Picking Up the Pieces

Deepti Dawson   |   August 18, 2017 

Blink! Blink! my cursor goes as I pause to reconsider my decision to write about this emotional struggle I’ve been dealing with. But that’s how I’ve always been. Mostly on the fence. Always second guessing myself. Always having to be pushed to do things. However, one thing I was good at was making friends. I took time to make friends, but when I did, I knew I’d keep them for life. I always gave so much of myself to every new friend I made. I was one of those looking at old pictures-letter writing-kinda soppy type óf friends. I was happiest being around my friends.

Before I knew it, I was married and was soon a mother with no time to breathe, let alone maintain friendships. I’d like to think I tried my best to stay in touch. Maybe I didn’t. Because I have never really understood how I went from there to where I found myself in the year 2010: yearning for one friend, at least one, to say, “Hey, I’m here for you” -- and then proving it.

That year, my family went through a rather public crisis. We never knew what hit us and nothing could prepare our “over-protected” selves for the dark side of journalism, politics and social media we were suddenly exposed to. As we propped each other up, we were grateful for the precious few that stood by us as a family and prayed us through that horrid time. But there were many others that turned a blind eye. Many took to social media with their distorted versions of the truth. Still others clearly dissociated themselves from us. It was a lonely time to say the least.

Yet, through it all, God was our mighty fortress. Our faith faltered one minute and the next it was strengthened more than ever. I remember how, on one rather depressing day, I silently pleaded with God to show me a sign that He had everything under control. As I looked up, I saw a beautiful rainbow and there was not a dark cloud in the sky. How my heart swelled!

When we came out of this experience, I saw a broken family. Each of us had been broken differently. And each of us has needed healing. I came out of this bitter and angry. Bitter and cynical at the world, hurt and angry at my friends. I was hurt that even the few that finally got in touch were friends whom I reached out to in desperation. I was angry at the friends who used social media to heartlessly say hurtful things. All those promises to "stand by each other no matter what" came back empty and it broke me.

With time, Satan used this brokenness and anger to harden me. I let no one in. I cut ties with 90% of my friends. The ones I still spoke to, I did with no real concern for them. I made new connections with people who knew nothing of what I had been through, but always made sure to keep my guard up.

A couple of years ago, God broke me again. I was reading the book of Job when I read something I had never noticed before.

"And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends...” (Job 42:10)

After all that Job had been through -- and I am certain God felt everything Job felt -- there was restoration only AFTER Job prayed for his friends. Reconciliation meant that much to God.

I knew what I had to do. And I was petrified. “I can’t be vulnerable again, Lord!” But trust Him, I did; and so, taking baby steps, I began to pray for my friends and I began to reconnect. It was harder with some than with others. Along the way, I had decided that some were just not worth the effort; but God has shown me since that He doesn’t want me to pick and choose the ones that hurt least. He wants me to forgive and reconcile with ALL my friends. Two weeks ago, I messaged the one friend who had hurt me the most and even as I hit send, I felt this HUGE weight being lifted off. (I have only read that phrase in books and didn’t know it was actually possible in real life, but possible it was!)

This new lease of life for my old friendships is different. There are no expectations. My friends will not fall into a perfect friend mould because no one is perfect. They may not be there for me the next time I need them, but that’s alright. I worship Someone who will always be there. Human relationships will always fall short because God wants me to rely on Him.

If you’re reading this and are picking up the broken pieces of your heart -- or have built a comfortable wall around that broken heart -- pray and reconcile. There will be restoration.

You only love God as much as the person you love least. -- Dorothy Day

Photo Credit : Unsplash

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Deepti Dawson

Deepti eats, breathes and sleeps cakes! She is a self proclaimed "hobby junkie" with an ever growing pile of "to complete later" projects. She made Delhi her home as a new bride, trying hard to string words in Hindi together...12 years later, a mother of two, she is still trying hard to string words in Hindi together.

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