10 Things You Can Say to a Friend With a New Disability

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • Oct. 22, 2012

Woman helping a friend in the hospitalMan helping his friend in a wheelchair

When someone is hit with disability, it can be a scary time filled with questions and new challenges. But that’s the time when it’s most important to show your love and support! Have you ever wondered, what’s the right thing to say? Here are 10 things you can say to a friend with a new disability: 

1. “You have a group of friends—me included—and we’re not going to let you go through this alone. We are here for you!”
2. “If you're going to be busy for a while with extra hospital appointments, let me pick up your kids from school or run some errands for you. It would be my pleasure.”
3. “Take a deep breath, friend. Your capacity to embrace challenges hasn't failed you yet. I promise you will get through this!”
4. “Don't think about a year from now, or even six months from now. Just take one day at a time. It's really the best way to live no matter what the disappointment.”
5. “I know of some welcoming support groups in the community. Let me go with you to a meeting, I want to support you!”
6. “If you need help organizing your Explanation of Benefits or making any doctor’s appointments, I'd be happy to be your hands. Let me make the telephone calls and give you some time off.”
7. “May I go along with you to your next hospital appointment? I just want to be there with you.”
8. “I'd love to have a picture of your new baby. It'll be a reminder to pray for him or her.”
9. “Any new disability can be scary at first, but I want to work alongside you to find the best resources available!”
10. “I am picturing the day when you'll look back on this moment, and smile—not in spite of the challenges, but because of them. I’ll be here for you along the way.”

Can you think of other positive things to say? Share your ideas below!

Click here to print out the list of 10 Things You Can Say.


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Joni, I have admired you for so many years. I now enjoy listening to your radio program almost daily in the car on my way home from working as a one-on-one with disabled children. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO AND YOUR UP-BEAT PERSONALITY TOO! You are an inspiration to me and many!
  • Oct. 29, 2012
  • 8:39 p.m.
  • Patti
Great article & advise! Tell me more how to get involved in this great ministry to the disabled! God Bless!
  • Oct. 27, 2012
  • 6:01 p.m.
  • Rand
AMEN to educating the Body of Christ! Kindness and Servant Hearts!
  • Oct. 23, 2012
  • 8:18 a.m.
  • Jennifer Rader
These are great, except for #9. No one knows unless they've been there. I was depressed to the point of being hopeless/suicidal. My counselor told me that was normal & I had to grieve my own way and at my own pace. But, he said, "the way you feel today is not how you will feel in a few weeks, months or a year from now. You will have hope again." I didn't believe him, but I kept listening to him anyway because he had credibility. He has counseled many people through tragic circumstances. This IS important for a newly disabled person who can't help thinking about the very uncertain future. He was right by the way!
  • Oct. 23, 2012
  • 4:54 a.m.
  • Ann
LOVE IT!! Two of my favorite -- You/your son/daughter, etc are still the same wonderful person you were before this. Nothing has changed about that! This is just a minor speedbump and it looks high from this side, but it isn't. You WILL make it over! or-- A very good friend once told me that Forever is only 60 days and an Eternity is 90 days. Think of it! Think of the things you never thought you could overcome 60-90 days ago. Where are they in your life now?
  • Oct. 22, 2012
  • 9:46 a.m.
  • Kim