Siesta Survey for Your Mama’s Insight

Hey, Darling Things. Let me blurt out from the beginning that you guys are so dear to me. I genuinely love this community with a heart full to the brim. Your comments to Sunday’s post drew me in, made me smile, and some of them made me laugh out loud. Per the question, how far was I from the little farm house when the rancher saw me and reported me in certain peril to my man, several miles. Keith and I are still amused by it but we are thankful for such good neighbors. Just when we think we’ve gotten a little more normal, something reminds him and me that we are caricatures that could be fodder for the weirdest sitcom on network television. Shiver. I’m just picturing my character’s hair. And the size of her Bible. And, eewwww, the accent. And picture the double barrel shotgun in Keith’s character’s hand. But, if they show him without a shirt, cry foul because that’s not my man. Never, I do mean NEVER would my man go without a shirt outside the shower. Nor does he respect a grown man that does. (Unless he’s in his swim trunks and those better come nearly to the man’s knees.) He also gives the stink eye to a grown man that wears his shirt open two buttons. That’s not cool to Keith. And if the man has on a gold chained necklace, you best keep him out of Keith’s path all together. OK, Lord, have mercy. How do I get off on all this stuff? It’s y’all that bring this out in me.

Here’s the reason why I’m posting today. I’m looking to my favorite community for insight regarding this weekend’s event and maybe, if any of it pertains, for insight toward the taping for James in May. (Much more on that later because I really, really want to enlist your prayers.) These are my two questions and please notice that they pertain to two different groups among you.

1. To anyone in our blog community: This one’s wide open. Have you ever experienced a painful breakage in a close relationship you had with another believer? I’m especially talking about relationships that you believed at the time to be woven together by the bonds of Christ but something happened that resulted in a fissure. If so, WITHOUT DIVULGING ANYTHING THAT WOULD IDENTIFY YOUR PERSON, what happened? And here’s a really important part of it: did the relationship mend or did you go your separate ways? Please stick to one meaty paragraph because I want to read every single entry. If it’s too long, I’ll have to skip it. Remember, no names or pieces of information that people can track. We never want to dishonor anyone on this blog. So that I can differentiate between answers to this question and those to the next, please start your comment with the word “Relationship.”

2. Limited just to the people attending this weekend’s LPL in Little Rock, Arkansas: I’d love to already have a few of your stories in mind for this weekend. In a compact paragraph, would you please tell me your first name, your general age group, whether you are married or single, and your biggest concern or challenge right now? Please keep in mind that I could very well share it with the entire group as an example of the kinds of things we’re dealing with in our audience so your comment will act as your permission. Please, please don’t leave a comment I can’t share or I could end up getting it confused with the others and telling it by accident. Remember, you are entrusting your personal information to Blonder Than She Pays To Be. Also don’t make stuff up as a trick so you can get a kick out of it when I tell it. Yes, people do stuff like that on blogs and it’s totally lame. Don’t do it here. So that I can differentiate between this answer and the ones to the previous question, please start your comment with the word “Little Rock.” If you are also answering question 1, please do it in a separate comment. This will help me immensely as I peruse the survey.

You guys are rock stars to me. Thank you so much. May all of this information and everything else that happens on this blog ultimately bring greater fame to the powerful, healing, saving Name of Jesus Christ.

Our Lord.

And Savior.

 

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Comments:

  1. 251
    Julie says:

    Little Rock – Julie and Hannah – Mother and Daughter, ages 37 and 13 from Bryant, AR (By the way, Julie is originally from Arkadelphia!!)

    My biggest challenge in this season is to raise my daughter with a deep love for God, and a deep desire to develop her own relationship with Him. Also a challenge is to cultivate in her a healthy self-esteem.

    We can’t wait for this weekend!!

  2. 252

    RELATIONSHIP-I started off in this life as a people pleaser. Most people that I have become friends with have not taken advantage of this albeit one. She is a friend that I met at my church. Because of my lack of healthy boundaries with this person, I always ended up working very hard for our friendship. There are many examples that I could share but I will give you just one. Anytime we would get together it would have to be on her terms. I would always be the one to drive to her side of town. If we planned something on my side she would call and say she couldn’t make it. I blame myself for letting it get out of hand. I should have spoke up when I noticed this was a recurring pattern. I let it go on for 18yrs! I recently retired from the work for a friend program. Unfortunately because I retired we no longer have a friendship. I can’t say that I am too sad, I guess I became too tired to care. Matter of fact, I feel free.

  3. 253
    puzzlepiecesista - Angela says:

    RELATIONSHIP

    Oh Beth this is so hard for me, please bear with me ….tears are spilling down my cheeks and I haven’t even begun my story…..this is all very fresh right now, your timing in asking about this subject is uncanny!

    My very best friend of eleven years and I had this happen to us and it caused a permanant fissure. We were not just friends but soul-sisters knit together by the mutual love of Jesus. We each have 3 boys and we did EVERYTHING together and so did our boys. There isn’t anything we couldn’t share with one another. One day serious crisis made an unwelcome appearance in her life with her husband, his employer, and fraud that led to her husband losing his job, etc. My friend went from having the occasional glass of wine, to dealing with a full-blown addiction to alcohol that she is still fighting to this day (it’s been 7 yrs). Long story short, I felt the Lord telling me to put her life in His hands through prayer and to step away from the relationship. I so wanted to be obedient to Christ, so I did what I felt the Holy Spirit was leading me to do. Looking back I think I did hear the Lord, but I don’t think I was to make a complete fracture of our friendship like I did. I don’t know, I still struggle with guilt over this. I caused her so much hurt, maybe I wasn’t sensitive enough in how I dealt with it, I don’t know. But, for the last seven years there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and pray. Our two middle sons reconnected this year in high school and JUST LAST WEEK I felt the Lord pressing on my heart to go see her and seek her forgiveness and understanding of why I choose to walk away from our friendship. We spent hours talking, laughing, and crying…..I hope she will allow a “new” friendship with me to begin, but she is still very guarded and feels I judged and betrayed her. I see her isolation and her loneliness and her addiction to alcohol has a life-grip on her still. My heart is breaking for her, and I realize our friendship will never be what it once was, but I want to be in her life because I think she needs the love of an unconditional friend right now. I feel peace since I went to her last week to seek her forgiveness and try to explain my heart, and that I felt Jesus was leading me from a dependance on her friendship to a deeper dependance on Him. I don’t know if a friendship can be re-built. All I know is that I will continue to pray for her and love her even if that’s from a distance. I have peace in my heart because I believe I obeyed the HOLYSPIRIT’S leading last week to go to her for reconciliation. Please pray for her deliverance and any way the Lord may want to use me in her life in the days ahead. She is so precious to me!

