After a trying bout of bed rest with a pregnancy and four consecutive back surgeries, Sarah Beckman was tumbled into walking three people close to her through terminal illness in just three years. The decade of heartbreak and hardship taught her what it means to come alongside someone in their trial and truly be present for them.

Who is Sarah Beckman? Sarah Beckman is a nationally-recognized speaker who shares about loving your neighbor, safeguarding your marriage, and, most recently, about how to come alongside the people in your like who are dealing with big trials. She is the author of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in Their Time of Trial, which she wrote after undergoing a decade of extreme hardship herself. Sarah has recently celebrated 26 years of marriage and currently has three kids in their late teens and early twenties, but she can still vividly remember the hard days with small kids while she was recovering from surgeries, as well as the helpful — and unhelpful — things that people said and did.

Sarah’s mission with her book and her speaking is to encourage people to have confidence in their ability to come alongside others in their trials, to know the right the things to say and do, and to know that if they only do something, God will multiply it.


“The first mistake people make is doing nothing, because they are afraid. They don’t have the confidence.” — Sarah

“The most important way to start is to start.” — Sarah

“You don’t get to choose for people how they feel about something.” — Sarah

“It’s important to remember that the journey of grief doesn’t end.” — Sarah

“If we say ‘let me know what I can do’, we are placing the burden on the person who is hurting.” — Sarah

Action Steps:

  • Ask permission first before sharing your whole story, your whole experience. Allow others to ask for it if they want it.
  • Acknowledge: state the thing that might be awkward. Affirm: if they are relieved that their loved one isn’t suffering, you can agree, but don’t push silver linings on them. Express: that you are with them, simply and honestly.
  • Don’t put expectations on others — or yourself! — about how you should grieve.
  • One way to love on someone going through a trial is to do something without their permission in order to be a blessing, i.e. mow their lawn or pick up groceries.
  • The most common mistakes people make: 1. Do nothing. 2. Say “let me know what you need” and leave it up to them. 3. Try to fix it. 4. Reduce their trial to Christian platitudes, i.e. “it all works out in the end.” 5. Compare your trial — current or previous — to theirs.
  • Show up when you feel called to show up. God will multiply your efforts, but you have to take the step forward first.
  • Job’s friends showed up and sat with him. That’s all that had to do was go through the trial with him.

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