Say Yes to Your People

We are called to be a people that refuse to settle for less than the goodness of God for our people. The abundance God calls us into is a life free from depression, anxiety, addiction, etc. As great as that sounds, it is a lot easier to hear than to actually walk out. It matters how you show up for your people. It may be the most important thing for your community. Community meets us in the pit. Community speaks truth. Community bears each other’s burdens and gives them to Jesus. Community should point us back to Jesus always. Community should help us step into the fullness of life, because they earnestly desire God’s best for us.

In the past several days, I’ve been thinking about my freshmen year a ton. Freshmen year was rough for a lot of reasons. I’m sure we can all remember those awkward freshmen year days when all of us were desperate to feel seen but didn’t know what that would mean. There is a huge difference between being known and being seen. Friends see you. Community knows you. Friends will notice that something is wrong. Community will earnestly seek you out when everything seems okay. Friends see when you’re not physically there. Community knows when you aren’t mentally present.

One of the clearest pictures I had of community my freshmen year was my small group leaders, Lauren and KB. They were amazing and still serve as a shining beacon of hope. I could never say enough good things about them. When I was a freshman, I struggled with depression and didn’t have words to put with my feelings. All I knew was that I was in a bad place and I needed people. I still remember February was a particularly rough month of my freshmen year. I just was at my end, I had done everything I knew how to do and it still hurt so much. I had reached out to Lauren one week and said that I just didn’t know what to do. She showed me Jesus’ love in the most clear way I could have possibly asked for. She met me in that dark place that I was in, took my hand in hers, and put my hand in Jesus’. She knew that she couldn’t do or say anything, she understood her limitations. She didn’t try to have all the answers, and truthfully, I wasn’t looking for answers. I was looking for someone to stand beside me and love me when I had absolutely nothing to give them. I was looking for someone to see past all the brokenness I felt so deep inside.

If someone in your life struggles with depression, whether it is mild to severe symptoms, the biggest advice I would give is to just walk with them. The biggest gift that you could give them is to earnestly pursue them in prayer and actually live those prayers out. Give actions to the things you say. Be the person that shows their love and excitement as much as you say it. Often times they aren’t looking for someone to have any answers, they just need to know someone cares enough to try to be there. You are under no pressure to “fix” their depression. That is a battle for Jesus. The best news is that Jesus is WAY better at taking care of our people than we ever thought was possible.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”Romans 12:15

This verse shows a depth of character that can only be explained by intimacy with Jesus. Will you be able to weep with those who weep when you are in a season of rejoicing and vice versa? Community invites you into every moment and does not ask you to be anything less than the authentic version of yourself. Community does not pursue a result, they pursue connection. God can come and encounter us in a normal conversation we have with our friends as much as he can with a Wesley service. God can move mountains in the way we choose to be kind to our people. God can confront the lies our people believe about themselves by using our choice to stay in the mess. God can meet someone in the pit by the way we choose to reach out to our friends that seem like they have everything put together on the outside. God can use our yes. Say yes to your people. Stay present when it would be easier to be anywhere else. Your people will be grateful. God will move in their hearts even if we can’t see it.

Author | Cristina Rosiles

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