Recently, I really blew it with a friend and I spent my day in regret over how I treated him.  Later in the day, I had the chance to apologize and I appreciated how he responded.  In a direct way, he acknowledged that I was wrong, he had been troubled at what I’d done and simply said, “I forgive you.”  I was so grateful for that, but he went even further by saying, “We’re okay.  We’re still friends – always will be.  Nothing could change that.”

Those healing words brought tears to my eyes.  I think that was the first time anyone had said that to me and I felt an echo of God’s love for me though the words of my friend.  It was like God was reminding me that nothing could ever change His love for me. What a gift.

His words also made me think of Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore- the amazing story of a true friendship between a buisiness man and a homeless man. They were intentional and deeply loyal to each other – so much so that while I read the book, I cried at the beauty of their story. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it as a beautiful picture of friendshp!

I also thought about grudges that I’ve held against friends in the past.  My friend’s forgiveness of me and my careless words really challenged me to extend grace and forgiveness more quickly to others (without dismissing or diminishing the offense).  May I be a vessel of God’s love, grace, reconciliation, and friendship in this often prickly, graceless, warring world.

Missing Out

“You’re spending all your energy trying to get what you can’t have – you’re missing out on something very cool!”

I said this with exasperation to my cat, Zooey, who was too busy pacing, anxious and crying incessantly to go outside, to notice that right outside the window was her favorite thing to watch – a chipmunk gnawing away at sunflower seeds.  As soon as the words came out of me, I felt my words go into my own heart.

For years, I thought that if only I got healthy and dealt with my depression, then my relationships would be great – everything I dreamed they would be.  I got healthy and my relationships were pretty much the same.  So, I thought, once the people and circumstances around me change, then I’ll be happy and life will be “good”.  After being frustrated and trying to make people change, my counselor finally told me, “You need to face reality. Your relationships and circumstances won’t suddenly become your perfect scenarios if your list of change ‘to dos’ get done.”  Ouch.  I didn’t even realize that I was counting on that.  But, if I was honest with myself, I really did believe that if the list of changes that I had for others actually happened, THEN I’d be satisfied and happy.  But, while I was putting off happiness and wishing away the people and circumstances  around me, I was missing out on so many great things about the life I’ve been given.  Instead of picking at the negatives in my marriage, job, friendships – I want to enjoy the good about those things in my life.

This doesn’t mean I won’t fight for healthy relationships. I want to be “God’s Good Woman” (Dr. Jennifer Degler, “Christian Nice Girl”) and live in wisdom and contentment – not manipulative codependency.  I don’t want to spend my life crying for what I can’t have and miss out on something really cool that’s right in front of me.