How to Handle Changes in Friendships
Today I want to talk to you about something that I have dealt with a LOT in the last few years; changes in friendships. I have experienced so much heartbreak, especially since moving into a subdivision. Before we even bought this house about 5 years ago, I prayed so hard over our future relationships. I prayed that we would easily make great friends and that there would be more stay-at-home moms here so I wouldn’t feel so alone when my husband was working.
When we first moved in, it was almost scary how friendly people were. I wasn’t used to that at all. We developed good relationships with all of the people around us, and we were just ecstatic to learn that some people we knew from church were moving in behind us. There were stay-at-home moms and plenty of kids for mine to play with. It was amazing! These great relationships continued for a couple of years or so and then everything just took a wrong turn.
It’s been a few years since the first relationships were ruined, and I still don’t understand just exactly what happened. To be honest, I have gone from being friends with people in the neighborhood, to losing those relationships with FIVE different people! When this happened to me a third and fourth time, I had already spent years crying over the first failed relationships. I never could figure out what went wrong. And recently I began thinking that I was somehow a horrible person and something just had to be wrong with me.
I even lost my very best friend. We had been friends since junior high. Well, a year and a half ago, I met her at an amusement park one day and things didn’t go well. I was very stressed out. I had an 8 week old baby with me, along with my other 3 kids, and my oldest’s best friend (and my husband wasn’t there to help me out). What could possibly go wrong? Haha Well, something obviously did, because that best friend of mine hasn’t spoken to me since then.
Anyway, now that this had happened a FIFTH time, something in me changed; something that needed to be changed.
I FINALLY stopped caring what anyone else thinks about me. I FINALLY realized that if someone were my TRUE friend, our relationship wouldn’t just end abruptly over something insignificant.
A REAL friend wouldn’t leave me because someone better or more convenient moved in next door. Why have I spent so many years in tears over people who don’t even care about me? I’ll tell you why. Because I’m a sensitive person and that’s just the way God made me. I’m a person who truly cares about other people. I care about relationships. I’ve had a hard time understanding why God made me so sensitive, but I’m beginning to see the strengths in this trait now, instead of only the weaknesses that I’ve seen my entire life.
Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. It’s a sign that you have a big heart, and that you aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength. ~ Brigitte Nicole
With God’s grace, I’ve reached the point where I see that I’m not to depend on people for my happiness. My joy comes from the Lord! He’s done so much for me and my family. It’s hard to believe now that I’ve spent so much time hurting over people who have clearly moved on without me.
If you are struggling with relationships, here are some key points to help you move forward:
We were not put on this earth to please people, but to please the Lord!
The Bible says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Oh man, this has been a huge issue for me, my entire life. It started with always wanting to please my parents. I tried to prove to my dad that I would do better than my older brothers did. Unfortunately, I carried this mentality with me into adulthood and I’ve learned that, while it’s nice to love others and do good things for them, it’s not good to worry about what they think of you. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord, and He’ll help you with all of your relationships.
There is a season for everything, and that includes friendships.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
While I may no longer be friends with someone, it doesn’t mean that I can’t look back with joy for the time that we spent together. So now, instead of dwelling on the hurt because of the end, I can smile back on the times that we were happy together. That season has ended, but God has prepared me for a new season, and new friendships.
“A friend loves at all times.” ~ Proverbs 17:17
If you are wondering if someone in your life is a true friend, then they’re probably not. You shouldn’t have to worry and walk on eggshells. A real friend will love you through all the hard times and will still be there for you when life gets easier. For people like this, I now love them from a distance. I have zero expectations from them, and that alone has brought me so much freedom.
God may be protecting you.
Psalm 91:11 says, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”
Even though you can’t see it, and you don’t understand, it’s best to trust that God knows what He’s doing. I feel like a curtain has been opened before my eyes. Some of those failed relationships, I can now look at and actually thank God that it didn’t work out. Part of being a people pleasing type of person, makes it harder to see the negative in other people. I see now that God was protecting my children from further heartbreak of their own. I also see that He was protecting me from lifestyles that don’t line up with Godly character.
If you found this post to be helpful, please consider sharing it with others who may need the encouragement.
Be blessed my friends!