Restoring a Broken Friendship

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (1)

Disputes, disagreements, careless words and anger can be some of the causes of disputes that cause friction and lead to broken relationships. One way we can grow is to find ways to repair or heal a broken relationship. The closest people to us are the easiest to offend, and yet they are also the most important people to us. We want to be sharing life with them. How do we come to reconciliation when we’ve been hurt or feel betrayed?

“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (2)

There was a time in my life when a very close friend walked along side of me through life. We carpooled our children together since her daughter and my son shared the same classes at school. Our children had similar struggles plus they had friends together through church activities. Many times we’d come together as families to celebrate holidays, and vacations. She was my “forever friend.” You know the kind of friend that you think “nothing will ever happen” because your friendship is perfect. Well I needed to learn nothing is permanent in this life. This lesson was learned when we had a fall-out in our friendship.

Loosing a dear friend was painful. Sensing a lack of desire to want to spend time together was a sure sign that something was wrong. Her disinterest in my life followed by excuses in not coming together caused me pain. I remember confronting her, asking if I had done anything wrong. The only answer she offered was “no”, leaving me more  confused. I wanted to restore our relationship, but it seemed impossible. I felt sad by the loss of a precious friendship and even mad at times feeling the sting of loneliness. When all my efforts were exhausted, then bewildered, I turned to God in prayer. I asked God to expose my sin or any weaknesses of mine that would have contributed to our broken relationship. Perhaps pride caused me to use careless words or I was impatient at times when dealing with the concerns of the children. It never seemed clear to me.

In time my hard heart soften and my attitude begin to change. I prayed God would give me an opportunity to serve her. My desire was set to glorify God no matter what. Submitting to God’s timing seemed what I needed for reconciliation. Four years pasted, then one day I received a call from her asking if I had some brochures she’d given me that were her mom’s. My time had come….it was my opportunity to serve her. I chose to show humility by displaying a forgiving heart. Thankfully, those items were retrieved and given back to her which opened a door for small opportunities to engaging in more meaningful conversation. Slowly our relationship began to restore. Such joy filled my heart one day when she left a message, singing, “When we all get to Heaven, what a wonderful day that will be” on my phone’s answering machine. I smiled and chuckled!

“When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll shout and sing the victory!”

God delivered a surprise to me that day that came from a very dear friend who reminded me that this is not all their is in life. We both anticipate arriving one day to a wonderful place where we will never struggle again with broken relationships.

If you find yourself in a broken relationship here are some helpful tips.

• Commit yourself to God’s timing of healing and restoration.
• Consider how God may use this situation for good.
• Seek to please God in all that you do, by forgiving and imitating Christ.
• Ask God to teach you what character qualities you need to exercise.
• Pray God will be glorified in this situation.

Heavenly Father, use my conflict as Your instrument to conform me to be like Your Son. Open my eyes to see how this is being used to mature my faith and to serve the needs of others. Teach me how to love as You do. Amen

Footnotes:

1. 1 Corinthians 5:18
2. Romans 14:19
3. http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/When_We_All_Get_to_H

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