One reason why people don’t come to church willingly is because
they don’t want to be judged. They usually already know what is
not right in their lives. The last thing they want to do is to
befriend and open up to people whose lives seem so ‘spiritual’ and
perfect. They don’t want spiritual policemen in their lives!
What will help people most in their quest for the truth about God
and life purpose is for those who have experienced God’s
forgiveness to refrain from being quick to judge and slow to offer
quick advice. When we look down on others, they feel judged,
condemned and unaccepted. And when we offer ready-made
answers we fail to empathize with how complex their problems
What we instead need to do is to offer grace and acceptance while
living out the truth. People don’t care how much we know if they
don’t know how much we care!
Some time back, I dint get accommodation in our university hostels, due to their high demand and their limited availability. Well that was sheer bad luck!! Since we get allocation like 2 weeks before we start the semester, I knew I had enough time to try hassle for a place. Just in case someone was selling their room or something. But to my disappointment, nothing seemed to be coming through for me. And I started getting really desperate and frustrated. Heck! I dint want to be commuting from home while I had been living the ultimate campus life for like a year already.
I knew I had to do something fast! Now, I knew my parents were so relieved, deep down because finally, they would be able to monitor my every move. Hey, relax, I am like the most obedient child every parent could wish for. Don’t panic, people. .. Haha. I know its their responsibility but, sometimes it goes to the extreme and its not pretty. Since they were reluctant to paying for off-campus accommodation for me because its usually almost double the price of that of on-campus, I knew I had to sort myself out.
So I came up with a lie that I was sure would win me my way out of the house!! I convinced them to allow me to stay at a friend’s while in fact, I was moving into my boyfriend’s place who would be staying on campus. So I was to stay at this said friend’s place, as I waited to see if I could get my own room. Honestly, I had always wondered what this would be like,,,co-habiting. And so this presented itself as the perfect opportunity. Then again, through the stress I was going through, being left out by the accommodation system, and having all my classmates pity me for being so unlucky,,I could use a drink(co-habiting)
Then along came my girlfriend from way back in highschool. We had been so tight back then, the kind of friend you share all your secrets with, and laugh with at the silliest things, share your craizy dreams and ideas with. Visit each other during holidays, spend hours talking about the most nonesensical things…. YES!! That kind of friend. We promised each other that we would not grow apart, even when we discovered that we would be going to different campuses. But time would tell… Our meetings became more rare and we talked less. 😦
I was able to notice that a few things about her had changed though. See when she first joined campus, it had all been too overwhelming for her, the new-found freedom with all the temptations that come along with it. All night long clubbing was now her thing, taking liquor.. And even though I was already a year after I’d been deflowered, hers was still intact. Though she was still really fascinated about my situation and would constantly ask away; the details and probe me to explain it well enough. However, the next semester, she was beginning to feel really bad about her new “wild” and “free” nature. Maybe because she had, in her drunken episodes, kissed her friend’s bf as she watched. :O…I don’t know. But yes, this change gradually became a new sense of peace and spiritual journey for her whereby she reconnected with God and forgave herself for that “sinful” past.
Then came he huge blow..One day, she had come to visit a pal of hers in our campus and she didn’t find her around so she thought she would stop by my place..of which, I dint have a “place”. haha. I looked at her phone as it rang, still contemplating on picking it, (because she had texted me before and I had not replied yet) trying to think up a lie to tell her. By now the phone had rang for so long and I thought to myself, “Heck!! I don’t care what she thinks” See we had stayed so long without talking and due to that she had even missed out on this new development in my life; me missing a room and moving in with my bf.
What!!! I was given such a lecture!! I might have forgiven it, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget the “judgement” I received that day. You know the way you tell your friend something that you are up to that is not so nice in the hope that maybe they won’t make you feel so bad about it…SHOCK ON ME!!!
This is how it went;
—me giving her directions over the phone..”take the left turn and come up the stairs to the 2nd floor”
—-we finally meet and exchange pleasantries, then she blurts out..”oh, you guys have mixed hostels”
—me knowing the moment I had been dreading has come..”well, actually..am staying at my bf’s place”
—-her, in utter shock at my “madness'(she didn’t have to say it, but I knew that is what she thought of it)..”WHY!!??”
—me..”well..because I missed a room”
—her..”why didn’t u stay back home..? does your mum know about this??”
By this time, I was the one in shock!! And anger was starting to build up and fast!! I told her of course my my parents knew none of this. So we took a walk to our mutual friend’s place as we had planned earlier. Now this is where S#@$T got ReAL!! haha. She told me that she couldn’t believe that I would stoop to that level. That she didn’t think that I would do something like that, cohabiting was wrong, bla, bla, and that the me she knew back then was gone! My!! I told her that my decision was based on my own opinions and that she had her own!! Thank God the said friend we were to visit happened to not be around so we just parted ways soon after.
All this time I thought to myself, “who are you to tell me these things? you have never even had a bf to know the challenges that come with being in a relationship at this age when marriage is not even around the corner because there is school to finish first!!! who are you to tell me that I have stooped low when you have never even been in a compromising situation with a guy”… You are very lucky, to not to have to go through such trials. But your time will come one day, and you will remember me, you will remember this very day, those very words you hammered into my head!” I was very bitter!
We never spoke for more than 6 months and she was the one who checked up on me anyway..and at the time, I reluctantly tried to give her another chance. Since then though, our friendship has never been the same again, and though she tries to act like nothing happened, I have never felt the need to share any personal stuff with her. I guess I could say she broke my heart ;(
I believe everyone has their own life, their own mistakes to make, their own decisions to make and consequences to deal with. I had consequences for my “misadventure”(co-habiting) but that’s a story for another day…