During the ’90’s, Will Smith wrote a song for his son, Jaden, entitled “Just the Two of Us.”
In it he shared his hopes and dreams for his newborn son but also offered some wisdom to help him along his life journey.
In one line, he sings (or raps?) “One day some girl’s gonna break your heart, and ooh ain’t no pain like from the opposite sex, gonna hurt bad, but don’t take it out on the next, son.”
And while I do believe pain from the opposite sex can be excruciatingly painful (Hello, curled-up-in-a-ball-eighth-grade-Natalie-who-said-she-would-never-again-have-a-boyfriend . . . ), I would also say pain from other women can sear deep scars and paralyze us with doubt, confusion, and fear.
You’re not alone, sweet friends whose been hurt by another friend. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a woman who HASN’T felt the sting of an ended friendship or felt the bite marks of betrayal from another female.
Friendship can be tough at times because, unlike our marriages or familial relationships, a friendship can just end if things get bumpy and conflict arises. There aren’t necessarily any blood ties so it can be easier to say “I’ll just walk away from this friendship, thankyouverymuch.”
No one likes conflict. Conflict is uncomfortable and can be scary and can force us to have to get real with ourselves, right?
But. (You knew there would be a “but,” didn’t you?)
We miss out on the sweetest and most authentic part of true friendships when we choose to walk away rather than muddle through.
Reconciliation is always, always what God desires for His followers. In fact, He sent Jesus so we could be reconciled with Him. He’s kinda big on it.
Yet I know from personal experience, reconciliation doesn’t always occur. And this can be brutal.
However, lack of reconciliation doesn’t mean you can’t have closure. It takes one to forgive but two to reconcile.
In other words, no one else HAS to be involved in forgiveness. You don’t need to wait for an apology, you can just do it and it doesn’t have to involve one single person.
Forgiveness is for yourself. Lack of forgiveness can decay your heart through bitterness, resentment, anger, and fear. These fearless four coalesce into one potent acid that eats away until we don’t even recognize who we are anymore and oftentimes before we even realize it’s happening.
Don’t allow it to go any further if this sounds familiar, sweet friend.
I have walked through some hard stuff with my friends, too.
Sadly, a few didn’t make it through. Reconciliation didn’t occur and while it makes me sad, I have forgiven, hopefully they’ve forgiven me (though I need to say here you don’t need to live in chains if someone is with-holding their forgiveness – that’s for themselves, not you), and we’ve all grown a bit wiser for it.
There are seasons in which God brings friends into our lives and sometimes, it’s really just for a season.
But then there are your Heart Sisters and these . . . oh, friend. These are your girls.
Your Heart Sisters will be the ones who are willing to do the hard stuff. She’ll walk through the hurt because YOU are worth it and she will seek reconciliation because there’s really no other option.
When you’re Heart Sisters, you’re family. There’s no walking away.
But maybe you’ve been hurt, perhaps even devastated by another woman, and the thought of opening your heart to a female friend makes you want to go fetal in the corner.
Our wise friend, Will Smith, says “don’t take it out on the next.”
Our uber-wise friend, Jesus, says “if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13)
We must forgive so we don’t take it out on the next.
When we put armor around our hearts and insist no one will ever hurt us again, we lose. Big time. We allow the fearless four to decay our hearts.
Living safely isn’t always living holy. Sometimes we have to have the courage to stick our toe into the water and jump.
If you don’t have friends like this, pray for them, sweet friend. He cares about the deepest longings of your heart and while it may not happen overnight, it will happen.
But you’ll also have to be brave. And I know you can do that because you’re tough.
Go on. Forgive, seek new, and be real.
I’m cheering for you. You’re loved no matter what.
Another Friend Who’s Been Hurt By A Friend, Too