If you have gone through anything even remotely difficult in life then it is likely you know the truth of the statement above. For whatever reason, I have been through several serious trials in the last few years and I can say the silence of those that I thought were “friends” was/is probably one of the hardest trials of all.
Here’s something you likely did not know about me…years ago, I was kicked out of a church. Well, not just me but my entire family. It’s just one of those things, at the time, I thought it was horrible and the hardest thing that had ever happened to me but looking back it wasn’t nearly as painful as the more recent events in my life.
Now, you’re wondering what happened, right? The short story of it is that the church found out my son had life threatening food allergies and they decided that they did not want to be held liable if anything were to happen to him while we were on their property. Therefore, they made a decision to tell us to never come back. That was it. A church that we were members of and very involved in, sent us a letter and some various papers telling us never to step foot on their property again.
Crazy, right? Well, not really, turns out they do that all the time. Who knew? I am saying that not to open a discussion on what churches do right or wrong, that’s not the point at all. As it turns out, all churches are made up of humans who do, at times, make mistakes. What happened at that church was not the hurtful part.
The hurtful part came from those closest to us who knew the whole story, saw the whole thing then looked the other way as though it never happened. One minute we were there, the next minute we were not and no one said a word.
I hardly remember the words spoken by the pastors or the staff we dealt with but I most certainly remember the silence of our friends.
I remember the silence of those who did not want to rock the boat, those afraid of change, scared that they would reap the same fate and have to move their own families. I remember those who just did not know what to do so they did nothing at all. I remember that well and unfortunately, it took years to sooth the pain.
It is amazing how few people will stand with you when push comes to shove. It is amazing how many people are so quick to believe a lie rather than ask you about the truth. It is amazing how some of the loudest, most outspoken friends can suddenly become silent when it comes to being brave and standing alongside you through the roughest of storms. Silence is indeed deafening.
Today, I know who my friends are but more than that, I know what kind of friend I am. It has been tested and there are certain things that you just can’t walk through with some people, sometimes people create their own battles. But sometimes that is not the case, bad things do happen and in that moment, when your voice matters the most, don’t be silent.
Don’t be weak. God did not create you to back down, he created you to stand up. Be brave, be bold and stand up for what is right even if you have to stand up alone.
And if you find yourself, standing there speaking truth while your friends are no where to be found remember, the God who gave David the strength to defeat Goliath is standing next to you. But, even more than that, the God who raised Jesus from the dead is inside of you.
You got this.
Sarah Ann is an author, speaker and media personality committed to honesty, vulnerability and authenticity. She has a passion for empowering people who are willing to be honest and walk out life in Christ together. Sarah holds a Bachelors in Biblical Studies and a Masters in Theology and Apologetics, she also owns a clothing company, Ascent516.com and is the creator of SarahAnnSpeaks.com and the Sarah Ann Speaks Podcast. Sarah is featured daily on GEB TV.
Anna Marie PPosted at 21:59h, 29 March
Amen! Well said!
Nichole AndersonPosted at 22:49h, 29 March
Wow. All I have to say is LOVE GOD. LOVE OTHERS.
Malcolm McGuirePosted at 13:32h, 30 March
Sarah, thank you for sharing this painful experience. As you are well aware, I experienced a similar ( in some ways) occurrence about a year ago. The truths that you have stated are real. There are some people (we’ll call them friends) who are in our lives for seasons. They are like Christmas ornaments. The add color, pleasure, and enjoyment for a time; however, their usefulness is short-lived and there comes a day when they have to be taken down. Then, there are people, real friends, who outlive the temporal. They are always there, even when their physical presence isn’t. They see beyond the crap, because they are really invested in YOU, not in the “church” or “school”, but you.
Sarah, you are the kind of person that anyone would be proud to call friend. I feel bad for those who chose to be ornaments in your life.
DanaPosted at 20:24h, 30 March
I’m speechless that the church would do such a thing. Although i don’t know the details but i have to think there are alternatives to the decision hey made. However, as we get older and go through many experiences the truth is we find out who our current “friends” are and those that are true life long friends. I still have many friends that I enjoy talkin or hanging out with and very few that I know are truly there for me when things get tough. Remembering forgiveness for those who don’t stand up for you is important knowing that friendship is forever damaged. Some people are not capable of standing up for what’s right and sticking around when times get tough. Personally I just feel sad for them because they miss out on a great friendships with people just like you! Thanks for sharing. I find your insight and words encouraging and hopefully make me a better person.