Lisa-Jo Baker has a new book releasing into the wild soon. It’s called Never Unfriended. The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships. I have an advance reader’s copy and have dug into a few chapters. It’s already messing with my head in a really good way.
Friendships are glorious and they are heartbreaking. Relationships require risk. Some of us are ready to throw in the towel on the entire thing. We don’t want to be hurt again. Lisa-Jo kicks off her book with a chapter on this and she drops some serious truth about forgiveness. **gulp**
“Without forgiveness, friendship becomes extinct and relationship nonexistent.”
“Forgiveness is making peace with the past so that there is opportunity to relationship in the future. Not necessarily with the same people who have scarred us. But sometimes, by the grace of Christ, forgiveness is exactly that powerful to restore broken relationships to fresh health and offer the same people a completely different way of relating to one another.”
Lately I’ve been thinking over how it’s not the “mean” people who are so hard to forgive. Their digs don’t hold a candle to pain inflicted by well-meaning people. And Lisa-Jo is right. Forgiveness is the only hope in moving forward. But the problem with forgiveness is that it costs something.
I’m going to be honest and tell you what it costs me. My cost is that I need to be willing to let go of trying to make people or relationships into something they are not able to be. I have relationships that look very different than I expected. I wanted them to be closer. I wanted them to be people that could fill a certain role in my life. And then they didn’t. I really want them to look like what I had pictured in my head.
I wonder if one of the ways forward toward more healthy relationships is letting people off the hook for not being someone else.
I’m thinking on this quote today:
“Forgiveness is the beginning. And it’s how we find closure even in the relationships that wont ever be completely restored to us.”
Praying peace over you and your relationships today.