One major life thing I haven’t blogged about was the abrupt end of a friendship that occurred this past summer. It wasn’t just a friendship, this person was incredibly close, more of a sister than a friend.
We have similar backgrounds and a real kinship of spirit. Though she is wild and extroverted and I’m really quiet. She’s the life of the party, I’m at home reading… you get the picture….We always found common ground. She helped me to loosen up and I was a calming force in her life.
When we first met we were both very involved in the same church. We would get together and talk, laugh, cry, pray… the friendship was a gift for both of us.
Well, life happens and we both drifted away from church and God and became more and more enabling rather then edifying. Less “iron sharpens iron” and more gummy bear enabling gummy bear. That and some other issues culminated in an abrupt and painful end. There was no communication for months.
I didn’t know if it was the end. Honestly, at first I didn’t even think much about it because I was so engrossed in caring for my son. Around the time things went sour I was providing basically round the clock care and my son was practically an invalid.
But here and there emotions and feelings would burst forth. Anger, regret, hurt. Really, a grieving process. It got to the point were I would think about her everyday and what went wrong. I stopped focusing so much on the hurt and was able to introspect and see how I had failed her. I had room to grow. I should have handled things differently.
She reached out to me last week.
We met up in a quiet coffee shop. The mood was somber. We both had come out of very rough years. There was a feeling of mutual muted sadness and reflection. We were able to apologize to each other and talk openly about where it all went wrong.
Last night we got together again. My inhibitions loosened after a glass of wine, I wrapped my arms around her and prayed over her. I cried. She cried. The Holy Spirit went pumping though our bodies with his gently persistent love.
You can always come home.
I had felt a sense of grief over the way I handled this year and the trials I went through. I wasn’t cooperative. I sinned and hid from God. Coming back to a more authentic place of worship I’ve felt this grief that I had missed this chance to be sanctified through this trial. Like dross being removed from gold in the fire. I went into the fire and came out, cruddy dross intact.
But I’ve come to realize that God, in his grace, worked through even that. See, I’ve always struggled with the question of, “Can I lose my salvation? Will God still love me if….?” This year I found my answer. I reached new personal lows. I did things I thought I’d never do.
God still loves me and his Spirit never left.
I now believe what I couldn’t before. I am sealed. I am chosen. I am loved. I am saved. Period.
“And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified… For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:30&38-39
I feel a sense of grace and freedom that I never felt before. Because I tumbled to the bottom and he caught me.
As I prayed over my friend I got a word for her. This past year of pain and sorrow has been a process of breaking up a faulty foundation. When a foundation is no good it needs to be dismantled, with a jackhammer or carefully inserted dynamite. It looked like her life as she knew it had blown up and she was emerging, blinking and dazed, from the rubble. But what God was doing was breaking up the old foundation of shame, false beliefs, generational dysfunction. The foundation she had been struggling to grow in all her life. A bad foundation with gnarly roots and hunks of ugly concrete and warped steel. In the process of the mining and overturning he was preserving and exposing the gold tucked in amongst the rubble and calling her to a place of greater freedom and abundant life.
I don’t know where you’re at but I can confidently say that God loves you. Jesus died for you. Because of Him the end doesn’t have to be the end.
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls…” Isaiah 58:12
“Dear Heavenly Father, Lord I pray that you would touch the person reading this right now. That you would wash over them with your love. I pray that You would make us people that repair the ruins of our lives and the precious lives around us. We thank you that you are good, even when we can’t always see it. You are the Ancient of Days and you are coming soon to make all things new. Amen”