  4. 254
    Jill says:

    RELATIONSHIP
    I had what I believed was a solid friendship brought together through our service at church. We served together, our boys were friends and it seemed we had a lot in common. We had a disagreement over a surprise party. The party was only the catalyst that sparked the divide. We were angry with each other and could never get together on the same page again. It’s been 2 years and we no longer speak. The Lord taught me a lot about forgiveness through a very difficult time. I have forgiven her but feel the friendship/trust has been irrevocably broken by her actions and words. I wish her only the best and feel that God will eventually bring us some closure to our divide.

  5. 255
    Melissa says:

    Relationship

    I was really close to two ladies from the church I used to go to. They were both older than me, so I was kind of like a daughter in Christ to both of them. We were all three getting to be unhappy with the way things were going at the church, so as we were breaking away from that church, we grew closer together and had many discussions about certain events. The time came for my husband and I to speak with the pastor and tell him our concerns and let him know we were probably going to leave. During the (heated) discussion we said some things that my other friends didn’t want shared. This was not done intentionally. I don’t even remember what was said. All I know is that they began not speaking when they were around me. I felt shunned. I wanted to know what was going on and could we please talk about it (husbands too). One lady didn’t want to have a confrontation, the other basically told me that she had taken me under her wing, but couldn’t trust me anymore. No, neither one of these relationships were mended. Yes, I tried.

  6. 256
    Rachel says:

    RELATIONSHIP. I’m actually struggling with this right now, Beth. I have a close friend that is a believer, who every time we’re together finds some way to make me feel insecure about myself (and yes…I’ve read So Long, Insecurity – grin!)…or the conversation just always ends up being very negative. She talks about how much money she makes, how skinny she is, how great this or that is…and even though I’ve never been a jealous person by nature, I find myself afterwards…comparing. I’ve prayed about the issue, tried really hard to work on myself, but lately it’s only helped if I distance myself from her. I’ve also realized that we’re not meant to be BFF with every single Christian woman. Just because they’re Christian doesn’t mean we’re going to jive, personality wise.

    • 256.1
      Laura says:

      Hi Rachel, I’ve been through a similar friend experience. God revealed this tendency as when a person lifts themselves up by pushing the other friend down. I wrote to my friend about it and tried to make the relationship work with a new healthy direction, and it didn’t do everything right but I tried. However, God had to show me sometimes the only thing that will make a person see what they are really doing to another is to lose that person. Even words sometimes aren’t enough if they have pride issues.

      My friend wasn’t a Christian and I also learned the importance in being close to believers and not secular people due to influence issues etc. I still pray for her and it’s hard not to send her an email sometimes, but I don’t miss being in the pit so she can feel good about herself.

      The crazy part to me is I have discovered since I left the friendship that I am accustomed to befriending people like this. I am so used to being pushed down by another that I have to work with myself and God to let go of the negative voice in my head so I can leave “friendships” like this behind.

      God has led me to a healthy friendship now, long distance, and I think that is really what I need at this point. This way it’s easier to keep us both encouraging each other with the foundation of Christ and neither of us are doormats! It’s a beautiful friendship, like none I’ve never known! How wonderfully freeing! God is good!

      God bless Rachel!

  7. 257
    Afraid to be me.... says:

    RELATIONSHIP:
    (I am using a different name from my regular blogging name.)
    My relationship with my good friend changed drastically when she became my sister-in-law. We were great buddies until she marriage my husband’s brother. We were friends during her previous marriage and our daughters often played together. Long story, but things got ugly, even between brothers. I never seemed to do anything right. I was accused of ignoring my new nieces and nephews, etc….I hurt to the CORE. We finally had a ‘talk’ but things are not the same and may never be. I love her so much but I feel I am under scrutiny in every area of my life. It has hindered me at church (we attend the same one) on numerous occasions. I often think “I can’t do such and such, because XXX will think I am being conceited and prideful.” I’m sorry to say, I have become an emotional recluse because of this.

    • 257.1
      Afraid to be me.... says:

      I forgot to mention that we spent most of our times together while at church…working together in the nursery, AWANA, ladies retreats, etc…we were sisters in Christ long before we became sisters-in-law…

  8. 258
    Julie says:

    Relationship!
    I’m a preacher’s wife and made a great friend when we first came to this church. Over time I hurt her feelings and she was mean and rude to me & about me for a very long time. I finally asked to meet with her. I asked her forgiveness and told her I wanted to be friends, that I loved her & missed her friendship. She told me she would forgive me but didn’t really want to, but she didn’t want to ever be my friend. Oh, the hurt!! It’s been a year since that meeting and in the last 3-4 months she has been friendlier. I’m leaving it up to her, she knows my heart. She just doesn’t realize that she broke it.

  9. 259
    Anonymous says:

    Relationship –
    I became friends with the leader of a ministry that I had just joined. For over a year we were inseperable. We went out every chance we had. It was one of the funnest times I had ever had. Then, she started having financial problems. She needed money to pay her rent right away, so I let her borrow money with terms of about a week, since I had to pay my bills too. She was not able to pay, and I forgave the debt. But the strain on the relationship became obvious. She would tell me how much money she’d spend on a shopping trip and it would annoy me. I was also told that she hadn’t paid back money she owed to others in church. Then she started a relationship with a Christian man, but that crossed Christian lines. We ultimately lost everything we had in common. I love her still and miss her since she left the church.

