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Too Strong?
Photo: Blake Campbell
She was in trouble, and she didn’t tell me. She was my best friend, but she didn’t feel she could share her secret with me.

We had every class together, were on the volleyball team together, spent Saturday nights at each others houses staying up until all hours of the night whispering and laughing instead of going to sleep. We were as close as I imagine sisters would be. Why wouldn’t she share?

Judgmental and Unforgiving

She didn’t tell me because she was believed I would be judgmental and unforgiving. She was afraid of her best friend.

I have always been a fairly strong person. A lot of girls I knew struggled with low self-esteem, but I had always felt pretty ok about myself. Because of that, I was also confident about myself, my plans, my ideas and my beliefs. One of those plans was to wait until marriage to have sex. I wanted to find a man to spend my life with before I gave the gift of myself and my virginity. I felt really, really, really strongly about it. So strongly, that when I talked about it, I gave the impression that anyone making any other decision was not only stupid and wrong, but undeserving of my friendship.

And so she didn’t tell me that she’d had sex with her boyfriend and was now afraid she was pregnant.

Later that week, another friend told me what had happened and my best friend and I were able to discuss it. We talked about her choice and its consequences, her fears and insecurities, the guilt she felt and how God would forgive.

What I learned from the experience was that having strong beliefs was very important to me – it helped keep me on the path I wanted to travel as a Christian. But when I talked about my beliefs to others, I needed to do so in a loving way… a way that wasn’t judgmental, condemning or alienating. Fortunately, instead of losing my closest friend, I gained an insight into how to be a more loving and supportive friend.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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