Some women have sisters; I have sister-friends. I grew up as an only child (I was 17 when my little brother was born). As a result, my girlfriends have always been dear to me. We don’t talk everyday and we don’t agree on every situation, but I find comfort in their love, support and honesty.
When I met Girl X, I quickly realized her personality was different than most of my girlfriends. She was more of a loner. She didn’t have many friends, if any and I hoped to help change that. Over the next several months, we shared our insecurities, past hurts and hopes for the future. I felt safe with her. Our bond continued to grow until one day when I learned that nothing I shared was kept confidential. Nothing!
I was devastated! I had never been betrayed by someone I considered a girlfriend. I was hurt with an unfamiliar pain. I knew how to survive a heartbreak with a man but with a girlfriend?!? To make matters worse, when I attempted to discuss the betrayal with her, she wasn’t having it. Basically, she said she was free to share whatever she wanted to share with whomever she wanted to share it. With that, my desire to understand and forgive was replaced with fury and unforgiveness.
I did not share the betrayal with anyone. But even when I was having a wonderful day, if someone mentioned her name, my joy turned to anger. Unforgiveness had the power to change my attitude. And if I was going somewhere and found out she was going too, I immediately changed my plans. Unforgiveness had the power to change my direction. Now I have a serious poker face, so no one knew except me…and God.
Many months passed and I had stopped thinking about the betrayal as much. Then, one day while enjoying quiet time, I asked God, “What is it time for me to let go of?” Of all the things I was willing to part with, He wanted the one thing I didn’t want to give up, the unforgiveness I felt towards Girl X.
At first, I was sorry I’d asked the question. But then, I realized that I did not like the fact that my attitude and direction were controlled by unforgiveness. “I am nobody’s puppet”, I proclaimed. Although she’d never acknowledged her wrong or asked forgiveness, I decided it was time to release the offense.
I knew I couldn’t do it in my own strength, so I asked God to help me. As I struggled to forgive her, I cried the way I had during times of mourning. What was I mourning? You see, I had carried unforgiveness for so long that it had become familiar to me. It had become part of my life. So letting it go was like losing a close friend. I had replaced a bad friend with a worse friend. After all the tears had passed, I repented for holding on to unforgiveness and I forgave her. I prayed that she would learn what it is to be a friend beginning with a friendship with Jesus.
Last year during an interview, I was asked to share my priorities. I replied, “God, family, friends.” Even though I was betrayed by someone I considered a friend, that will not stop me from appreciating my sister-friends.