We all know what it feels like to be offended by a friend or experience a hurt that takes us some time to get over. However, I want to talk about the times when friends leave scars from hurts so deep that you can't seem to think about anything else and your life seems to be spiraling out of control because of the damage done to you.
When Friends Leave Scars
Friends are special people. You allow them to come into places in your heart that are reserved for those closest to you. They are the ones you trust, appreciate and value.
Friends are cherished treasures that you hold dear and close.
It is because of this sacred place that we give to our friends, as women, that words and actions can cut us deep.
Looking back, I saw the signs of the betrayal that later hit me like a ton of bricks and left me dizzy from the way it shook my world around me. I watched the aftermath of this earthquake result in this one friend successfully unraveling friendship after friendship through lies, twisted words and slander.
At the beginning of this life-changing event in our lives, my husband and I attempted to work through confronting the situation, apologizing for any part of hurt feelings I may have cause (the attacks were all aimed toward me) and forgiving. My heart longed to see restoration with this friend and to see peace restored between us.
I was naive to the length that some people go to inflict pain on others, to justify their actions and to rally others to their side.
As a family, the emotions of this situation that had been building for months behind the scenes began to fester until the point that the pressure caused me to come close to a nervous breakdown. At this point, the pain was so deep because we had lost nearly 30 relationships because of one false friend.
Tears were falling down my cheeks from morning to night, often times accompanied by uncontrollable sobs as I struggled to function in my home or homeschool. I desperately desired to get past the hurt but I felt stuck.
When friends leave scars so deep that you can't breathe without fighting tears, you only have one hope… God.
My faith in people was dying.
During this time, I described myself as a turtle and that my husband was my shell. I hid behind him, afraid that others may attack me, leave me or turn against me. My words seemed the weapons of my enemy, and my only defense was to hid and to quiet my tongue.
I turned my attention to my family and my faith.
I read scriptures, sang hymns and prayed when the hurt flooded me. My family worked to make my happy through situations that would make me laugh. They hugged me, prayed for me and loved me with words of encouragement while building me up with words of affirmation of who I was to them.
Just as I thought that I was growing stronger, I realized that I was growing bitter.
Several months after our world was turned upside down, we received news that the false friend's family had something happen that no one deserved.
For the next three nights, my nerves were so worn out that I couldn't stop vomiting and crying. I felt that everything was worse than it have ever been and that is when I realized that my bitterness was defeating me.
I remember crying out in prayer for the Lord to lead me to forgive this false friend. I needed more than I had to accomplish that and I knew it was only going to come from Him.
The next morning, as I was cleaning my kitchen, I began to realize what I needed to do to forgive this person that has caused me and my family more pain than we have ever experienced.
I needed to take her family groceries, deliver them in person and hug her neck, while offering her my ear to listen to her through her pain.
I knew that if I told my husband before I was able to act on this that he may stop me altogether, so I proceeded until a few minutes before I was leaving.
Of course he was shocked. I was, too. However, he gave me his blessing, told me he was proud of me and prayed with me before I left.
As I knocked on her door, I can't explain the peace that flooded me. We hugged for a while and then I brought the groceries in and offered to sit and be there for her.
She didn't desire me to stay, so I left… released from my bitterness.
Yes, I still have the scars from this false friend, but I also see that without this happening in our lives, our family would have missed out on a church that we love, learning the importance of true forgiveness and how that time in our lives was a pivotal point in my life that has allowed me the opportunity to grow as a person, as a Christian, as a wife, as a mother and as a friend.
For those lessons that these scars have provided, I'm truly thankful.
If you are struggling with the rawness of hurt from a friend, I hope you have found comfort in knowing that it will serve a purpose that will make you better, if you let it through true forgiveness and letting go of the bitterness that only harms you.