Ever wonder about that friend you lost contact with five years ago? Or what about the best friend you had when you were in the third grade? What makes you lose contact with friends throughout your life? There are several reasons why you may stop talking to people you once spoke to daily. Life happens. We all have things that happen that we can’t change. We may get a new job and lose touch with that group of co-workers we thought we were so close to. Sometimes we move from one city to another and we can no longer visit our friend every weekend that we used to be able to. As we get older and have families of our own, spare time becomes a thing of the past. We have doctor appointments, sports, practice, recitals or family days that we refuse to cut in to. And sometimes, it’s because of a falling out with each other that causes you to just walk away from a toxic friendship.
This past year I lost friends. Friends that I thought would be in my life forever. At first, I was sad that I slowly drifted away from people I used to text every day. I would have lunch with them once a week and soon it was once a month and now it’s never. I had to sit and think about what happened that caused this. One thing I noticed is that these friendships became to fade around the time I made the decision to have a closer relationship to God. Anthony had convinced me to start going to church and after fighting it for so long, I joined him. The enemy tested me every chance he had. He would use my friends to make me doubt whether going to church was the right thing. Why go to a church my ex husband was going to? They claimed he was only going to church to make others believe he had changed….is that what I really wanted to be around? A friend even told me that they knew people who started going to church and now it seemed like everything they did revolved around church. Why would I want to live a life like that?
Those thoughts were coming from friends, but they were led by the enemy. The enemy will do whatever it takes to steal, kill and destroy. I’m in no way saying those friends were bad people or not Christians. I’m saying I had to take time away from what I thought I knew to focus on what I really wanted. I wanted a relationship with God. I wanted a walk to what I knew was going to not only restore my broken heart but rebuild me to be a better woman. I began going to church every week, I took Next Steps, I joined the dream team and yes, I became an active member. Did this take away time from my friends? Yes. Did it begin to take up a lot of my free time? Yes. But in my mind, I told myself this is making me a better person spiritually, so my true friends will stand by my side in this decision. My true friends will understand that even though they see me less, they will know that in my heart I still love and value them.
Well as days and weeks went by, the texts became less and less. Conversations were made, but they were usually arguments and disagreements. Each friendship was being tested. The disagreements were not about me going to church anymore. The disagreements were about anything and everything.
I asked myself, “Why am I constantly arguing with this friend?”
Then one day Pastor said something that just hit me like a ton of bricks. “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future."
I didn’t need friends that would question why I was going to church. I didn’t need friends that made me feel bad to be going to any church. And I didn’t need friends that didn’t want to be my friend at all.
When you feel as if you have to force yourself into someones life or remind them you are there then what is the point? My family is what has always mattered the most to me. Friends will come and go but my family, my kids...they will always be the rock in my life. I went through a very selfish stage a short while ago and my kids were the ones that had to pay the price. I started focusing on what made me happy and focusing on what I wanted. I started drinking more than I should have, I put my kids in situations I knew were wrong and I thought it was normal. I was going through a rough point in my life and I used it as an excuse to screw up. It wasn't right. I had to look at who I was surrounding myself and my kids with. Friends always want what is best for you and your family. Friends encourage you to do what makes you happy. Friends will be by your side when you are at the lowest point. I had people turn their backs on me the minute I made decisions they were not happy with. But I realized that was what was supposed to happen.
God was removing people from my life that were not meant to go through this next season with me.
As I did more things involving our church, I was surrounded with people that had similar stories.
Sadly, as we get older, we lose friends. We outgrow people.
Getting involved with church also gave me the opportunity to gain new friends. The best part is that these friends have now become my family. It’s great to be able to meet people who are walking the same path as you are. Anthony and I love what church has not only done for us, but for our kids as well. They know that no matter how hard things may get, their faith will help them make it through anything. This is what we needed. We needed to find a church that would become our family. We needed a church that would welcome us and encourage us as we started our journey to rebuilding our marriage and our lives. Anthony and I are now leading a small group at church for our second semester and we are making sure others know that no marriage/relationship is perfect but when you make the decision to put God first, he will take care of the rest. Yes, we may have lost a few friends during this journey, but we have friends that proved to us how true their friendship was by standing by our side. We also have new friends that we are lucky enough to call family. The friends I lost, will always be in my heart. I will always pray for them and hope nothing but the best for them. I know they were in my life for a reason. I needed them during a certain season in my life and I will always love them for that.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, once can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up," Ecclesiastes 4:9-10