Father, You are my Creator! You have placed
me in relationship with others.
Help me navigate friendships so they honor You.
Give me wisdom to choose well!
Series Focus: “Resurrecting Hope in the Midst of Life’s Storms”
One of the hardest places I have ever been was at the end of a long time friendship. This was a relationship I thought I’d have forever. As I was left holding my heart in my hands, my cheeks soaked with tears and my mind racing, all I could think was “What did I do to deserve this?” Most of us have been through a storm like this, but sometimes, unknowingly, we may have been the one to stir up the clouds. How do we pick up the pieces? Can we move on and trust God to heal our broken hearts and bring peace to our grieving souls? Speaking from experience…yes we can.
Healthy friendships are a valuable part of our life. Our friends console us when we are troubled, encourage us when we feel low, support us in times of need and love us when we are somewhat unlovable…or the saying goes. Scripture tells us a friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17). I believe that even in the moments that we lose a friendship, God still asks us to love one another. It just looks different. Our expectations might be shaken but HIS are not.
You may have heard that there are friends for “seasons” or “reasons” and although I have experienced both of these…I don’t like it. This isn’t how I set out to “do” friendship. I grieve the loss and the hopes I had for the relationship if it ends. Do you? Is there someone you have had to distance yourself from? Someone who has distanced themselves from you? Maybe you moved away and feel the loneliness of those friends that stopped calling or reaching out. Were they only for a season? Perhaps some of them were. It doesn’t change the hurt but we must choose to trust God through it.
Oh Lord, why do friendships have to end at all? I mean, we spend time building, nurturing, and caring for others and then it’s just “over”? Even my friendships that are in a healthy place can struggle with negative aspects at times. But in those times when a friendship can not be repaired help me to be ready to surrender it and allow YOU to heal the hurt of this loss.
I remember as I began growing in my faith, I wasn’t willing to go where I used to go or do what I used to do. My relationship expectations changed and slowly some of my closest friendships drifted away. And it can be even more painful when it is a fellow sister-in-Christ that rejects us. It hurts to see someone leave our life when we are finally figuring out how to love in the greatest way possible.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
Now, God does not call us to destructive relationships. These relationships drain us, deplete us and leave us gasping for air. And somehow we might still be afraid to let these connections go because of experiences we’ve had or memories we are clinging to. Sink into these scriptures for a moment:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man. (Proverbs 22:24)
God has called us to peace (Colossians 3:15) and toxic relationships destroy peace and wreak havoc in our lives. Toxic relationships are not from God. He is the giver of GOOD. He says that “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17). Are your current relationships ones that sharpen you? Are you a friend others need to have or need to avoid?
Believe that even in those heartbreaking moments when a friendship is lost, God can still make beauty from the ashes. In fact we can find so much encouragement because He calls Himself our friend.
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)
Rejoice today sisters, He is with us in the midst of our broken relationships. Not one tear is wasted. He uses all of our pain, our rejection, and our mistakes for our good because we love Him. Let Him have access to you and you will know the peace that only He can bring.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: John 10:10; Proverbs 17:17; John 15:13; Philippians 2:3-4; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 22:24; Proverbs 27:17; Colossians 3:15; John 15:15; Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:7