The Death of a Friendship

1300094_10119213This post has been sitting in draft mode for at least six months. It is rather difficult to post because of the very vulnerable feelings I have chosen to share. I have also hesitated to post it because I don’t want anyone to think that I am pointing a finger at my old friend. I’m not.  However, because I have talked to so many other women who have gone through similar situations, I felt I must share this sometime. That time is today. I hope that there is at least one other person out there who receives comfort and hope from reading what I am going to share.

So here we go–

“This friendship is taking too much work and I just can’t deal with you right now,” were the icy words issuing forth from the mouth of my best friend of fifteen years.

 I felt my heart sink deep within as I tried to comprehend her words. I knew that our friendship was on rocky ground, which was why I had requested we meet together over coffee. However, I never expected to be so fully dismissed and rejected in the fell swoop of one sentence.

This woman and I had shared a kindred spirit that many other women envied. We had cried together over our children, she had been there for me through a difficult miscarriage, and I had supported her through a painful time in her marriage. We had discussed our passion for God and living a godly life in countless phone conversations and during dozens of play dates.

As the weeks, and then months, went by I realized that she was serious. Our friendship was completely and utterly over. She had rejected me with an entirety that was astonishing.

All these years later I continue to look back on that moment with bewilderment and hurt. But God also used it to teach me some very important lessons.

I discovered that He never changes. While men and women on earth change constantly, God is the rock that will never move. I can trust Him wholly and completely with my life. Oh, what a comfort in the midst of difficult days!

I learned to trust in God’s sovereignty in all areas of my life. As I reflect back on the final two or three years of that friendship, I realize that it had been draining me of precious energy instead of building me up. Perhaps she felt that way, too, and had the courage to just end it instead of letting it die a long, torturous death. Perhaps God was protecting both of us from further hurt down the road. Whatever the reason, I learned that I must believe that my heavenly Father knows best and rely on His plan, rather than my own.

And God taught me that wherever there is love, there is also great risk for hurt. But I also learned that He will walk with me through that hurt. I had loved deeply and I had been hurt deeply. For awhile afterwards, I held myself at arm’s length from everyone but my family. But over time, I realized that God wasn’t teaching me never to love again but instead that He will be there for me when the inevitable hurt comes around. And choosing to love, if we are believers in Jesus Christ, isn’t an option but a command.

He also taught me that my worth is found in Him alone. I don’t know if you have ever experienced such utter rejection, but I found it the most devastating, empty feeling I have ever experienced. Even now, all these years later, when I think on it, I still feel the sting of it. The tendency is to start making assumptions about yourself. I am a terrible person. I am a rotten friend. I must have done something just awful. God taught me to rest in Him. I wasn’t a perfect friend. I know that. But I have found forgiveness and acceptance from my heavenly Father.  He is so faithful! He will never say that I am not worth the effort, but stays by me no matter what mistakes I make. What a comfort in a time of such complete and utter rejection.

And, lastly, I had no choice but to learn that some answers are never going to be available to me. I have come to understand that I will probably never truly know exactly why my best friend chose to end that friendship the way she did. For awhile, I hung onto the hope that we would have a good, long chat to air things out. I knew that the friendship would never be the same, but I was hoping for some insight into the situation. I now know that I need to relinquish my insatiable curiosity and move on with my life.

I will always remember that friendship with great fondness. God provided much needed support through that special friend and He gave me wonderful memories that I will treasure all of my life. I will also remember the friendship with great sadness. It was a tragic end to a beautiful relationship. But I know that God has taught me many things through this trial and for that I am deeply grateful.  God knows best and I know that I can rely on Him to see me through even the hardest of times. He has proven this to me over and over again. I may never know why, but I rest in God’s plan and thank Him for helping me to forgive and move on with my life.

 

This post was shared here–

Jesse Wilcox Smith~ On His Knee

8 thoughts on “The Death of a Friendship”

  1. Leslie, I am so glad you shared this. I too suffered a “blow” like that. It was a family member and it was just a big attack with hurtful words that came out of nowhere. It really shook me and I wasn’t the same for a long time. But I did learn after a while that God really is the only constant in my life. It’s a lesson that has really helped grow my faith since then. God is good, all the time!

    1. Yes, yes! Sometimes it is hard to see that while we are walking in the darkness, but He is good all the time! Wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but it is comforting to know I am not alone…

  2. I recently ended a friendship with another couple with whom my husband and I had been friends for many years and my husband agreed. I did give them the reasons and they were valid. Several months later and the husband almost died and had 4 serious surgeries. We felt that we needed to go and visit them and are now on somewhat tenuous recovery of the friendship. I am not sure how this will end. There is residual hurt on both sides. We had been dragged into conflicts that should have been kept private and we can only resume the relationship if they do not do this again as it had become a sin problem on our side.

    1. Friendships can be difficult and complicated. Sometimes they need to be ended. If that is the case I think a valid reason should be given, just as you mentioned you did. I only wish I would have received the same kindness as you showed to your friend. But it’s ok because I learned an awful lot through that time–like I don’t have to know everything!

  3. I’ve never experienced a rejection like you describe here, but I have been deeply wounded by a friend who attacked me. Although we worked through it over time, and I learned a lot, It is still a nightmare in my forever memory. Our friends, who know us best, also know how best to hurt us. May we never be that type of “friend.”

    This is my first visit, coming to you from Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time and glad I did. :)

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts and for visiting. I am not sure how I missed responding to you. I do remember visiting your blog. Did I respond there? At any rate, someone recently commented on this post and I noticed that I had not thanked you for stopping by! :)

  4. Leslie,
    I commend you for writing this. I just went through a similar experience in January. I have not written about my experience, but after reading your post, I think I will share this with my readers because I feel certain there are more women who need to hear that we all go through heartbreak.
    Thank you for inspiring me:)

    1. Thank you! It was definitely a difficult post for me to write. I would love to read your post when you decide to write it, so send me the link if you think about it :)

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