A few weeks ago at church our family pastor talked about forgiveness. The message was about not only forgiving others but also forgiving ourselves. I found myself nodding along as he delivered the message and the idea behind the message stayed with me long after we left the church.
As we grow older I think its safe to say we change. Our lifestyles change, our surroundings change, and the people in our lives change. I truly believe God places certain people in our lives for seasons. For instance, in my early twenties I had my friends who my then husband and I hung out with. As we got older and our divorce was finalized those friends changed and so did my surroundings. I did not go to the bars anymore. I did not hang out with the friends we had together anymore, some by my own choice others chose my ex over me, and I had to do some growing up. Life is not always kind.
Then I met my new husband, well re meet anyway. If you’ve read any of my post then you know the story. He and I went to high school together. He joined the military after high school and I married my high school boyfriend. We were reintroduced to each other through a mutual friend and married in August 2009. Our life has been non stop since then. We had a fairly average wedding party, he had three of his best friends and my son on his side while I had three of my friends and my daughter on my side. I look back at our wedding photos and wonder what ever happened to some of those we were pictured with that day. We did not stop talking to them because we were mad or upset, life just got in the way.
During both of these times I had a few good friends. I am not one to have hundreds of people I call “friend” in fact if you look at my facebook I may have around 300 people listed as friends but that’s because I am related to 80% of them (my mom comes from a large family in which most of them have large families of their own) I am a cautious person. I have had a lot of bad things happen so I don’t trust others often. It’s something I need to work on. So if I am your friend I do trust you and try my best to be a good friend. But I am not a perfect friend. I know that.
When my husband and I decided to become foster parents we did not realize just how much it would change our lives. We slowly stopped going out to eat with others, we cut back on hanging out with our peers and we placed all of our focus on the kids. I could not just drop everything anymore to go to the movies, or have time for 2 hour phone calls, or time to go shopping, its easy to find a babysitter for one and in most cases two, but when you have four or five little loves running around babysitters are hard to find. So one by one friends stopped calling or inviting us out. And I get it. I would stop calling too. But then you have the true few. You know who I’m talking about. The ones that stop calling and just come over to your place to hang out with you and your kids. Or like the ones we made while taking the foster parent classes because they too understand you can’t just drop everything and that life now revolves around our ever changing family. There are a few who get that this is the new you, and they are okay with that.
So when we moved I had decided to weed out those I did not talk much to. I personally didn’t think I would upset anyone the criteria was simple. If I talked to you daily or weekly we were good. If you commented or talked to me on social media anytime within the six months prior to me moving we were good. I didn’t delete people because I didn’t like them I simply figured if we hadn’t had much interaction in six months they would not want their news feed full of pictures of my kids after we moved. (trust me I post a lot of pictures for my parents and in-laws back home)
But the message from church got to me. I started thinking about a few people that at one time had been really close friends with. Some I had known since grade school, a few others I had meet along the way. Many I didn’t talk to anymore simply because they had moved or life had taken them down a different path. A few simply because we had had a disagreement about something and the friendship and we just stopped talking. For whatever the reason there were a few people I missed and I wanted to reach out and try again. So I did. I sent a few text messages, a few I added back to my friends list on social media and one I called. I don’t really know what I was expecting but I can tell you I did not expect what I got.
I was accused of being a bad person and a fake friend. I was told that I used people and did not truly care for anyone. I was told that I only had time for those that were willing to drop everything to be at my beck and call. I was told I never truly cared about their feelings or other people in general…….Smack in the face. That hurt. I don’t know what I was expecting but let me tell you that was not it. This person was someone I had, and still do, wanted nothing but the best for. Some of my actions during our friendship where done not to hurt them but to shield them. Maybe I was wrong in handling it the way I did. I didn’t ask this person to watch my kids because I knew it would be to painful. Maybe I did have others over more because they didn’t mind being around our kids. I grew tired of trying to downplay my happiness because they were unhappy with things in their life. I know life is not fair, and that sometimes the one thing we want more than anything is out of our reach. For that i am sorry. Truly truly sorry. I hope one day you find what you are looking for. I hope you find happiness and peace. I wish you nothing but the very best. I wish things were different and that we could go back to the way things use to be but I can’t be the person they want or need me to be. I am happy and I will not pretend not to be. I wish we could all be cheerleaders for one another instead of being hurt or jealous of others. I can’t imagine what life would be like without my kids and for those that don’t have kids but want kids I can’t imagine your pain. If that makes me a bad person or a bad friend then I guess I am.
I have changed. I am not the same scared twenty something girl who lived in constant fear of her abusive husband. I am not the same thirty something woman that overcame her fear and tired to piece her life back together for her and her kids. But guess what you have changed also. We all have. I will be the first to admit I am not always a good wife, a good mom, or daughter, or daughter in law that makes me human. I let the most important people in my life down daily but I’m trying to be better. To the people I have hurt in my past I am sorry. To those who simply think they can no longer be around me I am sorry. For those that were there for me when I need them the most I thank you. I know there are people I have let down and I hate that. If I could go back and fix things I would. But I can’t be the one that you are always upset with, the one you always cancel plans with, the one you get mad at, I can’t. I need to surround myself with positive people. Negativity only brings about negativity. And yes I really do wish nothing but the best to you, hell I wish nothing but the best for my ex husband. God has shown me that life is to short to be consumed with hate. I have changed and I’m okay with that.
From my beautiful chaos to yours if God has closed a door in your life, keep it closed. He allows us to walk through open doors for our good and closes off those we no longer need. Enjoy the memories that cross your mind of the good times and smile, then keep moving forward. Closed doors bring nothing but heartache.