Forgiving Without an Apology

Think before you chase after them

I had a friend at one time in my life who suffered from a mental illness.  We had compassion for one another though our capabilities due to our illnesses were at much different levels.  This friend had the capability of calming my anxiety at times and helped me through the time of my divorce.  She was a true friend that also had her own set of problems, but we accepted each others struggles and helped one another to pursue and move forward in life.

After knowing each other for close to fifteen years, I encountered a time where she decided to shut me out of her life.  I tried to go to her home to see if there was a problem that I could help her out with, but I was shut out.  I pursued the fact that she may be having trouble with her illness to no avail.  I was hurt and finally after some time I resigned myself to the fact that she no longer wanted me in her life.

Close to three years went by and the scars of the pain finally healed and I was able to accept my life without this friend in it, though the question of why was always on my mind.  Eventually I received a call from her.  It was awkward yet a nice warmth to hearing her voice.  But the hurt of the situation was once again brought up to the surface of my mind.  The immediate cut off of communication with no explanation that had the tone of abandonment in some way was once again in the forefront.

Uneasily she began to explain the answer to my question that had been in my mind for all this time – the why?  There was never an apology.  There was just an excuse of sorts, and a pointing of her finger at who was responsible.  She was angry at the person that was responsible, but never did she acknowledge her part.  She explained to me that her therapist encouraged her to block out of her life all of her prior friends so she could get rid of negative influence and start new.  Apparently she took this advise to heart and cut off relationships with everyone.  She told me that she now wanted to explain this to me and one other friend because she was very angry at her therapist’s advise.  She even said to me that the “other friend” had forgiven her and would start new.  The problem was that an apology to me was never made, just an explanation.

What I realized that she needed was resolution.  It ultimately was up to me whether the friendship could be restored.  I gave her my words of forgiveness, though it took some time to truly forgive.  The trust between us was broken, and for me trust is a priority.  I decided to forgive her but remain on the course that I was on and I never again spoke to her after that time.  There was kindness and clarification at the end of our relationship and that was a must.

I felt as if God had said to me to move on and stay the path.  Whether I made the right decision or not I’ll never be sure.  I wish her well in her life, and I thank her for those years of friendship.  But a new page was turned and new friends and opportunities and more of a reliance on myself were in the future.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

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