I take my friendships seriously. I am not talking about the 200 to 1000 electronic friendships spread across multiple social media platforms.
I am talking about the in-the-flesh, kindred relationships where there is a mutual investment of hearts and a synchronous cadence of spirits. It’s the friendships where we can be raw and real and honest, whether in tears or in laughter. These friendships are gifts and they are rare. They take special care; when lost, broken, or taken the pain runs deep.
We are brought together with people through out life, I believe, for a purpose. There is work to be done, and it is through relationships God helps us cultivate knowledge, wisdom, power, humility, perspective and and strength to do the work He has planned. We work in tandem within our closest friendships to learn, to share, to grow, to feel, to understand, to gain perspective, and to encourage so that we can live better and more fully.
But though we invest in, sacrifice for, and honor those with whom we walk, ultimately God has control over whether these friendships are for a season or for life.
Sometimes friendships drift apart along natural paths of life–where God once had us walking together, the journey has diverged. Other times, friends are plucked right out of our lives unexpectedly. Whatever work is done during the lifetime of a friendship, the connection has served its purpose in God’s plan. This is not to say all is lost and forgotten, for God always leaves permanent footprints.
Losing friends is not a regular occurrence in my life. But when it happens, I grieve. Not only for the loss of blessed influence in my life, but also for the inability to serve back. Like I said, I take my friendships very seriously, and my heart sinks at the thought that I might have gained more than I have given.
I know God brings people in and out of our lives for seasons and purposes only known to Him. I know God is good.
I trust God. If he says, it is finished, then so it is done. Though I know for certain how I am forever better changed because of my connection with someone, I must have confidence that I offered something of value in return. And whatever we now embody individually from living in the friendship, I must trust that it will be a blessing–that God will use it for a greater purpose somewhere and for someone else, maybe for our own life or for the lives of others.
Take special care, dear reader, of those kindred friendships. Whether for a season or for a lifetime, there is purpose in the connection. I dearly miss my friendships lost, but I cling strong to how those friends have blessed me and to God’s plans for the greater purpose those relationships serve.