I went on a road trip adventure with my friend Jammie recently. We had a fabulous day. We got lost about four times, though she claimed to know where she was going. On the back roads of Arkansas we drove, talked, laughed, and gave glory to God for how different our lives are now compared to six years ago.
Our friendship is proof that God can restore anything.
In 2007, I wasn’t sure the above words would ever be true. We were in a place of desperation and our friendship was holding on by a thread. There were days of bitterness toward one another. Cross words. Looks that could kill. We were stuck that way because we lived together. There was no avoiding each other.
I can be a pretty stubborn person. Most times it gets me into trouble, but there are those few times that it pays off. My refusal to give up on this friendship was one of those times. Jammie was ready to quit. Walking away was the only option she saw.
I thought we could try one more thing before we walked away from our friendship forever. Counseling. She reluctantly agreed. Perhaps part of me wanted to save the friendship because she knew too much about me and would use it against me when I became famous. Just kidding. Sort of.
Yes.. we went to a counselor to save our friendship.
It was awkward, of course, but worth it. We sat as far apart as possible and avoided eye contact. I have to wonder what the counselor was thinking, but she saw our hearts breaking. She knew we needed help. Even after I lost my job during this devastating time in our lives, she volunteered her time. Talk about making an investment into the lives of others.
We started to communicate with each other. It took a few months to talk to each other without me yelling and she walking away crying, but we made it. I’d love to say a few counseling sessions and all was well, but that’s not reality.
It took several years to get our friendship back to a level of real trust. Both of our hearts had been broken, but we knew if we kept investing into the relationship, things had to get better. It finally did.
Today our friendship is stronger than it ever has been.
As we sat over lunch after church last Sunday, I was reminded again of the restoration God provided. Those days of bitterness and unforgiveness were far behind us. We talked about our struggles, gave God praise for the things He has done in our lives and the lives of others, and hugged each other before we drove off.
God is the redeemer of time.
There are those friendships that are worth fighting for, even if you have to go to a counselor to do it. If we had given up on each other, I can’t imagine how different our lives would be today. There would be a void without Jammie’s friendship in my life. I can’t imagine not sharing my pain, and my victories with her. I’m so honored she desires to do the same with me.
Don’t simply walk away because it’s too much work to restore a relationship. Some things are worth fighting for.
Have you ever fought to save a friendship? Was it worth the fight? Leave a comment below…