When Friends Aren’t Friends Anymore

As many times as I’ve watched it happen, it still always comes as a shock.
When friendships that are a piece of our foundation in life fizzle out in the ugliest of ways. Or even silently, subtly sneaking their way into the back of our minds and almost completely out of our hearts without even the faintest of goodbyes.
Whether it’s saying too much, saying nothing at all, the immature-indirect-but-really-direct social media jab, or just flat out not putting as much effort into a friendship as the other person. Every time I find myself in this place, wondering where things went wrong, I momentarily think, “This is why I shouldn’t trust anyone. This is why my circle stays small.” In reality, that’s not why I keep my circle small. I keep it small because I’d rather put forth the effort to have it run deep instead of wide.
But my, what a different place this world would be if we all treated each other the way we expected other people to treat us.
I think the hardest part about letting go is that it’s almost like releasing a piece of yourself. When you invest in someone, when you pour into them and love them and give them irreplaceable moments of your lifetime here on this earth, you’re giving them a piece of you. And to know that you can never get it back hurts. Especially when you feel like they no longer value you.
But that is exactly what we’re called to do, isn’t it? Give ourselves away in the best way we can without expecting a “Thank you” in return? And there will be people who only take and never give back, and sometimes it will be you doing most of the taking. But hopefully, for the most part, it’s pretty mutual. Regardless, nothing happens by chance. Every person, even the ones who build us and yet end up hurting us, come into our lives for a reason. Ultimately, they make us better. Even if that means showing us how much we’ve grown as we grow apart, or maybe how much we need to grow, or maybe even both. And unfortunately, often times, they show us how we don’t want to treat other people.
Deep down, that’s what I find myself praying in these situations, “Lord, would you please show me if I’m wrong here? Show me if there’s anything I could’ve done differently. I don’t get it. I don’t get people. But would you help me to see my own shortcomings if there’s anything I need to be aware of, and would you forgive me and help me through that?”
Remember, everyone has a different perspective. Try to see beyond your own.
Life transitions so quickly and whether we’re ready or not, it drags us along. Season to season, experience to experience, friendship to friendship. Like our circumstances, most friendships only last for a temporary season. Eventually, they fade. Sometimes it happens naturally, painlessly, without anyone really noticing…kind of like the gentle way that water wears down a rock in an underground cave. A fraction goes missing, but it happens so slowly that you don’t see it happen all at once. And sometimes that piece of you breaks right off, ever so fragile and oh so breakable, more like a chipped piece of glass. Both are forming you, shaping you, molding you. One just more shocking than the other, but not necessarily less painful nor less impactful.
But as you look back, look for the good. Look for what it taught you and don’t forget it. Let it change you. Know that you probably made an impact in that person’s life far beyond what you will ever be aware of. Hold your head up high, your hands open humbly in full surrender, and confidently march forward into all that God has for you.

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