Sunday, April 14, 2013

From Every Side

I had a best friend.

She was closer to me than a sister. I named my youngest daughter after her.  I don't know if you have ever had that experience before but it was the kind of friendship that movies are made of and books are written about. I miss her every day. I keep waiting for the missing her to stop, but it is just always there, the missing her.  We had a falling out quite a while ago and I don't know that either one of us knows how to fix it. It seems that every attempt has ended with more hurt for one of us and I think maybe we just got to the point where we just did not want to hurt each anymore.

Most of the time I do pretty well. I am happy and content and then WHAM! I miss her so badly it takes my breath away. Tears come to my eyes and I have to walk away from what I am doing lest the people near me ask and I have to explain.

Anna commented to me that I have been "all kinds of deep lately". Maybe that is true. Or maybe I just have not been able to "get my talk out" with people. I have been kind of a hermit the past couple weeks.

Regardless, I was burning grilling some steaks on the grill this evening and it made me think of low carb dieting. Any kind of food makes me think of dieting these days!  But in thinking about low carbing, I thought of my friend and how we did that diet together and both lost quite a bit of weight. I have never been able to repeat that same success and I wonder if I will be able to do it without her.

There was a time when I would have said you were a crazy liar if you told me that we would be in this place. I remember wondering aloud with her on the phone once about the weirdness that would exist if we did not have each other as best friends. We wondered who would we talk to. We wondered how we would get advice. We wondered who we would turn to for support. I don't think either one of us really thought that was any kind of real possibility. But here we are and I don't know about her but I often find myself wondering, "What in the world happened?"

Looking back, I know that there was a lot of unhealthy things in our friendship.  If anything happened in my day, she was the first person I wanted to share it with, the first person that I wanted to ask for guidance.  In a lot of ways, my husband came in second. I did not need any other friends, even though I had them. I think we let too many things go for the sake of our relationship. We did not do a lot of boat rocking and when the storm came, we did not know how to stabilize it. We had no practice and a good strong wind just blew us over.

In the past few years, I have done a lot of changing and some serious changes have happened in my life. I have had to learn what living with a chronically ill child looks like, my relationship with my husband went through a change (for the better), my oldest daughter offered more serious challenges, my priorities have changed, and I have found a more real confidence in knowing who I am in the eyes of God. I often wonder if we met each other for the first time at this point in our lives, would we have become friends at all. Maybe she would not even like me now. I don't know.

I do know this: One - no friendship should ever be taken for granted. It should be nurtured with conversation, giving, and boundaries. You need conversation to further the relationship, giving to deepen the relationship and boundaries to conserve the relationship. And two - no problem should be "let go" unless you are really willing to let it go and never let it be a problem.  Forgiveness and grace should always abound from every side.

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