When Your Friend Struggles - Encouragement Café - September 17, 2015


When Your Friend Struggles

Café Menu for Thursday, September 17, 2015

Today’s Special is:  Learning to Love, Pray and Listen

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Rachel Piferi

Main Ingredient:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 NIV


Have you ever had a loved one who looked at you with helplessness and broken heartedness in their eyes?  What do you do when someone you love suffers from depression?

A few years ago, my best friend went through a period of serious depression.  As she began to slip into depression, I would send her cards, text her Scripture, pray for her, and with her, to help her.  We would go shopping and have fun and laugh for an afternoon.  But despite the cards, the Scripture and the shopping, her despair wasn’t lifting. 

I remember talking one day as she shared how sad she was.  How lost.  How lonely.  As I looked into her eyes, eyes that previously were so full of life, my heart broke.  Her eyes were so sad and I felt her sadness to my very core.

As I listened and realized that depression had set in, I began to feel so helpless.  Nothing I said or tried seemed to work for very long.  And as she suffered, so did I.  Oh how I wanted my sweet friend to be released from the hold that depression had on her.  And oh how I prayed.

And through my many prayers, God revealed to me that I couldn’t heal her.  I could love her, cry with her, hold her hand, and wipe her tears.  I could listen and I could pray.  

But I couldn’t heal her from the hold that depression had on her.

Only Jesus could do that.

It was really hard to watch someone I loved so dearly struggle so profoundly.  And it was harder still to realize that there was nothing I could really do to lift her struggle.  But over time the Lord gave me peace that HE is the Great Healer and I was simply her friend, who would walk the journey to healing with her.

Take Out:

Depression is a very serious and complicated illness.  And when someone we love endures it, the best help we can offer is prayer to the Great Physician… the only One who can truly heal.  Remember we can love, pray, and listen.  But we can’t heal… only Jesus can do that.


Dear Heavenly Father, empower me to be the friend I need to be as my friend endures depression.  I know You will give me the wisdom I seek to know what to say, what to do, and how to love my friend as she endures.  Lord, You are in control and I am not.  I am Your servant.  Use me and be with my friend as she walks through the valley.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2015 by Rachel Piferi.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Thursday, 17 September 2015.