Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ebb and Flow

God has blessed me with an abundance of good friends, some of whom live in other cities but many of whom live here in Montgomery and, in most cases, attend church with me. These friends are unique individuals who serve varying purposes in my life--some I have a very deep spiritual connection with and can talk with them for hours about God and life and spiritual matters. Some friends are what I call "fun" friends--not that my other friends aren't fun, but these particular friends are those that bring out the silly side in me, make me laugh, like to play games, watch movies, etc. Some friends are gifted with wisdom and are expert advice-dispensers. Other friends are gifted with the ability to simply listen, let me vent, and offer encouragement where needed. There are a few extra-special friends who are combinations of all of the above. And for some crazy reason, they love me and want to be my friend--how lucky can a girl be?

There is a certain ebb and flow to all friendships. There are times when I have more time or desire to invest in a friendship than my friend has, and vice versa. That can be frustrating. I have several friends who are mothers of young children, and their time (not to mention energy) is at a premium. As much as they would love to get together on a moment's notice for lunch or coffee and some adult conversation, that's simply not practical at this stage in their life. Get-togethers with my married friends usually take a little more planning than when I'm trying to get together with my single friends.

When I find myself getting frustrated over feeling like I'm investing more in a friendship than I'm getting in return, I need to ask myself the following questions:

1. Am I expecting them to fulfill a role in my life that only God is to fulfill? Am I expecting more out of this person than is fair?

2. Are there extenuating circumstances in their life that is preventing them from contributing more to the friendship (i.e., family matters, work schedule, health issues, etc.), or do they seem genuinely disinterested in the friendship? Is this "season" of friendship at an end?

I've had many friends who have come and gone out of my life for different reasons. I have quite a few friends who I expect to be lifelong friends. I've had some friendships that drifted apart, only to have that friend come back into my life down the road. I'm sure there are some friends from years past who I will not see again this side of Heaven. And I'm learning to be okay with that.

Each friend that God has brought into my life, whether for a season or for a lifetime, has been used by Him for a reason. But it's easy to be so caught up in the friendships that I neglect that Friend Giver. He is my ultimate Best Friend Forever. His time, energy, and most importantly, desire for friendship with me never waxes or wanes. It is constant, steady, and sure. That is important to remember, particularly on days that are lonely and it seems that no friend is around to talk to. Sometimes we need those days to remind us of how valuable our friendship with God is.

2 comments:

Snapshot said...

Amen.

Tara said...

Good post!

We live in an area where we make friends and then every three years they move, thanks to Uncle Sam. But I realize that they were sent to my life at that particular time for a reason. I may not know the reason for many years, but God does!

Thanks for reminding me that I have a friend who is always here 24/7 and never moves away.