Sunday, June 3, 2007

Parting of the ways

Something sad has happened to me a couple of days ago.

A good old friend asked me for something and I had to refuse. I don't think I should go into details here, but she asked me to be a witness during her wedding ceremony – which will be – how should I put it? – very un-traditional, contains parts that are actual blasphemy, and actively participating in it would go against my religious convictions.

So, very gently and politely, I told her I just couldn't do it.

I'm glad no one witnessed the scene that followed. I heard that I'm a narrow-minded religious fanatic; not a true friend; a real snake; and she won't 'tolerate my religious nonsense' anymore. She will never speak to me again.

It's sad, but I think we reached a parting of the ways. We've been friends for around 5 years and shared many happy and sad moments together, many exciting experience and just normal days. We've laughed and cried and shared and talked and each knew about every important thing that was happening in the other's life.

But I guess this has come to an end.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Anna, truly I am, that your friendship with this gal had to come to an end. It's painful to have the last chapter end so abruptly, too.

It sounds as though your declining to participate in the wedding really caught your friend off guard. And the hateful things she called you.......very sad.

thinking of you, Brenda

Autumn said...

I will pray that things will get better than you. Losing a friend is difficult, but, if she got that mad at you, and said that she would never speak to you again, then she most likely wasn't a TRUE friend.
Hope that it all gets better for you!

PandaBean said...

I've been going through similar things since I moved back to my home town. Being a younger person (25), most of my age group are still in college, or have just graduated, if they went, or have 2-3+ children and are not married, nor ever have been.
There is only one girl I go to church with that I went to school with, and she's younger than me, tho' not by much.
I feel highly uncomfortable associating with my "peers" because most of them lead highly un-Godly lives. All the friends I had in high school, and shortly thereafter, were un-Godly, as I was at the time. Now that I have found the Truth, I no longer feel comfortable around these people because I am a completely different person and reject their lifestyles and beliefs, and this has cost some hard times and hard feelings.

I want to specifically say "Good for you, Anna, for sticking up for what's right." If God intends for you to stay friends with this person, things will work out. Otherwise, all you can do is pray for her and her future husband.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

onionboy said...

That is sad. It's not exactly first century persecution or martyrdom but it is a very real and modern kind of religious hatred. Peace be with you.

O
::thrive
luminousmiseries
onionboy.ca

James said...

Anna,

This is most unfortunate. I know that these kind of altercations are terribly upsetting. I can't deal with them- and despise them.

If you don't mind my asking, what kind of wedding was she asking you to witness? You describe it as un-traditional; it sounds like a New Age/neo-pagan ceremony. Is that right? I can see how that might be unconfortable.

I feel such great sympathy for you. Rest assured that my thoughts and prayers go out to you in this difficult time. May Christ's peace be with you now and forever.

James

Serena said...

I'm so sorry Anna. Maybe one day she'll realize the truth. Something to pray for!

Anna S said...

Thank you!
However, everything is for the best isn't it? I do hope she will be able to get over the feeling of hostility one day...

Anna S said...

Thank you for your comments, everyone!

And this is the first time someone actually writes in Portuguese. :P

Anna S said...

James,

I didn't want to go into details, but yes, it's something like that.

I think I could attend, for the sake of our friendship, but not participate actively like she asked.

I believe part of this hostility is because deep in her heart, she knows she isn't doing the right thing.

AutumnRose said...

Dear Anna,

You have done the right thing by sticking with what God wants you to do, but all the same, there is the sadness of losing your friend.

God will honour you for your decision, and hopefully, your friend will be drawn to Him in good time! I hope so :)

Love AutumnRose xx

Perennial Pioneer said...

