I've been thinking a lot about the concept of Christian friendships and how it's such a precious gift from God. We need our fellow sisters in Christ to help us through our daily lives—in good times and bad.
As I reflect back on the life-giving friendships throughout my life, I can't help but feel a tad bittersweet. Sure, there are those friendships that have withstood the test of time, over distance and season, but there are also those that have fizzled over time, whether it's childhood pals, friends from college, or old co-workers. Is this the case for you, too?
For today's blog, I'm touching on the beauty of friendship, but also, how to stay positive when those friendships fade. God brings people into your life, sometimes for a short season or so. Here's how to focus on God, keep your head held high, and love your sisters in Christ no matter what.
For Everything There Is a Season
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, 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
Just like our natural world, with our cyclical seasons of summer, winter, fall, and spring, our social life ebbs and flows. If I've learned anything over my life is that change is a constant and often uncomfortable.
It's true; not everything in our world is meant to last. Try as we might to cling to what we love, like our jobs, our hobbies, or even our relationships, sometimes they're only in our lives for a season. After some time, we lose the job, we don't make time for our beloved hobbies, or those awesome friendships begin to fizzle with distance and time.
Whatever it is for you, know that this is nothing new. Consider the timeless words from Ecclesiastes. In our lives there will be seasons of great gain and of loss, too. This is what it means to be human. The only sure thing we can count on is God's love for us.
What a blessing it is, to know that we will always have Jesus.
Focus on the Good, Not What's Been Lost
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11
When it comes to friendships that have faded, it's easy to focus on what's been lost. You miss the time you had with them and you can begin to feel like your life is lacking somehow. You can even start to put yourself down and wonder why you've lost touch with them. Was it something you said?
It's time to kick the negative self-talk to the curb and appreciate the time you did have with them. Focus on the gift that God gave you, even if it was only for a short time. Just like Jeremiah 29:11 says, if you put your trust in the Lord, you can rest assured that everything, yes everything He places in front of you is for your benefit in the long run.
You may not understand it now (and that's okay!) but you are becoming stronger for it.
Also, it's important to note here that it's okay to mourn a friendship and let yourself feel a bit sad. It's only natural. Have some grace for yourself and take the time you need, but just know that God has something wonderful for you right around the corner.
Keep an Open Mind & a Soft Heart
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." ~ Ephesians 4:32
Whatever transpired between you and your friend, whether you drifted over distance and time, or something a little more severe, it's important for you to remain hopeful for what's ahead.
In other words, don't let your disappointment keep you from continuing to make new connections.
It's a lot of work to remain hopeful in a broken world, to continue to see the good in others, and above all, to forgive. This kind of living doesn't come naturally to us, but it's important we strive for this, as this is the way of Jesus.
Continue to do the hard work, whether that's meeting new friends, reconnecting with old ones, attending therapy, going to church, reading Scripture, and learning more about God through prayer.
God's Got You
There's so much to look forward to, LiF sister! If you keep your eyes on Jesus, He will lead you where you need to go. He will introduce you to those amazing life-giving friendships that you've been praying for. If you're looking for a sunny reminder of God's love for you, look no further than our super cute Christian apparel. We're always adding new seasonal designs, so be sure to take a look!