Inside Out 252: Helping Friends Through Trauma

07.16.12 | Martha Manikas-Foster

The news rocks us. We learn that a friend’s husband has died, or that her prenatal test results look ominous or that the cancer cells seem stronger than the latest round of chemo. We grieve, we rage out loud where no one can hear us . . . and we stumble about, praying, trying to think of ways to help, explain, or make it better.

And then we default to baking a pan of lasagna--or a batch of blueberry muffins--knowing that when we stand in the doorway with our offering we’ll be fumbling for words, feeling absolutely inadequate.

How do we be a friend to the people we love who are waking up each day to loss, fighting the good fight--all of it uphill? What do we do when we there is nothing we can do to make it better (which is more often true than we pretend)?

We listen, according to Inside Out guest, trauma survivor and therapist Julie Woodley.

“What kind of skills do we need?” Julie repeated when I asked her the question about helping our friends. “We just need to be able to love. That’s the greatest skill that we have and God gives us all the capacity to do this.”

Woodley is the founder/director of Restoring the Heart Ministry and the author of the blog post “When Trauma Strikes.”

Join us (by clicking on an icon above) for our recorded conversation about helping friends through trauma.  Then let us know what you think by typing a comment or two below.

* For information on Julie’s books, in including Surviving the Storms of Life: Finding Hope When Life Goes Wrong (written with H. Norman Wright and Matthew Woodley), click here:

* To read Julie’s blog: When Trauma Strikes, click here:

* For more information about Julie’s In the Wildflowers project visit or call 1-866-780-7846.


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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.


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