She’s been silent since both of you arrived at the coffee shop. You know that there’s something wrong but you just can’t break through her walls.
You asked, “Hey, everything’s okay?”
She took a pause, looked at you, with eyes saying, “Help me. I’m lost.”
Yet all you heard were her words, “Yeah. Yeah, all good.”
She tried to turn around the conversation. She tried to make it all about you. She asked all sorts of things but you know she’s not listening. She’s just there; physically present but her heart is wandering.
How can you crack through the walls?
How can you break the barrier?
How can you help her open up?
As someone, who also had a tough time opening up with people, these are the things that slowly helped me communicate what I’m really going through.
How to help someone to open up?
1. Build a safe environment
It’s not that your friend doesn’t trust you enough but understand that for someone who went through deep pains, it would take a million shots before we can open our lips and start sharing the tears behind our smiles.
So please, assure us. Build a safe environment for the things we kept for so long. Hold our hand. Don’t be afraid to step into our little thick bubble. Secure us with a love that says, “You can be honest with me. Whatever you’ll say will not change my love for you. I will love you just the same.”
Soothe us with whispers that shout, “You are accepted no matter what. These past memories are no longer you.”
Encourage us to completely leave everything behind.
Persuade us to really put a closure to what happened.
Secure us with the comfort that sets us free but never condemns.
Draw us near to the Cross which lovingly gives grace to those who humble themselves.
Release us from the chains of our past.
Show us the glimpse of what God has for us on the other side.
And never let us go.
2. Ask specific questions
You don’t know how many times we already heard the question, “How are you?”
Here’s a revelation; We sweat every time we hear it.
Where do you even begin sharing? After all this roller coaster, where do you find words to reveal what’s really in the heart? How?
So here’s something you can do. Instead of throwing us the big, “How are you?” question, why not go for a clear-cut?
Ask specific questions? Go through our lives. Scan it thoroughly.
Maybe start with our job, “How’s everything at work?”
Continue with our relationships, “Hey, how are you and _____?”
Go deeper towards our family, “When was the last time you had a quality time with your family?”
If God is really leading you to touch the areas of our lives that we’ve never talked about before, then please, do us a favor and go for it.
Obey the Lord and ask, “Is this addiction going on for a long time now? Have you surrendered it to the Lord?”
And wait. Really wait in silence. Let our healing starts with your heart so willingly ready to listen.
Be patient as we step by step close every open door of the past that hold us back from embracing the unchanging love of God.
Know that as you patiently listen to every tear and to every cry, God is using you so beautifully in breaking every chain the enemy has made in our lives.
For that, we are forever grateful because you obeyed God.
3. Pray with us
If all else fails, there’s no other way but to surrender everything in prayers. Help us surrender everything that has been laid out and completely let it go to the hands of the One who gives healing and forgiveness.
Boldly pray for the next step that we have to go through. Do we need to cut a toxic relationship? Is it time to step out of our comfort zone?
Remind us that there’s no battle that is not won having the word of the Lord as our weapon. We can overcome because we are already victorious in Christ.
Follow us up daily with grace, new mercy, and love that never fades.