By Kara Witthuhn, School-Based Counselor, Christian Family Solutions
Thank you for this question and for being a good friend. Your care and concern are evident.
When a friend is struggling in this way, I would encourage you to urge them to seek support from a trusted adult. While you can be a caring, listening friend, it is not your sole responsibility to take on such a heavy subject. There are various professionals who are trained and able to help including school counselors, licensed professional counselors, and social workers. Other trusted adults may include a teacher, coach, pastor, youth leader, family member, or family friend. If she is hesitant to talk with an adult, perhaps you can offer to go with her for the first connection. That is a good role for you as a friend.
As a friend, you could also encourage her to explore self-help activities that grow positive relationships, contribute to stress relief, or promote focus on gratitude. You might suggest she join an afterschool club or sport, pursue a hobby, volunteer to help others, schedule face-to-face time with friends, join a Bible study or youth group, prioritize regular exercise, seek laughter, or read a good book.
As you have the opportunity, I also encourage you to look for opportunities to share the love of our perfect Father. In His Word, God shares many reminders that He will provide for all our needs. When life feels out of control, it is often helpful to receive encouragement to be patient in God’s promises. He promises to “work all things out for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“In the midst of the mess” – a message from 922 Ministries
Psalm 37:7; Exodus 14:14; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Romans 5:3-4
God also urges us to view the trials of life as building us up and giving us the skills to use any of our circumstances in a positive way (Matthew 10:29-31). For example:
Offer to pray that she will see how God is using this in her life, and that she will have patience as He works it all out for her good.
These answers aren’t comprehensive … They are a start. If you or someone you know needs counseling please call Christian Family Solutions Counseling Care & Services at 800-438-1772.
If you are experiencing a health emergency of any kind, please dial 911.