I have a tendency to go it alone and by going it alone, I mean going it a-l-o-n-e as in, in silence. By myself. I can write about deep and personal all day long and give snippets of what is actually happening in my life that just may elude to the fact that I need some “withness” but rarely will say I say, “H-E-L-P.” I’ll just flounder for a while and eventually come up under the water having caught my breath, as I always and eventually do…and tarry on.

But today I was done tarrying alone. I got down and gritty with a few friends and didn’t think twice about what they may think of me and what I said. Because friends don’t really care what it is that you say, I mean…I really don’t think so. At least I don’t. I don’t think they absorb every word and think, “Ah, she’s in THAT place and I thought she was in t-h-a-t place. How sad.” I’m pretty sure from knowing mine that their heart breaks when mine does and they can read through the cursing, the emotions and the lies I’m believing and hear what I am really asking for…

WITHNESS. 

Because lies are awfully isolating.

Friends don’t have to fix anything in this place and I’m certainly not looking for magic words, sometimes, I’d rather not have any. When I get to the point where I say, “I am having an awfully bad, no good day,” I’m really saying, “I am going to jump off this ledge. I am drowning in this water. I feel all alone. Can you be with me?”

And as good friends go, they text or call or show up AT YOUR DOOR and you secretly wish they would go away because you have a good mad on and you want to stay that way, but you can’t…your friend is there, standing on your porch about to ring your door bell for the SECOND time and she knows you are home. There is no escape. She’s relentless and refuses to let you go it alone and you realize…

You are getting exactly what you asked for.

Support and love flood in various forms, all are tender and merciful. And though nothing seems fixed, everything seems doable. Because no matter how you DO IT, you know that you KNOW, you won’t be doing it alone.

So friends, if you are standing in the boat or on the ledge and you find yourself by yourself and are tempted to jump, I encourage you to ask someone into that space with you. Jumping itself is not bad, in fact, sometimes you just GOT TO take the leap, but invite someone to do it WITH you. The circumstance of life can be heavy and weighted and if you are not careful, they can bog you down into a deep abyss. But the funny thing with withness is it changes your perspective and fills you with hope. I think of Peter walking on the water towards Jesus, “Eyes on the prize and things will be fine.” Without focus, the storms are rather distracting.

Invite someone into your storm. Allow them to be Jesus in the flesh.

Stay focused. Stay steady. Stay WITH them.