I was asked about this in various refrains from blog readers:
- I have a friend who has drifted away and I don't know why. Do I forgive her and just let it go or do I tell her that I am hurt by our friendship drifting away?
- I'm mourning a friendship. I've done everything I know to do to make peace but the relationship no longer exists in the deep and intimate way it once did. How do I continue to love her while mourning how it's changed?
- Do it in person, not over text or email.
- Do it only after much thought and prayer as to what specifically needs to be addressed.
- Do it--this is the hard part--for the sake of the other person and with a goal of restoration. That's what my friend did for me. She helped me see myself by showing me how I was wounding her. She did it out of love for me and in an attempt to reconcile our relationship, not from a place of expectation.
- Do it with a readiness to forgive but also a readiness to listen. Are you prepared to hear if the friend's distance is because of how you hurt them?
- Do it with your trust in the Lord, not in expectation of a specific response from your friend. The relationship may not be fully restored or may be different than it was before. The friend may not be ready for the conversation. Have the hard conversation with Romans 12:18 in mind: "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." Do what you can do, do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and trust Him for the rest.
Is there someone you need to have a hard conversation with? Is there someone you are distancing yourself from emotionally? What would God say to you about it today?
In my forthcoming book, I asked the friend I've written of here to join me in telling our story. We go into much more detail about how it all fell apart and how God put us together again. Preorder your copy of Messy Beautiful Friendship by clicking on the image below.