They Do Exist.

Friendship: She Took Everything.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a brutal one, and the author is anonymous. I cannot imagine experiencing this myself, and am so challenged by her words. Every week I see grace take a new form, and I am so grateful. – Lauren

Friendship is a beautiful thing, but it can also be an extremely scary thing. C.S. Lewis said it best when he said, “To love is to be vulnerable.”

The date was Christmas 2010 and I had just come off the mission field. I had followed the Lord’s calling in my life. I left everyone I loved, including my family, friends, and a boyfriend of 2.5 years for several months to go love on people who did not have the love of Christ. I was scared to death of leaving them, but I was more concerned with being obedient. I resolved that being out of the Lord’s will was a scarier place to be that 3,000 miles away from a boy. The Lord would bless me for that, right? Of course.

Well, I came back, and 99% of me was expecting an airport proposal. We graduated college, and we had put years into this thing. I mean, we lived in the South for goodness sake; marriage is what you do. But alas, no proposal, and instead, heartache.

* * *

She was one of my best friends in the entire world. She was someone I laughed with and cried with for years. She knew the very best and the very worst of me, and she loved me despite all of it. Right? But if so, I couldn’t understand why she would do this to me.

Design by Megan Mercier

Had it all been a lie? Had every word of wisdom she spoke into my life been a facade? Had every secret I told her been a mistake? If she loved me and if she loved Jesus, how could she pursue the love of my life? How could she enter into an emotional relationship with him? How could she lean in and kiss him? How could she have sex with him?

These questions plagued my heart and mind, and I couldn’t focus on anything else.

Most importantly, if she loved me, how could she take everything?

Overtime, through the loss of many friendships due to trust issues and lines drawn in the sand, bitterness became my friend.

Bitterness soothed the pain. Bitterness patted me on the back and whispered into my ear, “You are justified in your hatred.”

As a follower of Christ, I am to believe that we are all fallen. If I profess that I have done nothing good, how could I still walk around with some sort of self-righteous inkling that I am better than anyone else? Oh but no, I would never say that… out loud. But that’s what bitterness is; it is self-righteousness. At its root, bitterness says, “You hurt me. I would never do that. I’m better than you.”

That’s a scary place to be.

The moment I forgot I was as broken as she was, the moment pride got in the way, that’s when friendship became the enemy. That’s when I began to believe the lie that she had taken everything, and if I let anyone else in, they would take everything too. I lost the truth that we are all just broken people trying to navigate this thing called life.

When the world comes AT us with, “An eye for an eye” and, “Oh no, NO SHE DIDN’T,” Jesus calls us to pray for the very people who have hurt us.

Why pray?

Not because our situations will automatically change when we pray for our enemies; no, it is us that changes.

When I pray I begin to see just who I am before the Lord and just how much he has forgiven me. I know I cannot pray and hold onto any ounce of pride for very long. Even if I begin to pray from bitterness and with a heart that only needs change in others, the prayer always changes me. As I let Jesus change me, I began to realize that I am no better than those who have hurt me, than those who have shaken me to the very CORE of my existence. As these realizations come to fruition, I sat and wondered how many people I have hurt. I began to wonder just how many people cried over my utter selfishness and disdain for anyone’s happiness but my own for the 20 years I was without Christ and for the 5 that I was with him, battling my flesh.

When I pray I begin to see truth, and only then do I fully grasp just how much I need God and see myself for who I truly am without Him. When I open my eyes to fully see all the yuck in my heart, I can no longer point fingers at anyone. The thought of how much He has forgiven me causes me to fall on my face in humility.

Those who are forgiven much become the humble, the salt of the earth. They become people who forgive much.

As I rest in my own forgiveness and as I begin to forgive others, my bitterness leaves.

If she and I were to never reconcile, I bet 95 out of 100 practicing Christians would understand. They would say, “That’s okay! That makes sense.” However, 2 years later, and just 2 months after I let Jesus change my heart, she and I are fully reconciled. I now live states away from her, but just the other day with tear filled eyes and the most joyful heart I have ever had on earth, she and I sat down and admitted some lies we were still dealing with from that time. We rebuked them in the name of Jesus. We shared scripture with each other, and we prayed for each other.

She will be a life-long friend.

That’s what Jesus does. THAT’S WHAT GRACE DOES.

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24 Responses

  1. Sarah McQueen

    Thanks for sharing your heart, anon.

    October 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

  2. samariegee

    What an awesome woman: she defined forgiveness. She will be blessed for years to come because of her courage and strength. <3

    October 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm

  3. Laura

    Wow. Just… wow.

