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I had a falling out with a close friend; what can I do to heal this relationship?

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I recently had a falling out with one of my friends, and we have not talked since. She said she doesnít want someone like me in her life, which hurts, because I really am a caring person who hates seeing people get hurt in any way. Iíve never lost a friend before, and this is very painful for me. My feelings are hurt. I have apologized, but to no avail. What should I do? I want to be friends with this person again, but I am afraid of being hurt more. ó Connor, online


Tiffany Answers:

Dear Connor,

The dissolution of a friendship hurts, especially when it’s a close friend. People have the ability to come into our lives and make them richer. They bring so much joy and support that it is difficult to face the idea of not having them in our lives. I have to admit that as I am answering your letter, I myself am going through a rift with one of my close friends. Trust me, I can fully understand what you are going through. 


Remember, it takes two people to mend a relationship. While on your end you can see the other side of whatever spat the two of you are having and see the possibility of restoring this friendship, the fact remains that the other person can’t right now.


Whatever happened between the two of you caused hurt to both parties. Realize that your friend is hurting as well. And apparently, being around you just brings the pain back. It’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that we cannot force people to change their perspectives on us, especially when we so want them to because we care about them. A person has to change from within, with God’s help.


Writing the person an apology is a big step toward mending the broken friendship.  She has probably read your apology and may have even accepted it. But there is some healing that needs to take place for her, and you cannot be the one to do it.


However, there is Someone who wants to help you with this situation. If you haven’t done so already, pray for your friend. Ask God to heal her heart. While you’re at it, ask the Lord to heal yours as well, since there are some residual hurt feelings on your end too.


Give her space. Leave her the room she needs to heal and think about whether she wants to restore the friendship or not. Sometimes the greatest act of love is to know when to let go of a person. 


You may write her a note to summarize your feelings and the way forward. For instance, you could say, “Listen, I know that I have hurt you, and again, I am sorry. I would like our friendship to be restored, but the decision is up to you. I’m praying for you, and am always here for you if you need me.” After doing this, take the “hands off” approach and let God do His work.
Here’s one more hard pill to swallow. She may choose not to be your friend again. Unfortunately, there are situations that cause friendships to sever. But if you have done all you can to rectify the situation, as we’ve discussed, then accept it. God will heal the pain and give you what you need to move on (which is why the praying aspect of this is so important).
Give the situation to God,
“casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). 
 



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