The Tale of a Friend

It’s really hard to apologize. I already have the hardest time saying that I was wrong but at least in those cases an apology is warranted. I am talking about those times when you aren’t wrong, maybe you are very right within every term of the definition of right but an apology would make the drama end….it would keep you from pulling your hair out….it would make the argument stop….and most of all it would make your heavenly Father proud.
I am dealing with that now. I have been hurt by a friendship that went sideways. She was someone that I confided a lot with-we were like peas in a pod. She seems to get me and I got her. I could be completely honest about the things I was struggling with and she was right there to encourage me. She told me about her failings and I would build her up. We had deep conversations about the Word and what we believed God was telling us about our futures. I was diagnosed with cancer and she was right by my side not treating me as an invalid but realizing when I needed to take things slow or didn’t feel as sunny and optimistic as others wanted me to be.
She was my rock.
And then it all started to fall apart.
I didn’t see the change immediately. She stopped coming to our small group as often to focus on work. Her eyes didn’t light up as much when telling stories of how God had shown up in her life in unexpected ways. She spent more of her time studying self help and how to be a millionaire books than the Bible. Her conversation became more focused on what other people wanted her to be rather than on what God wanted for her.
I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t know how to confront and counsel someone who was falling away from God in front of my eyes. Love of success and seeing herself on the big stage was taking over and she wasn’t going after the things of God anymore. I felt like she was falling away from me. She didn’t listen to the advice I would give her about chasing money or status. She didn’t confide in me anymore and I started to feel like she didn’t want me in her life.
She started calling herself by a different name. She made friends that agreed and encouraged her new attitude. She called it “taking control” and “being assertive”. I called it no longer caring about people more than yourself. She thought she was getting stronger feeding on this “new” theory of self help, pseudo-Chrsitianity/prosperity-based life when it just looked perverted and untrue to me.
How was I supposed to help her? As her friend wasn’t I supposed to stop this!?!? How do you make someone see themselves when they have been blinded by the enemy?
I was hurt. I felt betrayed and angry…..I was jealous of her friends who got to spend time with this person I knew was so amazing but at the same time I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with her because that person I used to know was no longer there.
I was in mourning and I took it out on her. Our friendship was dying and I wanted to punish her as much as I felt I was being punished. I confess that I wasn’t the light of Christ to her-I was a vengeful woman, a friend scorned. I didn’t show her love but constantly reminded her of her faults and rudely deflected every other text or call. It was no wonder she wasn’t going after Him anymore with me as the role model.
It wasn’t until I was woken up early one morning and had a talk with the Holy Spirit. I could tell He had a lot to say and I was finally heartbroken enough to hear it. He asked me if I was willing to let her go. To not try and make her the person she used to be but to take steps back to Him. He reminded me that He is the only One who can call her back and I was neglecting my relationship with Him by pursuing our friendship.
Could I let her go? Never have another midnight phone call? No more dinners and much longer conversations? No more bible studies and conversations about faith?
I let go.
I had to.
I cried and prayed and asked God to forgive me for holding on so long. I walked until I was calm. I have to forgive her for the offense that I felt and asked to be forgiven for the jealousy in my heart towards the ones she chose to befriend now.
It has been a couple of months since that walk. I am still heart sore over it all. The friendship has deteriorated with only pictures and memories left. People still ask me about her and I feel sad every time I say that I haven’t seen her or don’t know what she’s up to. I am making new friends now though, people who are renewing my hope in others and filling that void.

I still look forward to that day when she comes back to Christ. Even if we are never as tight as we used to be I want to see her smile with that joy that only the Holy Spirit can give one more time.

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