I had a lady email me about a broken friendship she recently had and I felt like this is a topic that has recently been brought to my attention over and over again. Lately, I have known lots of people battling failed relationships and wanting them restored....and quickly. So, I thought I would share my thoughts and experience.
Restoration is a beautiful beautiful thing. It is the closest thing to God's grace that we experience because it is an opportunity to start fresh and make it better. This is exactly what God does for us day in and day out. So to watch such a beautiful thing happen within relationships is breathtaking. Restoration displays a Godly love, grace, and forgiveness from both parties.
I have experienced both a failed friendship that was never restored and two broken friendship that were restored. All three experiences were painful but I gained so much wisdom during those seasons. I learned the value of friendships and people. I also learned how to be a better friend and the true power of communication. Those situations were not easy. I had to learn to let go in one and learn to be patient and trusting with the others.
Restoration always follows a spiritual cleansing.
In order to purify our hearts to truly understand the reasons of a broken relationship, we must be willing to go through a spiritual cleansing. We must have some tough conversations with God where we boldly say, "God come in and cleanse my heart." Often times, we do not want to do this. Doing this would require us to hear the hard truths and would force us to make some changes that we don't want to face. However, it's imperative we have this cleansing.
God cannot bless what isn't real, so be real with Him.
We cannot expect restoration until the mess has been cleaned up within our hearts. We cannot expect God to give us something lost if we aren't willing to make the changes that will ensure we will honor Him in restoration. The only way He can trust us, is if we become vulnerable to Him. God needs to know that we know our own faults. Sure, we won't ever be perfect but He knows our hearts. If we can be honest with Him and voice where we struggle, He will honor that vulnerability. He already knows so why do we insist on trying to hide it from Him? Just because we are not admitting it to ourselves or Him does not mean the issues do not exist.
Also, if you are the main one who caused the brokenness, give the person time. Do not expect the communication and restoration to be on your terms and your terms only. I get that it takes two to make any relationship successful and it takes two to make it fall apart but I also am a realist here.....there is normally one who does or says something that breaks the camels back. So, if you are the one who ultimately damaged it, be patient and give the answers they need in order to even get to a place where they would consider restoration.
Don't expect restoration to occur if you cannot be real with the person and explain yourself. This must be done on that person's terms, not yours. If you are only willing to talk to them on your terms and the way you want then quite frankly, you don't deserve their time. If you are only willing to explain yourself in person over lunch but the other isn't ready for that, then you respect that. Give them the reasoning they need for the choices you made, whether it be email or text. Yes, that may seem impersonal but it is the only window you have, so love them and use it. Don't withhold the communication that can start restoration until that person is "willing" to meet with you in person. That lunch might not ever happen. That person might not ever be ready to see you in person until they feel somewhat of a reason to and that only comes with honest communication and explanation in any shape or form. If you are not willing to start the restoration at the hurt person's terms then you are showing God and that person that you are not ready for restoration. Can you imagine how terrible it would be if God only loved and forgave us on certain conditions? He doesn't do that. He forgives us AS we are doing something dumb, so why would you put conditions on somebody YOU are wanting restoration with?
What has been lost can be found.
Relationships are tough and they take work. I have had two friendships that I thought were broken forever. It took hard work and lots of communication to bring us back together but I am so happy we worked hard at it. Our friendships have been more amazing than ever. God gave us back ten fold what the enemy stole from us. He replaced the ashes in our friendships with so much beauty that it awes me every day that I get to do life with these women.
The restoration was only able to occur when we were willing to totally put down the ego and say, "I'm sorry." It took hard conversations with God and asking for complete cleansing and then trusting Him to give us back what satan had stolen from us. Valuable time was lost during the separation season but we took a stand and refused to allow satan to also steal the restoration God had waiting for us. It was hard but it was worth it. Being open and honest, seeking forgiveness, communicating at the hurt person's terms, letting go of all hostility, and accepting His love and grace is what gave us the gift of restoration.
Restoration is a beautiful beautiful thing.