  10. 260
    Jennifer says:

    Relationship. How can Christians be so evil? I once co-led a women’s group with the bestest person ever. She and I were single moms, she came to me for dating advice, we got our kids together for summer BBQs and playdates, we cried together and grew together. She was also friends with the pastor’s wife. Then the pastor’s wife expressed private doubts about me to her. In less than 6 months I was hauled into the pastor’s office, accused of having a Jezebel spirit by my friend and and other leaders, removed from leadership, and my friend treated me like a pariah. So did the pastor and wife. I left the church after submitting to their authority and toughing it out for another whole year. It nearly destroyed my self esteem. I later found out from an elder the pastor was attracted to me. I share this so women can be free of shame- this ugly stuff really happens. It took me 2 years to recover, heal and begin to trust a new pastor. And until I take my last breath I will never be alone with a man who isn’t my husband. (Still single and hoping one day to be married).

  11. 261
    Dorothy Hughes says:

    Relationship – Met a very nice lady at our Beth Moore bible study. We seemed to hit it off and talked and prayed for each other regularly. I moved 2 hours away but we still kept in touch through email & phone calls. Told her about someone I was dating and asked her to pray. There was something, honestly can’t remember what, she didn’t agree with and haven’t heard from her since. Tried to call – she won’t answer. Emailed – she won’t respond. Got hurt, got mad, decided to pray for her anyway (because, of course, there are things about her life I don’t agree with but that’s HER life, not mine).

  12. 262
    Sheryl says:

    Relationship: Five years ago I experienced a broken relationship with a life-long Christian friend. We became friends at our childhood church and were friends throughout high school and my college years. She was maid-of-honor in my wedding and I was matron-of honor in hers. We hung out with our husbands and her daughter and my daughter were best friends. The relationship was painfully broken when my friend’s husband accepted a position on our church council. He told some lies about my family and blamed it on another church member. When my husband and I confronted that church member, he was shocked that we thought he had said these things about us, and he told us who did. We were blown away by this betrayal. I tried to keep the friendship with my life-long friend in spite of her husband’s betrayal, but she wanted no part of it. One day I received a multi-page, scathing letter in the mail from her, telling me what a terrible person I was, that her loyalty was to her husband and not to me, and that she believed everything he had said! I was so sad and actually had to deal with depression after this event. Our relationship has never mended. She clearly stated that she was through with me. Consequently, we have changed churches and our daughters’ friendship ended as well. However, God has been so good to me. A few years ago, he brought my childhood best friend back into my life. She is now a sister in Christ and her friendship is a blessing, and she has shown me what a true friend is. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

  13. 263
    Andrea S. says:

    Relationship:
    I had a very dear best friend who was every bit of the word of sister to me. I moved across several states to be nearer to her when she went off to college….I really believe this was not part of God’s plan for us. We lasted 6 months living together and I was heartsick for my family. I packed my things and came home. It was more than just a severe in presence…at the time I thought it was a very bitter end in our relationship. But God works in miraculous ways…and I came home to meet my husband and three God-given (my word change for step) children. Through the years we touched base very briefly and superficially. But a few years after I left she got divorced, and it was during that time that those familiar phone calls starting to come…pray for me….cry with me….love me…I’m sorry. Oh- Lord you are so good…to your GLORY be all the healing of broken relationships in our lives!

    • 263.1
      Andrea S. says:

      One other thing I would like to add…is that upon a lot of soul searching I honestly believe that God took us apart for a time because we started to rely more on each other than on Him, and he severed that tie for a time…to heal us and get us both on the right (but separate) track towards him.

  14. 264
    Debbie says:

    Relationship- We were in a bible study together. I am still involved in the study, but she has left. Whenever I was alone with her she would always make negative comments to me about my appearance or the way I was parenting. I got to the place I would spend a lot of “Jesus time” by myself just to be prepared for the barbs that came my way. I finally just gave it to the LORD as I didn’t want to cause a sister to leave or feel bad. I even considered quitting the group myself. It ended up that her circumstances changed and she was not able to attend anymore. I still pray for her and her family, but I do feel like GOD handled it for me. Still it was a painful time, as I was heartbroke that in my bible study group I would hear such hateful things from this one person. As Always HE is so good to those who wait on HIM! Praise HIM!

  15. 265
    Judy says:

    Relationship:
    Several years ago I became close friends with my pastor’s wife. I don’t know when it happened or how but what she thought about me and her opinion of what I did or said became way too important. I really don’t know when this happened or how but one day I faced the reality that she was the driving force in my life rather than God. I go to church alone and God began to deal with me about changing churches. I did and she was offended and from that time forth she no longer wanted to be my friend. Needless to say I was devastated. Jesus is now my one and only — he will not fail me. That relationship proved to be the greatest stronghold of my life. With God’s help that will not happen again.

  16. 266
    anonymous says:

    Relationship: I had a mentor 25 years older than me. Her daughter no longer spoke to her and my mother wasn’t able to be there fully for me. We both had a need that each other seemed to fill. We met weekly for over 2 years for bible study, prayer and fellowship. We ate, laughed and cried together. We shared everything. It was a beautiful relationship centered around God. We experienced much growth and healing from our times together. Things changed when she started having expectations of me and my time and subsequently became disappointed in me and became critical. I never saw it coming. I felt attacked by her as I went to her house as I had done for over 2 years. I had no idea she was feeling this way about me. Ultimately I pulled away because I felt unsafe. It seemed that the things I shared at my most vulnerable times were used against me, to try and correct me and shame me into acting different next time. Her criticisms were that I didn’t do enough for her. It became unhealthy and I still feel the void today.

