Repairing the Broken Circle

Last week, I sat in a circle of six women who’d gathered on a blanket under twin pine trees under a summer sky to save a friendship.

If you’ve lived past the age of seven, you know how a friendship can go awry from an angry word, a lazy forgetfulness, a lie, etc.  What the world needs more of is love, and especially the brave love that fights for a failing friendship.

Without going into all the details of what went wrong, I want to start with the meeting.  We agreed on a park and time, gathered and prayed together, then started with the apologies.  Only afterward did we move onto explaining our hurts.

Up to the last hour before the meeting, I hadn’t known if someone would find an excuse not to come.  But everyone came.  It was the first victory of the night.

I’d initiated this meeting.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that text and email are weak substitutes for looking someone in the eye and saying, “I’m sorry.  What I did was inexcusable.” or “That was my anger talking.  I didn’t mean that.”

"Friendship"

“Friendship” (Photo credit: BroGuggs)

An honest eye is worth a thousand texts.

We took turns sharing.  I even used a timer so no one monologued.  At first I was afraid that putting rules on the discussion would make it too regimented, but when my friends embraced the structure, I realized that it made them feel safe.

By the end of this talk, the circle of women that had begun as a ring of anxiety, hurt, and distrust, fused to a new ring of hope, forgiveness, and cautious laughter.  We were able to hug, shedding tears of more apologies, and hard hearts softened.

As I folded up our blanket, my heart weighed heavy with thankfulness.  I’d seen a miracle of women who trusted Jesus enough and held the friendship sacred enough to choose the uncomfortable steps when it was easier to just walk away.

Under a July sky, the friendship breathed its first healthy breath in months.

Do you have a friendship that’s on the rocks that you want to reconcile or an awesome story of how you’ve worked it out in the past?  I love hearing them, so please share!

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About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

Comments

Repairing the Broken Circle — 4 Comments

  1. Oh Elise, I so admire the chance that you took, and the way you all made each other feel important enough to work through things. Kudos to all of you!

    {BTW, friendships matters fascinate me, too. Love having that in common with you!}

    • Galit, thank you! Friendships are so important, and few things devastate me more when they go awry, and few things make me as joyful as when they go well. Love having this in common with you, too!

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