Many of us here have experienced the same thing: the loss of really close friends because our faith vanished or our beliefs changed or our relationship with the church disintegrated or all the above.
Lisa and I have chosen to try to restore a few of those friendships. Not all. Most of them involved so much infliction of pain they aren’t even aware of that we don’t think restoration is possible. So we just don’t want to.
Forgiveness, yes. Restoration, no.
But there are a few relationships that we think might be worth the risk.
Lisa and I have talked about this a lot because we have friends in this category. Here’s what we think:
Some people just get caught up in the peer pressure or the drama. Sometimes people are just oblivious to the consequences of their actions.
It’s like friends who have no idea how to negotiate the divorce of their friends and end up not negotiating it at all or doing it badly. By trying not to hurt anyone they end up hurting you. Sometimes that happens in church stories.
It’s one thing to forgive people who intentionally hurt us. That’s really hard.
It’s another thing to forgive people who either didn’t mean to hurt us or are completely blind to the fact that they hurt us and would be mortified to realize they did. That’s maybe more doable.
In fact, there’s one couple we were really close to that Lisa and I are intentionally going to try to restore. It just might work. It feels worth the risk.
I bet you guys have similar stories.