When I was a kid, “Saved By the Bell” was one of my favorite shows. I know I’m not alone in this; it was our generation’s “Friends” before there was “Friends.” Three guys, three girls. Just doing life together.
Like all of you, I remember feeling so excited and so scared when Jessie was addicted to caffeine pills. I loved when Lisa introduced us to The Sprain. And who could forget the Zack Attack singing Friends Forever? Too bad Buddy Bands didn’t have the same global impact for the six high schoolers.
One of my favorite episodes was when Slater and Zack made some bonehead decisions in regards to Jessie and Kelly. With the help of Lisa and Screech and the hopes of forgiveness and reconciliation, they transformed the Max into the “What I Should Have Said” theatre. A little acting, dancing, spandex, and roses, and the inept boyfriends were back into the good graces of the girls they loved.
As silly as it sounds, I love this concept! I believe there is so much wisdom in taking travel-backs and granting second chances.
When Middle Child was an infant, my two boys and I were invited to a playdate with a dear friend and her daughter. While my trio was hanging out at her house, I told her I was anxiety-ridden due to some genetic testing we had to endure with our newly birthed babe. I don’t quite recall her response, but I think it was along the lines of, “I’m sure everything will be okay.” I imagine I inhaled her reassurance, nodded in agreement, and became distracted by the little people that consumed the space between us.
The next day, this same friend called me. “I don’t think I gave you the best version of myself yesterday, and if you’ll let me, I want to try it again.“ With a steadiness and intentionality in her voice she said, “The testing you have to go through sounds really scary.”
I’ll never forget that phone call. She requested a second chance, an opportunity to circle back around, and when I agreed, she tended to my anxious heart with her compassionate words. She didn’t change my circumstances, nor did she say something to take away the anxiety, but she gave me exactly what I needed most: empathy and connection. She made me feel less alone and more understood. And in a way, she communicated to me, “You are worth my efforts.”
There’s so much power in the circle back around, it seems. Going back to ask for a refreshed attempt can change another’s whole world.
As I’ve thought about this moment quite a bit over the years, I’ve learned something valuable. The phone call wasn’t just tending to my anxious heart, but it was tending to her own heart too. Rather than let her mind ruminate, convincing her that she had hurt me or failed to offer true friendship, she took action. Two minutes and a bit of humility. That’s all it took. She moved on with her day.
Once again, we see the power of the circle back around. Reflecting, improving, and moving on can change our whole world.
There is a catch, you see. This power doesn’t come coincidentally. It comes because He crossed.
He crossed. Now we circle. Back around. And around. And around.
Like a game of tic tac toe, except for we all win.