Dealing with human emotions, yet trying to stay positive and rising above... I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. You probably struggle with this as well.
If you read my "positive/not perfect" post last week, then you know I've been dealing with a problem relationship that I had to finally let go in order to save my sanity and be who God created me to be. In the meantime, I've lost a couple more friends - at least people I thought were my friends. I thought it might happen since these are people who've known the person I had trouble with for a lot longer than they've known me, and I'm sure their loyalties lie with her. Not only is that understandable, but I also know they're not getting the whole story by only hearing what she tells them. They haven't asked me about the situation so they are only hearing the side of their longtime friend...but I also don't want to drag them into what should be only between me and her. That's not fair to them to have to take sides. And even though it appears they've immediately taken her side, at least I didn't try to make them choose. I can be proud of the fact that I didn't drag other people into it. There may be more fallout to come, but I will stand strong.
Even though I understand what they did, it still stinks - and it still hurts. But one thing I do know is that this is out of my control. I'm not going to beg people for their friendship when it's obvious they didn't value the relationship in the first place. I'm better than that. Once again, this does not mean I'm perfect...far from it. But real friends forgive each other for the occasional bad day or saying something that didn't come across quite the way they meant it. I don't mean those who continally put you down or constantly treat you like you're an idiot for doing what's right for your life if it isn't exactly like their own lives. I'm talking about those who always try to be a real friend but when you occasionally slip up like human beings do, they still support you because they love you. People who claim to be our friends but attack or abandon us without first trying to understand or care are not the kind of friends we need. In fact, that is NOT real friendship - so as much as it hurts, be grateful for the blessings that did come out of the situation and move on.
This is what I've been trying to do for the last few days. This "friend" may think she ruined my holidays (or at least probably hoped she did), but it turns out to be the opposite. In discovering these surface friendships, I appreciate the real ones that much more. Spending time with family and true friends is even sweeter because I can see, hear, and feel the difference with complete clarity. Plus - seeing how NOT to act helps me in turn to be a better friend to others.
God gave me an important gift this Christmas. He gave me the opportunity to see what is real and what is not. He gave me the strength to stand up for myself and stop taking all of the digs and discouragement and move away from that negativity. And He gave me the ability to see what is important in both friendship and life. That can't be wrapped and placed under the tree. Besides, it's such an incredibly large and amazing gift that it can't be contained to a small space. It's the gift that will keep on giving...not only to me but to anyone I can pass it on to. God means for this gift to be shared. His light will permeate through any darkness you may encounter!
This holiday season, may you receive the gift of true friendship and unconditional love from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and may you spread that gift far and wide to make the world a better place.