Hey friends, how are you? I am doing well, and I find my days very full between two kids, creating art, etc. I’ve been feeling the need to write for some time now, and tonight my heart just became heavy enough with a message to make it a reality.

“The one that got away” has been on my heart, and I can’t shake the feeling. I’m not talking about a guy. That’d be a scandal for a Christian mom blog, wouldn’t it? No, I’m talking about a friend who walked away from Christ, and I’m responsible. Just admitting that is a gut check.
The truth is no singular person is to blame for the spiritual life of another, but we contribute to the walk of others, don’t we?

Truthfully, this could be about the ONES that got away, because I’ve hurt, confused, pushed away quite a few friends.

There was a time in my life when I was about to walk away from Christ myself, and this is probably when I did the most damage, at least by a tangible measure of friends who no longer follow Christ. The reasons I made a mess of things weren’t because of my own doubt. No, that may have brought my friends into the fold. My failure was in pretending that I was okay and had a faith worth modeling. Maybe if they’d known they weren’t alone in their questions and struggles they would have come a little closer to the Cross.

I spent those days screaming my devotion to Christ. In my experience, the ones who are the loudest are the ones hiding insecurities. Allow me to prove myself by distracting you from what is really going on behind my closed doors.

Oh it hurts to look back on those days and to see the results of my phony faith. I’m friends with these people on Facebook, and I see their disdain for the church and its members. Sure some people would walk away regardless, but in so many of their lives, I cannot claim to have provided them with any viable argument that they might be wrong about the church. Nope, I confirmed their thought that Christians are just legalistic, hypocritical, and loveless. Lord Jesus, forgive me.

May I implore you to be real about your faith? Drop the smoke screen and mirrors. If only I’d told him, “I’m struggling, too. I’m not really sure this is all real. I’m scared to death, but I’m hanging on because the love of Christ is the only place there seems to be hope.” Maybe he wouldn’t be angry and a decade beyond any sort of connection with Christ.

I know I’m not perfect, and there is grace and forgiveness for my mistakes. I’m growing and being sanctified with each passing year. But I wish I wouldn’t have lied and pretended that my faith was secure. Maybe he wouldn’t have gotten away. So much of following Christ and discipling others is being open about our own brokenness and our lowly position before a Holy God. I wish I’d known.

I don’t have eloquent words to say, but this is bringing me to my knees. My heart aches, because I could have done more for the Kingdom by being openly heartbroken than I ever did by feigning joy.

LORD, please bring my friend back to You.