I Cannot Save You, But I Will Stand By You


I cannot save you. There are no words of mine that can lift you from your brokenness. There are no actions from my heart that will raise you to your feet again. I cannot bear your weight upon my shoulders. I cannot carry you until you learn how to walk on your own.

I want to. Oh, I want to. Please don’t get me wrong.

But I cannot save you. Only you can save you. Only you can breathe life back into those tired lungs. Only you can stretch those aching muscles and use them once again. Only you can put one foot in front of the other, raise your chin, reopen your eyes, and begin again.

Only you can decide that you want to continue; I cannot make that decision for you.

But this is what I promise: I promise to stand beside you as you regain your strength. I promise to hold your hand as you right yourself; I promise to never let it go. I promise to listen to the weight of your world. I promise to help you rid yourself of the baggage that’s dragging behind you. I promise to help lift some of the weight.

As much as I love you, I know that I cannot save you. I am not a god. I am not a hero. I am not anyone other than a person who loves you, and to act as if I have the power to heal you—that would be a lie.

And even if I could, taking your pain away would teach you nothing. Rescuing you from your burdens would only weaken you, make you reliant rather than resilient. And I know you’re capable of more.

You are strong on your own, I know you are. And you must find it within yourself to rise.

But don’t ever doubt my love for you. Don’t ever think I’m not here. Don’t ever question the reach of my arms around your shoulders, or the softness of my kiss on your lips.

Maybe I cannot save you, but I will love you. I will love you with everything I have—my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my body, my strength, my soul.

I will love you when you are too tired to continue, and I will inspire you to push on. I will love you when you are a mess on the floor, and I will kiss those tears from your cheeks. I will love you when you have given up, and sit with you until you decide that you want to try again.

I will love you even when you’re not yourself, and remind you of who you are and always have been.

I will love you when you’re down, when you’re low, when you’re at the end of your rope, and even then I will encourage you, pray for and with you, and remind you that I’m never leaving.

I will love you and your broken pieces, until you are whole again.

No, I cannot save you. I cannot magically make your pain go away. I do not have all the answers.

But I have love. And maybe that’s enough.