  17. 267
    Toni says:

    50’s, married Little Rock
    My biggest concern is the emotional and mental well-being of my 27-year-old son. He enlisted in the Air Force after high school. I don’t know what happened while he was in the AF, but he is very bitter and angry (he wasn’t that way before). I know not to mention anything about government, politics or the military when we talk because that just sets him off. He is attending college now and feels like he is way behind his high school classmates because the ones he talks to all have careers, they are getting married and starting families. You know how we mothers are–I always worry about him even though he is an adult and living several states away from me.

    • 267.1
      Diana says:

      Was your son deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan? He may be dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is a Moms Of Military Prayer & Support Group that meets in Batesville, AR that is led by a wonderful woman. Is that near you? You can email her at mamadeb2484@yahoo.com for support and prayers.
      As a mom of sons in the military I’ll be praying for you and your son.

  18. 268
    L.E. says:

    Relationship

    Hi Beth! Here is my story. When I was in college, my best friend, who I had met at church and who was the person that “sharpened” me the most, told me that she was no longer going to go to our church, but that she was going to go to a church that I believed didn’t believe the Bible. It was a denomination steeped in rules and regulations, and also they didn’t believe in salvation as is laid out in the Scriptures. As you can imagine, I was DEVESTATED to see her get into what I saw as bondage (Gal. 5:1). I just so happened to be studying Galatians at that time with my college Bible study, so I tried to lead her towards freedom. It was not well received, and we did not speak for several months. We were able to slowly feel more comfortable around each other, but the relationship was not the same. Then about two years later, she called me one night and said she was reviewing some emails that I had sent her during that time, and she told me that she saw how much I cared about her. After that, things were more normal. And now, praise the Lord, she is seeing the truth about that church through her own Bible study, and is trying to lead others to the truth of Scripture! Also, she and I are fully mended and very close…praise the Lord!

  19. 269
    Melinda says:

    Relationship

    I have experienced a painful break in a relationship. This lady and I were what I thought was best friends. We knew her and her husband when we previously lived in this town. We went on several vacations together. When her husband died, I tried to be there for her with words of encouragement. Her family is one of the reasons we moved back to this town. But her children have manipulated her and basically run wild and out of control. My daughter felt physically threatened by her oldest son. And my friend refused to listen to me when I would try to talk to her about it. I knew that I had to step back from the relationship when my daughter thought that I would seriously consider my friendship over her. I see God working in her life, but to this day, we are more “friends” than the best friends we were.

    And I’m okay with that.

    • 269.1
      Melinda says:

      There’s a whole lot more to the story, but you said one paragraph. The most important thing is that my daughter knows that I love her very much.

  20. 270

    Oh Beth. i wish there were no responses to this question. But obviously you have touched a chord with so many…me included. After my husband’s medical residency we moved for a year of training for his fellowship. Everyone knew we were only there for one year and yet, I was not the sort to hold back in relationships. As the mother of triplets (now plus one more), I immediately began talking to mothers at the local elementary school. I instantly connected with one who like me had a special needs son (I have two). We began walking together, spending time with our kids together, volunteering together, and attending Bible Study together. I was so very thankful for the friendship. But as Christmas came and passed, she began to withdraw. At first it was gradual, canceling our walks, etc. But within a couple of weeks she had stopped returning my phone calls and even all-out ignoring me when I saw her at Bible Study. My head believes that she was trying to protect herself for when I left, but my heart doesn’t always buy that answer. And it hurt so deeply. Today, almost six years later, I still second-guess every relational move with friends because I am desperately afraid that I DID something to cause the end of that friendship. Without knowing what/how/why, I can say honestly that I have been stunted by my need to protect myself from it ever happening again and have failed to make close friends in our new home state.

  21. 271
    MaryLisa says:

    RELATIONSHIP: I was so close to this sister in Christ I considered her my actual sister. At the time it was impossible for me to believe we would ever be anything than closer than close. Then I started to notice that when we were together we would gossip and we would whine and we would elevate ourselves above others. When we were in groups she would talk about my ideas and feelings as if they were her own. It started to feel yucky to me when we were together. I tried to talk to her about it. I tried to shift the conversation. I tried to arrange situations where we could focus our conversations on something benign. It did not work. I still believe that she is my sister in Christ, but we can not be together and be Christ honoring. I have distanced myself from her.

  22. 272
    Joy says:

    Relationship

    My best friend and I went through about 5 years of being artificially polite to one another when we had grown apart after a series of disagreements. I had felt that she was being a “goody two-shoes” and I resented her confrontations of me.

    It was about 4 months after I had given myself wholeheartedly to God that He suddenly revealed to me the truth about our friendship: She had seen that I was walking a dangerous road of compromise and her confrontations were warnings. I hadn’t listened to her because what I was doing didn’t seem so bad to me at the time. (“People never crumble in a day. It’s a slow fade.” – Casting Crowns)

    As soon as I understood all of this truth, I sat down and wrote her a letter of apology. I told her that I finally realized that she had loved me so much that she had to say something to me about the way I was living. (True friends will stab you in the front!)

    In the letter I told her that I didn’t expect anything from her. I just wanted her to know that I was sorry and I knew that it was me that caused our friendship to fall apart. She came right to my house after receiving my letter and told me how happy she was to get it. She said that she had been praying for me all of that time and that she always loved me. We made a decision that day to renew our friendship. Four years later we better best friends than ever and I thank God that He restored us!

  23. 273
    Patty M says:

    A couple of years ago I met a woman that I was sure (still am sure) God placed in my life for that season. She prayed me through one of the darkest times of my life and I believe I was a friend to her when she needed one, too. I don’t even know exactly why but a bitterness grew between us…she said something to me, (about me) that while in hindsight was true, was not said in love and I responded in kind to her. No shouting match but points were made and just like that the friendship ended. I see her from time to time at church and while we are cordial, we both keep our distance. Such a sad testimony and one I’m not proud of.

