

And the next day she’d be back, because I’d already forgotten the truth.

Sometimes we need truth holders in our lives because our grip is not strong enough.

Sometimes we need to stand with each other until the sun comes up.

Right now, you are low. Right now you feel like a fragmented version of yourself. It’s okay to fall apart. When you are low, others are high. When you are broken, others are okay.

We have all been undone. We have all been undone, and then we get put back together piece by piece, and when we find someone else who is suffering we understand deeper and wider. We can hold space for them because we get it.

So friend, I take your hand, like she took mine, because we will walk through this together. There have been so many times in the past I’ve watched friends suffer from a distance because I wasn’t sure what to say, and I was afraid of making it worse. I made their pain about me, and I still cringe when I think about it. I wish that I’d showed up. I wish I’d been brave.

I’m done letting my fear keep me from staying close.

I will not do it perfectly; in fact, sometimes I might do it awkwardly and terribly. I will probably say the wrong thing. I will probably make you mad.

I’m okay with that now.

I will listen to you until you’re all out of words. I will listen, and I will listen, and then I will take your hand because you are not alone.

I will take your hand because you are going to be okay.

Whatever you do, do not forget that there are songs still left to sing. There are joyful moments coming around the corner that will take your breath away. This, my friend, feels like everything. It feels all consuming and that hope won’t ever come, but it’s not true…

The sun will come up.

You will laugh again. You will laugh so hard that your stomach aches and tears spill out. I promise. Things will be funny again.

You will have moments again when you hold your kids and your heart breaks into a million pieces, because your love is fuller and more overwhelming than you ever knew it could be.


Those are the moments that it is worth hanging on for. They are the moments that are worth more than a thousand years of everything.

Someday, you will be past this and you will look back and thank God that you’re on this side of the storm, and then you will thank yourself because it turns out you are stronger than you knew.

Joy is coming. It can’t resist you. You can’t resist it. Even when everything is so dark and dingy and hopeless, hang on, because it will come.

For now, when you can’t hope, I will hope for you.

When you can’t see, I will see for you.

And one day soon you will feel the sun again on your own.


Your Friend


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15 responses to “Dear Friend, Who is struggling…”

  1. Lynne Netschke Avatar
    Lynne Netschke

    It is a wonderful thing to be on both ends of a friendship!

  2. Completely short of words after reading the post in its entirety.There are so many emotions,thoughts and believes forming and setting up.At this point of time,I too have the fear of staying close to people.Your words have given me new perspective to ponder over and think and act in a more clear way.Love and hugs.

  3. Michelle Anderson Avatar
    Michelle Anderson

    These words have left imprints on my heart and I needed this so very much. Thank you for the hope.


  4. You left me hanging on to every, single word. I know the feelings too well. The feelings on both sides. Your post begins with a weakness and ends so bold, strong, and encouraging. It emits hope. Wow, just wows! So powerful. You have many “friends, who are struggling” out there and I am sure this will help so many. Thanks!

  5. Thank you so much 💕

  6. I stumbled across your blog about a month ago. I look forward to your posts. This one came at the right time. You see I’ve made it through the storm once and everything you say is true. I needed a reminder that all will be OK because I find myself in the eye of the storm once again. Raising children is tough and raising your grand children feels tougher. I don’t get to spoil them like I’m supposed to. I struggle everyday wondering if I’m enough. Keep posting. Thank you

  7. Reblogged this on Mugglestones and Mayhem and commented:
    Thank you, Wonderoak for this inspirational piece on rising from the depths of anxiety and fear. I am so grateful to have my friends and to be a friend to them.

  8. This.
    Every. Single. Word.
    Thank you for posting this. You are such an inspiration to many, including myself. I am in the midst of this right now. Some days are good, some are great, but even more are very low. Thankful for people {friends} like you. ❤️

  9. Truly inspirational . Wonderful heartfelt words. How did you know those words were just what I needed to hear today?? Thank you so very much. Sue xx

  10. “Whatever you do, do not forget that there are songs still left to sing. There are joyful moments coming around the corner that will take your breath away. This, my friend, feels like everything. It feels all consuming and that hope won’t ever come, but it’s not true…

    The sun will come up.”

    Such beautiful words, thank you for sharing them!!

  11. Lovely! Thank you for your beautiful and loving words! ❤️

  12. The problem with this is that it assumes one has a friend or family. It’s hard(er) for those of us who don’t have a single person to call (outside of the husband working at his job). I realize this is well intentioned but not everyone has these resources.

  13. Hi Jennifer, that is so difficult. I’m so sorry. This post was a personal account and a letter to a real friend who is struggling, so I understand that it misses a lot of people’s particular circumstances. Much love my friend, I hope that you find your people and that the sun shines for you very soon.

  14. You have no idea how much this helped me, thank you.

  15. Hi, I love the way you write so simply about complex and sometimes opposite feelings. It would mean a lot to me if you could have a look at my poem called my lovely ( written for my best friends) and tell me what you think. Thank you.

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