Purposeful Faith

Purposefully Faithful Friendship in Seasons of Sorrow

“What can I do to help?” my friend asked. “How can I be there for you?”

I was going through another foggy season of depression, struggling to get out of bed in the morning, unable to focus on tasks I normally enjoyed, and just not feeling like myself. Even though I wasn’t surprised my friend of over fourteen years posed the question, that didn’t make me any less grateful she was willing to ask.

It’s difficult to know how to support friends in their seasons of sorrow, especially if they’re going through disappointments, betrayal, and loss we haven’t experienced before. Thankfully, the Bible offers general principles for being a purposefully faithful friend in seasons of sorrow:

Be quick to listen and slow to speak {James 1:19}.

Proverbs 25:20 says, “Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.” There are times when using words to address your friend’s pain is not only useless but causes more harm. When words are necessary, focus on acknowledging your friend’s pain or asking questions to better understand what they are going through. We live in a culture that values quick fixes, but some types of heartache are long-suffering or can’t be fixed, especially with words. Have faith enough that God will bring healing, understanding, peace or comfort in His perfect timing.

Pray without ceasing {1 Thessalonians 5:17}.

Your friend may feel so discouraged they don’t have the energy, words, or desire to pray. Remind them their pain and anxieties are still being lifted up to heaven by saying: “Even when you don’t know how to pray, I am praying for you.” And then pray for miracles. Pray for peace that passes understanding. Pray for beauty to be created out of the dark, ugly ashes of your friend’s sorrow. Pray Jesus will come back and wipe away your friend’s tears once and for all.

Contribute to their needs {Romans 12:13}.

Show up in your friend’s life in tangible ways. Bring them dinner, coffee, or a treat you know they love. If applicable, offer to babysit their kids for a couple hours, clean their house, or fold laundry. Instead of saying, “Let me know if you need anything,” offer something specific.

Let your love bear all things and endure all things {1 Corinthians 13:7}.

You don’t know when your friend’s pain will end. This is a hard truth that can make friendship in seasons of sorrow frustrating or downright awkward. But persevere, remembering there may come a time you will need them to be a purposefully faithful friend in your life.

In his book Lament for a Son, Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote, “In commanding us to love, God invites us to suffer.” Learning true compassion means being willing to walk alongside our friends in times of both laughter and tears.



Kendra recently launched an online community called Mourning Companion to teach readers the lost language of lament and share advice for people supporting friends in seasons of sorrow. Follow along her ministry on Facebook and Instagram as @mourningcompanion. Kendra also enjoys writing about her everyday experiences of motherhood and neighboring on Facebook and Instagram as @kendrabroekhuis. She is the author of Here Goes Nothing: An Introvert’s Reckless Attempt to Love Her Neighbor. The book highlights her 30 Day journey to recognize God’s love in her daily life, as well as her somewhat awkward attempts to share that love with her neighbors. For her day job, Kendra stays home with three of their children in the city of Milwaukee.

Amazon Link:





General writing page: https://www.facebook.com/kendrabroekhuisauthor/

Mourning Companion page: https://www.facebook.com/mourningcompanion/




About author View all posts Author website


Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

Read more about Kelly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *