I’m going to ask you a question… How long will you grieve over the loss of your friend?
That’s the same question that God asked Samuel after He rejected Saul as king of Israel for his disobedience.
There are many reasons why friendships end. Maybe you’ve started going into different paths in life. Perhaps personalities have changed and you no longer get along. Whatever the reason, the relationship ended and you must get over it to continue living your best, purpose-fulfilled life.
I had a close college friend that I’ve known since freshman year of college. We were really good friends. We were the type of friends that would call each other often to share our hopes and dreams. We had plenty of talks about God, men, and how we viewed life. Yup, we had some gossip sprinkled up in there. Yes…we had to share the tea! Lord forgive me for my gossiping ways! I’m getting much better with keeping my lips sealed about things now. Anyways…out of the blue, my friend started acting distant for no apparent reason. The calls became less and less. I was no longer invited to parties and outings. I found myself sitting around wondering what went wrong with no explanation.
My first reaction was rage and anger. I was ready to call her and cuss her out! But I’m a changed woman. I represent God now. (Jesus SAVED her life!) He wouldn’t want me to call anyone and yell obscene things, even if they hurt me. The Bible says that vengeance is the Lord’s. So, I took a step back. Then, I felt sadness because I was trying to figure out if I did something wrong to deserve abandonment. I dissected the situation inside and out. The entire last year was played over in my mind over and over again.
During my repeated analyzing, I identified some patterns, which started after I increasingly became vocal about my opinions and how I felt. She was always the unofficial “leader” of the crew. She was used to me being agreeable and going along with whatever she said. She didn’t like that I voiced my opinion when it opposed hers and I didn’t back down. Also, I entered into a pretty serious relationship with my boyfriend, which occupied more of my time. However, she was still single at the time. Although I had a boyfriend, I made an effort to still connect with her, but she frequently had an excuse for not joining me for an outing or game night. When I called her, she would return my call 2 weeks later.
Then, I felt grief because I finally realized that I lost my friend and our relationship was over. She ended up meeting a guy and they got engaged 3 months later. I didn’t know anything about the guy. She didn’t call and tell me anything about the engagement. I learned about it on Facebook like everyone else. I called her to congratulate her on the engagement, she called me 2 weeks later on my office phone at work during a time that she knew I wouldn’t be in the office. Do you know what she said? She said, ”Thank you and I hope all is well.” She didn’t say she would call me later on my cell phone. She didn’t say anything else. From that I knew that she really didn’t want to talk to me.
She got married to the mystery guy 3 months later. I wasn’t asked to be a bridesmaid. I wasn’t invited to any of the festivities. Not to the bridal shower. Not to help with decorations. I wasn’t invited to anything. And still…I don’t know why. I thought I would be there to witness my friend’s union and celebrate with her. Oh well… One day, I was cleaning my room and just feeling heartbroken about the situation. And the question came to me… “Why are you still grieving over her?” Yup, just like the question that God asked Samuel in the Bible! God is amazing, right? I knew right then that I needed to let her go. I needed to forgive and move past that situation in my mind and in my heart.
I remember my mom told me that certain friends are in your life for a period of time. When that time is over, they’re gone. When God wants to use you for a specific purpose, he’s particular about who he wants around you to influence you. In my prayers to Him, I told Him that want to be used by him. I want to be in His will. I want to fulfill my purpose. When I said those prayers, I started to see things change around me so quickly. One of those changes was my friend disappearing from my life. God showed me that He didn’t want me under her influence any longer. Our lifestyles were totally different. She claimed that she loved God and lived according to the Word, but her actions showed otherwise. Remaining friends with her would cause me to straddle the fence by still trying to live by the world’s standards but still trying to be holy too. Trust me as a “church girl” that was born and raise in church, I lived that type of life many years and it’s tiring. I was so tired of that kind of life. And it wasn’t even satisfying. Now, I only wanted to live a lifestyle that’s pleasing to God. Life has been so sweet since I made that decision.
So, when God told me to stop grieving, I immediately thought about what God said to Samuel:
“Now the LORD said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.”
1 Samuel 16:1 (NLT)
Pretty much, God is telling Samuel to get over it. He has rejected Saul from being King of Israel. It’s a done deal. Go on and find another king to take his place. God already had a person in mind.
Even in my situation, God is telling me to stop worrying and analyzing about what went wrong in our friendship. God has ordained for it to happen for a reason. That reason I may never know, but it’s not my place to know. He knows what’s best for me and I must trust his decisions even when I don’t understand. Y’all feel me? So, He’s telling me to get over it and find another friend. He has a perfect best friend in mind that will line up with my lifestyle of being a ride or die Christ follower.
