When Friendships Change

There is a deep-rooted sense of hurt when it comes to talking about friendship. For many, it is a word associated with happiness. But others, there is mistrust, disappointment, confusion and an overall looming, lonesome sadness.

In my life, I venture to say I have lost more close friends than I have gained. That is hard. Losing one friend is enough to make one never want to feel that loss again. I jumped from school to school due to new schools opening, district lines changing and moving to new houses - that forces new friendships each time.

However, that isn’t the toughest blow to my feelings. Though painfully shy, I still managed to make friends in each new place. In fifth grade I met my best friend - we made it all the way to sophomore year of college as the inseparable duo.

Our friendship story is encouraging, yet heartbreaking all at the same time. Though we were besties forever…on my 14th birthday (literally the day of) I went to pick her up from her house and her family up and moved. No note, no phone call…no trace of where she went. I searched for years, quite literally years, to find her. She has a common first and last name so I cannot tell you how many people I looked through on social media. The day I had committed to giving up my search, God had other plans.

I sat down at my computer in 2010 at 17 years old and dedicated my day to searching through as many “Mary Jane’s” on Facebook as I could. I came to my wits end and decided I would do one more page of names and to my astonishment, she was there! 

I reached out only to be told she did not want to meet up again because we had probably changed too much. I didn’t care; it was like finding my other half again. My mother ran into her mother at the store and where did she live, literally across the street from me! No joke, I could see her house from my house. I marched myself across that street on her birthday, dropped off a present and left. We met up after that and it was like we were never apart.

Fast forward through an amazing four or so years together and wham-bam, our friendship came to a halt seemingly overnight once again, along with three other core friendships. 

The kicker: I initiated the “break-up’s.” Due to them emotionally draining me by being constantly left out, failure to care and conflicting views in life - I asked God to give me the strength to move on if they were unwilling to pursue the friendship further. They made it clear how they felt, and I was devastated by the outcome.

Imagine for a moment being surrounded by those you have known for years, family and friends of all walks of life always by your side. Now strip that away, either by ones own choice or by God’s design.

Many times, we find ourselves in relationships/friendships that do more harm than good. God does not intend for everyone to stay in our lives forever.

This is displayed in the Bible quite clearly believe it or not. The disciples chose to leave everything and everyone they knew to follow Jesus and God allowed Satan to take away everything from Job.

“Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” (Matthew 4:21-22, New International Version)

Jesus often calls us out of our comfort zone to follow Him deeper. He asks us to pursue Him wholeheartedly in all things - even friendships. We often have to leave those we are most familiar with to gain new friendships in a changing season of life. 

“…The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1: 21-22, NIV)

Don’t hang on to deteriorating and unhealthy friendships because 1. you don’t want to hurt their feelings; 2. you are afraid you wont find new friends; or 3. you think the friendship will change/get better.

God created seasons for a reason and often, He brings others into our lives for a season only for you two to part ways. It is not intended to hurt you, but to help you grow.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, NIV)

I have personally dealt with trust issues my entire life, specifically with finding/keeping girl friends. I have been hurt many times, which has caused me to close off from trying to have deep, meaningful relationships. I know I am not alone in this, but God has His hand in this area of our lives and we can trust that he brings people into our lives for a reason in every season.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

LifeKayla Elder