The beauty of place-sharing is that it helps you understand that you’re not alone.
By Elizabeth Mullins, GCI Publications Coordinator
(Note from author: This story mentions the sensitive topic of suicide.)
I have wonderful friends and family invested in place-sharing. Most of the place-sharing I’ve experienced takes place in established relationships. However, one of the most transformative times for me was with someone I had just met. Don’t underestimate the space and safety you can provide for someone who starts out as a stranger.
Here are a few of the lessons I have learned from place-sharers:
- I need other people. The Spirit is a wise, constant companion. I was also created for life in the body of Christ. When I’m struggling, the presence and tender attention of another is often the first spark of hope.
- I don’t need to pretend my life is better than it is. It is possible to pay attention to what is good, true, and beautiful without ignoring my pain or suffering. Grief and hope can exist together.
- I must first face and name what is happening to me before I can seek healing. Place-sharers give me the space and the hope to show up to my life as it really is, not just how I wish it was.
- Pain, loss, and grief are universal to the human experience. Sharing my struggles is not complaining or being ungrateful.
- Nothing I am feeling or experiencing could threaten my belonging as a child of God.
A memorable scene from a TV series reminds me of the way place-sharers are hopeful. A man who has lost all hope is considering ending his life by jumping from a building. His new friend begs him to reconsider.
“If I don’t jump, can you promise me that I’ll be happy?” he asks.
She responds, “Of course not! But I can promise that you won’t be alone.”
You are not alone. Isn’t that the hope of each of us?