  24. 274
    Wounded says:

    The pain of a broken relationship has cost me more tears, stress and trust than I could have ever imagined. The best way I can describe it is to say it is a death that continues to grieve my heart. In some ways it has been harder to cope with than Any other loss I have ever known. It has been a deep deep betrayal that shadows my life with severe and deep gashes. I pray daily that Christ will heal these oozing wounds. I am trusting God that He knows the why’s because I cannot deal with it on my own.

  25. 275
    anonymous says:

    Relationship

    A woman at church who was a Bible study leader, “friend,” and worship leader started making many innappropriate comments about my pastor husband to others in church, including my parents, my teenage children, and others. These comments are always about her desire toward him. She even made such a remark directly to me in the presence of two other women. Put a fork in me. I am done with this silly woman. She is the enemy. God honors covenant. He will deal with her. He is God’s man, and he is my man. I own his heart, and this woman makes him ill. Why do silly women have a desire to make a man of God fall? It’s all just sick, sick, sick.

  26. 276
    RELATIONSHIP says:

    RELATIONSHIP
    My 20+ year marriage to my Christian husband has been seriously fractured. He moved out two years ago and wants a divorce. Looking back, I was so blind to many of his needs – too caught up in the daily grind of rearing four small children and just trying to keep up with housework, etc. I did not know it at the time and it was certainly unintentional. I love my man as much as any woman can and thought I was showing him that love; I guess not. My loss is unbearable. Many things went wrong – most importantly we both “lost our first love” with Christ and did not keep Him at the center of our marriage and family. We’re both believers and come from backgrounds of solid, “together” Christian parents. But he’s done with me. All I can do now is hope and pray – I know that God is able to turn our marriage back around. Beth, I love the illustration you give in ESTHER about your dog going into full point and Keith having to physically pick him up and turn him around. That is exactly what I am asking God to do with my husband’s heart, soul, spirit and mind – and with our marriage.

  27. 277
    Leigh (pronounced "lee") says:

    Little Rock

    I’m a Christian Counselor and my husband is a pastor at a large church in LR. My biggest struggle is learning how to trust God in EVERYTHING. I’m a pretty self sufficient gal and lately several “big life” things have happened and I don’t have any answers or clear direction…this leaves me feeling exposed, vulnerable. I know intellectually that God is in control, but my heart is 18 inches from my head! That’s a long way!…I hear the Holy Spirit gently reminding me He has “it” all and I don’t need to worry my pretty little head about it, but sometimes I choose to be rebellious and use my stinkin’ thinkin’ anyway! I can help people in my office because I am objective; I have no emotional skin in the game with clients. It’s just doesn’t work that way when I try to use my head to solve the stuff in my head! I’ve made progress in this area over time, however I desire to more fully Trust…my new mantra is from devo Jesus Calling and it says “I trust you Jesus”

  28. 278
    melinda says:

    I’m bringing my sister for her birthday. She is a 51 yr. old who has been a widow for little over a year. She’s trusting God for a mate but is VERY lonely now. She’s the Godliest lady I’ve ever known. Praying that God uses you to help her.

  29. 279
    jenn says:

    “Relationship”: Ask me a few years ago and I would’ve said nope, never, but after moving away I painfully discovered that friendships sometimes don’t last. She was a trusted friend I prayed with, confided in, had fun with, and laughed with. I grieved so much over the loss of our friendship b/c without a doubt I felt God placed her in my life. I prayed for restoration, but instead He gave me peace to let go and move on. There was never any fight, just distance. My heart ached over the loss at the time. We still talk sporadically but I can honestly say I don’t feel the heartache any longer as He filled my hurt.

    • 279.1
      Kim says:

      It was encouraging to read your response. I’ve been in a similiar situation for the past 10 years….in my case, it had gotten to a point where I was literally trying everything i could to fix my friendship. I’m sure she feels like i had betrayed her, and if I really felt like what she was telling me was true, then yes, I would be….anyway, I have just begun within the past few weeks giving this relationship to God because only in His hands will there ever be restoration between the two of us. Thanks for sharing your story!

  30. 280
    Cassie Williams says:

    Relationship – This one opens up a tough situation for me. I was not raised in a Christian home, but was brought to church most of my life. When I was 12, I joined the youth group and saw what being a Christian really meant – that you could really have a relationship with Jesus and He could be part of your day to day life. I got very close to some of my youth leaders. One lady offered to mentor me. I grew to love her like no one else in my life. She was a combination big sister, friend, and mother figure (my relationship with my own was not going well.) It was great for a couple of years. Looking back, I realize I probably did encroach on her space, but I was young and loved having a friend like that to turn to. She would pray with me, help me understand the Bible and talk with me about God – and boys, too. Well,a couple of years later I sinned and had sex with my then boyfriend. I was ashamed and scared,so I turned to this friend. She patted me on the arm and said, “God forgives.” After that she completely cut me out of her life. It devestated me. Not only did I have my own sin to deal with, but the loss of my most important human relationship. I still grieve that loss. She lives in another part of the state now, but refuses any contact with me. This all happened about 14 yrs ago. I pray God will restore that relationship someday.

    • 280.1
      Pamela says:

      Sweet Sister – my heart aches for you! If we could all be Christ-like, there would not be so much pain. He would not condemn you, but would love you all the more for your pain and your confession. To heal, you need to find it in your heart to forgive her lack of empathy. Who knows but that you may have struck a cord in her own life that she is ashamed of. Most important, your King is NOT ashamed of you! If God is for you, who could be against you????

    • 280.2
      Amy says:

      Cassie-your story breaks my heart. It grieves me to imagine how you must have felt. Not only did you bear the grief of your shame, but someone who should’ve been Jesus to you, was instead a Pharisee. Her response says more about her heart than your sin. May God remind you of His grace today for without it, where would any of us be?

    • 280.3
      Cassie Williams says:

      Thank you sisters for the words of encouragement! They are greatly appreciated. God used that painful time to teach me some lessons about who He is and how great is His love and mercy. Today I work with youth in my church and I think it gives me more sensitivity to certain issues. What Satan meant for evil, God has used for good. Won’t say it wasn’t painful or that I am “over it”, but God’s plan is bigger.

  31. 281
    Amy Beth says:

    Relationship.

    During college, my roommates and I would sneak out onto the roof of our dorm and talk about how one day we’d be wives and mothers. We were all going to a liberal arts college and would go on to graduate with degrees that we’d be proud of. We wanted to work, but we also wanted to be wives and mothers.

    Over the past few years, my roommates have each become married one by one. I’ve been bridesmaids in their wedding and later held their babies. They are all now on round two or three of babies and I am still single. I drive many miles to be there for their children’s birthday parties and they certainly include me in their lives but our friendships are different now. They know how very much I would like to have family to love and I know that some of them feel bad that they have it and I don’t. I continually work towards not living in jealousy because I know how jealousy can tear friendships to pieces. I promise I’m genuinely happy for them, with their darling nurseries and swingsets in the backyard. I really am. I don’t want them to do without.

    I just wish I was getting to experience the joy of a forever family, too, you know?

    • 281.1
      Gretchen Heilmann says:

      You dear, sweet thing. My heart aches for you, as it does for my own daughter. I had to read your post closely to see that it wasn’t her that had written it. She is is the exact place you are and it is so hard for her and for me to watch her go through it. She lives at home with us and every day she is reminded of the life she wants but does not yet have. I pray that she and you will find the men God has planned for you. I KNOW that God is good and is working in both your lives. BELIEVE GOD and EXPECT IT!!

    • 281.2
      Jane from SC says:

      Amy Beth, I know where you are coming from. It was the same for me – I finally met the love of my life at age 25 when I stopped searching and just decided that I would serve God. It was a God thing that we met where and when we did. We married when I was 28 and have been married now for 28 years – wonderful years I might add and have 3 wonderful children. Just pray and in God’s timing – the man God has chosen for you will come into your life. Until then serve Him and be happy for your friends. It is hard but your time will come girl! I am praying for you.

  32. 282
    Deidria says:

    I have a dear friend that I just know God sent to me to be an encourager, teacher, and friend I had always longed for. She lived in my town only for a short time and because of a job transfer had to move away. We remained close friends and even closer as my friend faced a situation that she never dreamed she would ever face…divorce. I was happy to be there for her, love her, and help her the best I knew how. A rift in our relationship happened when my feelings were hurt. I felt that the friendship had become very one sided… a lot of give on my part and taking on hers and when a situation came up that I needed to be the taker and she wasn’t there for me as a giver I thought that the friendship had been of greater importance in my own mind than her reality. No harsh words were spoken, no crying in phone…just silence. I was hurt and quit communicating, which proved to be another hurt, because she never attempted to contact me to see why the emails and phone calls stopped. I saw that as confirmation that the friendship had run it course. After no short amount of time, several years even, she reached out. Apologies were spoken, and forgiveness poured out on both sides. The friendship picked up as though those silent years had never happened. The bond that being a sister in Christ creates can never be broken. Even our own sin covered expectations can not douse a flame of friendship that God has ordained.

  33. 283
    CheriBeri says:

    In 1999 my best friend and I parted ways. She had been my matron of honor and had my first child been a girl, I was going to name that child after her. We had known each other since we were 12 and had been inseparable best friends from age 20 on. In short, she divorced her husband and told me that it was okay because she had a closer relationship to God than most others. She moved out of state and our friendship was over. OVER. Absolutely I felt that is was a relationship bound by Christ. I nearly fell over when in 2006 she wanted to be my “friend” on MySpace. When my mother passed away in 2008, she drove 3 hours to my house, brought me flowers and a very long apology letter which also asked my forgiveness. I freely forgave her. We are not bosom buddies anymore, but we deeply love each other and if we lived closer, I’m sure we would spend time together. Christ can heal anything – our friendship is a testament to that. But I am smarter now. While I am friends with her, I make sure I don’t get caught up in her drama vortex anymore.

  34. 284
    Missy S says:

    Relationship – I have a close friend who is like a little sister to me. I have mentored her in much the same way that other older girls have mentored me. A couple of years ago she went through a very rough season of her life. I felt a burden to walk with her through it and to encourage her as best I knew how. Many times over that year, I listened to her sobbing on the phone and tried as best I could to reassure her of Christ’s love and redemption. The rough season ended, and time went on. Then, suddenly I noticed that she wasn’t returning my phone calls as much. At first, I thought she must be busy. Finally, I could not ignore the distance any longer. I asked her if I had done something to offend her. She said that while we were watching a movie a year earlier, I had made a flip comment about something that happened in the movie and that it hurt her feelings b/c she felt like it meant that I was judging her. I was stunned! I didn’t even remember making the comment, but I told her how deeply sorry I was that I hurt her. I still am so sorry! Speaking unthinkingly is a big area of sin in my life, so I’m not surprised that I said something stupid. – (Another reason I need the James study!) Even though I do not blame her one bit for being offended, I left that day feeling very hurt that one comment that I made in a context completely separate from her or her situation could undo all my efforts to show her Christ’s love. I was also hurt that she would not value our friendship enough to tell me that I hurt her feelings, but instead she just shut me out. For a while, I was very afraid to enter into that kind of intimacy with her again out of fear that I would say or do something that would offend her. But, after a while, I felt the Spirit telling me to reach out to her. I did. The relationship isn’t yet restored to the place where it once was, but I am hopeful that it will be one day – with Christ’s help!

    P.S. Beth, I cannot tell you what joy I have about the fact that your sister is going to be with you at LPL Little Rock. The little bit of her testimony that you have shared with us is such an encouragement to me because I have been praying for a loved one with drug/alcohol addiction for almost a decade. Her story gives me such hope!

  35. 285
    Lela says:

    Relationships: One of my very dear Christian friends will no longer have a friendship with me because of issues that I won’t go into I am divorcing my husband. She will no longer be my friend because I have done the unforgiveable sin of divorce.

