We live in a world where we get to witness the fallouts of so many people on social media, whether they’re a celebrity or not. The idea of publicly airing out disagreements has never been my thing although the trend seems to be growing. Unfortunately, when people choose to make it everyone else’s business, instead of just between the two parties involved, it creates an open window of opinions. These opinions become the heartbeat to chatter like, “Oh, she’s changed!” Meaning, a person is acting or responding in ways not to the liking of someone else. This narrative creates conversations that cloud the atmosphere with entitlement instead of truth.
For me, the past two years have placed me in a position where I experienced this firsthand … I was the one accused of “changing.” Unapologetically, the nature of my life’s events required me to change drastically. After all, when anyone has to experience change on any level, it also automatically requires them to change in some capacity. Maybe it’s how you choose to continue on, adjust, or respond to that circumstance, but my hope would be, whatever the change, that it challenges you to grow in some way.
Growth can make a lot of people uncomfortable, especially when that growth causes them to disconnect from a person they benefited from greatly. Even if there was a mutual benefiting factor, I’d love to think that both people devoted time to pray about and consider the relationship from an unbiased perspective. The heart of the person who has changed, taking into account what they have experienced, has to remain in the forefront; giving this person grace has to be key. And any negative thoughts and assumptions one may come up with to accuse this person have to be put aside. Otherwise, why would they have been friends to begin with? Just from a practical standpoint, it might also be easier to support what you may not understand instead of wasting time and energy sharing a tainted version of a story that attaches a false narrative to what really happened. Wishful thinking, huh? Also, some real grownup behavior! Looking back at the few connections that fizzled out, my concern was never, “How will I manage to fit into their next chapter?” When it ended, I may have questioned some things, but definitely didn’t go on a hate campaign against them. Lord knows I could have with quite a few people, but that was never an option for me. My prayer was that their next chapter would benefit them, giving them what they need to become a better version of themselves. Because healthy people and situations breed healthy people and situations..
We shouldn’t feel so privileged that we permanently write ourselves into the lives of those we are blessed to connect with. Some things are seasonal, and unfortunately, we do not get to control that. After all, it would be amazing if we could pause time on some relationships or friendships that felt the most fulfilling. But when an expiration date arrives, taking everything into consideration shouldn’t leave you in a bitter place. Life will bring you curveballs that some will not understand, but when it involves other people, when did entitlement replace grace? Everything isn’t always about your feelings when someone is literally trying to pick up the pieces to carry on. Once you’ve lived a little, you understand the benefits of growing and keeping your mouth off of someone else’s growth. Learn to become less opinionated and more comfortable with change that isn’t physically hurting anyone or, more importantly, what may line up with God’s will. What happened to trusting God with the outcome regardless how bruised your ego becomes? The Bible speaks about holding grudges or negative feelings against someone. Yet, we will sometimes skip those instructions and go straight to other people and gossip, share on social media, and possibly spearhead a campaign of negativity against someone while wearing the victim hat. This action doesn’t make you more right; instead it reflects your lack of maturity to see things through a lens of love.
We can’t control people or situations, but we can control how we respond and the willingness to grow from what has changed us. When you look in the mirror, love who you are becoming and be able to close your eyes at night with the same peace. My relationship with God keeps my spirit accountable, not perfect. When I’m operating outside of that, God has a way of allowing me to see where I need to do better. That is the gauge I use to check my heart, not a bunch of misguided opinions. Don’t let others’ opinions speak louder than the way God has chosen to guide your steps. The next time you hear, “Oh, she’s changed!” let that be a reminder that God is doing a new thing in you. Be proud of the woman you are becoming. And remember, walking in your purpose doesn’t need the approval of others. As long as God is pleased, He truly is the only One who matters.