I’m not always okay with that. In fact, it can feel quite painful. Almost like betrayal. It feels like a heavy loss when a season of friendship ends. I usually feel hurt, angry and then I (try to) mask those emotions with apathy. That last part doesn’t work out very well.
I value friendship greatly. You might even say I value friendship more than family. My parents moved us away from extended family when I was about 12 years old. We went from celebrating every major holiday and birthday with lots of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents to only seeing a handful of them once or twice a year. I still miss that I didn’t get to grow up with my cousins. Beyond our Facebook friendship, I feel like we are strangers. So, instead of holidays filled with family, my holidays were filled with friends. They were mostly church friends – a church family is the name often used.
I began to put my friends on pedestals. When they let me down I was devastated. When friendship was lost my world went dark. If my best friend started hanging out with someone new, jealousy played it’s part. My mom used to tell me that some friendships come and go like the seasons. God knows what and who we need in our lives. It turns out she was right. There are seasons in friendships. In my experience, there are seasons in all friendships. This knowledge does not make the loss feel any less painful.
Ideally: I want all my best friends to be my best friends for our entire lives.
Realistically: I’m not sure there is such a thing as a best friend.
Since I met Marie, seasons of friendships have passed through rather quickly. Some disappeared by not responding to invitations to get together. Some slowly dissipated and we both seemed to know an end was inevitable. Then others thought I was flat out crazy, shared their “insights” with others and never spoke to me again.
Things are different now, though. I no longer feel the need to have a lot of friends. I’m happy with one or two good ones. Or three. Three is about perfect I think.
I have been praying for friendships for a long time. And one by one, God answered my prayers. I only recently realized how intricately involved God has been in bringing my girls into my life. They are each very different. But the one thing they have in common is the ability see past my flaws and love me still. These friendships fill my heart with more gratitude than they realize.
Perhaps this season will end. Perhaps it will be sad. But it will be worthwhile. Or perhaps we will remain friends until the end of time…