This weekend I sat in my car in a parking lot and cried. Not the quiet single tear slipping down my cheek kind of crying. But the big kind of crying that makes noises—lots of noises. I was by myself; well, except for the guy in the yellow car parked next to me. But I ignored him and hopefully, he ignored me too.
The tears started after a series of text messages with a dear friend.
She’s been on my mind and in my heart non-stop. Not because of any crisis, but because things weren’t right between us. They haven’t been right for some time. And I didn’t know how to pick up where we left off. Or if I should be true to my heart and answer her question honestly.
Did I hurt you?
In the past I would have breezed over it, given grace, and encouraged her all was good. This is how I respond in most my relationships. I am overwhelmed with fear knowing there is a great risk in answering “Yes” to that question. If I answer honestly—I might lose them.
And I didn’t want to lose her.
But instead of giving grace and moving past it…something else happened. My fears built an invisible wall to keep her (and others) out. So, in my fear of losing a friendship I chose to be silent…and lost a friendship.
Hindsight is 20/20.
Let me explain. I want to be the good friend. I want you to like me, love me, accept me. I don’t want to ever give you a reason to reject me. I know what rejection feels like—and it hurts. So, I believed the lie that staying quiet would keep me from rejection. But instead, it built walls of in-authenticity around me and my relationships. I wasn’t true to you—or to me.
And as I’ve mentioned on my own blog, I’m in a season of growing up. The ways things worked for me in the past don’t work anymore. Well, in all honestly, they’ve never worked for me—and I’m just now catching on to this. A year and a half ago God catapulted me into deeper pools of healing.
It started when my Dad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He died six weeks later—the day after Father’s Day. When he died my whole world changed and I had no idea who I was. And it scared me. This event alone cracked open an abandoned place in my soul that needed the tender care of God’s healing. But healing comes through walking through those dark and painful places of self-discovery.
So, I am on a real-time journey of learning to dismiss the fears and give a voice to my heart.
So, how did I respond to my dear friend? I braved up and said, “Yes, you did hurt me.” But it was just as equally hard to admit, “You never knew because I never spoke up. And that was unfair to you…and to me.”
I continued to apologize for not trusting her with my heart when I felt hurt or disappointed. And I asked for her forgiveness.
And then I clicked “send” and my heart raced as I awaited her response. I held onto hope. Hope for restoration. Hope for new beginnings. And Hope all this wouldn’t be in vain. But wait. It wasn’t in vain. Movement towards authenticity is never in vain.
And it’s in these raw moments where I realize the depth of my brokenness. And it’s in these broken moments where I am aware of the power fear has to break-up relationships. And it’s in these break-through moments that I am ever grateful for a God who leads me deeper…
…and for a friend who responds with grace and forgiveness.
Living Brave with you,
Laura Krämer chooses to be vulnerable with her soul journey with the hope of others finding healing in God. She is a vulnerability writer, grace speaker, heart holder and Jesus lover. Laura writes her journey at www.laurakramerministries.wordpress.com
Photo Cred © Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis