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Forgive and Be Forgiven: I Hurt People Too

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I’m learning a new lesson in forgiveness this week. Nine years ago today, my best friend Patricia walked away from our friendship. No call, no note, nothing to explain her sudden departure. Dan and I were engaged and Patricia was to be my Maid of Honor. We were scheduled to go shopping and hopefully find the perfect dress for us both. She never showed. I called but she didn’t answer. I was worried but when I got a hold of her son, he said she was fine but couldn’t talk. Her son had a bit of a wild side and I figured he had done something bad and being the best friends that we were, she knew I would completely understand why she didn’t show. I would have; we were that close. I asked him, “What did you do?” He said he was in trouble for having a knife or a small weapon of some sort so I breathed a sign of relief (selfish and sad but he was always in trouble) and figured she would be calling me with all of the details, we’d get pie and reschedule our trip. The call never came. That was it. Nine years and I still am not sure what I did to make her walk away.

Cut to a few days ago. My best friend from tenth grade found me on Facebook. We were great friends and she was a great girl. We were inseparable. I loved hanging out at her house and spending time with her large family. I think there were eight kids. I can vividly remember seven of them, so I figure I am probably missing one in there somewhere. What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, our senior year, without a call, without a note I walked away from the friendship with nothing to explain my sudden departure. The reasons don’t matter here, but there wasn’t a good one. That was twenty-four years ago.

In her Facebook message, she didn’t mention my offense and her sentiment was extremely positive. She remembered our dancing to Footloose, thought my family was beautiful, and was happy I was doing well. Still a great girl. It dawned on me what I had done all those years ago and I knew I owed her an apology. I did and in the midst of a few messages back and forth, I realized how much I had hurt her.

I am amazed how God is still teaching me lessons in forgiveness. So often I only focus on how I have been hurt and the pains that I carry brought on by someone else. In my posts I write, disguised as a martyr, using my past woes to express refinement and redemption–glorifying God through my humble forgiveness. It is interesting to me that I fly the flag that “God Doesn’t Waste a Wound” and how immature and one sided my understanding of that statement is. God will use anything for his Glory even wounds that I am responsible for. How awesome that redemption is not one sided either.

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