Our conversation was personal and filled with laughter. I told a story that concerned me, and before the three of us parted, I said, laughing, "What was said in this car, stays in the car!"
One of my friends asked directly, "Why? You aren't worried I might say something are you?"
I said, "Yes!" a little nervously, thinking back to times when things had slipped out. We talked more about it later that day, laughing about our earlier conversation, and I said that I hoped she wasn't offended by my quick "Yes."
She wasn't, she said. She understood that I was just making sure...
The next day I told my story to another friend, adding to it the exchange with my first two friends. We laughed as much as I had with my friends in the car. I didn't give a thought to sharing a story that was my own, after all.
When I told one of my first friends of my second conversation, she said, "I hope you didn't share..." and she mentioned something personal to her that had become part of the story by then.
Unthinkingly, I had, I confessed. To my dismay, I realized that I, the introvert, so concerned about my own privacy, had not been so careful with another's--and I hadn't even realised it.
My friend forgave me. Once more I was grateful for the grace that is automatic in my closest friendships.
It was a moment of truth that was needed. I am so quick to see things from where I stand; a position in which I am not perfect, but far less flawed than I really am. How glad I am that I have friends that will hold up a mirror from time to time.
And who love a friend who fails in the very area in which I doubted them.