Blythe has agreed to become a regular contributor here on Mundane Faithfulness. Her grasp of grace and our need of Jesus is so beautiful, I feel humbled and tickled that she has agreed to partner with me on Mundane Faithfulness. Her writings will be featured weekly, and she will be the steward of this site after I'm gone. I pray you would lend her your heart. I have given her mine, and her care of my love has been breathtaking.
A new friend and I were having coffee when I referenced my sisters, how sad I am that they live far away and how close we are. She admitted to a twinge in her heart—she wishes she and her sister could be closer, that her sister were kinder, that they knew how to connect better. I smiled sadly—I wish every woman could have sisters like mine!
The truth is we can all relate to that twinge, right? None of us has perfect relationships with everyone or people to fill certain roles in our lives. We all have brokenness that reveals itself in how we relate to others and how we interact with them. We all have baggage and hearts that ache at reminders of past hurts.
I think of friends who had abusive fathers, friends who never heard their parents say “I love you,” friends who were outcasts in school, whose siblings bullied and beat up on them. I have friends who have no relationships with their siblings and who are more prone to ending friendships rather than go through conflict because conflict equals danger in their minds. Friends who are not emotionally safe with their husbands. The list goes on and on and on. We all have our sad stories of broken relationships or nonexistent relationships.
What do we do with all this brokenness? What do we do when there is no restoration in site?
This friend and I went on to talk about having an eternal perspective, which is one of my favorite topics—my family and I dream of heaven on a daily basis. And one of my favorite things to dream about is redeemed relationships. In heaven, we will have no brokenness, no conflict, no bitterness, no ulterior motives, no hurt. Every relationship we have will be loving, selfless, and joyful! Imagine the laughter! What will it be like to interact with each other free from sin?!
Here is what really bewilders me and excites me about relationships in heaven: Because of Jesus, we will be completely relationally satisfied. We will be free from longing to be in the popular crowd, free from avoiding those who have hurt us, free from our own prejudices, free from hiding our real selves, free from seeking approval. Our hearts will be full. If there were high school in heaven, we’d all be sitting at the cool-kid table in the cafeteria.
And here is my conviction that comes from this truth: Hope does not release me from responsibility. I should still be praying for restoration in broken relationships and reaching out to those who are alone.
Oh, how I struggle! I want relationships to be all about me. But I know that is not true relationship. And someday in heaven, I’ll be really good at relationships; I’ll be the bestest friend you could ever imagine and love others so well! Until then, as I clumsily navigate friendships and family relationships, I fix my eyes on Jesus and hope in what is to come.
Is there someone in your life who could use a friend? Who can you reach out to in love and selflessness? What would it look like for you to pray for restoration for a broken relationship in your life?