There is one relationship in particular where things went south--way south. It's taken several years, but that person and I have tried to fix our incredibly broken friendship. We both realized it would never be the same as it was, but we've both given a little and tried to make it work. We are still friends, although the friendship is a different kind from what we had in the past. The thing about it is that I realize I am still holding on to some things I shouldn't be, and that is keeping the relationship from being as good as I would like. I am not looking for what we had before because I know we can't go back to it, but I want the different to be good, and God has shown me that I am the one hindering that. I need to let go.
I've been reading Jonah, and it strikes me that he and I have so much in common. The reason Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh was because he knew God is "a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster" (4:2). He knew God didn't want to destroy Nineveh, but Jonah didn't feel quite so compassionate toward the people of Nineveh. He wanted to see them destroyed, and so he ran from what God wanted him to do. In the same way, I know I felt so wronged that I didn't really want God to restore our friendship. I was running from what I knew he wanted me to do because I didn't want things to be fixed.
When I read about Jonah, I think Wow, what a jerk. How can he have zero compassion for those people and not want them to be saved? And then I realize that I am just as much of a jerk. When someone else does it, it seems so petty.
The really crazy thing about all of this is that it's been under the radar for so long. I didn't see this in myself, and it really wasn't an issue. But now God has brought this to my attention in a big way. He's using other friendships to fix this one, and he's doing big things in the way I view the situation. I'm letting go, and for real this time. I'm so thankful that God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love because if he wasn't he would have stopped putting up with me and my selfish attitudes a long time ago.
"Well, I did my job. I warned them they would be punished, and now we're going to watch them get wiped off the face of the earth!
I picked a safe distance so we won't get singed."
"What you need is a little compassion."
"And maybe some scampi."
-Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie