Confrontation is hard, especially when it is unexpected. Some time ago I met with a friend. She had asked for some time together where she could share some things on her heart. I said “absolutely,” and I was happy to change my plans and carve out the requested time. What I didn’t expect was the typed, 7 page document she would pull out of her purse detailing concerns she had for me, my marriage and actions I had taken in our friendship.
I was surprised, stunned, angry, and hurt but tried to be open to what she was saying while holding back my tears.
As I listened, I prayed. I prayed I would discern truth from her opinion and that I would be willing to see areas of needed growth in my life despite the uncomfortable situation. I asked the Lord to help me respond with humility and grace, even though I didn’t agree with all the words spoken. We spent the next while talking through some of the concerns and left our time together a little wounded but desiring to continue to grow in our friendship and push each other towards Jesus.
You want to know the crazy thing? I had spent the previous 8 weeks in a study all about my identity in Christ. I had re-learned all the amazing blessings that come from being a Child of God. The fact that I am a chosen (Eph 1:4), precious (Malachi 3:17), friend (James 2:23) of the Most High God. I have been redeemed by the blood of His only Son, Jesus (Rev 5:9). He adopted me into His family (Rom 8:15), seated me in a heavenly place (Eph 1:3) and sealed me with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 1:22). I am a light (Matt 5:14) set on the Rock (Ps 40:2), secure in Christ (John 10:28-29) and protected from the evil one (1 John 5:18). I have a living hope (1 Peter 1:3), the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), access to my Father (Rom 5:2) and a home in Heaven waiting for me (John 14:1-2).
However, that conversation with my friend tempted me to believe I am not enough; I don’t measure up and I won’t ever change. I left our time together second guessing my words, actions and desires. My natural temptation was to withdrawal from others, hide from serving and over analyze my every thought.
Over the next few weeks I had to read the list of my identity in Christ over and over again to remind myself of the truths that God says about me. And while I do, and did, fall short of earthly expectations, I’m so thankful for the way God sees me. I will take His Word as true and rely on His strength to act out the work He has already done in me.
Now the next amazing, God-produced part? I began to praise God for the truth about who my friend also is in Christ, despite our confrontation, knowing that the same identity God has given me, He has also given to anyone who would call on His name.
Today I am thankful, not for the hurt, but for the opportunity to be forced to choose what I would believe about myself- God’s Word or my emotional response to someone’s words. I am thankful for God’s undeserved grace in my life and pray that He will equip me to also extend grace to others.