I Can’t Tell You What You Want To Hear

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We all have that one friend.  That one friend that we can call anytime of the day.  That friend who will listen while you vent, scream and cry.  Last week I called my friend Hatty back in Michigan.  I texted her first.  When she saw my text. Can you talk?  She knew right away that it was important.  That was our secret code.  But we couldn’t be like the boy who cried wolf with the code.  We only used the code when we really needed it.

I needed to talk with Hatty.  She called right away and I just went off. I had to vent and she listened. Hatty didn’t make a sound or give advice.  She just listened. After a few minutes she told me to hang up.  I was thinking that’s not what sista girlfriends do.  But then she face timed me.  This was much more effective. It reminded me of all of our talks back in Michigan.

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It was great to see her face. It didn’t matter that I had  my Eryka Badu scarf wrapped around my head.  Or my comfy shirt with the stain on it.  My friend allowed me to vent.  When I was done.  She said make sure you go to Target this week. They have Scotts paper towel and toilet paper on sale. She always reminded me of the sales for the week.  I told her I loved her and that was the end of the call.

You see I needed my friend Hatty that day.  I didn’t need her advice. I didn’t want her feeling sorry for me. I just needed a listening ear.  My journal wasn’t working like usual.  She knows that she can do the same with me. I’ll  be her sounding board just to listen.

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Then we have friends that want our advice or guidance.  This is where it can be challenging.  Whenever someone asks me for advice. I say a quick prayer.  I want to make sure my heart is open and I can focus.  Sometimes people just want to vent. Other times I give them my advice.  Sometimes they say thanks and sometimes they say are you sure? Maybe I should ask someone else.

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When I was younger I think I would give people the advice that they wanted to hear.  It didn’t matter what I said.  They were going to do what they wanted anyway. As I have matured and dealt with my own challenges.  I have a new mindset when I give advice now.  I tell the advice I would want someone to give me.  Honest advice sometimes hurts and is hard to accept.  But disrespect and dishonesty would hurt me more.

When my marriage was in turmoil. I told three friends and I prayed a lot. I received three different responses.  First, leave that___________ as soon as you can. Next, find a boyfriend and live separate lives. Lastly, pray and you will know what to do.  Those three responses gave me more insight than I needed.  In the end I know I made the best decision. No, I didn’t find a boyfriend to get even with Rob.  I still took my vows seriously even though my marriage was falling apart.

When you need advice are you prepared to hear the truth?  Or do you just need a sounding board to listen to you?  Whatever you decide.  Talk to God first before you share your details with everyone.  You may be thinking that God won’t speak to you to give you advice.  He already gave you instructions in His word from The Bible.  God does speak to us.  We just have to have open hearts and know when to listen.

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