I've had a close friend since I was three years old. I moved into the house across the street at that age on Demouy Street in Mobile. We connected and have been friends for all these years. That’s 57 years at the time of this writing! Remarkable! When we were little, we would to get in some big fights. One could tell the serious ones when toys began to pile up in the middle of Conti. Both of us would gather the toys of the other left at our house and put them in the middle of the street – praying that a car would come by before the other saw her toy – and destroy them. Quite vicious I believe for such young children. But because we loved each other beyond measure, soon our squabble would resolve and we would be inseparable again. (As far as I can recall, our toys were never destroyed by the cars.) I think that the squabbles made our relationship stronger not weaker. Today, though we can go years without talking, when we are able to connect, we pick up from where we left off. It’s great to have a soul friend like Debbo. They are a rare breed. I have a few friends like that – Debbo was the first.
Throughout the years, I've had disagreements with a few people I called friends. It is normal in any healthy relationship because God created us each differently. But, today, I am pondering a few things about friendship. I've learned the hard way that all people I used to call friend were the type of friend you can safely disagree with , observe a cooling off period then return to work through and resolve the conflict. By safely, I mean you can trust that they will still respect you, honor you and not try to involve third parties by swaying them to think negatively of you as well. Instead, they turn on you by talking to others about their side of the situation and facilitating gossip that harms. They really were not the type of friend that I thought they were in the beginning.
Just last week, I was shunned by a person I thought was a friend. She was not close, but still I enjoy who she is. I've never had anything but respect for her. We've never had a disagreement. But she is friends with a person that continues to have nothing to do with me after several years.
I expect that she has listened to one side of the problem and not the other. Actually, I know that to be true because I've never been contacted. So assumptions are made and connections severed. They are severed at least for a little while; for we will be reunited in glory.
In glory, I am sure we’ll look different because neither one will have any more sin.
I am saddened by lost friends – or at least the ones I thought they were friends in that season. In this season of my life, I know that they were never true friends. Today, I ask God again to heal the wound of rejection and pray God’s blessing on each one I have offended –knowing or unknowingly.
But I also celebrated the people in my life who are the true friends, the Debbo’s – and you know who you are. It is sad but true, we never really know our true friends until we walk through the trials of conflict and see what happens on the other side.