17/365 days of blogging.
Today I spent the day with a close friend. A friend that I have not spent much time with in the last few months. It was kind of bittersweet reunion. Bitter because we had to talk about some tough issues in our relationship. Sweet because I have really missed her!
I titled this post Faith; Friends; and forgiveness because those are the three elements that must be present in a friendship for it to work.
Turning to faith during challenging moments in a friendship offers healing, reflection and renewal. It also permits us to call upon God when we feel that we can’t possibly face one more unexpected trial in a friendship. Trials can be anything that puts a strain on the friendship. Outside influences, spouses, children, family, sickness…etc… Faith offers a safe haven to cry or vent powerful emotions like grief and anger without fear of judgment. Faith allows us to voice our deepest feelings to a friend. Faith even helps us find reason for hope when others tell us we aren’t being realistic.
A few months back she and I had a sort of falling out. There really wasn’t anything specific, other than we didn’t have faith in our friendship and when others started influencing how we felt about each other, we chose to listen to them instead of each other. To tell the truth, I think we were equally hurt. Here’s where our ego and self came into action, surpassing the pain of hurting each other, it controlled our minds and action for a moment in time. It seemed like an eternity.
I went to her several times to ask what was wrong and if there was something between us that we needed to address. The answer was always no. I did feel however that there was something missing. We had been very good friends and now all of a sudden we barely spoke and barely talked to one another, only in passing and only being polite. We were civil but beyond that we weren’t hanging out anymore. And we became distant acquaintances instead of close friends.
Out of the blue this morning, I received a text from her that said she was grateful for our friendship. After crying for a few minutes, I sent her a message back saying close to the same thing and that I missed her. She took the next step and stopped by my house with a Sunkist Orange soda in her hand! Now this is a very important step because when she used to visit me daily, she would bring me an orange soda (I drink regular Sunkist and she drinks diet). We sat around and had some idle chit-chat then got the heart of the issue. We talked about the issues between us and “cleared some air” and seemed to pick up our friendship where we had left it…in some black hole of time…with tears, joy, and friendship.
You see, whatever the problem is, you have to be willing to forgive and be forgiven. Asking for forgiveness is just as hard as forgiving. But both are necessary for a friendship to work. Both parties must be willing to take the steps to repair damage that the world can do to a friendship.
We have shared secrets, sought advice from one another, stood up for each other, kept each others children, shared many dinners together with our families, listened to one another, but most of all we have forgiven each other. I cherish my friendship with her and thank God for her presence in my life everyday.
I have a handful of friends that I consider to be my closest. I am thankful and praise God everyday for them and consider it a privilege to be counted on their friend list. I am excited to begin to build a relationship with all of us together. Looking forward to taking a retreat trip the end of February! We all are going to have a blast! I love you my friend! (you know who you are) Thank you for reaching out and helping us both begin to repair our friendship.