“Dear Ken and Laura,

We just wanted you to know we are thinking of you and praying for God’s wisdom and will to guide your steps as you look to him for direction right now.”

This is part of a note we just received from friends we’ve known for 25 years. Things have not always been as rosy between us as the note suggests.

After developing a friendship in the first few years of knowing each other, having participated together in a church-based group of couples, and having pursued a common home schooling mission, we hit a rough patch in the relationship. Somehow, Laura got crossways with the wife of this couple. Things were not pretty.

On several occasions, I arrived to find Laura in tears as she was trying to sort out the interaction she’d just had with our friend. “What do I do with these feelings when I feel like I’m being attacked like that?” Laura was distraught to consider that their friendship was nearing an end.

Thankfully, I thought, this couple had just moved away. I shared the husbandliest “wisdom” that I could muster: “Look, they’ve moved away. We may never have to see them ever again. Why don’t you just write them off?”

Silence… (Queue the crickets…)

Thankfully, Laura didn’t take my advice.

With Laura, there’s always a second chance. She’s persistent. She’ll absorb hurts for the sake of a relationship, whether friend, co-worker, or (gulp…) spouse. Over time, Laura and our friend did the hard work of forgiving each other, and reconciled their relationship.

Restoring their relationship has served to deepen it.

Having had a ringside seat throughout this process, my views on the value relationships, and an appreciation for what it takes to maintain them, has been forever changed.

How about you? Have you experienced the power of restoration? Please comment below or contact me to talk more.

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