I can’t believe she said/did/believes that.
The pain is too much.
The divide between us is too wide.
We’ll never see eye to eye.
They don’t understand me.
I’m tired of arguing.
We have nothing in common.
I haven’t walked in their shoes, and they haven’t walked in mine.
They aren’t willing to try.
This is too hard.
I don’t know what to say or where to start.
I’m not equipped to build that friendship.
It’s impossible to repair this relationship.
I’m too hurt to move forward.
Have you ever had thoughts like one (or all) of these? Maybe you’ve even said something like this out loud? If so, you’re not alone. Being human is hard. Being in relationships with other humans is even harder. And it just seems to be getting more complicated every day.
Sometimes the unspoken tensions between us make it difficult to breathe. The tiny fractures. Silent assumptions. Fresh wounds or decades of scars. A widening divide between sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, neighbors, coworkers, college roommates, online acquaintances, best of friends, and could-be friends. Do you feel it? Do you know how to move through it?
We each come to the kitchen table, the bus stop, the office coffeepot, or the church potluck with our own gifts and our own junk. We carry the weight of past hurts, strong opinions, and well-founded fears. We also carry with us our unique and delightful differences. We show up to boardrooms and living rooms with our distinct languages and cultures, personality types and perspectives, experiences and convictions.
Both the beautiful and the broken parts of our stories can make connecting with others challenging — or sometimes infuriating, disheartening, or just plain impossible.
Have you felt this way? When it comes to difficult people, have you wanted to throw in the towel or build an impenetrable wall around your heart? Have you tried to avoid eye contact in Costco when you see that friend who is forever wanting to debate hot-button issues, or have you sent a phone call straight to voicemail because the risk of being manipulated or misunderstood again is just too much? Have you longed to be seen and accepted for who you are, but others just seem to want you to be someone you’re not? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you’re in the right place, friend.
Your sisters at (in)courage know what it’s like to feel frustrated in friendships. To feel fed up with the complexity of relationships in today’s culture. We know what it’s like to lose confidence in humanity while still clinging to a wisp of hope in the God who holds us all. We know what it’s like to get it all wrong, to face our own failings, and to see Jesus meet us in our mess anyway.
Now more than ever, relationships feel anything but straightforward. What if taking the next step in your messy or complex relationship looked like just taking a seat?
For years, the writers of (in)courage have been sitting down together, virtually and in person, to wrestle through what it looks like to delight in our differences rather than ignore or abhor them. We’ve done the hard work of loving one another through disagreements and learning to live in the discomfort that naturally comes with being a bunch of beautifully imperfect, wildly distinct women. We are not flawless experts but battle-worn survivors who have seen the goodness of God in seemingly insurmountable situations; we’re here to tell you about our heartaches and mistakes and hope in the one true God who hasn’t given up on us.
How would our hearts change if we set aside arguing in comment threads and sat next to one another instead? How might our world change if we would all agree to be people who both celebrate and weep with our friends, coworkers, and neighbors before ever trying to convince, correct, or lobby our agendas?
Loving others isn’t easy. Jesus never said it would be. But He did call us to do it, and therefore we know it will be worth it. “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34–35 NLT).
And perhaps this love begins by just acknowledging the tension we feel and sitting in that tension together.
Meet our new book, Come Sit with Me: How to Delight in Differences, Love through Disagreements, and Live with Discomfort. Isn’t that the best title?! In this brand-new book, 26 of our (in)courage writers help you navigate tough relational tensions by revealing their own hard-fought, grace-filled learning moments. We show you how to:
– delight in your differences
– honor and value others even when you disagree
– connect before you correct
– trust that God is working even when people disappoint you
– live and love like Jesus by serving others.
Whether you’re in the middle of a conflict without resolution or wondering how to enter into a friend’s pain, this book will serve as a gentle guide. Discover how God can work through your disagreements, differences, and discomfort in ways you might never expect.
Find Come Sit With Me at your favorite retailer:
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If you liked the excerpt we shared above, we’d love to send you an even bigger FREE sneak peek of Come Sit With Me! Sign up below and we’ll email you the whole introduction and the first two chapters.