Both professionally in my private practice as a neuropsychologist, but also personally, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it 100 times: “I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything.”

People come to me when they are broken and hurting, in need of help, in need of answers. They aren’t sure if their child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a learning disability, or autism. Others come perhaps because their spouse has normal-age related cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s dementia. Many present with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Some come out of desperation because loved ones are addicted to substances and in need of help. Regardless of the reason they come to my office, the one thing that is almost universal to all: they are afraid. They don’t know what is wrong, what I’ll find, what can be done about it, or what the future holds.

I’ve wrestled in my own brokenness. In rejection. In abandonment. In fear. In insecurity. In loneliness.

As a couple, my husband and I have gone through the valley together: several bouts of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, joblessness, miscarriage, burglaries, financial difficulties…

Whether it’s been watching my patients’ journeys, or our own, I’ve come to realize that very few people know how to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

Is it because we fear saying the wrong thing? Do we have so little faith that the Holy Spirit would give us the words to say if we asked?

Are we afraid we might have to be inconvenienced? I think probably the friends who lowered their friend through the roof to Jesus were pretty inconvenienced. So was the good Samaritan.

Is it because we fear the pain might somehow be contagious, and we too would have to feel the pain? Even Jesus wept when His friend Lazarus died.

Rather than saying you were praying, did you stop right then and pray with the one who needed the prayer, the one who perhaps couldn’t utter more than a whispered, “Help”?

I’m not interested in whether you’ve stood with the great. That doesn’t impress me. I don’t get star-struck. I’m more interested in whether you’ve sat with the broken. Have you taken the time to really be there. In the dark times. In the times when perhaps there wasn’t anything you could do, but offer to be present.

Don’t worry about having the perfect words, or knowing what to do. Just be willing to be present. Sit with the broken. That speaks volumes.

One day, you’ll need someone to do that for you in your own brokenness.

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!

 

(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)

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Hope Prevails Book and Hope Prevails Bible Study {hope for overcoming depression}

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Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the new companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand: how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.

 

Do you know what it means to sit with the broken, weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice? Will you sit with the broken? Some day you may need someone to sit with you in your brokenness.

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