Friends & Family Friday: Letting friends down

Last Thursday morning I was doing some cleaning when the phone rang.  As I picked up the phone, I noticed my friend’s name on the caller ID.  Oh no… my stomach tightened as I realized that I had stood her up.  I was supposed to be at her house 45 minutes before to help her with something.  She was gracious about it, but I felt terrible.  And this wasn’t the first time something like that happened.

Last spring I was sitting at home eating lunch when the phone rang.  As I picked up the phone, I noticed another friend’s name on the caller ID.  Oh no… my stomach tightened as I realized I forgot to bring her son home from preschool when I picked mine up.  She too was gracious about it.  But, what a horrible feeling to let a friend down and to leave a little four-year old at school.

With damaged pride, I admit that I am not a perfect friend.  I wish I was completely reliable, but I am not.  I strive to be, and I am trying to remember to write things on my calendar and then to check it.  But I mess up.  I hope that admission won’t keep you from asking me for help, because I really want to be that friend who is there for you when you need it.  I have been blessed with great friends who have helped me in too many ways to list, and I like to return that blessing.

So besides utilizing my calendar more, what have I learned through my mess-ups?

1.  I need to apologize and rebuild their trust.  (Even if they say it’s no big deal, it is.)  And if someone doesn’t forgive me, I need to forgive their unforgiveness (apparently that’s not a word, but I don’t know what else to call it).

2.  I need to confess it to God and accept his forgiveness.

3.  I need to forgive myself… sometimes this is harder than accepting God’s forgiveness, why is that?

4.  That just like I’m not perfect, my friends aren’t either.  If they let me down, I need to be just as gracious and forgiving as people have been with me or more (in those rare circumstances when someone wasn’t very forgiving).  I should not hold anyone to a higher standard than I myself can achieve.

5.  People let each other down… all the time… we are not perfect.  But there is one who is perfect – God.  He promises never to “leave or forsake us” and when He makes a promise… He keeps it.

So, I forgive myself and accept that I am flawed and mess up… but I do not want to stay that way.  I press on to be a better friend.

♥Becki, imperfect friend

P.S.  just so you know… I do know that I have also been a good friend and I have really helped people out at times… but I write this because I don’t want to think more highly of myself than I ought…


3 thoughts on “Friends & Family Friday: Letting friends down

  1. I KNEW it….you are secretly me in much better clothing. I think as friends we need to look at the big picture and not the small stuff. So we forget a committment or make an awkward statement from time to time (I am talking about me in the latter part of that); big deal. It’s the overall feeling of love and acceptance your bring to your friends that matter. That I have never doubted and I don’t believe anyone you are close to has ever doubted that in you either. Now that I have been very profound, its time for coffee and chocolate..

  2. We are so hard on ourselves–your blog so beautifully addresses that! However, you are a great friend. I know you did not write this to fish for affirmation-rather, it is so wonderful to share in our imperfections, our flaws. If you get angry at anyone for letting you down once in a while, it is more about you then their issue. THank you Becki for expressing how difficult it is to forgive ourselves!

  3. It IS so hard to forgive ourselves–I think it is our failure to understand grace, our wanting to cling to a works mentality and the idea that we can somehow earn favor. But, we so can’t. We all fail daily and when you fail publicly, it’s just a wonderful opportunity for God to remind you that there is nothing you can do to earn His love.

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