Let me tell you a little story with a sad start and a happy ending. Grab a cup of coffee. Take a seat. Make yourself comfortable.
As you read it, remember this: There are always two sides to every story. Always.
FIRST, SOME GOSSIP…
Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall to get to hear what your friends REALLY think about you?
Trust me – it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
About 5 years ago, I accidentally overheard honest opinions of me being shared. It was less than flattering, to put it mildly. The fallout from that night took years–YEARS–to heal.
One of the gals involved was someone who was very close to me, Sarah. We talked nearly daily on the phone. We hung out. Our families had even gone on a mini-vacation together.
And her words that fateful night were like shards of glass against my raw skin. Sarah, one of my close friends, became one of my worst enemies. I had hate in my heart.
That event was the first domino of The Year of the Ugly for me. From finances to friendships to soul searching, I was poor and empty. I even lost my laugh.
So much to say here! It’s a blog post all by itself! Short Summary:
- Started wanting a personal relationship with Christ (the “Year of the Ugly” will do that to a person!). Up until then, I was “churched” but not “Bibled.” (Can you relate?)
- Found a new church. Every sermon seemed directed personally toward me. (I don’t remember the exact name of the series that first month, but I am sure it was subtitled, “Resolve Your Situation with Sarah.” )
- I felt called to forgive Sarah. Ugh. But not only that, I felt called to APOLOGIZE to Sarah. WHAT?!? Yuck. The drama had kept getting worse, dragging on and on, for years! I did not want to forgive and forget. I certainly did not want to apologize. No way.
- After months and months and against every fiber in my stubborn body, obedience.
- Freedom. (Funny how obedience to God leads to freedom. I used to think it was the opposite.)
I don’t want to downplay what happened. I could not stand Sarah. I hope you never feel like I did. I would think some random thought about her, and it would ruin my day. I would duck down when passing by her house (yes, we were neighbors, just to make it even worse). It was not a pretty time.
This is not who I am. This is not the person God created me to be. And yet, I simmered in my ugly stew for way too long.
And now, she and I have written a book – together – about this experience. We even started a ministry. We encourage women to choose restoration over resentment, peace over pride, and grace over gossip. How did we get from there to here? It still amazes even me. It’s a long story…hard to summarize here in a few sentences.
We always say that only God could have brought us back together. It’s true!
There are always two sides to every story. Always. (Is this message for you right now?)
Our theme this month at FLT is “Beside Restful Waters.” Doesn’t that sound amazing? Do you want that? Really? Do you? I know I do!
That may mean calming the tsunamis in your life, created by you or encouraged by you. Let’s press into Him and create gentle streams of rest instead.
Remember: there are always two sides to every story. Always.
P.S. I got my laugh back a few years ago. Been smiling ever since.
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