    Thank you so, so much for sharing this story. I am right in the middle of a scary process of recognizing that I have an incredible amount of bitterness in my heart, and also recognizing that I don't see how I can let it go because it feels like truth. It feels like the only logical response to what has been done to me by others. This line just knocked me over: "But that’s what bitterness is; it is self-righteousness. At its root, bitterness says, “You hurt me. I would never do that. I’m better than you.”

    October 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm

  4. Wow. You are so right that our meter stick for what is right should not be what 95% of Christians agree… it needs to be based on the truth of who Jesus is, and who He wants to be in and through us.. SO blessed by your story today. Thank you.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  5. Sara


    October 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

  6. Chloe

    This is INSANE. i'm SO glad that you worked this all out, what an amazing amazing story. Jesus is so so incredible.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm

  7. When one door closes, another opens. I am glad that you reconciled with your friend.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm

  8. Jessie

    Wow… I really needed to hear that.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm

  9. Jacqui Joseph

    I really don't know what I would do but I trust only Jesus would know the answer. This post reminds me of the incredible change one experiences when Jesus enters the heart and takes complete control of everything. Thanks for sharing I'm trully blessed

    October 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm

  10. Bethany

    I love this! <3 To the person who wrote this: thank you. I can definitely relate in more ways than one and you definitely made me realize some things. You opened my eyes. This is fabulous and it's something I really needed.

    October 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm

  11. Audrey.H

    Wow, what an incredible article. I feel so very challenged, and that it pointed at something within the very core of me- a bitterness that can rise up and comfort with words about my own "righteousness"- words that just like with the author, tell me that I am not capable of doing what others are doing…that I am somehow better.

    I know what it's like to take away friendship, to hide away and to retreat like some poetic justice of punishing them by losing my friendship. It is selfish and sad, but I think it is a truth that when you don't realise how much you've been forgiven, you find it difficult to forgive others.

    October 23, 2012 at 12:34 am

  12. The restorative grace of Jesus is AMAZING! What a powerful story. So extremely hard, and yet incredibly beautiful. You are a woman walking in faith & truth!

    October 23, 2012 at 12:53 am

  13. Im struggling today while I read this beautiful story. I just found out this morning that my best friend has been sleeping with my ex-boyfriend. This story clearly couldn’t come at a better time, but I don’t know what to do.

    October 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

  14. HiS-CMB

    C.S. Lewis wrote a book called: Great Divorce." In it he outlines that, when we give our lives totally to Jesus Christ, there must be a noticeable change/separation. What he calls divorce. He is not talking about church attendance and religious activities. CS Lewis is pointing out that, there must be a radical separation between who we used to be and who we have become in Jesus Christ. Our heart's attitude reflects Christlikeness. Too many of us Christinas have a disturbing pattern of unforgiveness. It is a shame that we who have been forgiven much by Jesus Christ have this self-righteous attitude that, some how we have been offended and wronged too much and therefore, we refuse and insist that we will never grant forgiveness to so and so. Luke 23:34, Jesus submitts to His Father to forgive us for we not know what we are doing! That is teh example we must follow, and get ourselves out of our minds if we really are saved. This lesson is for me as well. Thank you for sharing your testimony. May we who have had the privielge of reading this story/testimony be convicted to change… The life of following Jesus Christ is not a game.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

  15. Anon

    I was the friend who took everything.

    And she forgave me.

    Two years later and she and I are also reconciled. We live states apart but just met halfway for a conference this past weekend. Spent hours talking deep into the morning with lattes in hand. I posted this article to her facebook wall last night. She texted me back. "Ok now, did my alter ego write that blog? Cah-razy, goosebumps style. Thank you for sharing, not only that blog, but your friendship, smiles and love."

    That's what Jesus does. That's what grace does. I still can't believe it.

    And it is good to be under the Mercy.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

  16. linds4lif

    This was a hard read for me, thank you for sharing. Reading this story felt so familiar: a best friend and loved one that have ,hurt me. Bitterness is definitely something in my life right now that I am fighting to let God heal. I go between wanting Him to help me one day to the next day wanting to sit comfortably in my own bitterness–not wanting to ask for help–to the next day just feeling apathetic. It's certainly hard to let go of self and be humble before God. Right now in my life, it's been difficult but praying helps so much [especially for the other person like the author mentioned]. Thank you for the insight of what bitterness really is and reminding us we are all just as messed up as the next person-in need of Grace.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

  17. Wow. You are so right that our meter stick for what is right should not be what 95% of Christians agree… it needs to be based on the truth of who Jesus is, and who He wants to be in and through us.. SO blessed by your story today. Thank you.

    May 20, 2015 at 1:54 am

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