I had lunch today with an old friend. We were tight back in the day and did most everything together. For a period of several years, she was my very best friend. We laughed together and cried together and we had each others’ back. Well, at least she had mine.
I ended up hurting her. Badly. I cut her out of my life completely because she was telling me the truth about the life I was living. She spoke truth into my life that I didn’t want to hear. I was living in sin and going down a path that ultimately led to heartache for both me and those I love. She knew it and she hated standing by watching me head this direction. She did everything in her power to stand in my way, to try to keep me from continuing this path, and to show me that God was not in it. The more she tried, the more I pushed her away from me. Satan whispered in my ear that she was wrong and I needed to let her go. Sadly, I must admit that I listened to him.
Through this process, I hurt her. Wounded deeply by me, she eventually walked away and we went years without talking.
She was a true friend and was looking out for me. I didn’t want it and my heart was cold. I believe she would’ve continued being my friend despite the circumstances because her friendship was unconditional, but I allowed other influences to persuade me to push her out of my life.
With this experience I’ve learned a few things about friendship.
- Your true friends will tell you the truth, even when it’s hard.
- Godly friends will back up the truth with Godly principles.
- If her advice lines up with Scripture and Godly principles, LISTEN to her.
- When your heart grows cold, you don’t care who you hurt. Let God continually work on your heart. Seek Him and let Him guide your life. When you fail to pursue God above anyone else, not only do you get hurt, others do too.
- Sin in your life separates you from God and His people. If you notice that you’re starting to surround yourself more by unGodly people and things are becoming distant with your Christian friends who really know you, reexamine your life and the state of your heart. There is a reason.
- Sometimes a good friend can see more clearly the situation you’re in. You may be too close to it to be objective.
- If you have a good friend, don’t let her go.
- Once you lose the trust of a friend, it’s hard to gain it back.
We’ve been in contact again for about a year and slowly have begun to open up to each other. So this morning, with lunch planned, I cried. I know I have been forgiven by God for how I treated her and have even mostly forgiven myself, but I still hurt for her. I can put myself in her shoes now and my heart hurts for the pain I caused. As I thought about meeting her for lunch, I thought to myself how blessed I was to have her in my life again. Though it is different now, she’s shown me grace and I am simply grateful.
Today as we visited, I wished I had never pushed her away. I thought about where our friendship might be today if I hadn’t. I wished she could trust me again but I understand completely if she never fully puts herself out there. And I give her that pass. I’m the one who destroyed our friendship long ago and just because I’ve apologized and am truly repentant doesn’t mean that she is now required to trust me again. These things take time.
I’ve learned a big lesson from this one mistake. And I hope and pray I never make it again.
Thank you my friend, for being a true friend to me even though it hurt you, for standing in the gap for me, for fighting for me and my relationship with God, for loving me despite my choices, for showing me grace, and for letting me back into your life. I didn’t love you then like I should have, but I love you now, and I hope to someday be able to make amends for the hurt I caused you. You are a beautiful picture of what a daughter of Christ looks like and I’m honored to know you.