I thought today would be a fairly significant day for me. A year ago today, I lost friendship and fellowship with someone I continue to deeply admire. Someone who saw my brokenness and tried desperately to come alongside and mentor me, at my initial request.
But I have changed. Changed immensely and entirely. Today was rather insignificant. I changed diapers, laughed with my son, cheered my husband on with his marathon training (for I have dropped to the half-marathon, but that’s a post for another day), and easily kept my mind on things present. If I had not changed this year… If I were the same broken woman I was the day my dear friend stepped away from me, I would be an emotional heap on the floor, unable to contain my fear of abandonment, my self-harm, and my anxiety attacks. But I am put together and smiling after a long day of serving my family.
In honor of my Christian sister (for that is still what she is, if no longer a friend), I will share what I learned from her.
-All life is a gift of God and is to be celebrated.
-There is healing after trauma.
-If you make excuses or believe you cannot heal, you won’t. If you stand upright and just do it, you will heal.
-If you put your deep shame and fears into any relationship, it will crumble.
…Only God can withstand the intensity of the emotions that deep trauma provokes.
-Husbands are worthy and in need of attention, love, servanthood, and respect.
-Friendship ought to be lovingly cultivated and kept, thinking of the other before yourself.
It seems that a person I speak so highly of ought to have taught me more than six lessons, but these are profound life truths. These are things she tried to teach me while we were in fellowship, but they are things I did not learn until I was left to myself. To learn that I could heal. To learn that I am strong enough to stand.
I wish this hadn’t been the case, but it was her stepping away that tore open the remainder of my deep, dark wound that had festered since childhood. Only once I was torn open and oxygen hit the wound could I begin to find my way towards healing and wholeness.
Am I healed? No. Do I still have PTSD? Yes.
Am I healing? Yes. Am I walking forward, no matter how bruised and bloody my soul feels at times? Yes. Do I have the desire to self-harm? Sometimes. Do I? NO. It’s been so many months, I’ve lost count. Do I have the desire to sabotage relationships? Yes. Do I? NO (well, I do still try to push my husband away, but at this point we both start laughing through my angry outbursts because we recognize the ridiculous pattern).
Thank you to my dear Christian sister for stepping away, for through it, you have mentored me one thousand times over what you could have done if you were still alongside me. I still pray sometimes that our fellowship would be restored, but I know I still have a long way to go before He will answer; it’s not yet time.
I know many who read have lost relationships for which they care deeply. I hope that one day you will see how God has used both the presence of, and absence of, the relationship to mold you into who He wants you to be.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2