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Day 20: Maturity

2 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Happy Twentieth Day of Thanks Everyone!

A friend called me yesterday to talk. She really wanted to vent and was verifying if I could give her my time and some sacred space to blow off some steam. Since I was between making a fresh batch of sorrel and helping Delilah design her Christmas jars, I told her that I could readily be a listening ear. My friends know that they can call me to listen and for advice, however, they know well in advance that I will lead them to what God's word, "the final say," mentions about the matter. Although they are my friends and I love them dearly, they will always hear the truth of God's word, from the Bible, whether it agrees with their perspective or not.

Several years ago, my friend found herself in a situation where her male best friend did something that basically destroyed their best friendship. Completely devastated, my friend spent many days mourning the loss of her friendship. To know my friend, you must know that she self-proclaims as a "Petty Betty," which means that her responses and behaviors towards messy situations hardly ever lead to a mature response. She always decides to take the "low road." In this particular situation, my friend's emotions were trampled on. This led her to completely cutting off her male best friend and them not speaking for several years.

Just recently, my friend had another friend who was in trouble and needed advice. The only person she knew who could help her friend was her former male best friend. She gave the friend the former male best friend's information and let him know they no longer spoke but she knew for sure he could help. Her friend called the former male best friend who could help. When the former male best friend asked who was their mutual friend they shared, the person disclosed that it was my friend.

The former male best friend asked if the person could give him my friend's contact number to speak to her. The person gave the former male best friend the old number he had for my friend. After calling the number, which didn't work, he contacted the person letting them know the phone number didn't work and that he still needed my friend's contact information to speak to her.

My friend spoke to another friend who gave her some sound advice but figured she'd call me to get my perspective, since I was completely opposite of the person who gave her the first set of advice. The friend's advice was that she she should speak to the former male best friend. After all these years, she was still emotionally worked up about the situation, still didn't want to speak to him and was quite adamant about keeping him cut off. Thus, she needed a second opinion on the matter.

She was quite shocked when I, her second opinion, gave her the same advice. Interestingly enough, my friend had gone through the exact situation with her male best friend that I experienced with a former best friend. In my situation, I journeyed through a long process of forgiveness and finally healed. The emotional devastation of that situation was not a weight that I carried anymore. I had no ill-will towards my former friend. In wisdom and with multiple, trusted counsel I distanced myself from my former friend and learned to forgive him in that distance. I realized that there is a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. I had to forgive my former friend so that I could heal and move on. But, I didn't have to reconcile with him, although that was a choice I could make.

When someone does an injustice to another person, God sees and knows of it. If the person who was wounded brings the situation to God in prayer, that magnifies God's involvement in the situation to get justice. The word of God is not mocked and says that we reap what we sow. I'm sure my friend's former male best friend was reaping the consequences of what he caused and now understood the importance of forgiveness and apologizing.

My former friend is still not ready to have the conversation about what really happened but I have extended the olive branch to him. In my situation, I chose to keep my distance but we are still cordial to each other, work with each other, if the occasion arises, and occasionally speak. Since we have many mutual friends and I've known his family for way longer than I've known him, it was going to be impossible for us not to encounter each other. I decided that it was not fair to cut off my friends and folks who I consider family because of someone else's choices and actions.

As I heard my friend mentioning the situation with her former male best friend, I realized that she was still deeply hurt and emotional about it, which meant that she had not taken the necessary steps to obtain healing. When I asked her, "what if talking to your friend will provide you and him with the the necessary closure that you need," she didn't have a response. "If he knows that he did something wrong and didn't handle the situation properly years ago when he was young and dumb, can you allow him to apologize or make it right now that he's probably matured?" Still no response. "If the situation was reversed, wouldn't you want to apologize and make things right?

My friend was in total disbelief that I responding in the way that I did. She thought that because I had experienced the same thing she did at one point, I would feel the same way. I had to explain to her that the immature response was to walk away, hold resentment or bitterness, and cut someone off. But, maturity and wisdom demanded that we could no longer take the low road. She had to heal and release the pain, hurt, and anger of this situation because it seemed to still affect her the same as it did years ago when she first experienced the situation. She also had to learn to forgive her former friend. I mentioned that perhaps hearing him out or speaking to him would allow her to start her own healing process. If her former friend wanted to apologize to her, perhaps both parties would find the closure needed or desired in the process. She wanted and demanded an explanation years ago. Here was the explanation. So what it was coming years later; it was ultimately what she wanted.

I got rushed off the phone by another commitment but before leaving I shared a verse of biblical scripture with my friend from 1 Corinthians 13:11. I told my friend that her responses to situations now could not be similar to the ones she made in her youth, especially if she was maturing and growing. She had to make a conscious decision that she would no longer be "Petty Betty" but "Sane Jane," making wiser decisions that were conducive to her positive growth and development.

Today as we give thanks for maturity, I won't ask you to donate to an awesome charity. I ask that you give yourself the gift of healing by releasing that someone from the grip of your unforgiveness.

Love ya,

Have a Great Day of Thanks!

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