Tuesday, March 15, 2016

3 Painless Ways to Reconnect with a Lost Friend

We all have them - those friends who, for a variety of reasons, have moved on. Perhaps the friendship ended in a disagreement, or maybe gradual life changes led you to drift apart. No matter the reason, most of us have a handful of long lost friends.  

It’s not uncommon that these friends come to mind from time to time. We may have regrets, wish things turned out differently, or just miss the relationship. Yet we don’t take the time to reach out. 

  • We’re embarrassed that we haven’t connected for so long
  • We don’t know what to say
  • We allow ourselves to believe we don’t matter to them anymore
  • We don’t really know what caused the drift in the first place 
  • We don’t know how to reconnect

Sometimes reconnecting is a matter of putting on our big girl panties and just doing the difficult thing. That’s right. Take a breath, say a prayer, then reach out. It doesn’t have to hurt, in fact it can be rather painless!

Reconnection 101

Easy and Painless Ways to Connect

Talk to God First:

Pray that the Lord will fully reveal truth in your relationship and restore anything that’s broken. Ask that He’ll soften each of your hearts and draw you together in love and unity, leaving the past behind and pressing on toward a friendly future together. Consistent prayer over the relationship can bring unexpected and joyful redemption to your friendship. Pray with expectation and a willingness to take action as the Lord prompts. 

May I encourage you to resist praying, “Lord change her heart” and instead pray, “Lord, change our hearts”? 

Use Technology:

Send a text or Facebook message to say, “I was thinking about you today. I hope things are going your way!”  (If you mean it you can add, “I’d love to hear from you,” or “Why don’t we get together soon?”)

Use the Mail:

With all of the bills, catalogs, and JUNK that fills our mailbox, it’s a refreshing bright spot in our day to receive a handwritten card - a piece of mail that doesn’t want our money, our vote, or our time.  Send a “Thinking of You” card to that lost friend with a short note that says, “Just want you to know I prayed for you today and asked the Lord to deliver a smile and happy memory.  I miss you.”  ** Please don’t tell someone you’ve prayed for them unless it’s true! **

There are times, especially when a relationship may have drifted because of a problem, when we need to sink our teeth into the issue and work a little harder. 

Reconnection 201

Connecting When More Heart and Fortitude are Required 

Use the Phone:

Consider a call to your lost friend and a gentle conversation that asks, 
“Do you know what happened between us? Because I sure don’t understand.”
Have a willingness to listen. Really listen to how your friend responds. Decide in advance that you won’t respond with defensiveness but take to heart what she says and receive it as constructive criticism.  Pray before you call, and ask that the Lord prepare both of your hearts for the conversation. Ask that He lead you to reconciliation.

Take a Vague Suggestion a Step Further: 

Instead of suggesting, “Let’s meet sometime” actually schedule a time to DO IT!

Forgive and Ask for Forgiveness: 

The power of forgiveness can’t be overstated. With the Lord’s help, you - yes you (and me too) - can forgive any wrong. Remember that forgiveness doesn’t bring instant trust or immediate reconciliation. It doesn’t make what your offender did you you “okay.” It releases the offender from any debt you believe she owes you and helps free you of the weight of burden you’ve carried.  

It’s said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. So choose, today, to forgive. Remember that Jesus has already paid the price for her wrongdoing. Surrender your lost friend and the situation to Him. This may take several tries. You may have to remind yourself every day that you’ve decided to forgive. Eventually, it will become easier and your heart will follow your obedience.

There’s great power in asking for forgiveness too. Even if you don’t agree that you were in the wrong, you can still feel genuinely sorry that your friend was hurt. Say with sincerity, “We don’t see this situation the same way, but I am truly sorry for anything that I did that caused you pain. I don’t like to see you hurting and angry. Can you forgive me? What can I do to help you trust me again?” 

Let’s stop allowing the enemy of our souls to steal cherished relationships because we don’t know how to start a reconciliation. Remember, with God, nothing is impossible. Take the first step to resume a friendship and watch the Lord work! 

1 Thes 5:24 ESV
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

1 Peter 4:8 ESV
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Your Turn:

When has taking a risk to restore a relationship paid off for you?

What other tips would you suggest for restoring a friendship with a long lost friend?

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Be Strengthened Today, By His Word

Psalm 119:28

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