A young lady I know argued with someone she really counts as a friend. She argued, said things she couldn't take back, and had no idea how to right the wrongs committed.
We talked a lot this last week about apologies and avoiding apologies by thinking before yelling. The reality is that it is so much easier to not do something we're sorry for, than to apologize for bad behavior and bad judgment.
So after each discussion, she went off to think some more about the nature of apologies and the possibilities of forgiveness. After all, forgiveness isn't guaranteed, even when we apologize. And that was covered in one of our talks.
When you're a small child, you say "I'm sorry," and the adult in your world inevitably says, "I forgive you," and life goes on. But as we mature, reaching young adulthood, one of the things we learn is that forgiveness is not automatic or guaranteed. It's a hard lesson to learn when you're a young lady on the edge of womanhood.
But it's a valuable lesson nevertheless. It's a lesson that teaches consequences. And in our world, consequences are too often shoved to the side.
So last night, the young lady took her courage in shaky hands and went to offer her apologies. It was hard. Admitting you are wrong is always hard. There were some tears. There were some hugs. And after some airing of hurt feelings, there was forgiveness.
She later said to me, "That was the hardest thing I ever did." And that's the way it should be. Consequences and forgiveness.