So it’s been 3 weeks since I posted (January 05, 2017) the last Uninvited chapter review. I usually average 1 a week. I’m not gonna lie, it was hard getting through this chapter. I experienced a death in my family that escalated really fast but let’s just be honest, I’ve had a history with Friendship Breakups that I don’t always like to revisit.
I’ve hinted about them in previously posted Uninvited chapter reviews and didn’t want to “beat a dead horse.” The chapter is only 7 pages and for whatever reason I’d get through 5 and put it down. I’ve carried it in my purse, taken it out during breaks and just haven’t mustered up the courage to finish the last two pages of the chapter which is weird to me. So the reason I’m typing now is because I’m a woman of my word. I committed to review every chapter and that’s what I’m going to do, even if it means that I have to start typing to get me to finish it.
I want the equation to be: make a friend, keep a friend. Live in a blissful place of fun connection. See eye to eye. Believe the best. Get along. Be nice. Collect hilarious inside jokes along the way. And fight for each other always. That’s what I secretly hope for. But that’s not reality. Sometimes the equation is makes a friend, try your best with that friend, and things go cold. Really cold. (TerKeurst, page 66)
The End…sike!! No really, I haven’t finished the review…
In the book Lysa recalls a situation when she struggled with the chill of an ending friendship. She decided that deleting an ex friend’s number was the only option since the same “friend” no longer wished to be connected. Lysa thought that deleting her number was respecting her final wish. So she reluctantly confirmed…twice…that this was the intended action. She also notes that they both tried but miscommunications kept the friendship from mending. Lysa wanted it to work and I suppose the “friend” wanted it to work too. They wanted forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration but the more they tried to fix it the more unfixable it became, supported by signs of mounting tension.
To that point, she realized that if she continued in trying to explain her side of things her explanation would likely be biased so she decided to “deny herself the pleasure of presenting proof.” As I read the page, I couldn’t help to admire Lysa. It takes a very mature person to deny defending themselves, whether right or wrong, because no matter how great of a case she makes she still would be guilty of selfishness. Can we pause here for a second? Seriously, she really exercised “out of this world” strength and self control.
Let’s give a moment of silence in honor of that self control…(60 seconds)
When I’m in situations like this, even if I decide not to “beg” for the relationship, I typically need to vent. I may call a friend but I usually feel like have to analyze what went wrong. I’d love to say that endings of my relationships were so clean cut. I usually don’t have the opportunity to fight for relationships because the other party tends to just leave. It makes me feel unimportant…like I wasn’t special enough or our experience wasn’t worth the fight. I would’ve preferred us to fight and come up with the conclusion that it’s not gonna work then to just leave me…abandoned, thrown away, discarded, and worst of all, marred due to lack of closure and all the assumptions that pop in my head. So yeah, I would welcome the possibility of stating my case, but in retrospect, it doesn’t fix anything. I wouldn’t want anything where I would have to convince someone to see my point of view or to remind them of my character because it would be like I talked them into something that they didn’t want in the first place. (I’ve named this act “The Used Car Salesman”)
Let’s do a little exercise to prove my point… If you’re my friend and you accuse me of having an affair with your boyfriend, for example. Before you even accuse me you should consider who I am (i.e. my moral compass, quality of my character, maybe even take into account your past personal experiences with me, etc.) If I lacked in character then obviously you would have a case on the grounds of my shaky past but if you REALLY knew me and I was REALLY your friend, then it would be absurd to accuse me and would make me feel that our friendship isn’t as strong as I may have thought. But I guess, people don’t think rationally when they are emotional. The point I’m making is, If I’m accused and I have to convince you that I would never do that, no one is vindicated, no one wins. I don’t win because I know how you see me and I would l always question that and you don’t win because you’ve questioned my loyalty and doubt if I should be in your space. That doubt’s cracks the foundation of trust and a lot of times people don’t recover from that.
People who care more about being right than ending right prove just how wrong they were all along. (TerKeurst, page 68)
The author turns around and makes another great point…
They say time heals-and I think this can be true-but only if that’s truly the goal here: healing. Time grows the seeds that are planted, watered, and fertilized. Plant beauty, grow beauty. Plant thorns, grow thorns. Time will allow for either…Bitterness, resentment, and anger have no place in a heart as beautiful as yours. (TerKeurst, page 68)
But even more than that, I would say that forgiveness is key. I always hear “I can forgive but I can’t forget.” and my response is always “Then you aren’t forgiving.” When you truly forgive, you forget. Have you ever been in a relationship/friendship that ended and you ran into that person years later and wonder why you ever stopped speaking? That’s true forgiveness. You forgot what happened and when you met again, you were open to restoration of that relationship, if it was good to begin with. When you let go of the offense, you become free, you forget and you are then free to love. I share her sentiment, time does heal all wounds, if the goal of both parties is healing. It can be healing for me and your intention could be further destruction, which isn’t going to work. Both parties have to forgive and receive the healing.
She then throws a wrench in it when she talks about how to live loved in a such a empty place. Trust, losing a friend creates a void. I think it’s because friends are family you get to choose, at least that’s how I regarded them. It seems like too often my “friends” would make the choice to leave and the whole time I’m looking at them like family. I don’t just throw people away. I fight for who and what I believe in. I guess, in retrospect, I valued them more than they valued me. Unlike me, fighting for them was a hard pill for Lysa to swallow. For me, even though I was willing to fight, you get nothing accomplished if you’re in the ring by yourself.
Lysa remembers Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.
She then states how she feels about the situation. Despite it, she meditates on the truth. The truth is the enemy isn’t her, it isn’t the friend or anyone we may or may not like, trust or love. It doesn’t negate the fact that the friend was the cause of some hurts and in our cases, maybe many hurts, but the truth is they aren’t the enemy. Once we realize this, we win. She took the threat of an attack off of the friend. Although, she initially decided to tuck away all the ammunition she had against the friend, once she realized who the real enemy was she traded her ammunition for affirmations…about her friend. She used a strategy of using 3 to 5 great things about the friend and she envisioned shooting them at the real enemy, the devil, in his most vulnerable spots. That’s how she fought for her friend against the enemy. She didn’t contact her or even add her back to her contact list but in that way, they are on the same team again, fighting the same enemy.
We must speak with honor in the midst of being dishonored. We must speak with peace in the midst of being threatened. We must speak of good things in the midst of a bad situation. We must be obedient to, trust, and believe God and let Him boss around our contrary feelings. (TerKeurst, page 72)
I must admit, I didn’t have that strategy when my friends “aborted” our friendship. To be completely transparent, even if I did have the strategy, I probably wouldn’t have used it and I most likely would’ve felt justified in not using it. They’re the ones who walked away or believed the worst about me and although it’s fact and it’s caused a lot of hurt, they aren’t the enemy. I’ve realized that I couldn’t get to where I am now without those “character building” moments. I still have love for them. I wish them no harm and much success and I still think of the good times we had together. I’d like to think that if our paths ever crossed again that we’d wonder why we stopped speaking.
So I fight for her. Not because we will reconnect. We haven’t. And we might not. Not because she’s right. Not because I’m right. I fight for her simply because I want to stay right in step with honoring God. (TerKeurst, page 73)
Keep fighting, you brave little warriors!