Spending time with a friend one-on-one is my favorite way to spend time with a friend. In this way, conversations, long or short, are personal, to the point and usually poignant. After such an exchange, it is not unusual for me to walk away with a heart filled with happiness, and a bit of wisdom that I can apply to my own life.
Recently, a friend and I sat side by side at a social gathering. I asked her a simple question, “How are you?” In return, she told me, with all honesty and sincerity, of her hurting and sad heart.
She, like me, is a mom of adult children. We’ve both experienced and shared with each other the blessings and the hardships that go along with still possessing, after all these years, the heart of a mother. The day we spoke, she took the opportunity to bring out into the open, a baffling conundrum she is presently experiencing with one of her grown children. I listened to her story and when she finished, she turned toward me and said, “Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to say what I needed to say. Thank you for acknowledging my hurting heart.”
During our conversation, my friend used the term, allowing, more than a few times and the word remained with me. In the midst of my friend’s baffling conundrum with her adult offspring, she takes into consideration all the circumstances of her offspring’s life as well as her own. Instead of making any assumptions my friend makes allowances. She listens, but does not absorb into her life, the hurtful words hurled toward her from her grown child. She allows her offspring the space needed to find their balance.
When our conversation ended, I knew that my friend’s heart was not healed from the hurt she is presently experiencing. Our brief exchange of words did not resolve the relational enigma between her and her offspring. But having a listening ear and being given the chance to speak candidly about what lies on her heart, shored up my friend’s strength. We, mothers of adult children, need hope, otherwise we are tempted to give way to bitterness.
Why bother allowing? No matter our age or stage in life, or the age or stages of our grown children, making allowances for each other can refresh and give hope to anyone’s heart.