Cleansing the Heart: Friendship

Praise the Lord, Ladies!

For anyone who needs it I want to encourage you as I encourage myself to have my heart cleansed from the hurts attributed to being afraid to trust YET another up-close girlfriend relationship. Followers of Christ can have both the head and heart knowledge of His Word, a genuine relationship with Him, apply His Word in their daily lives and still have areas of struggle and weakness! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I’m in that place with regards to up-close girlfriend relationships and the ability for me to trust and embrace another person when every fiber of my being is saying no more, not again! I’ve had 4 in my lifetime that have gone south and have left me feeling lonely in that area, angry at times, hurt and as of late the guard-dog on the wall of my heart has resurfaced as a result. Some of you may have had this experience or may be living it now.

I have three brothers (one is deceased) and I never had sisters. As a child it didn’t matter but into my twenties I began to long for God to fill that void. I have two daughters and two granddaughters and I adore my hubby. We have girls all around us but still I find myself desiring an up-close sister-friendship that is two-sided, loving, open, honest and Christ centered.

Let me take you back briefly…

As a child I was violated for many years by someone I should have been safe with and I was disbelieved by someone (his spouse) that I should have been able to trust and be safe with as well. This brought about years of pain, shame, guilt, insecurity, FEARS, confusion, anger, hurt, secrets and secret-sins. It was years before I could even embrace GOD as my Abba Father and Jesus as my LORD. I knew Him as my Savior but not my Lord for a long time.

When you’ve been violated it’s not easy to TRUST anyone at any time for any reason until you surrender it fully to Christ and receive healing unto wholeness.  I am so thankful for the love of my grandparents who were the ones who showed Christ to me in my life growing up. Had they not been in my life I’d not be the child of God I am today!

As years went by I have received healing and grace through Jesus and I’m so thankful to Him –resting in His presence, gleaning from His Word, spending loads of time in prayer as I walked with Him has blessed my life immensely. As such I have had four up-close Christian girlfriend relationships in my life where I have told the guard dog of my heart to go lie down. I’ve allowed those persons into my heart and my family and have loved them fully. Prayed for them diligently, spoken the Word into their lives, loved and laughed—being open to whatever GOD wanted the friendship to be—having no expectations other than we’d love each other in Christ.

Sadly two betrayed (1998 and 2003), one abandoned (2002) and in very recent times one really used me for her spiritual needs (prayer and biblical support etc.).  This last friendship most especially hurt because it had been so long since I opened my heart to a close friendship.  All I can say to you is that in my 44.5 years there is one thing I know for sure and that is love is an action word and it can’t be one-way if it’s to work in Christ. Love sustains even through the hurts but love is definitely NOT meant to be one-sided.

As of late it has become considerably difficult to tell the guard dog of my heart to go lie down while I allow another person up-close. I know many ladies.  The call of God on my life has had me in a place of ministering to women for years. I enjoy praying for them, encouraging them in the Word, getting together at events BUT the guard-dog is on the wall of my heart ready to keep me safe.  Our church group is coming to a close on “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore and it’s been a time of prayer, tears, revelation, wisdom,  and  laying some things down (trust/friendships and emotional reactions to hurts) that have gripped me for years. Galatians 5:1 has become a DAILY Word:  Galatians 5:1 (NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Then last week I won a book giveaway. What is the title? “Friendships for Grown-Ups” by Lisa Whelchel and I am on page 34. That’s a message for another time.

Often we don’t want to talk about those areas of hurt because we’re afraid of being vulnerable, misunderstood, talked about or rejected but as a child of God and a Servant-Leader by His Grace, GOD has always used my life as an open book so that others could also get to His feet and receive the healing unto wholeness they need. Join me in the journey of true wholeness at the feet of Jesus. We’ll grab hands and go to His feet together. We can fully trust His love and care for us. I love what He told Martha in Luke 10:41-42 (NIV) “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” So let’s do the same by resting at His feet; choosing what is better!

I’m praying for you and whatever areas of heart cleansing you need to open and expose in the light of Christ. Thank you for praying for me.

Lingering in His presence,

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  1. I have trust issues, myself. This is a lovely reminder to give it up to God. (And, Breaking Free is such an amazing book.)

    I pray you and your family have a blessed week. XO!

  2. May you be blessed, as you always bless sis.

  3. I have been praying for that very same thing. I have some amazing long distance friends, that know my heart and soul, but I would love an up close friend… a girl after my own heart. :o)
    Praying with you sister!
    Love you

  4. lisa – you just really touched some areas in my life that needed this touch today! oh, sweet sister in Christ, i just love you so! you have such an incredible heart for God and for the ministry of women and i thank you!

  5. Lisa….You’ve been reading my mail, girlfriend!! Of late, I’ve been longing to “get out there” and meet some sister friends but the past hurts of betrayals and loss (two BFF’s died of cancer) have kept me from trusting and becoming vulnerable once again. Like you, I have been blessed with many wonderful long distance friends, but my heart longs to have a sister buddy to simply meet for coffee and share our love of the Lord and the “stuff” of life with open hearts……I really miss that!

    I’m ready to get rid of the guard dog and trust Him to heal and to satisfy the longing of my heart for sister friends again!! He’s faithful….He will do it!!

    As always, your encouraging words minister to my heart!

    Praying for you, sister friend!!

