“You will replace one-half of your close friends every seven years.” Stephanie Kelsey
It was a women’s ministry gathering at our church and the ministry leader’s message was on friendships. Her words rang true in my own life. I thought about all of my past close friends who I no longer spent time with, some of those relationships I still miss. A sense of sadness overcame me when I visualized their faces.
But circumstances can move friends in and out of your life. On my own timeline, I’ve watched several of my besties move away. I remember living in New York when one of my two closest friends relocated to England. I met Shirley in the park where we were both strolling our children. She invited me over to her house for lemonade and we became fast friends. The move to London, however, changed the dynamics of the friendship.
A few years ago, my prayer partner moved to Kentucky. Donna stood by me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. We saw powerful results through our prayers and it was hard to let her go. It was hard but I prayed for her to make friends, and she did. I also prayed that God would bring me a new prayer partner and he provided two! Donna and I are still in touch and I look forward to seeing her in November for a girl’s weekend.
Now, a best friend of twenty-five years, Deb, is packing up her home to move to New York City. She is one of those friends who knows everything about me but still loves me. While I know we will always be close in heart, and only a phone call away, it won’t be easy to trek up to the Big Apple all the time. Distance changes friendships.
When friends move in and out of our lives, we have two choices. We can isolate ourselves because it hurts too much to lose them, both physically and emotionally, or we can be open to God’s possibilities for new friends in our lives.
There is a saying that rings true in everyone’s life. “Friends for a season, friends for a reason. Friends for life.” There will always be “friends for life.” Proverbs 18:24 says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” In our case, there are friends who sticks closer than a “sister.” Maybe someone comes to mind?
Yesterday, I celebrated one of those “sister” friend’s birthday. Of all things, I met her in a neighborhood “friendship” Bible study over ten years ago. We share similar faith values and pray for each other. She is an encourager. We can talk about our successes without jealousy and our struggles without judgment. While we only get together periodically, we both know if we need something we will be there for each other. I cherish that friendship.
But in the case of friends for a season or reason, how do we heal from broken friendships or the loss of these friends because of circumstances?
Over time I’ve learned to turn my friendships over to God. I ask Him to bring women into my life who He wants me to befriend or mentor. When you know that the Lord is in control of your friendships, and you hold onto them more loosely, it doesn’t hurt as bad when he takes them to new places, or they drift away. They were there for a season of your life, and now God is using them in someone else’s life elsewhere. Here is the truth to hold onto. When we give the Lord rein over our friendships and we lose a friend, be on the lookout. He is hand delivering someone special to you for the next season.
Categories: Devotion of the Week