Mental Health

"Who Should We Contact In Case Of An Emergency?"  

Apr 25, 2019

Recently I was sitting in the waiting room of a medical professionals office filling out the new patient paperwork - when "that question" came up--and sent me into about a half of day of despair that felt absolutely brutal.  

What was the question?  

"Who Should We Contact In Case Of An Emergency?"  

I had not filled out paperwork like this in years, so, at first I didn't think anything of it - until I began to actually answer the question.  


When I used to have to fill out this type of paperwork I had 3-4 names that automatically popped into my mind that I could write down with zero hesitation...

...but those people are no longer in my life because they chose to walk away.  

My mind froze - and in that moment I literally could not think of anyone to write down, and, without any warning my tear ducts began to empty and it was all I could do to absolutely not break down.  

I pulled myself together - actually listed myself as the emergency contact and drove home, feeling more alone than I've ever felt in my life.  

Please don't misunderstand - this is NOT an article where I am asking someone to please step up and be my emergency contact.  (And - later on I did actually think of a few people I could have written down, my mind just froze in the moment!) 

But rather it's me sharing my thoughts on the subject of trust and loneliness.  

Years ago I would hear the phrase that went something like, "when you die, if you have five good friends, you are blessed and successful."  

Whenever I would hear that I would laugh - because I knew I had at least 15-20...

...however, time, circumstances, bad decisions and bitterness quickly reduced that number...

...and slowly but surely something happened to me, where I used to trust people so easily it began to become more difficult to trust anyone at all.  

Along the way there have been people who have stepped into my life who have seemed to have a common thesis; however, I've learned the hard way that the harder someone tries to convince you to trust them - the more they are trying to simply get some dirt on you - and will throw you under the bus the first opportunity they have.  

So - the natural thing to do is focus inward, to trust no one - to spend as much time as possible alone and isolated, that way I never get betrayed, hurt or disappointed.  

After all, all I need is Jesus, right?  

Jesus said He would never leave me or forsake me - that he would always be with me - so why do I even need anyone else?  

Simple:  Because I cannot do life alone.  

Yes, I need a strong, growing relationship with Christ, but I also need a strong, growing relationship with others if I am truly going to experience the abundant life that Jesus promises.  

It's hard, there is significant risk, I can get betrayed, hurt and abandoned all over again.  

But, just because it's hard doesn't mean I should not try.  

So, in the process of rebuilding my life, I am also trying to build new relationships.  Some have not gone so well as trust has been completely blown to pieces at some point.  

But, others are going ok - and slowly and cautiously I am learning that if I want to take significant steps forward in life - I have to have the help of others.  

The purpose of this article isn't for me to find new friends, to have people say, "awe, pastor p, we love you."  

But rather to speak to the person out there who feels isolated and lonely - you don't want to feel that way, you wish things were different--but for whatever reason bridges have been burned, lies have been told and you just don't see how in the world you could ever trust anyone again.  

I get it - I'm in that fight with you...

I understand both the first half and the second half of Proverbs 18:24 - "One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

...and I'm telling you that though it isn't easy, it's worth it.  

True healing never takes place in isolation, but within the context of a group of people who will stand with you and love you - no matter what.  

Are those people hard to find?  


But, when you do find them - I can promise you will one day look back and know it was worth the effort.  

Please don't isolate yourself because of lost hope.  

And please don't simply make superficial friends who you always feel like you have to pretend to be someone else when you are around them.  

Every time I read II Samuel 23:11-12 it nearly moves me to tears.  

11 Next to him (David) was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.

David was in a battle, it was intense - and all of Israel's troops fled and left David in the middle of a field all alone, surrounded by the enemy.  

But there was Shammah...

...he wasn't the guy who always told David, "I've got your back," but rather stood back to back with him when everyone else ran - and they (together) brought about a victory.  

After this battle David could have mourned the loss of "all his friends" - OR - he could have celebrated the victory he and the one friend who stood with him won.  

Personally, I think he chose the latter.  

I'm not sure how much time the Lord will give me on this big ball of dirt we call earth - but - as long as their is air in my lungs I am going to do my best to try and be a good friend - and continually beg the Lord to give me wisdom and discernment so that one day I can truly say the friendships in my life are real and not based on anything except a true love for Jesus and one another.