I have a friend who is fierce. She is beautiful and strong, though she’d argue that point. She has walked some similar paths as I have, and for a long time, our paths were so intertwined it was hard to see where the distinction was between them.
When we met, we were so young and bruised, totally naive, but something in our hearts clicked together and we became best friends almost instantly. I gladly absorbed myself in her life in order to escape my own, and she depended on me, which gave me value and a purpose. I’d already rejected who I was at home and school, so at least in this relationship I had a reason for being and I wasn’t failing.
Because we were both just walking out our brokenness, it was inevitable that we would hurt each other, that our wounds would get in the way and tear us apart. There was a lot of betrayal and a lot of lies between us and eventually we had to part ways.
I blamed her for a long time, and even though the Father has done an incredible healing work in our relationship, there are moments when I look back and my scar tissue starts to sting. I think that’s normal to a point, but this week He is showing me what was really going on back then. Like I said, I had given out assignments to people in my life that didn’t fit their purpose, and I wasn’t the only one making that mistake. I have forgiven where necessary, but there was, once again, more to the story.
When I look back now, with the new knowledge and hindsight I’ve been given in the past few weeks, I see every relationship and hurtful memory as part of this cycle, rolling waves of rejection and unforgiveness, that keep lapping at the shores of my heart. Over and over I tried to fill those holes I talked about yesterday and over and over my efforts fell short. I put people in places they never belonged. I assigned them shoes they could never fill. I rejected my identity in order to become someone people might like better, might find more acceptable than who I really was and again, in rejecting myself to be accepted, all I reaped was more rejection. I remember in my senior year of high school I experienced a betrayal so deep that when I sat in my room weeping, the Lord showed me that I’d completely lost myself in the relationship that had devastated me so much. I had no identity anymore. That was the very beginning of this healing process. That was fourteen years ago.
I started talking about this yesterday, the idea that we are all broken to one degree or another, and in the past year whenever I’ve received offense about something, stewed about it for a good long while before dealing with it, I always, always, find that when I face it head on the offending party was responding exactly how I was: out of their wounds and out of lies the enemy had spoken. Sometimes what’s going on has absolutely nothing to do with me too. Sometimes what the other person is struggling with is manifesting itself in my life in one way when they’re thoughts aren’t even on me.
I had a conversation with a friend recently and I confessed an offense I’d taken up that involved a situation she was an inadvertent part of and she confessed her own issue as it related to the scenario and I couldn’t help but shake my head. I had thought it was all about me. This was where the “picked last for dodgeball” mentality kicked in before my birthday. Like people are out to get me, all the time, when what’s true is that they’re just trying to navigate the muddy waters of living life in a broken world the same way that I am.
This is where I wish again that we could get a free pass as teenagers. At such young ages, though we thought we were adults and mature and oh, so wise, we had absolutely no clue what was going on. We were totally blind to our own issues and were walking around trying to fix everyone else’s. At least that’s what I was doing, repeatedly.
I shake my head at myself now and wish I could go back and sit down with those two teenagers and tell them that what they have to together is so precious, but that they’ve got to get some perspective in order not to ruin it. I can only speak to my own set of brokenness but maybe that would have be enough.
I am so thankful that the Father has redeemed our friendship, and that it is in a healthy place today, and that we are both on our own journeys with the Father, and I don’t regret the years past, because we both learned and grew in ways we needed to, but if only there had been a voice that we would have listened to, that could have spoken to the gaping holes in our hearts . . . If only we had understood the Holy Spirit’s real purpose in our life.
Comforter, Redeemer, Advocate, Helper. Holy Spirit, come and comfort. Come and redeem, advocate and help. Remind us of everything Jesus has told us.
That’s His job according to John 14:26, and all of the healing that I’ve been experiencing this week and over the past few years is only happening because I’ve finally opened myself up to Him and allowed Him to do His job in my life. It’s not always this easy, but it’s always better than anything I ever try to do on my own.
What is the Holy Spirit stirring up in your heart today? I encourage you to find a quiet corner and ask Him what He’s doing and then trust Him to complete the work in your heart!