Are you experiencing pain in a friendship?
I would love to have this be a place where we can gently help each other. Recently Remi wrote with a friendship problem I think we have all experienced. Remi has a humble and teachable heart, so when I asked her if I could post her letter, she vulnerably agreed. When we try to help each other, let’s be as gentle as if we were removing a sliver!
Here’s Remi’s letter:
I have a friend who I have been friends with for over 25 years. It’s something when you meet someone, and the Lord “knits your hearts together.” This was the way with my friend. Within my heart, God has placed a love for this friend, which in hard times, and bad times, hasn’t diminished. I know it’s a “gift” from God because it doesn’t go away. The last 5 years or so with my friend has been difficult, and because of circumstances in her life she has withdrawn, which has been painful to me as a friend. I want to withdrawn myself at times, because of my own hurt. But God, has put a love in my heart for this woman, that doesn’t change or diminish. It’s painful, to be sure, because I feel rejected, but then I thought, ya know, I need to get myself out of the way. God, I believe places people in our lives for a reason, and the opposite is true also, we have been placed in others hearts for a reason, who knows but we may be the instruments that God uses to show that other person, unconditional love. (I am not perfect, by any means, and some of the letter you may not understand because of the relationship, but I would like your feedback!) (I also know I am opening myself up for criticism, but your honesty is appreciated.) On that note, I’d like to offer the letter I wrote to my friend:
I don’t understand what is going on with you, how come you never write? And please don’t insult me by saying your “too busy” or “you hate to write.”
It’s funny but I don’t know how to treat you actually.
If you were my sister, I would say – “What’s wrong with you?” “How come you don’t write – what’s going on?”
If you were my mother, I would be deeply wounded, knowing you don’t care enough to write – that I’ve meant so little to you.
As a friend, I’m not sure what type of friend I am. I’m hurt because I thought we were better friends than not. But apparently that is not the case either. That’s hurtful, but I’ll get over it.
But one thing I think I am to you is a sister in Christ. I don’t think things can change that, because it was born of God.
There are many good reasons why I think that God brought you into my life – but the opposite is true also – God knew also that I could be used to bring something into your life. God doesn’t make mistakes, we do.
I want to be found faithful , to carry out the things that God has given me to do, and certainly, God hasn’t made my way hard , painful sometimes, but not hard. It’s getting myself out of the way, that sometimes is difficult.
God has put a love in my heart for you. It doesn’t change or diminish. Alot of time, I wish it would go away because it is painful.
I’m not a stalker, or a stupid person, but I am a gift of God’s love toward you. You can accept it or reject it .
God had a purpose , I am sure of it. He doesn’t make mistakes .
A Sister in Christ Responds:
This is from FTL, who also gave me permission to post her reply. This originally was on the MId-day Forum from Moody Radio.
08-12-2009 06:56 AM ET (US)
May I speak to you from the other side? I am one who has withdrawn after nearly 30 years of friendship. Because of where I am, I am guessing there is a cause why your friend has withdrawn–a cause that she hasn’t felt free to tell you for some reason.
Parts of the letter you posted are good. But other parts made me cringe. I would not feel invited to relationship if I received it. I would feel controlled, and ready to run even farther.
I think Dee’s suggestion of reading the Boundaries book is great. As you do so, lay out your heart before God on what He wants to show you about you. If you pursue relationship later, it would be well to ask questions that would draw out your friend. I think what you really want is to hear her heart. Ask questions that will invite her to share it, but not compel her. If she speaks, then listen. It may be hard to hear. It may be distorted, which can wound deeply. But there may also be hard truths you need to hear.
Hugs and prayers!