I let someone go this weekend. I had put it off for weeks. Grace upon grace, I gave my friend passes for ignoring my calls, missing deadlines, and not replying to texts and e-mails for days. I was patient when I wanted to confront. I was gentle when I got ridiculous answers. I postponed the inevitable for all of February. And, I prayed and prayed for a different solution than the one that appeared evident before me.
I am an optimist, and I saw such potential for her creativity and passion for our team. I wanted her to be amazing! I relayed the information about letting her go to another team member then we began talking about other points of business. We came up with great ideas, and I mourned that the other friend would be great in the role we were coming up with. Oh, if only she had communicated with me! I told my husband how it would pang me if she came back to me with apologies and wanted to make amends. If she had sincerely spoke with me and wanted to add clarity to our miscommunication. I want everyone to be happy and get along. It must be a Meyers Brigg ENFP thing; I am the idealist. I wanted her to want to fix the situation. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the answers I had hoped for from her.
Instead of receiving a heartfelt response, I received venom. Venom upon venom after I had given grace upon grace. I had been kind and loving, and my “friend” sent only hatred. She spewed viciousness at me and attacked my character and business. And, with each e-mail she sent, I responded with love. I could have chosen not to respond at all, but I felt so sad for her. It was weird: not an hour before I was thinking I wanted to find a way to still have her on my team. Poison. She ripped at me viciously, and my husband was in shock. How delusional someone could be. I had three pages of incidents involving her lack of work and communication. No boss in the “real world” would have ever tolerated that situation. She denied everything. Of course. That just showed her true character, or lack thereof. Weird, too, because I never knew how important integrity was until I started meeting people who didn’t have any.
I was so disappointed. I remembered a quote I had seen online just days prior. It was a conflict tip from Lysa Terkeurst: “What comes out of someone else’s mouth is a reflection of their heart … not yours.” I felt so bad for my friend. Luke 6:45 says it, too, “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” It was so true. She refused to see any goodness in me and wanted only to feel wronged. My friend forgot about the prayers I spoke over her when her husband was unfaithful to her on multiple occasions or the prayers I prayed over her heart when she miscarried twice in the last year. She must have ignored that we sent her dinner to help in her heartaches, the birthday treats we had sent, and the initial payment for her help in the business- before we had even gotten paid. I only ever extended goodness. The Bible says that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-controll. I extended her each fruit on a multitude of occasions. (Galatians 5:22-23).
She likely forgot of the business agreement we over a year ago, too. She attacked me then, too. Oh, the self-control I used and didn’t even know I had! I listened to her rip at me then and yell and cry. I apologized for any hurt I may have caused her; it was never my intent. She had twisted things, and I tried to clarify them. She was just so mean. I was in shock. And, it wasn’t until days later that she apologized for attacking me. She was running on emotion. I knew that. She would have to deal with her decision to try to hurt me. I had a clean conscience through it all. Sure, it would have been easy to attack back. I had more than enough ammunition, but I refrained from using it.
The same is true today, not yet two days after the newest incident. I handled her and the situation with care and love. Had I been my “old self,” the self before I came to Christ eight years ago, I would have ripped at her. I know the deepest, darkest pain in her, and I could have hit it hard. I didn’t. Because I controlled my tongue and my typing, I had no regrets. I didn’t have to confess any sin to G-d. I had a clean conscience because I didn’t respond in hatred or anger. I didn’t spew lies or twist the truth. My husband disagreed with how forgiving I was over her transgressions over the past three weeks. But, he was amazed at the way I handled and forgave her attacks. “Like a true Proverbs 31 woman,” he kissed my forehead.
The friendship I had has ended. It was her call, not mine. I wouldn’t have necessarily ended it entirely, though it might have been wise. I would, however, put some boundaries in place. I cannot believe she spoke such wicked words into my life. I am thankful I only spoke words of love. I had grown stronger in the past two years; she had stayed the same. True testimony comes when the Lord does a great work in our hearts and our lives. He has truly done great work in me. And, G-d’s got this for me. He will deal with it, and I don’t have to worry. My heart is lighter, and my day is brighter. I showed Christ’s love. Trying to tear someone down doesn’t make you strong. Being gentle and self-controlled makes you strong. I was so strong in the situation and handled it with care. My prayer for her is to find G-d. Oh, the work He could do in her heart if she would just let him! Then she would produce great fruit, too, know what real strength is, and learn to finally handle others with care.
Wishing you a sweet Monday,