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“Let me know what I can do!”

It’s a phrase I use constantly….like all the time. When life happens around me and I find myself surrounded by loved ones going through hard times, it’s my go-to phrase. Quite frankly, it’s because I have no clue how to step in and help when others are in need. In my short little spurt here on earth, God has brought some amazing people into my life and at some point, we’ve all needed each other.

Bedrest. House flood. Chronic pain. Hospitalization. ER Trips. Death. Injury. Sickness. Cancer. Family Tragedy.

It’s all around us, right? I bet you have multiple people in your life right now dealing with one of these. So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do? When your words aren’t enough? When you can’t even begin to understand what someone might be going through?

Most of us truly don’t know. I certainly don’t. I recently learned what not to say: Let me know what I can do! I say it all the time. In Alongside, Sarah Beckman dominates the playing field with ideas and things to say and not say to our neighbors in their times of trial. It’s one of those books that both inspires you but also sets you straight with a good dose of reality all at the same time. For all you list makers out there, you’ll LOVE this book! It’s full of creative ways to serve the ones in our lives that are going through hard times. We all need resources on how to live in a community in such an impersonal society. 

Some of my takeaways?

Generic offers are unhelpful. {Guilty.}

Avoiding the topic is painful. {Guilty again.}

Ignoring the need is hurtful. {Yup, done that too.} 

I have to tell you, reading this was eye opening. And totally convicting (in a good way). There are so many things we can do to help each other that I had never thought of. I’m thankful for Sarah’s ability to offer practical advice on how to navigate messy situations because that’s exactly what Jesus did. He got messy. His eyes were always looking for the hurting and ours should be too. It also tackles how to set boundaries and not spread yourself too thin meeting the needs of others because we’re called to be the hand and feet of Christ. We’re not called to be Christ. 

So, if you live among brokenness- ahem, we all do- this book shares how to approach them, what to say, how to assess their needs, listen, pray, use what God put inside of you and think outside the box to offer help. If you aren’t outwardly focused before reading this book, you will be after. 

The Blythe Daniel Agency has provided me with a free copy to give away! Comment below for a chance to win the copy. I’d love to hear your biggest fear in helping people walking through hard times.