I am still mulling over grace and mercy and how God lavishes it upon us. I’ve also been reading Refine Us whenever they post blogs, and I am just enthralled by the possibilities of grace and mercy in my marriage.
Really, I’m excited about it in relationships in general.
I tend to love the body of Christ when all is working well and people are being Jesus. I tend to get frustrated and feel hopeless when Christ-followers have fallen off the turnip truck. However, grace and mercy bring us back.
I’ve been thinking about my best friend, Amelia. We’re now 1500 miles apart. We’ve been friends for about three years, and really upped the status after Aaron left for the military. We’ve been through a lot, and grown a lot. We’ve argued (which I think is essential for any relationship, because otherwise, someone’s not speaking up) and we’ve resolved. We have a nearly five-year age gap, but there are things that keep us in common water, like knitting, and general awesomeness.
I’m stubborn. I don’t like to open up to people about my issues, especially girls. I, just like every other female on the face of the planet, has been “burned” in friendships before. So I was pretty guarded with Amelia. Then, probably about six to nine months ago, decided to just let it go and be vulnerable. She knows pretty much everything about me, even the ugly stuff. She was one of the first people I shared my [our] testimony with.
I was thinking about her because of this idea of mercy… that when a friend confides in you, you should be merciful and not judge. Lord knows there have been plenty of times when she could have said, “Well, I told you so,” or “Don’t you know your sin has consequences?” I’ve said these things before, and there have been times she could probably read them on my face. (My face tells no lies… I am the worst liar ever.)
I love that mercy makes me a better friend. Not only is Amelia benefiting from my loving best-friend arms (or ears here in Texas), but I am blessed by a friendship that goes beyond age, occupation, marital status, or geography.
The Lord really does knit together our friendships, if we keep them close to Him. This is one I never want to let go. It keeps me on my toes. Although I now have my husband, who is by default the best friend, I have a close girl friend to keep me accountable to my vulnerability. We also have to be willing to hear a hard word. That’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t like to open up… I don’t want to be told that maybe I should take a look at myself in the mirror.
We say that we “just don’t want to get hurt” and that “opening up to someone is hard”. Yeah, it is. But can you imagine if Paul and Timothy never had that open and honest relationship? Part of the New Testament never would have been written!
I pray that God will continue to nudge me towards mercy and steer me away from judgment.