Writer Author  Jean Madigan
Christian Article : Relationships  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer When I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior a few years ago, I developed a friendship with a woman who became my mentor. Sara taught me how to read the bible, and how to apply it to my life. I became very attached to her. We thought alike, had the same fears, and shared the same way of thinking. We were like sisters, and our husbands were friendly toward each other, if not exactly buddies.

Many times, Sara and I had coffee together at Starbucks. She ordered a half- mocha, half-coffee latte with lots of whipped cream. I had a macchiato cappuccino. We sat and talked about the Lord, and how to apply His words to my specific situations.

Other times, we went shopping at Ross, or Target, or Michaels. I marveled that Sara wanted my friendship, but I didn’t question it. I had very few friends who hadn’ t stabbed me in the back, some time in the past.

We two couples attended one church, and left it together. Then we began attending a home church, and left that too.

Sometimes, my husband and I went to Sara and Floyd’s house for home worship services. However, I became jealous of the other people there, fearing that Sara would choose to be friendly with other women. I couldn’t lose the only good woman friend I’d ever had. I became critical of the worship services, and of the people who attended them. I hated their posturing, and saw them as Pharisees, but it wasn’t my place to judge.

As a result of my attitude, and some things unrelated to me, Sara and Floyd decided not to hold services anymore.

I began seeing her less, and when I did see her, I sought her approval at every turn. If she didn’t call me every day, I became paranoid. Then she began avoiding me altogether.

My emotional life was a mess, to the point that I began having daily headaches, couldn’t sleep, became depressed, and flew into rages at little things. My behavior is called codependency.

I began feeling like I was a stalker, phoning Sara and accusing her of not wanting to spend time with me. She dropped hints to me that were so obtuse, I didn’t get the message.

After months of this behavior, Sara said, “I have to do the Lord’s work, which is looking after widows. I can’t spend all my time exclusively with you.”

In my mind, I said, “Yeah, and they’re rich widows, too.” Her husband and Sara were trust planners, and tried to combine witnessing to people about the Lord, and doing their financial planning at the same time.

I accused her of befriending me, and then dropping me.

She denied it, but never came right out and defined the boundaries of our friendship. I felt confused, hurt and angry. The people she and her husband befriended seemed to fall by the wayside, once Sara and Floyd had gotten their business.

My husband became concerned. He knew I didn’t trust most women, and that I’d been betrayed by most of the ones I knew. He said something to me then that he never said before.

“I forbid you to see or call Sara anymore. You always get upset when you’ve been with her, and I don’t like it. Find some other way to fill your time. You like to write stories, don’t you? Well, then write.”

I was aghast. Forbidding me to see or talk to the one person with whom I could identify? Impossible!

A week after my husband said those words to me, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that jealousy is akin to witchcraft, and that I had made an idol of Sara. I was mortified to think I had done that. He told me that fear wasn’t from God, it was from the Evil One, the one we call satan, whose name I refuse to capitalize. I went before the throne of grace, and asked God’s forgiveness through His Son’s name.

The Holy Spirit began ministering to me, by leading me to read Bible verses concerning fear. One was “such love has no fear,” and I recited it every time I felt fearful about losing Sara as my friend.

I began a bible study on my own, and found wonderful verses of healing everywhere. One was in Jeremiah, and I recited that verse dozens of times each day, for the Lord to restore me to health and heal all of my wounds. (1)

I begged Him, with my face buried in the floor, to set me free. (2)

Every time I became angry, I recited a few verses to myself, and began letting go of my obsession with Sara. It took about six months. I recited a verse every time I felt resentful toward her, and then I prayed for her, and for myself. (3)

Soon, I wouldn’t hear from her for a week, so I stepped up my prayer life. The Lord heard my prayers, and healed me of my jealousy and obsession with Sara. I became more dependent on Him, and less on people. He renewed the gift of writing within me, and I remember to thank him everyday.

Sara and I are still friends, but now I can say “No, I can’t go with you today, I have too much work to do.” I no longer feel guilty saying that. I’ve found my own identity, and don’t need Sara to define me anymore. I realize that Sara is a flesh and blood woman who isn’t always right, and whose opinion I no longer depend upon. Frankly, if she doesn’t call me for two or three weeks, I’m perfectly happy. My happiness no longer depends on what she does, or doesn’t do.

God healed me and I praise His holy Name for that. “He surrounds me with loving kindness and tender mercies. He fills my life with all good things.” (4)

1. l John 4:18 NLT
2. Jer. 30:17 NASB
3. Ps. 142:7 NIV
4. Ps. 103: 4, 5, NLT

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State: Arizona
Country: United States
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