In my 35 years of living, I’ve had to mourn the deaths of friendships that I thought were strong. Whether it was from elementary school, high school or college, or through jobs, losing someone that you consider a friend is never easy. Especially when there is no big blow out fight from it all. In the day and age of social media, friendships can be over with the simple click of the “unfriend” or “unfollow” button. Blocking, hiding, unfollowing, they are all ways that we can end the pain of having our feelings hurt in a very public space.
I’m sure that I’m more sensitive to this aspect beause February is a month of mourning for me. My sister. A mentor from church. So many others, that the loss of people who I thought were friends just seems to exacerbate the feeling of grief.
Then I get a grip.
Or I cry. It just depends on the day.
No matter how much I try to convince myself that I’m okay with people not liking me, or stopping their conversation with me because of disagreements or things that they’ve heard or even nothing at all, there is still a small, or medium, or large part of me that hates it. I start wondering what I did wrong, or what I could have done better. I start rethinking how I’m treating all of my other friends, or worse yet, I retreat. Retreating seems to be the easiest thing to do, when all I want to do is scream. Knowing that conversations are happening regarding you. Getting passive aggressive comments from folks attached to the friendship lost. Adulthood sometimes screams another level of junior high. Now with mortgages and high heels.
It’s hard to admit that a friendship has died. Mostly because all you can think about are all of the GREAT things that happened during the “alive” time. Or maybe you think about secrets that may be shared, in anger. In frustration. Maybe you even think about how much the other person may be hurting at the loss too, and feeling a sense of pride at that. Or you just don’t know WHAT to feel, except like a failure. Defeated. Not worthy.
Currently, I’m on like week 26 of phoning two of my friends. They never answer. They don’t text, they don’t even acknowledge that they have received any of my phone calls or messages. That kind of hurts. I don’t even have words poetic enough to make it sound nice. Do I know that they may be busy? Yep. But when you can SEE that they are interacting with others on a regular basis, and not just for work, it puts you in a bit of a bind, right? Immediately thoughts of my inadequacy comes up, and well, that leads to just bad results.
See, I attempt to be who I want folks to be to me. It doesn’t always work. Heck, it seems to never work and then I think that I may be forced to follow Mr. Houseful around and drive him nuts too. So I find things to do. Places to volunteer. Things to become totally focused on so that little, or medium, or large part of me doesn’t hurt from the inside so much.
To attempt to alleviate this, I’ve taken back to reading my Bible. Oh yes, this is going to have a biblical ending to it. Becoming focused on being a better person, and not totally putting my self worth into what others think of me. Learning to come out of my shell and make new friends. <- Guys. THIS is the hardest thing for me. Speaking in front of crowds. No biggie. Talking and teaching a large group of folks wanting to learn CPR. Piece of cake. Opening myself up enough to trust someone with my feelings this late in life. HATE IT! I use the Bible App YouVersion, and there are all of these plans that you can read. I’ve chosen many, but the Friendship plan is one that I’m focusing on and studying, because I want to show myself friendly, and not always have to mourn so many deaths of friendships.
God often works through the people we have in our lives. So who are your friends? What kind of friend are you to others? This seven-day plan will show you the true nature of friendships and the blessing God provides through friendship.
The other passage that really spoke to my heart was the devotion from the reading plan. It’s like it was written specifically for me.
Very few people want to spend their life without friends. It has been said that if you end up with five really close friends over the course of your life that you should consider yourself to be really blessed. Think about it. How many really close friends do you have? I am not talking about acquaintances. I am talking about friends that know everything about you and still love you and vice versa. True friendship is a gift and should be treated that way. So, what if you don’t have many friends? God’s Word offers advice on the type of friends you should have and what kind of person you need to be to get good friends. Having a best friend is a great thing!
I don’t think that ANY man should be an island. I also don’t think that couples should only have each other for friends. It’s not healthy. You get TIRED of hanging with the same person day in and day out. I think that laughter is good, and I think that having someone that you can confide in is amazing. I just don’t have as many of those people as I thought I did. Or do I?
A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
So, I leave you with this, and with an ask. Mourn those friendships, but don’t let them get to a place of atrophy in the first place if you can help it. You don’t want those bones to dry up.