You have a friendship that makes you feel completely understood. The openness between you is about more than the fact that you're both in similar stages of life.
There's something in the way you both see challenges and respond to them. You enjoy the mutual support you provide each other, sometimes giving and other times receiving.
The time comes when you feel confident enough to share that one big event in your past that always makes you cringe. Or maybe it's the ongoing temptation that most causes you to stumble. Then again, it could simply be the reality behind the upbeat image others make of you.
You head into that conversation with expectations you can't quite articulate, but they're all positive. You're fully convinced the strength of your relationship can bear the presentation of the topic, will actually flourish because of your deep investment.
But despite your heart's desire and careful efforts it's not to be.
The acceptance you desired doesn't materialize. The insights you craved are not voiced. The support you desperately needed is non-existent.
You feel judged and found wanting. Your friend deserts you ... lock ... stock ... and barrel. And you feel abandoned because you have been.
What do YOU do?
My first reaction is to totally shut down. Somehow I take that massive and intimate rejection and paint all my relationships with the same color. I find myself drowning in self-pity as I question my worth. On my good days I avoid re-counting to others the unjustified damage I sustained. I get so wrapped up in the incident and the feelings it generates that my life in Christ fades into the background.
"It should not be so," I tell myself. "LORD, I want balance, and fulfillment, even joy in my life."
Thankfully, He hears me. EVERY TIME.
This weekend my Abba Father met me in this very valley through a novel. It's a compelling account of the life of Rahab, the harlot from Joshua 2 who was used and discarded over and over again. The biblical setting is historically sound. The characters and events are fictionalized. The interweaving somehow brings indescribable strength to the message the author offers.
"That evening, after they had finished supper, Rahab disclosed some of these thoughts to Miriam. The kind of vulnerable openness required for such a conversation represented a new territory for Rahab. The openness and vulnerability in her relationship with Salmone had begun to influence her other relationships as well. Rather than holding her secrets close to her chest for fear of being rebuffed, she shared them candidly. Feeling secure in Miriam's love, she was able to be honest about her shortcomings. This vulnerability was rewarded with an experience of intimate belonging. She felt truly connected to Miriam. And the more she shared, the less lonely she felt." Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar, page 307
#1. Trust God.
#2. Pursue God.
#3. Honor God.
"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."
2 Chronicles 20:12
"Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6
When people fail us and the world makes no sense let's choose to focus on God with confidence, commitment, and courage. Will you join me?