Anna,
I know exactly how you feel. I had a friend that I was very close to, and we wrote eachother every week. Then we had a falling out, so to speak, when she found out, we were no longer wearing headcoverings and capedresses. She would never speak to me again. She believed that someone who was not wearing those things was wrong, and she was right. I told her, that God doesn't look on the outward appearances, but on the Heart of a man. Well, she didn't agree. She thinks I am going to hell, because of my 'transgression'. I pray for her everyday. And once in a while, I send her a note, telling her about the latest in our family. I don't evey know if she still lives there anymore!:(
Loosing a best friend, can be devastating, but, we must learn, that friendships of this world, are material, but the friendship of Christ, is eternal. He has said,
" I will never leave you, nor forsake you.Hebrews 13:5KJV And I believe that!
Got to run! Thinking of you, my dear friend!
Laura
Perennial Pioneer

Sheri said...

I'm really sorry about your friend Anna. I will be praying for you and especially for her... may Jesus get a hold of her life and change her heart.

I had a similar situation recently with a friend who "flipped out", has rejected the faith she once held, started "sleeping around," is divorcing her husband, and has forgotten about her two precious little girls. My heart breaks for her.

When I spoke the truth to her, in love, she lashed out and said she never wants to speak to me again.

Any how, just want you to know that you aren't alone in standing up for what's right. Let’s not forget that God can use us to bring our wayward friends back to Him.

Anna S said...

Laura,

I'm praying that her heart will, perhaps, soften with time, and I'll make an effort to forgive and forget all the hard words.

Sheri,

I believe that such hostility is shown when deep down, a person knows he/she isn't doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I hope time heals this relationship, if that's what is for the best.

This reminded me of something similar I'm going through. I have a coworker, who I really like, who chooses an alternative lifestyle. I have to tell you that there's never been a time in my life when I didn't know someone in such a position and I never really had an opinion of it one way or the other. Recently, as I'm seeking Christ, I'm finding my attitudes are changing about homosexuality. I'm not quite so indifferent about it. In fact, it's making me uncomfortable now. I feel terrible and judgmental about this, but I also feel there's a reason my heart feels this way.

Anyway, my coworker and her partner are having a reception (they were married in Hawaii) this summer and she invited me. Fortunately, I am actually attending a wedding that day, so I didn't have to breach the topic with her. I'm just not sure how to address it if some similar situation comes up. I'm not young (31), but I'm young in the faith. I don't feel well-armed in this case.

I guess I just wanted to express empathy, coming from someone who isn't quite as convicted as you are.

Emily said...

Oh Anna, I'm so sorry to hear that.... Parting with friends is such a hard thing to do, especially when you have shared so much together. I must say, well done for sticking to your beliefs even though it cost you this friendship. For Jesus said, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields [or friends] for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age...and in the age to come" (Mark 10:29-30).

My prayers are with you Anna, may God bless you and comfort you :)

Tracy said...

Anna,
I have been through similar things. I pray that the Lord gives you His peace over the situation. You did the right thing by standing up for what you believed in.

Anna S said...

Tracy and Emily,

I believe I have already been rewarded by doing what I think is right and having a clear conscience. Trying to please and not be contradicting is easier, but it's not always the right thing to do.

Candy said...

Oh Anna, I am so sorry to hear what happened... I was just about to post ssomething similar myself today...

Buffy said...

What a shame. Did you tell her you would be willing to attend but just not particpate? Of course you should not participate in anything that contradicts your sacred beliefs. She seems to have gone off the deep end, hopefully she is feeling ashamed of herself now. No doubt she was hurt at your response but I have to wonder why one would ask a devout Christian to take a role in a pagan ceremony anyway. Does she perhaps not know you very well?? I hope she comes round and you two manage to patch things up (after she has apologised for saying nasty things).

Anna S said...

Buffy,

I was, of course, willing to attend. I was willing to overlook disagreements and be happy for her. But I guess this just wasn't enough... *sigh*

Mrs. Brigham said...

Anna,

I am very sorry to hear about this happening to you. I have been through similar experiences in the not-too-distant past and know what pain they can cause.

Christie Belle said...

