The following is ripe banana story written by my amazing mom, Monica Burney.
I think this is a story most everyone can relate to. We’ve all hurt and been hurt by those dear people in our lives we’ve opened our hearts to and call friends. Thanks mom, for being such a great role model of what it means to be courageous, vulnerable and forgiving. And for the reminder that friendships are some of the sweetest ripe bananas there are!
A Test of Trust
Over a decade ago, a very dear friend of mine abruptly ended our friend-ship. No warning. No explanation. She was just instantly out of my life. For a time, I did try to contact her to find out what caused her to do this. My attempts proved futile. At first, I was very sad and bewildered. I searched my heart to see what I possibly could have done wrong to cause this. It was very painful for me because I missed her and because I knew that I would never intentionally hurt her. And yet, it appeared that somehow, I had. Then, I became angry that she wouldn’t even tell me what was wrong—that she could so easily walk away from a true blue friend, without talking it through.
Was there some other reason? I couldn’t imagine what that could be.
After letting go, and moving past the anger stage of this loss, I did a heart check with the Lord, wanting to make sure that I had fully forgiven her.
Over the years, I ran into her a couple of times around town. We briefly, politely, yet distantly acknowledged each other. It was as if there was a wall between us that neither could get past. Even though I knew that I didn’t harbor any grudges in my heart toward her, I had lost the desire to hang out with her.
Had I truly forgiven her? I believe so. I had brought it before the Lord and desired to have a clear conscience and a pure heart before Him on this matter.
But then, last Christmas, she sent me a note. She wanted back into my life. I did not respond.
I realized that even though I had forgiven her, I wasn’t sure that I could trust her anymore. When trust is broken, it has to be earned again. Then a couple of months later, she showed up on my doorstep, for a reason that actually had nothing to do with me. Again, I was polite, but distant. I was not ready to let her back into my heart.
A few months later, I began to trip across her a couple of times within a week’s period. It was as though God was trying to tell me something—and He was. I was reminded that I should put my trust in God and not put my trust in a fallible human being. God spoke to me and let me know that everything would be o.k. There is still some level of trust that has to exist, in order to have any kind of real relationship in this life. And even though trust in our friendship would have to build back up slowly, it was doable and worth doing.
After much prayer and many years gone by, I finally contacted her and we had a wonderful reunion. She shared that I had indeed offended her years ago, but that she realized over time, she was wrong for not coming to me and trying to resolve the issue. And also that she knew that the offense was not intentional. She apologized and gave me a big hug. As hard as this lesson was, I can honestly say that I absolutely love how God used this painful experience to teach me more of His nature and I also love how He cultivates His nature in us, as we submit to Him. I don’t believe I could ever have forgiven her and let her back into my life again, strictly based on my own fallen nature. But I’m so thankful that I trusted God, for He is the One who is completely trustworthy, and is the only One who is able to heal and change a wounded, jaded heart into one that more closely resembles His own.