Saturday, March 17, 2012

Has Someone Reached Out to You For Help?
Guest Post: Melissa Kelly

Maybe you're not a professional licensed counselor, a pastor, or someone in an "official position".  Many women choose someone to share with first who is not one of these people.  My friend Melissa Kelly has been in both situations. She's served as the person in the official position of leadership, and also served on the other side of things, just being approached as a friend. I call Melissa a "go to" person. A lot of people trust her with challenging situations and she has unique experience to speak to this. No matter what place you find yourself in today, here's some great advice from her about helping those who are in pain. Just a reminder that all of our guest bloggers this week are available to chat with you in the comment section here on the blog or on my facebook page where the blog also publishes. 
  
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There have been so many times that I have sat at the end of a phone call, Facebook chat/message or next to someone on a pew or couch as they have poured out their brokenness.  There have been countless opportunities to sit quietly, praying secretly for the right words to say and many times only being able to say, “Let’s pray.”

Being “the person” that many people come to does not come without responsibilities.  As that person, you have to be able to speak truth into the situation, be available and set boundaries as well as know what is shared with you is strictly between you and that person.  Unless what is shared is life threatening, it should NEVER be repeated, PERIOD.

Honestly, this is not a ministry that is seen or heard.   I believe it is a ministry that God works in and through you.  It’s not something whereby you can stand up and say, “Hey come to me I will pray with you and be the emotional and spiritual support you need...”  If that is what you think I got news for you…NO ONE will come to you for prayer!  It’s not something that you can get a degree for either.  Don’t confuse your ability to “be there” as the spiritual/prayer support for friends with being a professional counselor.  You have to know your limitations. Many times the issues/situations that are presented to you may require licensed professional counseling.  

This is a humbling position to be in.  If you find yourself being the person that people tend to come to in confidence for prayer, know that God’s call upon your life requires much of you and it’s not something you should go around and boast in.  I have to say that sharing with everyone here in this post about“being that person” is hard for me because it is not something I boast about or talk about that often.

I believe there are some of you reading this today that God uses through your commitment to pray for others when they come to you.  You are that friend that everyone comes to for prayer or advice and sometimes it feels like you have no one to turn to yourself.  Let me encourage you by saying that the time you spend listening to others brokenness and praying with them does not go unnoticed!  Your prayers DO make a difference! God does see and hear all that you do.  He knows who He should send the broken to and I can tell you it’s not going to be that person boasting in “callings and titles!”  He will send the broken to the trustworthy, honest and those that can show His love to them.  

Can I encourage you today?  If you are “the person” that is always “being there” for others make sure you spend time in prayer.  Not just for those that have come to you but for yourself.  Seek the Lord for guidance, strength, even emotional and spiritual rest.  

Listening to other people's brokenness can be draining and that is why it is so important to be spending time reading God’s Word and speaking to your Heavenly Father.  Don’t allow the brokenness of others to bring you down spiritually.  You have to set boundaries and realize that although you care about their well being, these are their hurts, not yours. Release what has been told to you into the Lord’s hands and let Him heal the brokenness.

 Maybe you are the one that is breaking inside and need someone to confide in and are searching for someone you can go to for spiritual support.  Maybe you are fearful to open up to someone because of past hurts or the fear of what others will think of you.  Take that step and reach out!  Everyone needs someone.  It’s how God created us…we need each other.  

Sometimes finding the person you can open up to is difficult when you are hurting because of the fear of being hurt even more.  I get that, I have been there as well.  I thought I had found someone I could open up to and they used it against me and it hurt even more than the original insult.  That is when I realized that I have to be cautious and ask the Lord to show me who to go to.  Thankfully I have someone in my life that I can open up to and share what I am going through and never have to worry about what that person thinks.  She is “my person” that I can let the walls down and share openly with. She is the first person I have met that will stop everything to pray with me and many times it’s the first thing she will do before she even shares her advice.

 Here are the top qualities of a prayer partner…

1. Trustworthiness – Without this there really is no point in listening to others or sharing your heart with someone.

2. Does not gossip…does not share with others as “prayer requests” especially if the person asks that it stay between the two of you.

3. Honest - The ability to admit you/they do not have the answers but know the One that does.

4. Committed to prayer.  If you say you are going to pray from someone…THEN DO IT!  Don’t just listen and walk away…always pray with that person if you are able to. (I will admit I have not always prayed immediately with the person if we were online chatting or messaging through emails but I have ALWAYS prayed for the person and in some cases prayed daily for that person till they received their breakthrough.)

5. Speak the truth – Sharing your experience and opinions may help but only if they are grounded in the Word of God. Using scripture to address situations is always the best choice.  

6. Compassionate – Trying to understand what the person is going through is more helpful that just having answers.  Sometimes the person may have the answer and they just want someone to listen to them and support them.

7. A Listener – Hurting people don’t need someone to talk at them.  They need someone to listen to them first and foremost.

These are the qualities I seek out in someone that will “be there” for me and I try to always be for those that seek me out.  Scripture tells us, “Bear ye one another’s burdens so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:20) 

I pray that as you are used in your daily life that God will use you to do just as this scripture says.   

Blessings!







Melissa Kelly and her family make their home in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. She is a minister, a minister's wife, a mother of four young children, and a prolific blogger. She is a writer for the Pastoring Partners Network, and someone countless people depend on for wisdom and prayer, particularly in life's challenging situations.

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