A Christmas Miracle

I was very close to my college roommate, Annie*.  I spent many weekends at her house and loved her parents as my own, reveling in being included in a family of girls who I counted as my own sisters.  After college, she and I rented an apartment together in Little Rock, furnished it with donations from here and there, and subsisted on coffee, cereal, and yogurt while we embarked on our professional careers.  I lasted for about a year before heading on to graduate school and she stayed in town with all of our close-knit gang and ended up marrying a great guy who lived in the neighboring apartment community. Even after moving halfway across the country, I’d get back home to Little Rock to see her and the rest of my friends who I considered family.

At first, when I came through town for my yearly visits, things were fine.  We’d have a big get-together with all the friends and life was sunshine and roses.

And then my babies came.

And they turned into terrorists toddlers.

And visits were harder and more chaotic.

And no one there knew that I was depressed and longing for some sense of normalcy.

And I would hear stories about what everyone was doing together without me and I would feel sadness.

And I would see new friendships being formed and I would feel left out.

And then one year came when I pulled out of town and no one asked me when I was going to come back.

And as I drove out that day, an insidious thought crept into my head: The people who were my priority had made me their option. I remember calling my husband in tears, grieving the loss of twenty-year friendships that I expected would last a lifetime.

It has been two long years of silence.

I’ve learned a lot in the past two years, more than can be written in a blog post and mostly ugly lessons about myself, but the season of silence has helped push me forward in some ways, forcing me to address issues of loyalty, friendship, commitment, and family.  I’ve come to terms with a lot of painful emotions in that situation, yet I’ve never found peace where things were left with Annie.

Three weeks ago, the day before Thanksgiving, I received an email from her.  It was only two sentences long, wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving, but it ended with the sentiment that she was sad that we’d lost touch.

I cried for an hour.

After many hours of thinking through what I wanted to say, I wrote her back and shared my heart, laying bare my thoughts and emotions, and she has written me back, sharing hers as well and through a lot of tears and “I thought” and “I’m sorry”,  we are inching down the path toward restoration.

I’m telling this story today because I want to encourage someone, anyone, that healing can occur in something you thought was broken. I know not all friendships are made to be lifelong ones and I know God gives us friends for different seasons in our lives and I’m certainly not telling you to call that old boyfriend that got married, but if you don’t have peace about a strained friendship, don’t despair.  This may be a time that you’re learning more about yourself, a time for maturing, a time for healing. And when you least expect it, the opportunity will come to to bring it back together.

It may take a two-year silence.

It may take a two-sentence email.

It definitely takes two.

But it can happen.

Have a nice day.

 

 

 

*Not her real name

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17 responses to “A Christmas Miracle

  1. How beautiful to read about your friendship miracle. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us.

  2. Love this. I have a history of this (thankfully not 2 years, but several very uncomfortable months) with my BFF and we are getting ready to celebrate our 40th birthdays together and many more years of friendship. God is good.

  3. This is so good and I totally agree. I pray the Lord gives me some opportunities to restore some past relationships that were never severed but just drifted apart.
    Thx for the encouragement~ x

  4. I needed this, Susan. Thank you. I’m happy for steps towards restoration…God’s timing is always perfect.

  5. What a beautiful story . . . I always love it when you share your heart :-)

  6. Beautiful post. I had lost touch with my “best friend” for three years because I thought she was mad at me and I (being as stubborn as she is) refused to call to find out what was wrong. We are now back on speaking terms and still love each other dearly. Unfortunately, it took the death of her husband in September for me to finally make the call.

  7. {sigh}
    Perhaps . . .
    But what if . . .
    Bother.

    I’m just sayin’

  8. So happy for you! There is sure something about those precious friendships – because they know so much of my history and have seen all of the changes. I love that I knew them before husbands, kids, etc. Precious friendships indeed!

  9. I have experienced a similar thing and I, too, felt lonely and sorry things had changed. Then, just this year my friend and I have reconnected and after minimal explanations we have picked up where we left off. It feels good and I’m grateful. We may be 450 miles apart, but we are no longer estranged. E-mail is a wonderful thing and we are “talking” as easily as ever now. Good luck. Old friends are too valuable to lose.

  10. I think you’ll be amazed at how many women you meet in heaven who were blessed by words you shared in your blog here on earth. Thanks for sharing your hard earned wisdom. You’re a blessing.

  11. Lovely story of healing. Thank you.

  12. Thank you for opening up and sharing this story. It’s been over two years since I’ve spoken to my best friend. Honestly, I get tired of being the only one who tries to stay in touch, but then I tell myself that she’s been through a tough time in her marriage and I should keep trying to call and write. We’re thousands of miles away physically and I have felt for some time that I don’t even know her anymore. And when I think about it, I sometimes wonder if I ever really knew her. It makes me really, really sad.

  13. How sweet that you have started down the road to restoration in this relationship. And brave of you to share your story.
    I tried to get to you this AM to chat, but you were surrounded.
    Hope you have a great Christmas!

  14. Thank you for this encouragement. I am going through a very painful betrayal with some people from our church right now, and it’s wonderful to know that it might heal one day.

  15. Hey this is one of your other roommates….I got a new computer and my company wiped out my outlook which made me lose all of my email address book…anyway, email me w/your new address. I’ll be in Raleigh the 4-7th.

    Are you in town, if so, do you have time for lunch? I’m sure your kids will still be out of school…but let me know…
    lb

  16. girl, you have SUCH A WAY with words.

    totally pierced my achy-breaky heart.

    perhaps someday…

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