I decided to pamper my husband and cut up the lettuce for his lunch. The qualifier for this lettuce prep is that my husband doesn’t require me to slave over him, especially when it comes to food. There has been a running joke between us since the day we started dating, "I will take care of the world, but food is not required." Obviously, since we arrived at the destination of a family of six, it has come to our attention that someone must feed the tribe. Who knew? Since my husband is at work, this responsibility has fallen on my shoulders, but he has stated often that he is happy to take care of his own food needs as long as he doesn’t have to care for our tribe alone. Occasionally, I help Philip get his salad together for work because he loves me for it. *Yes, I admit, selfish motivation. *
Back to the lettuce...I am not sure why I started to analyze this particular bunch of lettuce so closely. There was one brown leaf on the outside that made me paranoid the lettuce was bad. I started inspecting every piece and concluded it was spoiled. When I cut the lettuce, I noticed there were little juice droplets by the stem. I had never seen this before and knew it must be an indicator of something wrong with the lettuce. So, I threw it all out and opened the new lettuce I had purchased the day before.
I started cutting the new lettuce (Yes, the other lettuce was already in the trash!) and noticed the same droplets of moisture on the stem. Obviously, the water droplets were normal, and I just threw out an entire bag of lettuce. *Sigh*
The moral of the story is that I was examining the lettuce so closely, I finally found a problem. I decided there was something wrong with the lettuce and I found evidence to prove my theory. Even though I was wrong, I threw it all out. Thankfully it was only a $2 mistake.
It made me wonder how often do I do this in other areas of my life? If I decide something isn’t “good,” do I look until I find evidence to prove my theory? After concluding that something is “bad,” do I justifiably throw it out?
The answer is...yes. How often do I walk away from a situation or a relationship because I discovered something wrong and felt justified to move on?
There are things in all our lives that we are blind to. We are blinded by our own prejudices, our experiences, our political affiliation, and our family of origin. We inwardly determine something as “good” or “bad” and then find evidence to support it. Then we justifiably walk away, throw it out, or move on.
“Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26
Without God, we are blind. Without wisdom, we are making decisions about people, situations, and circumstances based on our own understanding. Sometimes we are right, and it works in our favor, but other times we are wrong...dead wrong and we let go of things or throw away things that are in our lives to challenge us and grow us into the men and women God desires.
It is easy to fall into the trap of determining that easy is right, but sometimes the easy way, is not always the best way.
I have a relationship that has tested me for years. At times, we disagree on more than we agree. We are both strong women, passionate about our experiences and relationships. In the early days of our friendship, I cannot count how many times I said, “I am done!” If left to my own understanding, I would have missed out on so much richness this relationship has given me throughout my life.
She taught me to stay the course. She taught me that relationships are worth fighting for. She taught me that even though I often had “evidence” that proved our friendship wasn’t “good,” the best friendships are made when two people commit to walking through hard times and disagreements together. I was blinded by my own childhood pain and it prevented me from being honest and vulnerable with myself and with her. Even though we are miles apart today, our friendship is on sure ground and is one I wouldn’t give up without a fight.
Easy and free from discomfort does not mean it is right for your life.
I had another friend who I met in college. We hadn’t seen each other for years and then we ended up living in the same town. Very quickly we became friends. It was so easy. I quickly trusted her with the most tender places of my life. She declared me a “God-sent” friend and I agreed.
And then...nothing. No fight or argument, just the end of something I had believed was “good.” After months of unreturned phone calls, she finally sent me a message and said she didn’t think she could be a good friend. She walked away.
I am not sure if I said or did anything wrong. Looking back, the only thing I did wrong was invite her quickly into my life, believing our fast friendship was one I could trust. She said everything right, but her actions left me hurt and betrayed.
Throughout my adult life I have had relationships come and go. I have learned that just because something is immediately perceived as “good,” doesn’t mean it should have free access to my life. I have also learned that just because something requires work or is difficult, doesn’t mean it is "bad" and deserves to be tossed into the wind.
Yes, the Bible says our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). It also says that we should take advice (Proverbs 19:20) and that God directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9).
I don't believe we will get it right every time. There will be times we will walk away from situations meant to improve our lives and there will be times we let something in that hurts and wounds us. In the end, I do believe He will work all things together for our good and He will take every loss and wound and use it for His glory.
We were never created with the purpose of experiencing loss or heartache. We were never created to be deceived or our hearts trampled on. We were created for relationship and life-giving friendships. Unfortunately, the sin that so easily entangles us has created a gap between truth and deception and it affects everyone we meet.
Please do not despair! This does not mean that every relationship in your life will bring you great pain. It does mean that every relationship in your life will let you down. It takes a woman or man confident in who they are in Christ to know when to move forward and when to set boundaries.
No one will get it right every time, but when we keep Godly people around us, allow them to speak truth to our hearts, and continually stay connected to Jesus, we are able to navigate the good, the bad, and the messy of relationships with integrity and grace.
A good friend is worth the fight. ♥️
I am a girl passionately in love with Jesus, my husband, and my children. I am forever learning how to live a life completely undone for my God. This blog is about my journey and a few funny stories in between.