For the past few months I have grieved the loss of a friendship that just seemed to abruptly end. It’s been hard to trust God with the sudden outcome because it was a friendship that I truly believed was a direct answer to my prayers about this time last year.
I’ve questioned everything I did – maybe I was too high maintenance last fall when our family was going through a really difficult season, maybe she doesn’t want to be friends with someone who comes unraveled during her son’s second birthday party, or maybe there’s just not room for me amidst her group of friends.
One morning during my prayer time I asked God to show me how to be a better friend. I asked Him to show me the areas within my heart that need to change. Then I read these words in my devotion.
[Jesus said] So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law of the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
God was telling me how to be a good friend. As I read His words, I sensed He was telling me to continue to live this way even though I’ve been hurt, even when friends don’t reciprocate, and even when I feel like doing the complete opposite.
My friendship may never be what it was, but the loss shouldn’t stop me from being the kind of friend I desire to have and the one God has asked me to be.
I do the things I do – like send cards, text, invite, and pray – because deep down that’s what I desire from my friends. I’ve been tempted to allow bitterness to trickle into my heart and turn it to stone. There are many days when I tell myself I’m not going to send another card or put myself in the position of getting hurt again.
But God asks more of me.
He says to treat others the way I want to be treated.
He says to extend grace and forgive.
He says to have a friend you have to be a friend.
So I obey.
And drop the August birthday cards in the mail.