Say the hard things {part one}

Before I found myself in the circumstances that led to my crossroads I had talked to a friend who always, always gives me Biblical counsel I need to hear. This time it was a particularly painful conversation for both of us. She was risking our friendship. What she said hurt. We’d drifted apart while she was doing mission work and had been harder to access. So much had changed for me while she was gone. I felt misunderstood and condemned; my flesh justifying my sin.

And it was risky for her to say anything; she knew that. She qualified what she said and she spoke to something I absolutely needed to hear. Now she said it much more tactfully and lovingly than this, but I heard: You lack perseverance, Meg. 

ouch.

She’d known me for seven years at this point. She knew my patterns, she new my MO, and she had the relational clout to say so. I thanked her through tears. I knew she was right, but ouch. And because of the ouch, was she right? Who did she think she was? She hadn’t even talked to me in the past year, what did she know? My defenses rose in the days following our conversation and I brushed her off, made sure she knew she was wrong, that she had hurt me, and she needed to check herself.

But in reality, she was right. (And we later grabbed coffee and hugged it out.) She may not have fully understood what was behind my most recent decision that appeared to lack perseverance {because I’d withheld information}, but she had accurately assessed something very problematic in my life. And the Lord revealed to me that she was only addressing a sliver of what he was trying to reveal and put to death in me.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

I am so grateful for a sister who didn’t hold back. Who said, “I’m not the Holy Spirit, but from what I’ve observed about you in the time I’ve known you, I want you to really consider what I am about to say and pray about it. I could be wrong, this could be unhelpful, but I need to say it to you.” Humility. Wisdom. Grace. Words she embodies.

Find friends who will wound you. Find friends who will say the hard things to you.

I was about to move back to Kansas and by God’s grace and providence I had cause for a pit stop in Chicagoland. Since I didn’t get to say goodbye to my Chicago family when I moved to Florida I decided to take a farewell tour.

God had something else in mind.

I came across a good read about true friends after I drafted this post; find it here

Journey {not} to Spain | When God “Speaks” | Don’t be a Lone Ranger Christian | Crossroads | Say the hard things {part one} | Say the hard things {part two}

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