Recently a situation arose with a friend that left our family shocked and hurt. Relationships are messy and anytime you open yourself up to a person you are risking getting hurt. Many times, as a result it is easier to remain guarded and keep relationships on a surface level. Occasionally there are those people, however, who just touch your heart and connect with you. It hurts more when an injury comes from an unexpected source, a trusted source. This is what our family is experiencing.
I’ve had a few days now to think about this situation and move past the raw emotion. I find myself coming back to three main emotions; anger, confusion, and hurt. I’m angry that I let myself get hurt and that these friends hurt us. I’m confused because I cannot understand why our friends would do this, and finally I am back to hurting.
Of these three emotions I think that two are helpful and healthy. One, however is dangerous. My confusion is natural. Until I am able to sit down with our friends and bluntly ask, “Why?” and get an honest I will remain confused. It makes sense to hurt when there is a tear in a relationship. While hurting is not something I like, I have to admit that life would not be as sweet and relationships would not be as full without the potential for hurt…at least not in this fallen world. Anger though, that’s the dangerous one. Anger, for me, tends to lead to more anger. Which leads to bitterness, hardness, and ridiculous resolutions, like I’ll never trust that person again, or I’ll never let myself get close to somebody who might hurt me. It also leads me to wishing I could hurt back, which is an ugliness inside of me that I despise. I’ve seen what unreigned anger can do to a person. It can turn a kind and loving person into a bitter, negative person. Unchecked anger hardens the heart. I don’t want to remain angry, so why is it that this emotion is the one I find myself dwelling on the most?
As I was tearfully pouring my heart out to my wise mom the other day she told me, “I know it hurts but you just have them through this.” Now at the time my heart and mind cried out, “I don’t want to love them. I want to turn my back on them and walk away!” However I know she is right. I don’t want to become a hard person who cannot be vulnerable in a relationship. Maybe someday I’ll see this hurt as merely a bump in a full, sweet friendship. That is my hope. Until that time I will love. I will ask hard questions, because that demonstrates love. I will forgive, even before being apologized to, because that is love in action.
PS Our family will see these friends this weekend. We will talk and spend time together and I am looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. If you think of us will you please pray that we do demonstrate love? Thank you friends.