If any of you have gone through a trial, you understand the impact others have on your healing process. You may have also experienced the tough conversations that were more harmful than helpful. We are all imperfect in the area of comforting others which is why we have an Ultimate Comforter who gives us the compassion we need to take care of our neighbors. But after our compassion, what are our next steps?

We may feel the urge to offer help, to call up a neighbor who has received bad news, or make food for that new mother in our church. Yet, my fear of doing or saying the “wrong” thing hold me back. Sarah Beckman, a woman who has experienced her many forms of trials, offers a practical guide to coming alongside those who are hurting in her new book, Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in Their Time of Trial.

She offers advice that is not a prescribed list but a unique investigation of how your resources and someone’s needs meet together. She recommends using your spiritual gifts to uniquely love those in their time of trial. This is never a journey you have to take alone. Beckman asks us to consider how we can collaborate with others to “bring even more significant help, hope and encouragement.”

Even though Beckman provides lots of freedom in how you approach coming alongside others, she also gives specific and helpful tips. She provides conversation examples, prayer support ideas, gift lists and describes helpful versus unhelpful practices.

One of the most useful sections was on how to come alongside someone who doesn’t share your faith. That’s always a tough one for me because I want to serve but my love comes from a greater Love. Beckman provides steps on how to share your faith without being awkward.

She also addresses topics that are often approached with fear:

  • Aging
  • Terminal illness
  • Divorce
  • Death of a loved one
  • Boundaries

Her stories and tools empower the reader to listen to the Holy Spirit’s nudgings and proceed with greater confidence.

Here is an invitation YOU can use to ask others to join you in reading this book:

→ “We want to support our friends and neighbors through tough times, but we often “chicken out” and find excuses to keep us from comforting others. We could all use some tips when we feel called to come alongside others in their pain. Would you join me in reading Sarah Beckman’s latest book, Alongside? She provides the practical tools we need to love our neighbors in their time of trial. We can even begin practicing some of her ideas together as we learn how to come alongside others.”


Join us on May 4 for a guest post from Sarah and a giveaway of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in Their Time of Trial.

About Sarah Beckman

Sarah Beckman is a speaker, writer and blogger with a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin. She is a speaker at the SCORRE conference by New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt and comedian/author Ken Davis. Founder of Salt and Clay Ministries, her passion for loving her neighbor has fueled her life and ministry for over 10 years. She’s been blogging for over 7 years at sarahbeckman.org and is a regular contributor for dynamiccommunicators.com.

Her own health trials coupled with her experience walking alongside countless people facing trial, including three with terminal illness, provide her authentic, compelling viewpoint for this book. She is the youngest of 14 kids and her father’s addiction caused their family to split up when she was a girl. They went from a country club lifestyle to struggling to make it. As a wife and mom, she has been on bed rest and other health needs where she had to be the recipient of someone else’s care.

"I want to love God and love my neighbor,
but I don't know how."


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