A friend loves at all times…(Proverbs 17:17)
Friends seem to come and go in this life, don’t they? I remember how close “we” once were and I find happiness in the memories, yet sadness at how easily we disappeared from each other’s lives. I have so often heard that some friendships are seasonal. These people are in our lives to join us in our journey for a short time. Other friendships are for a lifetime. No amount of distance or time can cause the friendship to cease.
I think back over my life at the friendships that must have been seasonal. Did I ever suspect that these people would suddenly disappear? As we laughed and cried together, as we shared landmark moments, somewhere in the back of my mind did I know this relationship was not for the long haul? When I was younger – no. “Besties” were thought of as people who would always be. But now that I am older, I realize, no person is permanent. No situation is sure. Even the best friendships don’t always continue.
Even though some wisdom has been gained, when I look back,there is often a gnawing desire to blame self for friendships that have ended.There have been so many who are now gone, who were once so present. Lord, were these all for but a season, or is it me? Am I unlovable, unfriendable? Am I a jerk who thinks of myself more than others? What did I do?
On the other hand, I sometimes think it was totally “them.” The whole friendship was only a charade, a pretense in hopes of gaining whatever it might have been I offered to help them move forward in their quest for whatever they were seeking at the time. Those whatevers varied from someone to fill the lonely days, a playmate when other friends were gone, a study partner who could write papers in a zap, a safe double date duo….And then as an adult someone who helped share the load, someone to do work no one else wanted to do, someone who helped them to appear as a genuinely good person for befriending someone like me…
Yesterday I saw one of the “totally thems” at the red-light. She honked I turned toward the sound, she waved. I waved back, not really realizing who it was, and turned my head back to the light. That in itself broke my heart. How things change. But in two long years, she never once called, emailed, visited, or made any attempt to contact me. She chose to support those who came against me, which was understandable because of her position in the organization, but just a "how are you?" would have meant so much. She was once my encourager. She was once the other pea in the pod with me. She was once my friend I thought. Was it for a season? Was it me? Or was the friendship fake, the attention an assignment, her mentoring mandatory, just part of the job?
Today I think of what was and what is and know a friend loves at all times. I thank God for those who have been with me for the long haul. I ask God for a spirit of forgiveness to rest on me. Life is hard. Friends make it easier. Enemies make it harder. Fake friends make it hardest of all.