  36. 286
    Kristina Foster says:

    Relationship: I had a dear friend from church. For some time, we spoke frequently, and spent time together over dinner, talking for hours at a time in person and on the phone. I’m single, she-married with no children, and at times, the time we spent was with her husband also. Of course, with such lengthy conversations, we shared much personal information, and I enjoyed her pointed questions about my faith, what God was doing in my life, etc. We prayed together, and I thought this sister in Christ would be a friend for life. Suddenly and for a reason I do not to this day understand, she stopped communicating with me. I even asked her to dinner one last time and asked her about it. She swore nothing was wrong, but we basically have not talked since. I sincerely have no idea what happened.

  37. 287
    Kristine says:

    RELATIONSHIP

    My dearest and closest friend and I grew apart after I became engaged. As my life evolved into marriage and motherhood, I think we had difficulty relating to one another, and truly, I sensed some resentment. We had unrealistic expectations of one another and of our relationship – expecting things to stay the same despite the numerous changes in our lives.

  38. 288
    Lynn says:

    RELATIONSHIP: I experienced a canyon-wide rift in a covenant friendship that I thought could not possibly happen. Through a miscommunication a betrayal was presumed and neither of us thought we were in the wrong. Turns out, we were both prideful and selfish in our own ways. After two and half weeks of freeze-out and avoidance, we agreed to meet over lunch. Neither of us could hardly live with ourselves, much less proclaim Jesus’ name the way we were acting. Forgiveness was topic and there were many tears, but Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer and He has renewed this friendship ten times over into one that honors, glorifies, and seeks Him first. Praise Him for His grace and mercy!

  39. 289
    Tammy says:

    Little Rock (yeah!) I am married with three kids. Our biggest issue is wisdom in raising our kids. They are 14, 10 and 9. They are good kids who love the Lord but they are kids. We struggle with the balance between protecting them and letting them be in the world.

  40. 290
    Priscilla says:

    RELATIONSHIP: My former best friend and sister in Christ (“Sue”) betrayed me 3 times. I had gone through a terrible divorce in a small town. (1)On a day that my ex had the kids, I made a quick day trip to visit other friends. An old gossip in town phoned Sue and said I’d left town w/o my children (16, 11, 6), leaving them alone. When I called Sue from the road on my way back, her first words were “Where are your kids?”(2) Months later, when I had begun dating, someone started a rumor (UNTRUE)that I’d been seen in a convenience store drunk. Sue came to see me to talk about my bad example and the dangers of drinking.(3) My 16-yr-old daughter decided to leave home so she wouldn’t have “stupid rules.” Sue gave her a new home in their garage apt. Even Sue’s father-in-law told her she was very wrong in this. The first two times, I told Sue how I considered her behavior to be betrayal. She asked for my forgiveness; I forgave her and we remained close. The last time, I told Sue I could no longer trust her. I lost a precious friendship. I also lost my daughter. This was over 20 years ago. My daughter has since married and has a son, but she has kept me completely cut out of her life.

  41. 291
    Anonymous says:

    Relationship- A friend I considered closer than a sister cut me out of her life 18 months ago. We had known each other for over 10 years, served in ministry together, vacationed together. Her husband came onto staff as a Teacher Pastor- my husband was the Senior Pastor. They moved to be with us. We talked everyday. About 20 months ago, my husband merged our church with a sister church in the area. It seemed to be of God, but things did not go well, and we made the decision to seek a new position. We were dealt with in the situation in a very painful way. In the midst of this my friend became angry with my husband, but we reconciled. Or so I thought. We visited with them before we moved and everything seemed fine, but as the weeks went by, I never heard from her again. I initiated several emails and contacts. She answered as if nothing were the matter, but never contacted me again. She didn’t even contact me when my son was born (I was 7 months pregnant when we moved). I wrote a letter seeking her forgiveness for whatever I had done- she let me know that I was forgiven, but I never heard from her again. This has been the most painful thing to ever happen to me. It tops my parents divorce. It haunts me. I miss her like crazy still. It feels like someone died. I am in the second year without this friend, and it is getting easier as I pass each seasonal milestone or holiday for the second time. The thing that haunts me the most is the question of how a believer and follower of Christ could betray and abandon a friend in this way. This past move and job change were among the most stressful and painful times of my life, and she left me. I have periods of strong anger, periods of depression, and then some periods of being okay. My self esteem is shattered because I think I wasn’t good enough. Something must be wrong with me. I give it to the Lord, only to have something remind me, and I pick it up again.
    I am resolved to never get that close to anyone again.
    Thanks for letting me share my pain.

  42. 292
    Becky Brown says:

    Relationship: I am just going through this now-a friend who I thought would be a life long friend, had a disagreement (too long to describe) with my husband. He attempted to work through it with her, apologized, went the extra mile, etc. but she wouldn’t accept it and yet never talked with me about any of it. And now she sees me in church and acts as though we are palsey-walsies. UGH! As I have prayed about this and sought Godly counsel, I am letting it go, not being rude or cold, just recognizing that she is ok with letting go of a 10 year relationship (vacations, etc.) I am sad-mainly because she has talked with everyone but me. I am aware that the enemy is at the core of this and will not allow him any room in my life. Sad that it is over, not willing to continue and risk resentment to grow. I have forgiven her. moveon.org

  43. 293
    Gina says:

    Little Rock, Gina, 53, married.
    Biggest concern right now. My husband is pursuing a concept for a busines he is desiring to start. The whole idea is very scary to me. Change is very hard for me. Fear of the unknown, financial concerns, but maybe even more the time issues involved. We both have ful time jobs now. Where will the extra time come from? I want us to do God’s will. If this is it, I don’t want to stand in the way. If this is not it I pray we be protected.
    So looking forward to this weekend in LR. Praying for you dear Beth. Bring us a word!

