Life can be so complicated and unpredictable. Today has been one of those days for me. My day started off with three MRIs: one for my brain, one for my neck and one for my back. My dear sweet husband took the morning off from work to hold my hand, comfort me, and pray for me because he knows that I am claustrophobic and that MRIs cause me great anxiety! Today was one of those days when I just needed my husband’s presence. As I went further into the MRI tube, he held my leg, and just knowing he was there brought me tremendous comfort. While sitting in the waiting room before my MRI and filling out my paperwork, I realized that today is February 13, my mom’s birthday. If my mom were still alive today, she would have turned 77!

We think we have to do something, but presence is a powerful action of its own. – Sarah Beckman

I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately. She died a few years ago after she was taken off of life support just days after Christmas. Family relations and emotions were all running high. Many friends called, texted and offered support. Whenever anyone offered to help I would simply ask for prayer. I would say that I was alright when in reality I wasn’t.

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In trying times, people tend to say they are okay and don’t need anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I will never forget the loving kindness of a friend who offered to stop by the hospital to bring food, and she would not take no for an answer. Not only did she bring me food, but she also took the time to listen to me. We prayed, we sang, and she sat with me as the Lord called my mom home. Her presence at that moment in my life was powerful and it is a gift that I will forever cherish.

How do we walk alongside someone in the midst of trying circumstances?

There’s a unique opportunity to love our neighbor when they experience a time of trial in their life. – Sarah Beckman

We all experience difficult trials in life, and we know people close to us that suffer hardships. How do we love and care for others well in their crisis?  The answer to this question is the purpose of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial. This must-read book is an invaluable resource for walking alongside those in need.

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This book is filled with questions to consider. It offers practical ways to love people through the storms of life and will help you figure out the best way to respond to the individual’s needs. You will learn to know your place in relationship to the person in need, and what you should do accordingly. It will also give a good understanding of possible needs and how people may be feeling, including general guidelines to consider and questions to help prepare for the journey ahead.

Part 2 of the book is dedicated to taking action. Know when to go, and when to pray. When I went to the hospital to give birth to my son whose heart had stopped beating in my womb, my sweet friends wanted to come to the hospital. While having my friends at the hospital that day was a kind gesture, what I needed most was time to grieve alone with my family. There is a chapter dedicated to respecting the person’s journey and includes information on privacy and dignity, and other chapters offer specific help, including being present, showing love through food, listening well and much more.

Finally, the book concludes with chapters on special circumstances, including: messy situations, when faith isn’t shared, when you’ve been there, when someone is aging, and terminal illness. In the appendix, there are scriptures for loving your neighbor which are divided into categories and a list of websites, books, and other helpful resources like meal coordination and online fundraising.

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For more information visit Sarah Beckman’s website.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

I have one autographed copy of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial to give away! 

From now until February 28th, leave a comment below with either a way that you have come alongside someone in need or how someone has blessed you in a difficult time, to be eligible to win. Also, if you enjoyed reading this blog post please share with a friend.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

This week’s Linkups:

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Posted by Misty Phillip

By His Grace: Seek Jesus, Study the Word, Grow in Grace Bible Study Author, Christian Lifestyle Blogger, & Speaker www.MistyPhillip.com

16 Comments

  1. You always bring books worth reading to my attention and this is no exception. I would love to win a copy.

    My church has been amazing at scheduling meals after all 5 of my babies’ births. Of course, those visits often have the added benefit of friends oohing and aahing over the baby I just worked so hard to deliver! I have done ok (but not as well as I would like) at doing the same.

    The two things that come to mind are inviting people over spontaneously after they received bad news and hosting them during a move.

    My best friend called to say that her dad no longer had any medical options left to treat his cancer. I was finishing up making dinner, so we invited them over. It was a new soup recipe and great comfort food to them.

    Another friend (and homeschool family) put their house on the market. They had an open invitation to come over with absolutely no notice. They came over 2-3 times a week for several weeks. We also helped them pack up and let them sleep at our house the night before their move. It was heartbreaking to help them move out of state, but it filled their needs and helped us make some deep last-minute memories.

