A Restoration of the Heart
My best friend and I were born 12 days apart. It would be funny to add up the hours we spent together hanging out in her basement. We shared our hearts on a daily basis. I helped her with algebra and she helped me with dating advice. We made decisions together, spent lazy Saturday mornings together, and laughed until our bellies hurt. Eventually, she made her way to the University of Iowa with me for college. We shared friends and food and took the hardships together. When we moved into our “adult” lives, our friend group from college continued meeting on a yearly basis at a minimum. It was at this point that we had a falling out. She no longer wanted to participate. After a flurry of angry emails the relationship ended in a matter of days. It has now been a decade since our falling out. We have barely spoken, except for a few sentences at a high school class reunion.
It took about five of those years to realize that I had a role in our falling out (because I’m humble and also a fast learner). Plenty of blame is mine. I was a demanding and bossy friend. I often tried to manipulate her behavior with my criticism. I held our relationship with a closed fist.
It took a few more years for me to offer forgiveness to her. This was done in my heart because she would not receive any kind of contact from me. But it was honest and it lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. It was a burden that had been making me sick every time I thought about it. The burden made my other relationships harder. This burden of blaming her was causing me pain.
This is where we sit today. She has not chosen to communicate with me in a decade. The only reason I can share that with the world is because, with the help of Jesus at every step, I have been able to truly forgive. This has led to a restoration in my own life, even though she has no idea of my story.
Today I can say that I am free of anger and spite. I know this because we bumped into each other in the mall a month ago. I was happy to see her and her mother. I was happy to exchange a few brief words. I hope for the best for her and her family.
God has restored my heart from this terrible burden. From the pain of the lost relationship, the ugliness of not forgiving, and the sickness that it causes as we tighten our grip while trying to make it right in our own power.
Thankfully, God is able to forgive me for the part I played, which is good news for my soul. And even though she and I are not back in a relationship, this is still a restoration story.
Restoration is about the work that has been done in my heart. God is making all things new. This experience has grown my hope as I eagerly await the redemption of my body and this earth (Romans 8).
Connection & Communication Architect