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New Beginnings

There’s a beautiful thing about a name appearing on your phone that you thought you may never see again. Recently for me that name has been the name of a friend that I thought I may never talk to again. We hadn’t spoken in almost a year and a half and the last time we had been in proximity of each other, it had left us pretty hurt by each other’s actions and words.

We both walked away for our own santities with no hope of any type of relationship remaining. It pained me to know that almost ten years of history was suddenly gone. What did we have to show for everything we had endured together, experienced together, knew about each other?

Throughout the aftermath of this friendship breaking apart I realized I was starting to feel like an expert at ending relationships. I wasn’t sure I liked that. It made me feel tough and all, but sometimes I wondered what had happened to my heart that used to believe in anything and everyone. I was at a place where I never planned on anything more than endings. I never planned on the absolute truth that people can change, I could change, God can heal and mend and open doors just a crack to let the light in for you to catch a glimpse of what used to be and what could still be.

Now, flash forward and life has been teaching me about something entirely new, the beauty of new beginnings.

When we had decided to talk for the first time a few months ago I was so unsure of what that conversation may look like. It was filled with raw honesty, vulnerable feelings and eventually, apologies. Apologies that both of us had made the other feel not seen, not cared for, not loved, and flat out hurt.

Both of us realized that at that time, we were each so entrenched in some difficult parts of life that we forgot to look up and ask the other, “Are you doing okay?”. We simply retreated to our corners and instead demanded of each other, “Why aren’t you there for me?”, when the plain and simple truth was that neither of us could be anything for each other at the time.

I think the honesty and vulnerability that spilled out of us that day allowed both of us to feel safe enough to crack the door a bit further open.

We decided to meet up in person. Realizing that the last time we were in this close proximity to each other we were far different people. And yet here we were, back in the town where we met almost ten years ago, smiling, laughing, trying to fit 18 months of life into a two hour conversation.

It’s in these seemingly miraculous moments you feel the shift manifest within the midst of the present moment. You realize that people can do the work to grow and change into the best versions of themselves, that you can grow and change, that maybe trust can be rebuilt and true relationships can be established in the face of that honest growth and change. And you realize that growth and change in yourself and someone else are also followed closely behind by grace and forgiveness, for yourself and for others.

Grace and forgiveness are hard pills to swallow sometimes because they require you to let go of control. It’s placing your heart back on the line and saying because I know I've messed up and received grace and forgiveness, you deserve the same thing. It’s hard and scary but I think if there’s anything worth the endeavor of grace and forgiveness it’s relationships.

In all honesty I can admit we’re both still not sure where this goes from there. While there is grace and forgiveness something still tells us it’s probably not best to jump back into being close friends again. An open door? Yes. A text message next time we see something that reminds us of each other? Yes. And while maybe not best friends, perhaps just friends for now?

That in and of itself sounds like a miracle, a new beginning. And I’ve decided these are the things I’d like to be an expert in now. Not in the endings, not in holding a grudge, not trudging around upset that the world is unfair, relationships end and circumstances change beyond your control, but beginnings. The belief that revival is around every corner and that we worship a God who breathes new life into His creation everyday.

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