Do you ever think about the friendships you’ve made (and lost) over the years?
Several years ago I put a lot of thought into this idea of “losing friends”, and when I say I put a lot of thought, you have to know that entailed a few tears and more than a few pints of ice cream.
As I sat there eating my Cookie-N-Cream ice cream, I came across a really inspiring quote that spoke undeniable truth into my heart and soul.
“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person….”.
I was overwhelmed and flooded with emotions and so many thoughts swirled around my head.
There are different types of friendships? Not all friends are the same? I mean, I had never ever thought about friends being anything other than a staple in my life.
If I met someone and engaged in a friendship with them I automatically thought that meant it was long term…it was something that would be there forever.
Oh my goodness have I been wrong! And, guys, it was sweet music to my ears
Friendships CAN change over time and that is OK.
This was hard for me to swallow and accept at the time. I felt sadness if a friendship would fall apart or worse, I would feel guilt for struggling to keep a friendship alive. I felt like it was my fault when friendships would fade away or disappear all together.
If you’ve felt this way at any time or are going through these rugged and broken emotions, listen up, I’m here to shed some light on this tough subject. People come and go in our lives.
Specifically, there are 3 different types of friends you encounter in the nooks and crannies of your life. Like the poem states, there are REASON, SEASON and LIFETIME friends.
Remember when I said that I struggled with the idea that some past friends weren’t in my life today?
Well, I’ve always wrestled with the somber fact that I had fallen out of touch with certain friends. I would mentally beat myself up about this. I’d rack my brain as to why certain people dropped out of my life after certain events. Was it my fault? Was it their fault?
I mean my mind was an area of combat with ideas like these flying through it! After I read that quote, I realized some of those people were in my life at really tough times!
Some were there when I was trying to navigate some tough college years.
Some were there when I had, not one, but two miscarriages.
Some were there when I was going through postpartum depression.
I’ll forever be grateful for their support and constant love through some really intense times in my life. I can see now that these ladies were there for a reason!
Maybe it was guidance or maybe it was for strength. No matter what the REASON behind their friendship, I know it served a purpose! I know now that they met some sort of need in my life at the time.
Maybe you can look back at some bumpy moments and see those “Reason Friends” crystal clear now.
Maybe you can see how they helped you grow and aided in some amazing life lessons! I know I am surely forever grateful for these people and my shame for our friendship ending is now filled with gratitude and joy.
Oh, these are my favorite kind of friendships to look back on now.
Season friends are the ones that maybe I shared a class with or a fitness journey with or maybe I even shared a few years of a personal season I was going through with them.
This used to be the most hurtful kind of friendship when it ended. These were the friends I would fight for even when it was clear our season had ended.
I know now that IT IS OK to let a friendship go.
IT IS OK to allow a season friend to move on and bless others in the way you were blessed by them.
When it becomes really difficult and exhausting to “keep” a friendship going, most likely it’s time to let it go. I try to really hone in on what brought us together and pinpoint if our season is over.
I look at what I’ve learned or what has grown in the amount of time we’ve cultivated a friendship and try to draw gratitude from our time together. This helps with the “mourning” period.
Yep, there is a bit of sorrow attached to losing a friendship, even if it was only meant for a season. I allow myself some time to be sad. I allow myself time to gather my thoughts and be real about the loss. Then I can move on. Then I can really see the beauty in that friendship.
I find myself pondering whether or not the new friends I make will be lifers or not. It’s in my nature. I’m a type 6 on the enneagram scale (look it up..I’m a loyal skeptic).
Anyhow, I am blessed to have a handful of lifetime friends. They have been there in the trenches with me through some dark stuff!!
I’ve got one in particular that has been by my side through things I can’t imagine doing with anyone else.
Lifetime friends are the ones you know will love you for you…will intertwine fingers with you through things like marriage, pregnancy, birth, loss and all the things in between. They are just a phone call away and always answer your calls (and your texts).
They are your tribe and forever sisters!
Their Impact on our Lives are no Less Meaningful and Necessary
It’s so much easier for me to enjoy my friendships today.
I know now that there are different types of friends and I know that God has used me to be a certain type of friend to others. It has taken the pressure off and helped me be less anxious about my relationships.
I’m able to look back on a few times in my life that I used to resent because I took the absence of a friendship so personal, and I can enjoy the lessons, challenges and friendship we shared.
And for those of us that desire close friendships, I’d like to say something that I often tell myself. Some friends are seasonal, and even though they may not be long term or lifers, their impact on our lives are no less meaningful and necessary!
This means we can embrace people for who they are. We can also embrace all the seasons of friendship and all the friends that have crossed our paths!
Enjoy and embrace every friendship you’ve been able to cultivate along the way and treasure the lessons you’ve learned from crossing paths with people, even if it was only for a season or for a reason!