Lesson #4: Trust and (Hard At Times) Friendships

I wanted to believe that church planting was going to be smooth sailing.  That I would make solid friends, not be known as the “pastor’s wife” and everything would remain peachy keen.

I seem to have forgotten that I was dealing with human beings.  When planting, you are with the same people… A LOT.  Meetings, cleaning the church, dinners with the community, events, bible studies, meeting for coffee, play dates, etc… the list goes on and on.  I am a person who needs a chill day at least once a week… so when I had been around people non-stop for three weeks at one point in the planting process, I could barely function.  (Literally.  My brain had decided to shut down and I could no longer remember anything.  See ya, short-term memory!)

I remember as a child, my Momma telling me, that when you “hang out with the same person for a long while, you will get tired of them.”  Now, whether or not, I truly was “tired” of being around people… I was definitely having a hard time knowing how to act around them.  Satan began whispering in my ear, emotions flared (on everyone’s part) and I ran away.  (Again, literally… well… at least I didn’t leave my house for a week… not even to get groceries!!!)

7 Ways to Heal When You’ve Been Hurt

Through this time, I sought God’s counsel in knowing how to handle certain situations.  These are what He shared with me.

1-    Keep Your Cool

  1. Spend some time in prayer asking God for help before a situation with that person arrives
  2. Don’t let them “get under your skin.”
  3. Take a breather.  Don’t feel like you need to be around them all the time.

2-    Evaluate… am I irritated because we are too much alike?

  1. No, seriously.  Look at this.  You may be surprised.  (I was!)

3-    Am I hurt because of something they did or said?

  1. Acknowledge your feelings
  2. Confront the true reason you were hurt
  3. Prepare to tell them
  4. Maybe spend more time in prayer and in the Word… ?  Just a suggestion…

4-    Share with them your frustrations in a loving manner.

  1. Don’t blame.  Don’t point fingers.  Just tell them how you feel.
  2. DON’T (and I really mean this one) bring up times they frustrated and hurt you from further back than one month.  Anymore time than this shows that YOU have a problem with HOLDING ONTO GRUDGES.  (This should be something that you need to speak with God about if you do in fact have a huge rap sheet of hurt and frustration toward a person.)

5-    Don’t expect an apology.

  1. Just don’t.  It’s not your place to convict them.  It’s God’s.

6-    Ask for any forgiveness that you may need from them.

  1. You will need to ask God to convict you of something that you may have done to hurt them .
  2. Be willing to hear from their hurts/frustrations if they voice any.  (This is the part that terrifies me…. yes.  Me- who’s dishing out the advice.  I have a terrible fear of hearing if I’ve hurt someone… mostly because I know that I am not perfect.)

7-    MOVE ON.

  1. This is the hardest part.  Once the exchange has occurred (LOL.  Sounds so business-like!), you need to work EVERY DAY to forgive and move on.
  2. Try to act and treat them as you would if they had never hurt you.  This is so much easier said than done… but if you succeed you may in fact win a friend for life.  Most true friendships are built upon trust… trust in each other… trust to be strong enough to speak up with hurts arise… trust that the other person will not purposely hurt you again… trust… trust… trust…

Proverbs 17:9,17“Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and- good-bye, friend!….Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.”