Monday, July 28, 2008

From Devastation to Restoration

Blogging has been difficult for me the last few months; distractions, hurt, and finding my "audience" has been a challenge. When I first began this blog, it was totally for myself. It had been recommended to me that I record some things that were on my heart, a journal of my journey. Writing has always been an "outlet", a way of communicating that brings newness of perspective to my thoughts. People have always thought that I talk a lot, but I don't say nearly as much as what I can write.

So, when I discovered that there were readers to my blog that I did not "invite", I contemplated making it private, after all, these are my private thoughts. After prayer and reasoning things out with a few people, I decided to continue on as originally designed but with the knowledge that friends and family were reading it. Some chaos has come from this decision since healing is sometimes a process. God is a great surgeon and I give Him all the glory for all that He is doing in that process, yet realizing that He is not finished.

The blog titled "Eyes On Heaven" is a my private journal of trying to keep my eyes on God during a difficult time, that I felt like was hell on earth. The poem Gone is about this also.

And now the time has come to create a new journal, eliminating another part of my life from Liz's Letters. Liz's Letters is the blog used to keep my friends and family current with my life, family, and what God is doing in my life. Also included are friends that I have met through other blog communities and I am enjoying all of these relationships. So, a new set of letters, to the friend who I have referred to on this blog...the one who has given under construction -Letters To A Friend. It will be the outlet to process the hurt of that poorly ended relationship - and Liz's Letter's will move on.

My final post regarding the pain of this friendship comes to mind as I ran across this Psalm in my time with God recently.

Psalm 55 (in part)

It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that.

It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them.

Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend.

What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.

But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me.

Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.

He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me.

God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them.

God reminds me that the loss or betrayal of a friend can be devastating. I have taken my own turn at trying to "end" this friendship, but God always reminded me of his grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. He always brought me back to desired reconciliation. My silence with her was always an opening for Him to speak. But, recently when my "best" friend decided to not be my friend anymore, she lied to me...telling me that she hoped for healing in our friendship, but told other's that she was backing out. Recently, I went all the way across the country in hopes of spending time with her, working on forgiveness and reconciliation. But she lied about plans, ignored my calls, (and lied about it when I asked) and drug me along as I tried to arrange my schedule to spend time with her. Devastating.

Also devastating as for years, the relationship involved deceit, negative words, comments that were meant to hurt and manipulate on both of our parts. Whenever I was out with another girlfriend, she would call me over and over and then give me a hard time upon my return regarding my "real best friends" (dripping with sarcasm) She chased me down as I met one friend for lunch, harassing me on my cell phone. She refused many attempts by me to include her in group activities and was demanding and insecure. We are both guilty of crazy and horrible behavior. In my own sin, I was happy to have the opportunity to return the hurt. Misery was so much a part of this relationship, that when I could "pay back" I did it, with pleasure. I even told her so. I kept secrets to protect that which should have been revealed. The friendship had become sick and unhealthy. Her resolution was to lie to me, end the friendship with no explanation, no healing, nothing. In my attempt to find out the truth, I signed on to her email (having been given her password in the past) and found all the information that she lied about. Of my sin I am not proud.

And I hurt, like David in the Psalm that I read this morning. His words describe the betrayal of a friend as unbearable. It has felt unbearable for me. When I discovered the lies, I telephoned over and over...maybe 120 times in one day, desperately trying to make sense of what I discovered, not wanting to believe the friend whom I considered my close companion, who I had ministered alongside for many years, would betray me so. She probably feels the same about me as I expressed my hurt and anger through words I hoped would hurt her with the same hurt that she had hurt me.

Calling out to God, in my distress...He hears me. He protects me. He teaches me.

And I trust Him.

What I do know is that I am forgiven by God. What I do know is that I will choose to not live with hatred or lack of reconciliation. My amends to her is to honor her request - to not contact her, but I do not agree and I have many unanswered questions. I have no way to tell her this as she has cut off all contact.

So, for the record, for anyone who reads this and to eliminate any confusion (thanks, Adam, for letting me know) this is the entire story of what happened.

My love for her remains as steadfast as the day we became friends. I will continue to pray for her, that God will bless her, her marriage, her children, and her ministry.

Get ready for Liz's Letter's, as it was designed, as it was meant to be...a letter to you, my friends, to share with you the beauty of God, the way He loves faithfully, the way He brings new and exciting opportunities, the questions that He challenges me with and the ones that He answers.

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Psalm 96:1