11 LOVE IN ACTION
I went away the following summer to work at a Christian
camp, where spiritually I grew a lot and got to experience
what a true, healthy friendship really looks like. As the
summer ended and I came back home, hanging out with
her became a source of great anxiety. She didn’t accept
the changes that I had experienced over the summer
concerning my personal and spiritual growth, along with
the fact that I wasn’t really interested in gossiping with
her anymore. My interests had simply just changed a lot.
She made digs at how I had changed, but I shrugged it
off for a while, assuming that we were both just thrown
off after being apart for so long. It only got worse,
though. She started getting mad when I hung out with
other people, and I began hearing rumors that she had
been spreading about me.
I was stuck. I wanted to move on and focus on my
other, healthy friendships, but I also didn’t want to
lose her. For every time I didn’t invite her to
something, I’d hear a new rumor that she had spread
about me. The last time this happened, I had just
gone shopping with a few friends. She hadn’t been
invited, only because it was really last minute. I heard
from just about every one of our mutual friends just
how appalled she was that she wasn’t invited. That’s
when I realized that in order to fix this friendship,
or even to simply move on, I needed to address the
Although I was terrified, when she alluded about the shopping trip to me, I quickly hid my shaky hands so she
couldn’t see how nervous I was, said a quick prayer and decided to face it and talk to her. I told her that I knew
what she was saying to people about me and that I would work at the friendship if we agreed to talk to each
other instead of other people when there are issues. I was surprised at how well she responded. Although, our
friendship may never be completely restored to the way it used to be, neither of us would have been able to start
afresh in our friendship without confronting the messy stuff.
Do you have to have a new beginning with a friendship this New Year?
1. Pray about it. Ask God to give you the opportunity and courage you need.
2. Ask your friend for a time to have a good, honest conversation. Make sure other people aren’t around.
3. Make sure they feel safe. Even though you may feel hurt and angry, you don’t want them to feel attacked.
4. Remember what your motive is – to end a bad pattern and create new, good ones.
5. Remind your friend throughout the conversation that you care about them and only want what is best for
both of you. Remind yourself of that too.