FOREVER FRIENDS

I was discouraged and frustrated–and I blew up! Ugly. Heated. Off-putting.

I felt a medical need I had hadn’t been respected, and that my friends were not supportive of my being in a new relationship. I understand now; they were afraid I might have to experience widowhood a second time. At the time, it just hurt. So I blew up. I’m not proud of it. I acted badly and was not at all Christ-like in my demeanor or, for that matter, my heart.

But … one friend determined that I am a “forever friend” and stuck with me. The other turned away from continuing a friendship in which we had supported each other through some difficult and, in one case, frightening times. The difference? One chose to forgive and rebuild; the other, to say she forgave but yet to walk away from any ongoing relationship, despite my efforts at reconciliation.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God … since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” I John 4:7, 11

Compassion

Forever friends … incredible gifts in a mobile society, and a life filled with transitions and political turmoil. Friends one knows will always be there for me, even if they disagree with a choice or behavior of mine. Who will tell me when I’ve offended, or confront me (in love) when they see sin in my life.

Two of my forever friends are moving out of state–at the same time!  Oh, how I’ll miss them! But, because we’re forever friends, our relationships will continue across the miles, with phone calls, prayer support, emails, and hopefully some visits tossed into the mix.

I’m also grateful for those forever friends who are still nearby. My life, my walk with God, my relationships are enriched by people who see me as I am, and choose to love me. First among those is my husband, Don. So to you, Don, and to my other forever friends … Thank you! I love you too.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

I expect many of us have gone through times when friendships were not easy. Perhaps there was a need for forgiveness, on either or both sides. Maybe a need to challenge a friend in a difficult area. And maybe a dear one who, it seems, was “born for a time of adversity.” I’d love to hear your experience.

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4 Responses

  1. Karen O'Connor says:

    Thanks, Carol, for reminding me of friendships that went south but that were recovered, though not always as before. I learned from both experiences.

    • carolnl says:

      I’m glad for those friendships that were recovered, Karen. And it is good that we learn from each kind. Thank you.

  2. MarJean Peters says:

    Dear Carol, my heart aches for those “friends” who forsook you, but gladdens over those “forever friends.” Interesting that you mention the ones who “forgave” you yet deserted you. I enjoyed a close friendship for 17 years with a woman, until she found out we were moving. Then some held-in grievances surfaced and we both spoke out of our pain and flesh. Since then this individual says she forgives me, but when I asked if we could be friends again, she said, “No.” My heart broke. That was 3 years ago and I still feel acute pain, especially as in-laws we must continue in family relationships. Someone told her you can forgive but you don’t have to be friends. God used this to reveal my generational sin of anger, and to confess and renounce it, yet my sin incurred unpardonable consequences. I’m sobered and humbled. I need to refocus on my forever friends. Thank you for that reminder.

    • carolnl says:

      Jeannie, I know you have also (are) experienced this pain. Yours is so close when it’s family, a very frequent reminder. I pray that one day that relationship will be restored. I have wondered about that statement that you can “forgive but not be friends.” I would agree that it’s not always best to maintain a close friendship; trust may have been broken, etc. But I do not think there is scriptural support for just cutting off a friendship – that would be a good study! Love you, FF

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