How To Love?

2013-03-04 13.19.45“Kahit hindi na tayo close..”

I have a friend who keeps on reminding me that our friendship is not as deep and attached as before. She also keeps on throwing sarcastic remarks; if not, phrases or actions that would immediately withdraw her from our conversation, then from our friendship.

In whatever circumstances, it will pop up. In words, actions, the way she treats me and our friendship.

It has an enormous impact in me in two ways:

1. I feel rejected. It feels like she doesn’t want us to be friends anymore. It is just not pleasing to hear. I just can’t understand why it needs to be considered in the first place. For I do treat her as one of my bestest friend. If not, I will never bother open up pressing issues of my life. But in the middle of our conversation, she’ll drop those words and/or actions like a bomb.

2. I was hurt. It feels like a knife was stabbed in my heart. No matter how much I say I should understand and put myself in her shoes, I couldn’t deny the fact that I am hurting. It is very painful to hear from a friend how distant she felt..or how distant she would like to be. Specially when that is far from how you feel about her. It is heart-piercing to see how she likes to be vulnerable as much as she could but would not even try. She may be afraid of the risk vulnerability would entail. It hurts so much to hear that it doesn’t work anymore..however I try..no matter how much I reach out..no matter how much I treasure our friendship.

Consequently, I want to respond in two ways:

1. Rant and tell her all the reasons why she shouldn’t be acting the way she acted.

2. Be silent and just lift the situation to God.

By God’s grace, I chose number 2.

But mind you, I really like to rant and pour my heart out..in ways that would also stab her heart but she’ll bend, apologize and turn the situation in my favor.

But I chose to be silent and lift all my offenses to God.

It is no way easy! I just cried to God: all my hurts, all my thoughts and all the ways I would like to respond. I’d like to throw back accusations and sarcastic remarks too. Or if possible, I’d like to forget what happened with all the hurt I felt at that moment. Or worst, I want to give up our friendship.

As I was pouring it all out to God, who knows all my thoughts even before I utter a word, He reminded me of His love as demonstrated on the cross. He reminded me of how many times I rejected His love. He pulled out of my memory all the specific times He pursued me but I just didn’t care to even give Him a look. With that I remembered how filthy I was but He embraced me anyway. How stubborn I was but He pursued me anyway. How wicked I was but He forgave me anyway. And it took His blood just to cleansed and redeemed me of all my sins. That’s how great His love is for me..and to others as well if they accept it.

So I felt compassion over my friend. I felt charged to love her even more. I now want to be a friend and remain a friend no matter how many times she seems to be rejecting me. To respond lovingly in all circumstances. Continue to reach her out not to please her in any way but please my Lord and Saviour.

“Kahit hindi na kami close…”

I just realized that there’s a sense of fact in it in her point of view. Because the way I used to love her before is not the way I love her now. So she’s seeing the difference. And she’s not used to it.

The way I used to love my friends is far from the love I give now.

For I used to show off and seek my friends’ approval. I would please them in any way I could and never say “no” lest put up boundaries that will define myself. I just want to go with the flow and agree with them, careful not to stir up arguments nor disapproval. I will make them my world and give all my time, care and attention. I will never disagree nor point out things that are not pleasing with God. I was so afraid to hurt their feelings because it could mean withdrawal from the friendship I cherish so much. Whenever we have arguments, it means the end of my world.

I… I… I…

All it takes is I.

Since I fully surrendered to God, He changed the way I love.

He taught me to love Him first then love other people as I love myself. All other things flow from that.

Because I love Him first, I learned to please Him and only Him. Step by step, I deviate from pleasing people and seeking their approval to pleasing God and loving Him.

I learned to put boundaries and guard my heart from all the things that snatch away my love for God.

For all my dysfunctional relationship, I learned to lift it all to God and trust that He can make things better. When I have disagreement with a friend, I stop playing a hero and pursue them with all my might; apologizing for whatever reason; taking unnecessary blame to myself; and making promises just to ammend our relationship but know in my heart I couldn’t fulfill my promise. It is not about me. I shouldn’t  take the glory due to Him. If I continue be their hero; satisfy all their requests; and meet all their longing, I am stealing the glory from God. I should be careful to lead all my relationship back to Jesus. He is the only One who can satisfy their longing. Only Him can give them peace. I learned to pause and be silent. Making room for space and pray to God for a changed heart. Not just theirs but all the more, mine.

So now, I don’t have control. And I refuse to gain control. I can’t change how my friend thinks but I can change how I respond. Only God can change her heart and only Him can satisfy her soul. The important thing is I know my stand; I know who she is in my life–no matter what she says, what she thinks, nor what she feels. She remains my friend. And I remain a friend for her. Not the way she used to but the way God wants me to. All I can do now is to pray for her. Everything else is up to God. Since this is out of my control, I let go and let God.

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