Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Burnt Bridges

A friend loves at all times...Proverbs 17:17
Just taking a moment to think about this short and simple but loaded verse from the Bible.

When you love your friends, you walk beside them, but not in front of them. You chase after them if need be. Heck, you help hide a body if that is what she/he needs you to do at the moment! Point is you don’t walk away from them just because they did something you don’t personally agree with.

Maybe your friend did something shameful or maybe even something illegal, but on the flipside maybe they just did something or made a decision that was perfectly fine. it was just something you didn’t see eye to eye on.

When someone means something to you, you are true to them just as you would want them to be true to you, PERIOD. You may have to hand out some tough love, you may even have to distance yourself in some situations, but overall when you are someone’s friend you may not have to agree. You don’t even have to support what it is they are doing, but at the end of the day, you do have to be there when everything is said and done. Maybe all you can offer is an ear, a shoulder to cry on, or a house to sleep in, but you don’t abandon them.

Now before I go further let me add that I’m not talking about people that live in self pity or people that have dug their own ditch. Sometimes those people just need a rude awakening. I am talking about an event that causes turmoil in a friends life and you don’t agree to who, what, where when and/or why. They may have not even done anything wrong. In fact, in most cases where this has been an issue for me or others I have observed, the friend that turned their back is the one that needs to check themselves!

Why is it that you see so many friendships fail for this very reason? So many families fall apart?

I had someone do this to me over the past couple years . It was someone I loved, admired, trusted and cared for very deeply. They slowly abandoned our friendship over something that was none of their business, further more something that wasn’t even bad. Something that was of no ones fault. Something that was of no significance to them what so ever!

I’ll never forget the way that made me feel.  I remember wanting to say to them, “What is your problem? Are you really that self absorbed and selfish that you can’t see past the fact that you don’t agree with my decision? A decision that in no way affected you, only me!” (And P.S. sister, had you not been so selfish you would have seen it was a decision that was good for for everyone involved, but especially the only person that mattered ... ME.)

It was a slow sabotage. Nothing dramatic. No big fight or parting words. It just ... ended. The times we saw each other afterwards were forced and awkward due to her judgmental nature still showing. So, eventually any and all communication stopped. I had a hard time with it for about a year. I cried, I got angry, I picked up the phone and hung it up, I started emails and never finished them. Finally I just decided to move on. Why did I care anymore? This person didn’t deserve my friendship anyway. I would still love them, I forgive them, but I don’t need them.

Little things remind me of my ”break up,” but I was really reminded of the type of unselfish, unjudmental friendship we should have when a friend needed some support. A friend of mine did something they shouldn’t have to another friend. Something they weren’t proud of. Something they admit was not good. Something I wouldn’t have done. But I knew that they were hurting, so I told them I wanted them to know I loved them and was thinking of them, because sometimes even the person that does wrong needs to know they are cared about. It was simple text message but it meant a lot to her. I never mentioned it again.

Same goes with another friend of mine. On occasion she will mention she is an atheist. I simply tell her that I hope one day she will allow me to share why I love and believe in God. I add a fun loving statement at the end that I hope this for her, but also because I couldn’t stand never seeing her again after this short life is over. We laugh and move on. I never judge her for her differing opinion.

Isn’t this the type of friend we are supposed to be? A friend that loves at all times? I can’t say I’ve always been a good friend to everyone. I know I’ve been young, stupid, selfish, mean, etc. But I sure know that I have never let a true friendship totally vanish over judgment that should never have been placed or sides that should never have been taken.

I wanted to write about this today to get your wheels turning. Mine too.

Is there a “friend” out there that you have somehow “burnt bridges” with for no good reason? If so, really look at yourself in the mirror and think long and hard as to why. Was the reason any of your business? Did it even directly involve you? If it did, did that person mean what they said that hurt you so bad you stopped talking to them? Is it worth never talking again? If you can look in your own eyes and have peace allowing that bridge to be burnt, then good for you, move on! If not then maybe it’s time to pick up the phone or write that email?

My hope today is that bridges in your life can be re-built if you want them to and that before you destroy a bridge you think hard about why you are destroying it.

Grace and Peace to you,


  1. To those of you trying to post a comment .. hoping it's fixed now!

  2. looking forward to reading your blog. You've been the "bright spot" on Fox17. Glad you're blogging!

  3. OK, you've got my "wheels turning". Your post reminds me of a friend I had, we were real close until she stabbed me in the back. She abruptly ended our friendship. We didn't speak for 2 years. One day, two years later, I woke up and decided to forgive her. Back then I used to tag the end of my emails with a quote of the week. I sent her an email with only the tag that contained a lyric from a song I knew we both liked: "How about how good it feels to finally forgive you". She called me.

    Over the course of the next few weeks we became friends again. A couple of years later, she did the same thing to a close mutual friend of both of us, even after I spent an hour on the phone trying to talk her out of it. Sometimes you have to re-evaluate your friendships, and this was the time for me. I decided that I was getting too old to have people that close to me who are so emotionally reckless. That was almost five years ago. I don't regret my decision. Did what she did the second time around effect me directly? Not really, but I didn't want her to continue to have the power to burn me twice.

  4. Wow, this really does hit close to home Stacy. You are really tuned in and this is great advice just when I needed it. Thanks for this.