“Are you ready to go?!” I excitedly asked my toddlers.
“YAAAAYYYY!!!!” and off we went to meet up with friends for a day of fun in the sun.
Or, so we thought.
No replies all morning, I had a sneaking suspicion that we were being ignored. Ditched, even. Hoping the lack of reply on the other meant a silenced ringer or a dead phone, we headed off to the planned meeting spot anyway. Every suspicion I’d had was right, and then some.
“Mom, there they are! Right over there!”
I took a deep breath and walked over to join, where we all felt the sting I feared. Rejection. My daughter walked up to me with tears in her eyes, and we both cried all the way home. I somehow thought life would be different in the grown-up world …but I was wrong. And it stung.
Today’s verse is a stark reminder of what to do when we feel worldly pain like my daughter and I did that day. First, forgive. Without even thinking about it. And then, we ask God how to guard the hearts.
Walking with Jesus changes us, but it doesn’t drag everyone else along with us. There will be times when, no matter how much we want to be friends with everyone …and believe me, no one wants that more than me …we have to handle conflict and allow our hearts space to heal.
What I learned that day, and continue to learn from every reoccurring experience like it, is that rejection won’t crush me or kill me. In fact, it brings me closer to Jesus. We will often spend our whole lives looking for someone as dependable and reliable and loving and compassionate as He is. We will never find that person. He is it. The One that shouldered the cross is the only one capable of cradling our hearts.
So all of the coffee dates unhonored, dinners ditched out of, and unreturned messages are not in vain. Loving people is never wrong, and neither is forgiveness. But the hurt leaves a little bit of a scar after the wound heals. One to remind us to prayerfully guard our hearts.
Take the space to welcome other faces. Be friends with everyone, but know who your Friend is.
Father, Praise You for friendship. Thank You for the good and the hurt that comes from letting the guard of our hearts down. Forgive us for seeking solace in anyone other than You, and help us to know when we’ve earned some space. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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