Trust me, it’s not easy to just “get over it”. It’s hard to move past a broken relationship whether it’s with a boyfriend or a friend. I’m going through it right now and it not fun. Nevertheless, I have some tips you could use to get past the anger, hurt, and grief and move forward to enjoying life with no hard feelings:
- Get all of your feelings out
Now, I’m not saying call your ex-friend and cuss her out or get out the Vaseline to get ready to rumble. We don’t have to get violent or ghetto. Trust me, my mind went there too. LOL But really, to help heal your heart and spirit of the pain, write down all of your feelings. It can be in a journal or you could write a letter to let her know how you feel. Of course, you wouldn’t send the letter to her, but it will help you come to terms with your feelings and know what to pray about.
- Pray about the situation
God already knows what’s going on, but he wants you to bring it to Him anyway. Hand all of your feelings to Him in prayer. He wants you to put all of your burdens and anxiety on Him. Ask Him to help you accept what has happened. Ask Him to comfort you. Ask Him to help you to forgive your ex-friend. If your actions were partially the reason for the break-up, ask God to help you forgive yourself and not harbor any regret. Ask God to bless them in their life. Pray that God guides you to new friends that He’s handpicked just for you. And remind Him that He does all things well and to His good pleasure. He knows the plans that He has for you. Not to harm you, but to prosper you…to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
- Forgive your ex-friend and yourself
Ok… You’ve asked God to help you to forgive. Now, do it. Forgive your friend for disappearing and cutting you off. Forgive your friend for talking about you behind your back. Forgive her for stealing your boyfriend. Forgive her for not paying you that money back. Forgive her for not being a true lifelong friend that you expected her to be. When you forgive her, you’ll be back in God’s good graces and He’ll forgive you as well. Matthew 6:14 As Tina Campbell says, it’s hard not to forgive. When you don’t forgive, you have to continue to carry that pain and anger in your heart. It’s so heavy and annoying to carry. Whenever you see her, you’ll have to say something mean about her or think about what she did to you. That doesn’t make anyone feel good. When you forgive, you’re free from all of those feelings. You can walk by her and actually say Hi (nicely) and keep it moving as if nothing happened. Forgiveness is liberating!
- Keep your mouth shut
It’s so tempting to go around and talk about your ex-friend like a dog. I totally understand, but don’t do it. Every time you talk about her or about what happened, it brings up more bad feelings. If you continue to talk about it, you won’t heal. You’ll keep rehashing it in your mind with no resolution. When someone asks you about your ex-friend, just smile and say “I don’t know what’s happening with her. I haven’t talked to her in a while. I’m sure she’s doing fine.” (or something like that). Don’t say anything mean to keep things stirred up. Don’t give any messages or news for your mutual friends to carry back to your ex-friend. All they’re going to do is talk about you anyway. It’ll also put your mutual friend (if she’s a true friend to you) in an awkward position. Just let it die naturally.
- Get out there and find new friends
Now, get your sad butt off the couch, get out there, and find some new friends! Losing a close friend is just a part of life. Don’t start distrusting people. Continue to be genuine and open to new friendships. Do not. I repeat… Do not! Put up a wall and isolate yourself from others. We all go through a particular season of isolation ordained by God, but you’ll know when that happens. If you’re not in that season, start reaching out to people and go out. Contact old friends that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Start volunteering at your church or an organization. Join a small group such as a women’s bible study or cell group. There are plenty of ways to meet new people and develop friendships. To have friends, you must show yourself friendly! Proverbs 18:24 It’s so easy to fall into the routine of talking and interacting with the same old people, but you must venture out of your comfort zone and meet others with your same interests and love for God. Also, to quickly develop a friendship…pick up the phone and call. We’re so inclined to text or send a message via social media. However, the way to genuinely get to know someone is through real-time conversation. So, try it!
Prayerfully, I hope this post helps someone that’s going through what I’m currently experiencing. This hasn’t been my first broken friendship. So, I’m able to handle it with a sound mind, but it isn’t less hurtful. Losing a close friend is a bit traumatizing. Yes, I know. I wish I could reach through the post and give you a big hug. But what I can do is tell you that it’s going to be alright. You can make it through this! Whatever you’ve lost, God is going to restore. Trust and believe that, honey! What I do know without a shadow of a doubt… Everything works together for MY (and your) good because we love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Is there anyone going through the same situation that I’m experiencing of losing a friend? Comment with a *hug* or a *high-five*! We need to feel the love up in here! To others, have you ever lost a close friend? How did you feel? What did you do to get over it? Give us some extra tips to follow in the comments.
Love y’all. Stay Virtuous!!