(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Her thank you note was sweet. “Nice words,” I thought, “that don’t mean very much.”
Over the years I’d waited for the day my friend would give me a heads-up on her rare trips to town, more than “Hey, I’ll be in town for a couple hours tomorrow to see [a mutual friend], any chance you could join us?” Rearranging my schedule isn’t often an option, and - even if it was - it had become achingly clear that the purpose of these trips for her was to see our mutual friend, not me.
A very full weekend followed on the heels of the thank you note, leaving me wrung-out. I tried to nap after all of the activity, but that proved fruitless.
In the midst of my tossing and turning, the phone rang. It was the mutual friend of the author of the thank you note and me. “Did she call you yet?!” Our friend asked, breathlessly, “Did you hear the news?”
“What’s the news,” I asked, thinking, “As if she would call me.”
After the phone call my mind was a mess. I lay in bed feeling sorrier and sorrier for myself. I rehearsed a history of unmet expectations and dashed hopes. I was hurt that I’d received the news second-hand.
Disgusted with my thoughts, but unable to pray, command, or repent them away, I gave up on the nap and went in search of my husband. Finding him, I told him about the phone call that had been a trigger for a barrage of hurt.
“But what about that nice thank you she just sent?” he asked, pointing to the note I’d left on the coffee table.
“This?” I asked, picking it up. “Here’s what I think of this!” I tore the note in half.
Our eyes met. His, full of surprise and concern. Mine were brimming with tears.
“Help me,” I asked. “Pray! I can’t seem to help myself, even though I know how wrong this is.”
It was as Glen prayed that I realized that resentment was what drove me to rip the card apart. I confessed my hurt and asked for God’s help. I realized I was grieving for a lost relationship, and that was okay. But grief had turned to resentment and resentment leads to relational separation! I repented of the resentment, and asked God’s forgiveness. I let myself grieve.
We finished praying.
The phone rang.
It was my friend. She had some good news to share.