    Love and Hugs!

  6. I popped online quickly as I’m preparing to go out of town and I am so blessed and encouraged in your words. As I prayed for each one of you tears streamed down for I can truly RELATE to what you’ve shared. If GOD sends anyone else between now and Thurs while I’m off line please know I’m ALREADY praying for and with you.

    Thank you for visiting and reading. Please find your way around A Martha Heart where you will be SO blessed by the sharing of the heart of the other ladies as I have been.

    I love you all.

  7. Lisa,
    I can really relate to that guard dog. Learning to trust others is something He’s been prodding me to get back in the saddle again and do.

  8. Lisa:

    These are such good honest words on a subject that comes close to so many women, probably almost all of us. Sometimes I think these vulnerable areas in us are exactly what drive us closer to Jesus… who NEVER fails us. At the same time, I believe He loves for us to share sister hearts and friendships. Probably with each lost or failed friendship, not only does the guard dog rise, but we no doubt become a little wiser through the fray! 🙂

    It’s for sure… for ME… yours is a friendship that I cherish. It’s just THERE, always has been, and I thank God for the blessing of Lisa haw!


  9. I’m trying to be less guarded. However, I find it so very hard at times. Thank you for sharing from your heart, it’s a blessing to me today.

  10. Thanks for sharing this message Lisa. It definitely resonates in many of our sisters hearts (mine definitely)..Like you, I too don’t have any ‘sisters’ but I am surrounded by sisters of faith which was something I SO desired…longed for, hoped for…Many of us that have trust issues, abandonment and rejection issues struggle with letting a ‘sister’ close to us. I have had a few ‘close’ spiritual sisters in my walk of faith…It’s funny,,,you have that connection with someone, that ‘kindred spirit’ and they will even comment that ‘oh this is going to be a friendship that will last’…than for some reason or another…it doesn’t.

    I’m learning to enjoy the sisters that the Lord brings into my life, not hanging onto them for dear life praying they will leave, but just loving them. Jesus keeps reminding me..He’s my everything…and if I look to another to fill it, it just doesn’t work. I do pray though for lasting friendships, for healthy and whole and glorifying to God relationships with other sisters in the Lord…

    Thanks for sharing your heart girl…((hugs)) I love ya!!

  11. Although my experiences were different from yours, I too learned to put layers over my heart in my attempt to avoid being hurt. I have an issue with trust. However, this is an area that the Lord has been working in my heart this past year. As you may know, trust and obey has been my theme for 2010. And I’ve had some major situations where I didn’t know what to do and how we would get through. But I’m finding that God is faithful and He supplies what we need and just when we need it.

    I can tell you that you have been an answer to prayer for me. I love you Lisa like a sister. You have touched my heart in ways you may never understand. My sister Christine loves you too. She finally has a friend who brought her laptop into Chris’ store and she’s been reading Heart Choices, Sharing Life with Lisa and The Bella Mella. 🙂

    I pray that you will not give up on friendship. The best friendships are the ones who have no expectation but to love one another. When we are united in our love for the Lord, it makes such a difference too. None of us is perfect and I’m sure I’ve disappointed many along the way, but I pray that I would be an encouragement to you. I pray for you daily Lisa.

    Love you,

  12. Oh, my beautiful-hearted, humble, praying friend! I am honored to call you friend. So honored to run this race with you–to entrust my heart and friendship to you, too. From one friend, who has been hurt time and again, to another–I love you! Holly

  13. Lisa,

    I have sat and talked to many women in the last few years who have the same heart wish as you do. I think it is so rightly illustrated when you call it the “guard dog of your heart.” My tendency is to be a private person. I thank God for blessing me with so many dear and treasured friends, but as for real close girlfriends, ones that I open up to, share my hurts and heartaches with, they are very few. I faced betrayal in a close friendship years ago, and I can remember the pain like it was yesterday. You can be sure I will continue to hold you up in prayer. You are a beautiful, caring lady and I am thankful, so thankful to call you my friend, even if it is only through blogland for now. Thank you for sharing your heart today.

  14. Lisa~ I truly love the transparency of your heart. We’ve never met in person(came close once), but I must tell you…your walk with the Lord is truly inspiring. I’ve been doing the Step Study for Recovery, we are now starting our personal inventory. I never really saw how hard my heart had become. Thank goodness I have a Potter! I too, have been inspired by what the Lord told Martha…I’m trying to rest at His feet…listening to His word, embracing His love and forgiveness.

    My love and prayers sweet one!

  15. As a pastor’s wife one puts many layers on to try not to get hurt. Problem is that it makes one a lonely person. Thank you for sharing your heart and life with us. You are such a blessing.

  16. Carol Lackland says:

    Lisa, thank you so much for sharing this. I always think of David’s sad lament “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend. We who had sweet fellowship together, walked in the house of God in the throng.” Psalm 55:12-14 I have experienced it as well and it is painful. Only the Holy Spirit can help us heal and not harden or close ourselves away. I have some friends who are in their 70’s and 80 and it is such a delight and encourgement to me to see the way they look after one another and pray for one another. It is worth the risks to find the treasures. Blessings Lisa for your honesty and bringing this to light.

  17. I can’t tell you ladies how much your heart words have blessed and encouraged me. Said a prayer for each one of you. Thank you for your care and love.

    May we all keep pressing forward for JESUS!

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