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Wisely redeem broken friendships | with Elizabeth Laing Thompson

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Season 13, episode 279
46 min / Published

We are in February. And February, in the United States in particular, has to do with Valentine's Day and romantic relationships in specifically, but more in general, relationships and friendships. And so I have an interesting conversation with Elizabeth Laing Thompson about her new book, “When a Friendship Falls Apart.” I absolutely fell in love with her! It's a thick volume, especially by modern day standards where it seems like, publishing houses give us shorter and shorter books. This is not the case. Her book is a massive compilation of all the tips, all the advice, everything you need to know if you've ever been in a friendship that ended badly or that is going poorly or that has hurt you in any way, shape, or form. Through this book Elizabeth hopes to minister to those who are experiencing this often undiagnosed, unrecognized grief of friendship loss or friendship breakup, as she calls it. There are difficult emotions that accompany friendship hardship. So, she and I talk about important things, like:

-          friendship breakups: coping with loss and pain;

-          healing and forgiveness: overcoming bitterness;

-          Biblical wisdom: applying Scripture to relationships;

-          trust and vulnerability: rebuilding connections;

-          grieving and mourning: processing friendship loss;

-          finding beauty in brokenness: embracing imperfections;

-          prayer and guidance: seeking God's direction.

Elizabeth acknowledges that the hardest part in navigating a friendship breakup is finding the right people to talk to about it. She acts as this one friend you need. She keeps you company. She points you to Gospel counsel as you navigate the loss of the friendship as it was. And then she offers wisdom for navigating future friendships after a loss because that's absolutely key. How do you even dare to open your heart again after it's been wounded?

She is grounded in Scripture. She points to God's views on forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing after hurt. And then she gives us the best practical tools for navigating those conversations. How do you initiate a reconciliation conversation? What words can you use that are going to be most productive without escalating potential conflict? She is blending personal story, biblical examples, faith filled wisdom. I love all of the many, many interactions with Scripture that she gives us.

She asks, how do we guard against the poison of bitterness so we can process the hurt and move forward? Elizabeth talks about when and how we can seek this reconciliation and what does look like. And this is anything but cliche. I promise you that. How do we know if the time has come to actually leave a friendship behind? How do we open up again and then trust our freshly wounded hearts to new friendships?

Friendship loss is this unique kind of grief. It's a private and confusing kind of grief. And as we struggle to digest the pain and we wonder, how could this happen? What do I do now? Elizabeth is here to help hurting hearts find healing, find lessons to learn from the past, and stay open to new friendships in the future. Again, it's so full of hope. Some of the key advice I will remember from the book are,

-          Learn to navigate and overcome the pain and challenges of friendship breakups with grace and biblical wisdom.

-          Cultivate trust in relationships, acknowledging that past hurts can affect future connections but not define them.

-          10. Find joy and hold onto positive memories even when some friendships can't be repaired, allowing healing to take place.

-          Protect your heart in extreme friendship scenarios by seeking comfort in prayer and scripture.

-          Give oneself permission to grieve and process the loss of friendships

-          Seek beauty in broken friendships and adopt a more open-minded and accepting approach to making connections despite past hurts.

-          Bring fears and insecurities to God as a source of courage and guidance in seeking and fostering friendships.

-          Let God guide and protect in the process of building trust and forming meaningful connections.

-          Look ahead to the eternal promise of friendships in heaven, where unity and safety abound.

-          Reflect Jesus in current friendships and strive for unity, echoing His prayer for oneness in John 17.

-          Categorize friendships and address potential misunderstandings by applying practical tips and Scripture.

-          Understand and appreciate the concept of mismatched expectations in friendships to prevent conflicts and foster understanding.

-          Seek divine guidance, wisdom, courage, and the capacity to love and care for others within friendships through prayer.

-          Engage in the process of repairing broken relationships with humility, grace, and a desire for beauty in brokenness.

-          Root out bitterness and unforgiveness from friendships, replacing them with prayer and forgiveness to facilitate reconciliation.

-          Embrace the healing power of forgiveness and prayer, remembering that holding onto bitterness only causes further harm.

-          Find comfort in God as the perfect friend and reflect His love and forgiveness in all friendships.

-          Treasure and honor the meaningful memories made within brokenness, seeing them as precious testaments to the resilience of relationships.

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This episode is part of the GUEST INTERVIEWS | Taste & See that the Lord is good series
Stephanie invites you to discover the amazing journeys of our guests
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