Friend to the Grieving

friendship grieving May 30, 2019

by Michelle Milowe

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

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
-E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

Growing up in the church, I have had the blessing of many mentors through the many stages and seasons of my life. They are all compassionate and God-fearing women, and I am forever thankful for them. But in my darkest season, there is one mentor-friend who reached the deepest into my hurting heart and held my hand closest through it all.

I say mentor-friend because though one can be a friend without being a mentor, I do not think one can be a mentor without being a friend.

I suspect she hardly knows just how much I have always looked up to her and to what extent her wisdom and beauty has influenced me. She (most importantly) loves Jesus, passionately. She is also perhaps the most real person I have ever met, unapologetically. These qualities make her beyond approachable and allowed her to speak into me.

But it wasn’t the theology filled maxims and quantity of memorized Scripture that made her a mentor—though her words and prayers were grace-filled and had a foundation in God’s word—it was her presence with me in my grief.

When she met me, I was crippled by fear and anxiety and very alone. She took me under her wing, took me to breakfast, took me on trips, involved me in everything, involved herself in my pain. She sat with me while I cried and cried, listened to my broken ranting, loved me through my broken choices, and walked with me through all that thick pain into healing, redemption, and light. She wept as I wept; she rejoiced in my joy.

I had nothing to give, but she gave her time to me. Her presence was a holy thing in my grief. A mentor is a friend and a friend mentors most when she meets you wherever you are, walks with you through whatever season. After all, isn’t that what Jesus—the ultimate mentor—is to us? “Oh, what a friend I have in Jesus,” the old hymn goes. He came down in human flesh to dwell among us, to meet us in our broken humanity. He wept and rejoiced and loved us.

Is there a hurting person in your life that you feel called to walk alongside in mentorship, but fear that you don’t have the Bible knowledge base to address their pain, to say the right thing? Surrender that hesitancy to the Lord. Be an example, but be their friend. Walk with them as you walk with Jesus. The love you have for Him and the wisdom you seek from His Word will, like a spring, naturally pour out in simply being with them.

Rejoice, weep, love, walk. Be a mentor-friend to the grieving – that in itself is a tremendous thing.


Michelle Milowe - 
Michelle is recently married to the love of her life, Chris, and together they live a beautifully ordinary life in Grand Rapids, MI with their dog, cat, and many plants. She adores exploring quaint towns, thrifting, and eating bread and cheese. She desires to write her story that others may know the goodness of God and the hope that can be found in Him. Michelle works for a nonprofit organization in Grand Rapids but is also thrilled to be teaming with MORE through social media management.

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