So, I recently wrote about finding the beauty in the unexpected, particularly the bittersweet unexpected experiences, and the good in goodbyes. However, as much as I would like to say that I can always find the beauty or the good in not so good situations, sometimes I’m left standing staring at the shattered pieces without any clue on how to put it back together. Sometimes, there are times where I can’t fathom a good thing coming out of something terrible, and I don’t even have an idea of how to respond or what to do next. I feel like I’m walking around in a fog, running scenarios over in my head and trying to figure out where things went wrong.
I’m not always the most trusting person. There has been several different situations in my life which caused me to put up a lot of barriers and walls that people have to either climb over or break down. I’m also more reserved and introverted so it takes a lot for me to be vulnerable with someone else. And even once I become friends with someone, I almost have different levels of friendships. (It’s something my friends and I will joke about.) I love all of my friends, but I only have a few close friends (my “Jonathans” as I like to call them) that I really share life with. These are the girls that I invite into not just my house, but into my home and my family. They are the girls who I consider sisters.
Now, life with them isn’t always a walk in the park (but for the most part it is), and sometimes, I will have conflict with them. But they are all believers so generally when one of us says something stupid or hurtful, it is easy for us to mend fences and address the problem. We’ve always come out stronger friends as a result.
But recently, I had a situation with one of these girls that left me hurt, confused, and feeling about an inch tall. Somehow, a situation I thought was resolved truly wasn’t resolved, but I had no idea. Now, I was left in the aftermath, staring at the shattered pieces of a friendship that had no hopes of being put back together.
So now, what?
At first, I pretended it wasn’t a big deal. I shed a few tears of frustration with my mom who knew about the situation, but I told myself that I would get over it. But then the doubt set it. Things were said about me that made no sense, but I started to believe them. I was suddenly overanalyzing everything I said and did because I was so scared of these labels becoming something true, but I still tried to make it look like it wasn’t a big deal. I tried to act normal, but at the same time, I pulled in on myself and threw up some of my walls again. I honestly thought that if I ignored how I was feeling, but also made sure that I carefully monitored everything I said and did, it would all go away.
Surprise, surprise, it didn’t go away. So I was forced to look down at the shattered pieces at my feet to attempt to figure out how it could all go back together. I wondered if maybe what she said was true and maybe I needed to apologize again. I talked it over with my mom and went over every single detail, trying so desperately to understand where she was coming from. I wanted so badly to fix it that I almost felt like I was kneeling over a shattered crystal vase, trying to superglue the pieces back together.
While I knelt there trying to glue pieces back together despite my bleeding fingers, I realized that no matter how hard I tried, it would not look the same when I finished. My hurt feelings and her hurt feelings would be smeared so badly across the friendship that there was no way we could look through it. There comes a point in trying to repair something like a vase that there is no way to do it. I had never faced that in regards to a friendship, but after a lot of tears and prayers, I realized that as much as I wanted to find the beauty or good in the situation, I needed to take a step back from the mess.
God gently pried the superglue from my bloody hands and knelt down next to me. He swept the shattered pieces together before reaching for my hands. Gently, He whispered reminders of who I was and how much I was loved before sweeping away the mess at my feet with a promise that He would take care of it.
The hardest thing now is to remember that this didn’t happen because of a failure on my part, and it also wasn’t because I was any of those things that she said I was. Her opinion of me cannot be allowed to control me.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes unexpected things happen that completely take us by surprise and leave us feeling lost as we stare at the mess that was made. That’s okay. We can’t always see the way that God is working through our circumstances in the moment, but I know one day I will look back on this situation and see God’s hand through all of it. It can take some time to wash the blood and grit away and to let the hurt feelings mellow out before we can see the beauty or good of something like this.