What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What To Do?

by | Jun 8, 2017 | Love Others

A friend’s world is turned upside down as she tries to wrap her mind around the reality of her husband leaving her.

A co-worker is smack-dab in the middle of a hard battle with a nearly-uncontrollable addiction.

Or, a neighbor across the street has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Is the world around us falling apart? It might look like it is. Divorce, disease, addiction, death, disaster. All this–and more–surrounds us, invades our lives, our homes, and our hearts.

Those close to us dealing with such may look to us for help, assistance, and support. And, I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t always know what to do. I want to help. I want to be a blessing. But, how?

What do you do when you don't know what to do?

Friend, what do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Maybe you’re one who instinctively knows exactly what to do. Maybe you’re the kind of person who steps in at the right moment and gives what’s needed. I am in awe of such people. If that’s you, you’ve got an incredible gift. Keep using it!

But what about the rest of us? What do we do when we don’t know what to do?



There’s one thing I know for sure, when I don’t know what to do (which is often), I pray. Even if I may not know, God does. He knows exactly what is needed and how best to offer my help. Also, praying for the person who is walking through this time of crisis is probably the most important act we can do for him or her.

Do one thing to help.

We don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to put our lives on hold to go help another. Just do one thing. One helpful act today, and then do another tomorrow. Make a meal. Call to check in. Show up. Encourage. One thing can make all the difference.

Check in often.

Be the person who checks in regularly with the one walking through the time of trial. A text or a phone call reminds him or her you’re there and you care.

Pray some more.

Again, the most important act we can do in helping another is praying for him or her. Find specific Bible verses to pray. Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 23, Matthew 6:25-34 are a few suggestions.


Refuse to say, “Let me know if you need anything.”

These words might just be the worst ones we could say to the one dealing with a life-altering situation. She doesn’t know what she needs in a time of crisis. She just needs a friend to walk with her through it. Don’t wait for him or her to tell you how to help. Just step in.

Don’t think you can’t help.

It’s easy to think we don’t have the skills to help in times of trial, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Just showing up makes a difference. Just being there helps. Be the one who finds creative ways to assist and support.

Don’t take it personal.

Your phone call may not get returned, or your offer to help might seem unappreciated. You might not get thanked for helping, and quite possibly pain and frustration may get taken out on you. Don’t take it personal. Life has been flipped upside-down for your friend and emotions and reactions can follow. Extend grace and continue showing love.


So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Above all else, show love.

Live in true devotion to one another... Romans 12:10 VOICE

Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first. Romans 12:10 VOICE

Now it’s your turn. What have you done in the past to assist another when you didn’t know what to do? Your suggestion and example may just be what another is looking for.




Linking this post with my friend, Crystal.


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  1. Mandy Hughes

    Julie, these are excellent suggestions of ways to help. I admit, I tend to pull back sometimes, not knowing exactly how to come alongside that friend in need. I will definitely keep your words in the forefront of my mind. Thanks for sharing!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Mandy! I’m with you. This post was probably more for me than anyone else! Thanks for stopping over and for sharing. God bless you!

  2. vero

    Its more of how to deal with disappointment wen you those friends abandon you when faced with a challenge:and having gone thru so much with them you think they will show up but Nothing. I dont what to do with this pain. After reading your message i realize God is in charge,has a plan in this. What to do when you dont what to do is my answer from Him. Huge load off my heart

    • Julie Lefebure

      That is disappointing, isn’t it. But, you’re right… God is in charge and He does have a plan. I believe God brings good out of our pain. Maybe not right away, but He’ll use it for good. Somehow, someway. I’m praying He reminds you just how much He cares for you today. Glad we can walk this road of life encouraging one another. Bless you.


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