What to Say to Someone Waiting for Test Results: Words of Encouragement & Support

Pictured above is Claire Schwab, whose story is part of the CaringBridge How We Heal Series.

When someone is on a health journey, waiting for test results can be a nerve-wracking experience. If a friend or family member reaches out to you while they wait, you may find yourself at a loss for words.

We asked the CaringBridge community, many of whom have experienced this situation, their thoughts on what to say during these hard times. Here, you’ll find their ideas to help you encourage your loved one.

1. Offer a Listening Ear

Worrying is a natural response to unsettling news. And telling your loved one not to worry may inspire unnecessary guilt in an already emotional time. 

“It’s only natural to worry. So, don’t beat yourself up as you are worrying. But, do take as many breaths as needed to center yourself and allow the anxiety to leave in a mindful way.”

Pamela M. 

In that moment, it may be helpful to share that you’re here to listen if they want to talk through what they’re feeling. A hug and a listening ear may seem simple, but can be a welcome show of support.

2. Offer to Help Keep Them Busy

Pictured is the Bischoff family, whose story is part of the CaringBridge How We Heal Series.

When we’re waiting for something, minutes can feel like hours and hours like days. If you and your loved one are able, offer to help keep them distracted by taking them for lunch or going for a walk together.

You could also offer to send over a good book or something fun to do like jigsaw puzzles if you’re supporting from afar. No matter how you do it, keeping your loved one company can be a meaningful and helpful gesture during this difficult time.

“Lots of distractions, like watching a lot of movies/TV or YouTube, or playing games.”

Novie R.

“Patience—stressing only adds to the anxiety. Stay busy.”

Lisa W.D.

3. Inspire Positive Thoughts

During this time, it may be hard for your loved one to stay positive. After all, they’re waiting for potentially life-altering news. Yet, a little bit of positivity from you can go a long way in boosting their morale.

For example, you could simply share some advice on avoiding looking up outcomes of their particular health condition (in other words, avoid Dr. Google). Or, you could mention that the results are not yet in and it very well could be better news than they thought. As one of our community members says, “Expect the best.”

Be sure to read your loved one’s response too. Sometimes, positive words may be met with “that’s easy for you to say.” If so, don’t get defensive but simply listen. There are many emotions involved in the waiting process, and it is important to validate their negative emotions too.

4. Send Your Favorite Encouraging Quotes or Verses

A quick text with an inspiring quote or Bible verse can encourage your loved one. Plus, sending them messages here and there can show that you’re thinking about them and help them feel a little less alone.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, we share some quotes of hope to send healing well wishes your loved one’s way.

Of course, sending a quote or prayer may not be right for everyone. Simply a text or phone call each day to say “I’m thinking about you” might be just enough.

5. “I’m Here for You.”

Pictured is the vanKoeverden family, whose story is part of the CaringBridge How We Heal Series.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is remind your loved one that you’re here for them. Whether they need to talk, cry, or if they just need a hug, you’re here to listen and support them. 

You may offer to help them with their daily life tasks, whether that’s watching their kids or sending dinner so they don’t have to worry about cooking a meal.

In these moments, it may feel as if you’re not doing enough. Yet, you should never underestimate the power of simply being there. To your loved one, that simple act may mean more than you’ll ever know. 

Just be sure that you mean it when you say that you’ll be there for your loved one. Instead of asking how you can help, offer to do something specific for them. Show up however you can, and lend a hand when you are able.

Encouraging Texts to Send Someone Waiting for Test Results

When your loved one is going through a health journey, it’s normal to feel the need to drop everything to hold and comfort them. However, life can bring obstacles that stop us from seeing our loved ones face to face. Even if you can’t visit your loved one in person, consider sending them a heartfelt text to encourage them during a tense time. Below are some short examples of what you can send to check-in:

  1. “Thinking of you all the time. Know that even when I’m not physically with you, I’m still there.”
  2. “Keeping you in my thoughts every day. Let’s plan a lunch for when I see you next.”
  3. “Sending you all my love and prayers during this time, I love you.”

What Are Your Ideas?

What words of encouragement and support have you shared with others to help ease the tension of waiting for test results? Feel free to share your stories and ideas in the comments below.

Don’t Go Through Your Health Journey Alone

You can stay connected to friends and family, plan and coordinate meals, and experience love from any distance.

All of this is ready for you when you start your personal CaringBridge, which is completely no-cost, ad-free, private and secure. Don’t spend another minute alone!