Oh, I am so sorry, Anna. I know that this has to be hard, but I really admire you for sticking to your guns and not participating in a ceremony that would go against what you know is right. I feel that a true friend would respect your decision and not call you such hurtful things.
Hugs, Christie

Anna S said...

Thank you, Christie and Mrs. Brigham!

I'm still very sorry it happened this way, but I think that in the long run, we don't help our friends by 'bending the rules'.

Melissa said...

Here's what bothers me....

She asks you to be a waitress at her wedding, not a guest, but a waitress. Okay, I've always figured that one should "hire" someone they are not personally related to to do this job. If she was your friend, she would want you as a guest, not as a worker (excluding guest book keeper, or programmer attendant).

You did the right thing.

Anna S said...

Melissa,

She didn't ask me to be a waitress, but a sort of bridesmaid. I say sort of, because this ceremony is NOT the usual type. I would feel more comfortable actually being a waitress than participating as a part of the ceremony. In any case I think I did the right thing, but I'm still going to send her a letter and a gift to tell her I don't bear a grudge against her.

Melissa said...

My goodness! My bad! Clearly you said, "witness"! I'm sorry, but still! I can see why she was hurt then, but you had to do has you felt lead.

I wonder how the letter will go. Will you ask forgiveness, or just tell her "no hard feelings", or ask for a renewal of friendship?

Please, tell me know how it works out.

Anna S said...

Melissa,

What I'm planning is to write something like this: "I'm sorry our friendship ended in such a harsh way. I didn't mean to offend you. Even if we never speak to each other again, I would like you to have this gift from me".

... But I'm not going to apologize for refusing to participate in her ceremony. This is not what I'm sorry for.

Anonymous said...

I had to reply to this, because my husbands sister refused to be a bridesmaid at our wedding because it was Catholic. I didn't really mind, but it has upset him immensely. Five years on he still can't get over it and an important relationship has been quashed because of it.

I really think you are being short-sighted here. A wedding is a personal thing centering around the bride and groom - not YOU! You are not betraying yourself or your faith by participating in THEIR wedding. In fact your presence is a blessing to them and a sign of your faith.

One of the biggest problems with Christianity today is the exclusionist attitude. Instead of ministering to people with charity and love we are nitpicking over technicalities and missing the entire point of Jesus' Word.

If Jesus showed up tomorrow do you think he would go to Rome and debate the gospel with people? No - he would go to the poorest place on earth and help sinners - reach out to them with charity love and understanding, the way he did in the Bible. We are called to do the same.

Too many of us are choosing to be selfish and denying people of ourselves and the gifts we bring by judging people and making decisions about them based on "religion."

I don't mean to be preachy I just think you should really think hard about this, as it is a decision that will affect your friendship and life in the long run. You've made your objections clear, but at the end of the day it's someone else's wedding - it has nothing to do with you - and the gospel calls us to be good friends. Would Jesus refuse to attend a Samaritan wedding? Doubtful...

Anna S said...

Anonymous,

Because of personal reasons, I didn't want to go into details in here. If I did, I think you would understand exactly why I didn't want to be a part of the ceremony. I assure you this has nothing to do with nitpicking and a holier-than-thou attitude. If you want to know more, you are welcome to contact me through email.

singlemomforgod said...

Anna,

Okay, I am posting on all of your blogs because I am actually trying to catch up!! I understand what you are going through, I went through something similar with my younger sister... Eventually she calmed down and we begain to talk mainly because her marriage was failing and she had to acknowlege my stand. ( God delt with her on this, so I take no credit!), Even still she does not understand my scriptoral stand on courtship, and why I won't go outside of the will of God. I want to share a scripture with you, I hope that it blesses you because I have come to see that we are only fufulling the endurement of the same things that Jesus told the disciples they would endure. I don't know the outcome, or what happened, I know this has been a while but I wanted to share non the less.

Luke 21:14-19
14Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:

15For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

16And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

17And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.

18But there shall not an hair of your head perish.

19In your patience possess ye your souls.