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How to heal. . . August 1, 2008

Posted by Nate in Friends.
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We can’t go through life unscathed. I know it sounds cliché, but Jesus never promised a smooth ride when He called us to follow Him. Hurts will come. Difficulties will arise. Our closest friends may vanish. They may even cause us irreparable pain.

In my own life, the current test is to accept change. To understand that distance doesn’t sever the bond of brotherhood, friendship, and love. But even more important, to move on to new friendships.

“We are wounded in relationship, so we must heal in relationship.”

We cannot heal in isolation.

Is it hard to let go of a friend you’ve had for 20 years of your life? Of course it is. But the worst thing you could do to yourself is attempt to deal with it by yourself. You’ll end up idolizing that friendship when it was nothing more than, well, a friendship.

Or what about pain directly caused by someone you had thought was a friend? When you’re posing the question, “How could you do that?” and the only answer they give is a turned back. Or an accusatory glare.

Again, we can only heal in relationship.

People have the capacity to pour both good and evil into one another. Not one person dishes out evil exclusively or good exclusively. Everyone has some of both to offer.

If someone hurts us, our natural reaction is to isolate ourselves. We’re afraid of opening ourselves to the kind of damage we just experienced.

But until we open ourselves up to relationship again, we cannot heal.

God designed us for community. We can’t take in any good—love, generosity, laughter—unless someone else is there with us to offer it.

We heal in relationship.

Whether that relationship is with the person who hurt us to begin with (remember, people offer both good and evil, so that person who hurt us can still offer good), or whether we develop new friendships, the idea is still there. We need community.

We cannot heal in isolation.

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