Friends breathe life into my soul, just as I'm sure they do yours. But like romantic relationships, true friendships sometimes have growing pains. There will be moments when there is conflict and we need to figure out what to do in the midst of it, right? How to grow deeper as friends through it, rather than allowing it to break the closeness.
This week, a friend accused me of something that made my heart incredibly heavy. I didn't see it coming and didn't understand how she thought that of me. I literally felt sick all day and went to bed early with a migraine.
My thoughts and prayers swirled through the afternoon and evening hours as I went to first God, and then my husband and dearest friends, placing this person's accusation at their feet to examine.
"Here's the evidence, look at it. Sift through it, dig deeply," I told them. "Did I do this? Am I doing this?"
I asked the Lord and my friends who know me best to share honestly with me so I could grow and ask forgiveness if indeed this thing I was being accused of was true. Because if so, I had some serious heart-searching to do. What I was being accused of was not the type of person I want to be.
I called my best friend to tearfully vent and toward the end of our phone conversation, she said something like this:
"You need to stop and seriously ask God to show you the insides of your heart. Lean into it, even if it's hard and yucky. Who are you at the core, really? Ask Him in a way that You're able to hear His voice. Take time in silence with the Lord and go through everything in your mind like you're unpacking a suitcase...taking items out, one by one."
She finished by saying, "Let Him show you if there is sin here."
Gosh, what wise advice. I just love having friends that are deeper and wiser than I.
I am still devastated. And truthfully, I am really embarrassed that someone would think this thing of me. But I don't believe I did what she has said. I don't pretend to be anyone I'm not. I don't even think I did that very often in high school, let alone now. I'm ok with me. Not that I don't need to grow in areas, of course. We all need to grow, right?
I woke up this morning though, still with a nauseous stomach and a pounding head and prayed that the Lord would release it. I need to be ok with the opinion of other people, even if I don't agree with it.
This person wasn't spewing venom, she was speaking out of her own hurt.
She was wanting to get to the root of things, too. I still do not believe in my heart of hearts that I did what she believes I have...but that's ok.
I cannot own her feelings, I can only own mine.
How have you worked through a similar situation of hurt with a friend? Did it allow you to get bitter or better??