Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Ended a Friendship, But God Restored It -- By Kristy Mullins

I have been blessed throughout my life with some sweet and funny friends who have tolerated my ADHD and laughed at my ADHD self, who have learned to see the meaning of what I say by what’s been in my heart not necessarily how it comes out my mouth. Those are one’s true friends. I have known a friend since kindergarten…I think – maybe first grade. It’s been too far back to know exactly when we first met, but it wasn’t until youth group at church that we became friends, then really good friends, then best of friends. We went to different colleges and reconnected. She was one of my bridesmaids. My husband thought she was a lot of fun to
hang with, but our friendship took a turn – a turn for the worse. We became toxic for one another, and the friendship became very unhealthy. I would sob after every phone call without exception because my heart would ache, and so I had to do the hardest thing I had ever done up to that point in my life. I ended our friendship. I told her it wasn’t healthy, and I needed to get out of it. My heart broke into what seemed like a million pieces, and I grieved the loss of her and her friendship for months. In truth, I shunned female friendship for some time after.
But God continued to bless me with a sweet friend in Plano that we still see and travel with from time to time and who has a daughter that is my daughter’s age. Then God blessed me with a PACK of girlfriends in Belton who were wild, funny, always entertaining and forever at my house. I LOVED IT! But when we moved back to Shreveport, I struggled finding “friends.” There were women that I ministered with, women who I saw at my kids’ games, women who I saw at school events, but no one who would call and say, “Hey, let’s go do this!” No one who would call me out when I was out-of-line. No one to whom I could vent, rant and rave, and have her laugh on the other end of the line. And I missed it.

I have to tell you that my sister has been one of my best friends for as long as I can remember. We don’t have to complete a sentence when a look conveys a whole conversation. I pick up where she leaves off and vice versa. We cross-parent our kids. I could not possibly ask for a better sister or best friend, but we all need our space from time-to-time. We text multiple times a day with the strangest, goofiest, most hilarious stuff. If you read our text, you’d know just how hilarious we really are, but still something was missing.

Throughout the years I’ve wondered about my friend, Tammy. I remember writing her letters and then tearing them up. When we returned to Shreveport, I invited her and her baby girl who is a few weeks younger than my daughter over for a play date, but nothing really came of it. Almost nine years later, I had a dream that I ran into her at the gas station on the corner of Walker and Bert Kouns (the one without the McDonald’s), and I didn’t recognize her, but she recognized me. In my dream we briefly caught up, and I remember feeling how comfortable it felt…not awkward in the least. Then less than a year later, her mother died. Lori (my sister) and I went to the visitation, and I saw her again in person. I remember it as if it was yesterday. Her eyes lit up when she saw me, and she told me she wanted me to meet her fiancĂ©. She brought him over, and she introduced me. “This is Kristy. She’s my best friend.” I was blown away by this statement. I hadn’t seen or talked to her in years, and yet she called me her best friend. When Lori and I got back in the car, I asked her if she thought that was odd or was it just me. She agreed it was, and I just pondered and sat on it for a while. Truth was she was speaking prophesy.
Around a year later, our lives reconnected in a very real way, a healthy way. The restoration of this friendship has brought me such joy. She was always able to tell my husband things in a way that if I said them like that to him, he’d ignore me or there’d be a disagreement. We have gone on vacation together. Our girls went to MFuge together. We see each other every weekend at church and often times we are doing something on the weekend together. It has been so much fun being back together. My heart had missed her, and God was faithful to restore. I know I can call her, and she’ll do anything in her power to help. I also know she will laugh at me when I’m goofy, stupid or out-of-line. I know that she will hold me accountable. I hadn’t really had that outside of my sister since I moved back to Shreveport.

I tell you my story because someone needed to hear it. It took about 15 years for God to restore our friendship, and I have to tell you it’s even sweeter the second time around because we know what we’d lost and what was restored.  Job 1:21 says, “…The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord.” I’m praising Him for restoring what was once lost.

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