I spent a few years in the friendship trenches –I’ve been knee deep in fun and I’ve been face first in some major messiness. But I learned something from each relationship out here in the trenches.
Many of my friendships happened while I was busy working, serving, parenting, and just doing life God placed some amazing people in my path. Some became lifelong friends, others were only around for a season, but each one had a purpose – some made me laugh at myself, others pushed me to go beyond my small dreams, a few were never supposed to be friends, and some were meant to travel with me for a time. These bonds didn’t happen by mistake — they were God sent.
It’s in Christ we find the wisdom to walk through the blessings and the messiness of friendships.
I’m learning to embrace friendships for the season God intends – and I’m learning to let go when the time is right or the relationship is wrong. It’s a lesson learned in the trenches and through much heartache and tears.
Truths I’ve learned:
Some friends are only for a season – I remember dear friends from my early parenting years. We traveled from bottles and diapers to homework and softball. We share some sweet memories, but our lives have gone in different directions.
Not every friend will become a close friend – and that’s okay. It’s not possible to be great friends with everyone in your circle – you’ll wear yourself out trying.
Sandpaper people have a purpose – the person who just rubs you wrong is in your life for a reason. Look closer, what is God trying to teach you through this relationship? I always pray I can learn the lesson quickly!
Friendships require boundaries and balance – both are needed to keep your relationships healthy. Friends have a precious place in my life, but they do not take the place of my Savior or my spouse. When you make time for friends, but not for Jesus or your husband, it’s time to reevaluate. And watch out for the friend who doesn’t understand this balance – in fact, RUN from this person.
Friendships require an investment – any healthy relationship requires work and friendships are no different. I have to be willing and able to invest time. If I don’t have the time then maybe it’s just not the right time for the friendship.
I want to honor God in my friendships. I want to encourage, laugh, share, and challenge my friends to be all they can be in Christ. And I need friends who want to do the same for me.
Mary R Snyder, who describes herself as a slightly frazzled, but seriously blessed is a wife, mom, speaker and the author of God, Grace, and Girlfriends: Adventures in Faith & Friendship.
Catch up with Mary at her blog – www.MaryRSnyder.com