  44. 294
    Laura says:

    Relationship-I served in leadership with a lady that is a very Godly lady.We seemed to hit it off immediately, sharing the same goals for ministry and shared the same beliefs,hobbies etc. In time it took an interesting turn and soon she was seemed to be copying everything I did or anything I said or anything I wore. I was surprised when I began to see this and at first thought that it was all in my mind. But it wasn’t. Suddenly I felt like I was back in grade school with a playmate and that made me very uncomfortable as we are both middle age women-in fact she is several years older than I am. When I tried to back off a little-not from the friendship but just from the smothering I soon found her sitting outside my townhouse after dark (she is married) in her car. When I questioned it she said she was praying for me. (night after night?) Sad to say I had to break off the friendship and shortly thereafter I resigned from my position and left the church as her husband served in leadership there also- It was sad for me, I had never experienced this before and I didn’t want things to end the way they did- but that, in time, proved to be the only way to fix the problem. That’s been 5 years- never heard from her since

  45. 295
    Luann says:

    I’m in the midst of #1. still.
    fellow sister. lack of forthcomingness. suddenly she is going in the direction of divorce. i am speaking truth and calling her out on what she has shared with me. she pulls away. i seek counsel. start the biblical process for coming along a sister/brother in sin. i’m moving out of state. she doesn’t desire to continue on in friendship. we meet again a year later. she is actively in the midst of divorce. says she wants friendship. says that my love for her is conditional. i seek more counsel and am more confused. i truly do not know where to go from here…

  46. 296
    Helen says:

    Relationship
    I thought I was in a relationship with someone that seems to have ended, and I wonder now if I was the one that held on and when I let go, it was done. I grieve the loss still, but was willing to let the Lord work it out. I felt we had a very open and honest relationship and when she would say things that I found hurtful, I turned to the Lord for healing and carried on. Little did I realize that over the course of about 10 years she was offended at things I would say and I never knew till it kind of exploded. I quickly went to her to confess and ask forgiveness which she said she granted but when I gave her space the relationship did not continue. She had told me that she found me difficult to be around so I knew I had to do this. We do not avoid each other in church but we also do not really ‘visit’. I am still praying for full reconciliation. (This may sound arrogant, but I don’t feel it is. . . I had noticed in our relationship that she was often offended with people and had a hard time letting it go and moving on, but I just never dreamed it would be me!)

  47. 297
    Donna says:

    I have actually had a painful breakage in two dear relationships with Christian sisters. The reason can be summed up in one word: boundaries. Or, actually, the lack of them. All three of us allowed our relationship to go past healthy boundaries. What I have learned is that you really should not tell ANYBODY EVERYTHING. We shared things as girlfriends that should only have been between us and God. We shared things that should have only been between us and our husbands. In the short term there was a precious sense of intimacy as friends. In the long-term was an unhealthy co-dependence and feelings of vulnerability and exposure. One relationship has been mended, with healthier boundaries , the other took the need for boundaries as a betrayal and sadly, for now, that relationship has ended. I pray God in His timing, will bring healing their too.

  48. 298
    Judy says:

    Relationship~Married 27yrs to my HS sweetheart. Both belivers, built our family(3 girls)on the Lord,going to church every week,and activities.I grew up in a family that went to church every time the door was open. My relationship with my Dad was more on a godly level,where I talked to him about the things of the Lord,and what does this verse mean,and what do you think of this church,more cause of his wisdom and some for approval.My Dad went to be with the Lord in ’99,it rocked my world. I depended on God for breath, I was desperate. My husband was maybe bitter towards me that I was getting closer to the Lord and leaving him out,even though I said it’s a journey for both of us,he said no and started to become distant.I looked at it as a place further still,to go alone. He was interviewing for a job in AL, I said take it, he said no, he had peace to stay and finish out the company he was with…Until he heard that this job he turned down was bought out a year later, and he would have gotten a million dollars in the deal. At that point he became offended with God.I told him it wasn’t his blessing,but he looked at it as God wasn’t working for him anymore. I was the closeth thing to God, so he started shutting me out of his life.The current job ended in OK, he took a job in CA with a former boss that he worked with in MT, and I was never invited to move out there, kids in college, high school, not the right time. Ended up having an affair, and we divorced just after our 27th anniversary. Married the gal,10yrs younger and a non-believer, that he worked with in CA a month after the divorce and His reason was “I’m athletic (not at 50) and your not and You have God and I don’t want God. I know I’m being selfish but that is the way I want to be.”People have told me out of everyone,yours was the one that was suppose to work out. God had/has different plans. I’m 3yrs post divorce, and God has blessed me beyond measure. Just waiting for the “right”guy now.

  49. 299
    Taylor R. says:

    RELATIONSHIP
    My best friend in college and I had a split like this. She was the best female friend I had had up to that point, and I truly thought we were bonded in Christ. We shared our hearts and even memorized scripture together! One day, out of the blue, she sat me down and explained that I had hurt her feelings repeatedly. It began with me getting ready early and unknowingly waking her up. After awhile, she had assumed I was doing this, among other things, to purposefully hurt her. Instead of coming to me when my carelessness first bothered her, she waited, not wanting to “rock the boat”. But her hurt had crystalized into bitterness, and now there was really nothing I could do but apologize. And I was so shocked that she’d assume the worst of me that I felt terribly betrayed. I tried a few times over the next year to patch things up but it was always awkward. It still makes me sad. I always thought we’d be in each other’s weddings. She didn’t even come to mine. On the bright side– I think I’m a better roommate to my husband because of the experience tho!

  50. 300
    sherry says:

    RELATIONSHIP

    I shared Christ with a college floormate; discipled her; was her maid of honor; played with her kids; vacationed with the family; prayed over and for her husband and family when he was diagnosed with cancer. To say we were “tight” would be an understatement. She grew quieter and more distant, and I tried to figure it out and with two blow up phone calls that was it. I apologized for any part I had in our division, but to this day we still don’t communicate. One of the saddest things in my spiriutal life.

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