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  2. Janis, Thank you for your thoughtful comment, and for sharing ways that you have walked alongside others!
    Blessings to you! ❤ Misty

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  3. Becca Starks 02/15/2017 at 1:10 pm

    Wow! This spoke to my heart in so many ways. 1-I am so sorry for your loss of your son. I have lost babies as well and my heart aches for you. God is still soooo good! When I went through it, I didn’t tell anyone so had others known and been armed with this info-I’m sure the healing process would have been much different.
    2-I am now on the giving end of styrofoam cups and straws literally every day this week. I lost my job recently, but God has used me in ways I never thought possible. I have been staying with a close friend in the hospital as her daughter battles (and is healed from) encephalitis. Rubbing her back and just holding that cup is all I know to do. This confirms so much that just that is enough.

    Thank you!!

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    1. Becca, Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement. When we lost our son we had a funeral for him, and at the time I had friends that didn’t understand why we did that. But through attending our sons funeral they found healing and peace. I pray the Lord has brought you healing. Sorry for your job loss, but I know your fiend is blessed to have you help her and minister to her daughter through this difficult situation. I have a son with autoimmune encephalitis and I know how difficult that can be….Heavenly Father thank you so much for Becca and her love for you and others, I ask that you would bless her for walking alongside her friend and daughter, and know that they are all greatly loved by you! I pray for healing from the encephalitis and patience in the waiting. You are a good Father, the great physician and I thank you for all that you are doing in Becca’s life. We love you Lord! Blessings to you today Becca! ❤️ much love, Misty

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  4. This sounds like a wonderful book! Can’t wait to read it whether I win or not!
    4 years ago when my son had seizures and was in the hospital, before being diagnosed with epilepsy, I was weeping in my car on the hour drive home from the hospital (yeah not the best time to cry) and felt so far from God. I cried out to Him and in that moment I FELT the prayers of my friends. I don’t know how else to put it but it was the balm that my soul needed, knowing that right then my son had dozens of people praying on Facebook. I’ve never had that feeling since, but it was an incredible moment for me.

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    1. Liz, What a beautiful testimony! I remember that helpless feeling that I had watching my son continuously seize in the hospital as a baby. As a parents we never want to see our children suffer, and when they are seizing we are completely helpless! Praise God for prayer warrior friends and that even when we feel so helpless and alone that God is near. I love Psalm 34:18 in the ESV it says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” I hope your son is doing better now. Praise the Lord, my son has been seizure free for over 16 years now!! Thanks so much for sharing your testimony of God’s mercy and goodness, and the prayer warriors who came alongside you in your hour of need. Blessings, Misty

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      1. My son is 6 now and has. Even off his medication for two years ❤️

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      2. Praise the Lord!!! ❤️️

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  5. Misty, what a precious book. I haven’t heard of that one, thanks for reviewing it. — I’m so sorry for your losses — your son, your mom — Hug.

    Prayers that all your tests come back well. I, too, am claustrophobic and those MRI machines…good gracious. Have you tried the ones that are (supposedly) open? Those are the ones I use. Still not wonderful, but I’d have to be put to sleep to do the others, so it’s at least doable for me. (I wish I understood claustrophobia. It’s so nonsensical, yet — it’s a thing!)

    It seems like a lot of my “help someone in need” moments have been in the form of meals and childcare and prayer. And listening. Listening feels so sacred when someone is hurting.

    Thanks for sharing with #ChasingCommunity today. ((Hug)) (Please keep us posted on your test results — hugs and prayers)

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    1. Brenda, Along just came out this week!! This is a great book! It is packed full of both practical advice and wisdom to know how to love those going through difficult times. Because they were scanning my brain I had to have a closed MRI, but PTL everything looks good!

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  6. This sounds like such a good book with wonderful advice and resources. I had not heard of it but was drawn to the title. I think we so often try to bandage someone’s situation because we don’t know what to say or do. This sounds like such practical advice. I hope her book does well. Thanks for sharing your heart with us here. I will be praying for you. Have a great week, Misty.

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    1. Hi! Jaime, This book just launched and you are right it is filled with practical advice on walking others through difficult days. All of my tests came back okay. You are so kind to pray for me! Blessings to you on your ministry. ❤️ Misty

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      1. Praise the Lord!

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  7. Hi Misty, I remember when friends came alongside me in a marriage crisis. They listened, prayed, and lifted me up. I valued their time commitment to me and their prayers as well. It made all the difference in helping me get through that hard time successfully. This looks like a good read!

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    1. Sarah, Aren’t you so thankful for faithful friends that can love and pray us through difficult times? This book is full of wisdom and practical advice to help those in need! Blessings, Misty

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  8. Congratulations Brenda Ottinger you are the winner of the autographed copy of Alongside!

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