In the book of Ruth, Naomi comes back from the land of Moab bitter at God. She tells her friends not to call her Naomi (“pleasant”) anymore, but Mara (“bitter”), because the Lord has made her life bitter.
Interestingly though, her friends persist in calling her Naomi throughout the book…
Naomi was struggling to see (or more accurately, had given up on) the goodness of God, and she called on her friends to confess her hopelessness with her. And, in love and faith, they refused to go along with her narrative. In time, Naomi too saw God’s goodness and stopped despairing.
Let us be friends like Naomi’s friends and not go along with our loved ones’ hopeless narratives, but call them to faith.