As single parents, we can’t do it all alone—especially the emotional moments. So it’s vital we find safe people who will encourage us when we feel defeated, who will celebrate the victories, and who will pray for us.
Last week I shared about running into someone I hadn’t seen in a while in Sam’s Club. She opened up about something she was struggling with, including the phrase “not that I’d put this on Facebook.” I completely understand that there are some places that aren’t safe to share our vulnerable moments.
After she opened up to me, I found myself opening up to her with something I wouldn’t post on Facebook either. Tears threatened to spill from my eyes as I asked her to pray for one of my kids who has been struggling with something I can’t fix. She prayed for this child and me right there in the aisle of Sam’s Club. It was a beautiful moment.
But not everyone is safe to open up to about struggles. Over the years I’ve learned some painful lessons about opening up or sharing too much information to the wrong people. I never wanted to be false or phony. I have always hoped that my willingness to share what I’m struggling with helped the other person feel free to share their struggles too. In the book Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity, authors Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory talk about determining if someone is a safe or unsafe person. They write, “Sharing my heart with people who do care is fuel for friendship. With those who don’t, it’s ammo for injury.” Ouch. I’ve experienced that. Have you?