“I wish you could see me now, I wish I could show you how I’m not who I was. I used to be mad at you A little on the hurt side too But I’m not who I was, I found my way around to forgiving you Some time ago But I never got to tell you so. I found us in a photograph I saw me and I had to laugh You know, I’m not who I was” -Brandon Heath
The words above are words to a song by Brandon Heath called I’m Not Who I was. It’s a fairy popular song on contemporary Christian radio, but it really strikes a chord in my life. See friendships have always been very important to me, they are deeply rooted relationships I don’t take lightly. When I started dating Hubby, it wasn’t a popular decision in my group of friends or even my family. I don’t like conflict so it became a huge weight on me during those years. One of my best friends actually wrote me a “Dear John” email to end our friendship because of him. I was heart-broken! All I wanted was for everyone to get along, why couldn’t everyone see in Hubby what I saw? Why would a friend end a very personal, very deep and long friendship over my choice in a boyfriend? Why would it cause so much conflict with my family and why would I go months without speaking to my own Mom?
Sometimes we have to wait for answers in life… mine have finally come. See after my last failed boyfriend (yes, I’ve had several) my Mom asked me if I had ever asked God to approve a boyfriend. A strange request at the time to me, but I thought I hadn’t been doing my best on my own so why not. I did. When I met Hubby, I asked God and waited. I remember the day I heard “yes,” I remember like it was yesterday, what I was doing, what I was watching… So I went forward with the relationship having no idea what was coming next. I suppose when we are doing God’s will in life, Satan hates that and throws as many road blocks at us. I’m actually surprised I managed through all of them. There were times I would just cry and cry not understanding why we were the focus of so much gossip and drama. My heart ached.
When I got the “Dear John” email from Alecia, it hurt deeper than anything I’d gone through. Boyfriends sure, they come and go right? But friendships are supposed to last forever. She had been with me through some of the darkest, hardest parts of my life and all of a sudden because of who I chose to date she no longer wanted to be my friend? I was hurt and angry for a very long time. I tried to be “Facebook friends” with her but that back fired when everyone in my family was invited to her wedding, everyone but me of course. Now in all fairness she was marrying my sister-in-law’s brother, but that also made it worse! I wrote her a note saying how I couldn’t be a distant viewer of her life and I wished her well and deleted her, and later deleted my whole Facebook account.
From time to time she passes my mind. What is she doing? How is she? Is she happy? What is new in her world? Does she think of me? No matter how much time passes, friendships are friendships and she made a lasting impression on my life. Today I randomly searched her name and saw her Facebook photo, it looks like she and her husband now have a baby. Then I go to thinking about this Brandon Heath song, and the lyrics really hit my heart… I’m not who I was. The friendship was not meant to survive because of who God has been working to change me into. She no longer fits into my life, as well as the other friends I lost during those years. God was slowly removing the people from my life that were not going to be fitting anymore, and as painful as it was for me then, it helps me now. She also isn’t who she use to be and at this point we probably wouldn’t have much in common anymore. I didn’t understand why I went through all of that, but today I have a better grip on why God allowed some friends to leave and some to stay. For example, one of my DEAREST friends in the world, Erin (Hi Erin!). She and I used to be pretty different. There were a few years in middle school I thought she was stuck up and didn’t want to be her friend. But God knew what we would be going through in life and he allowed us to stay together and become close friends. She is now the only friend I call when I have issues with my marriage or something I need a good solid Christian woman’s opinion about. She has replaced that missing piece that I lost with some of those friends, and in such a better way! I am blessed to have her as a friend.
As God transforms my life it is nice to be able to look back and see where I came from, and yes sometime reminisce about old friends and old paths. But I am grateful for the path I am on. I wish those who have left my life nothing but God’s grace and love. I am good with them being gone now, they don’t fit in my life. I’ve forgiven them and that has healed my heart a lot. I am grateful I am not longer who I was, I am so much better now!