For those who find themselves in a position to be there for someone in need of encouragement, uplifting, or deep healing or rescue, there are many things the untrained, unlicensed person can do to be an effective support to the person. But there are one or two guiding principles beneath it all from which to build and work from that are vital in every case.
The foundation of creating a safe place and genuine fellowship with someone where they will find the comfort to open up is consistent unconditional love and trust-building, being there for and with them without pushing. Remember, it’s all about empowering them to make choices while you focus on providing the most loving, welcoming, safe environment in your friendship with them. And they will gravitate to that by God’s grace, to places of openness and surrender. Be ever so patient with them, and, against all within, allow them to take the step they want to take without snatching them yourself.
Remember, the slower the step, the more sure and permanent it will be. Embrace what they give and trust the process…the process of maintaining the atmosphere of safety and acceptance, and planting seeds of love in the soil of their heart. Be confident while in the process with them. Incidentally it takes the pressure of performance and now-results off you. Of course, often this can be easier said than done, but it’s a principle that can be worked towards and improved upon. Allow your faith to build and stretch in this. Trust the hand of God beyond your own on their life, even if they choose to step away, to run, to go back to where they came from. Note that it’s not a backstep—it is all part of their forward journey to eventual surrender to freedom.