Monday, July 23, 2012

He makes all things new-

A few months ago I wrote about a struggle I was having with a particular friendship. I knew with out a doubt that the Lord was calling me to severe the ties that held me bound so tightly to this particular friend. So I did. As I reflect back, I see that I did it in a hurtful way. While that was never my intent, I know I hurt her and I hurt me and it was a very rough several months.

The Lord has sometimes made things very clear to me and when I balk at His suggestions it doesn't turn out well. This was a time that I fought against His lead and things got way worse before they got better. On March 3 I wrote in my journal "I am willing to place (this friendship) on the altar. I WILL place it there. Lord, it is Yours.Oh how I love You. Above all else. Even a friendship... Boo."

I had to match my actions with those words I professed. There were days it seemed impossible. Tears cried in the shower. Moments when my chest ached. Then those days became fewer. My constant thoughts were not of this situation. I continued meeting with a counselor and we kept peeling back the layers. Tears came then, too, for longer held thought patterns, actions, past mistakes.

Somewhere along the way, I began to think my friendship was over forever. I somehow forgot that from the start of this unlikely friendship we've seen God's hand. That there is no other way EXCEPT thru God that we should have connected in the first place.

I'm doing ok. I'm doing good. This summer has been a gift, a blessing, a golden time for me and my family. I am truly enjoying each day with my children. I am meeting up with friends, taking swims, hanging out with my sister. I am in an incredible Bible study with a group of women that challenge me. I am making the most of my workouts and my body feels strong. It is good.

It is ALL good.

Two weeks ago I saw my friend for the first time this summer. We spent two hours visiting and it felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. A weight I would have told you I wasn't still holding on to, but in reality I was. We were honest with each other, shared our hurts and I felt able to explain a bit more fully what was going on in my head.

Our conversation moved on and we shared a bit of what the Lord was doing in our lives these days. My friend told me how she was learning to let go. To not place expectations on others that often set herself up for disappointment. Wise words.

I realized I was doing the same things. With my parents. With my children. And that that is what I had done with my friendship with her.

Ah....the Lord had been teaching each of us a similar lesson.....

Last night my friend and I had the opportunity to visit again. I took her for a ride in my new car and we ended up back on her couch. We talked about our family, our children, our husbands. As the night went on, we talked more specifically about our journeys with the Lord. Where He is leading us, what He is teaching us.

A time or two tears came to one or both of our eyes. There was very little talk about our friendship bump in the road but there was lots of talk of the recent growth each of us has experienced. It is incredible to me to think of where we've come from, where I thought we'd never be and what transpired last night.

Last night was more than 5 hours of girl chatter. It was a testimony to the miraculous work of the Lord, Jesus Christ, when we are open and obedient and when we trust Him more than we trust ourselves.

Two weeks ago my friend texted me. I told her I regretted the way I handled things in the spring. Her reply was "Don't look back with regret. I think God may be building something better and stronger....Oh the possibilities."

Honestly? I didn't believe her. Which is why you shouldn't trust feelings. I felt so disconnected from my friend, so sure that it was 'never going to be the same' that I couldn't see a hopeful future. Part of me forgot that indeed it couldn't be the same. That was the whole point of the spring. And I'm determined not to waste the pain and yuck of those lessons.

The Lord is building something stronger. Between us and inside of us. We each have come to realize how much we must depend on God to carry us, to fulfill us, to give us our worth. That people will disappoint every time, but that Christ does not. That when all seems lost and hopeless there is One who remains.

I think last night was a gift. A beautiful example of rewarded obedience. I prayed before our visit that my old feelings would not return, that I would not again be drawn into feelings that were not appropriate. And I wasn't! I feel like all the good was there and none of the bad. While I know I must remain diligent, taking each thought captive, I also have tasted the sweetness of the possibilities of this friendship and been refreshed.

My friend validated some of my thoughts as well as challenged me to think more fully about things I struggle with. We discussed roots versus visible weeds. Our discussion gave me some questions to raise with the counselor on Wednesday.

As I drove away from her house very late last night {or very early this morning, ha!} I had a smile on my face and peace in my soul. I felt connected to God in a way that I haven't in a long time. I was brimming with gratitude.

It's ALL good.

and there IS hope~