I never heard the term “friends for a season” until after I became a widow. In fact, I never even considered that a friendship could only last for a season in my life. But, the fact is that I have found this to be very true.
My struggle with this comes from the type of person that I am. I am fiercely loyal and have a difficult time letting go. My expectations of a friend are for them to be the same way. Yet, I forgot to factor in that life happens and things change.
If I find that a friend has distanced herself from me and it’s not because of any anger or disagreement, then I have to stop and realize it is just what time does to us all — it passes through us in a rush, taking with it things we love and never thought we’d let go. But we must let go, because to hold on is to not grab what’s next.
Many people believe holding on and hanging in there, infinitely, are signs of incredible strength. But there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go, and then to actually do it. Angel Chernoff
How do I let go? First I must allow myself to process through the decision whether or not to let go of that friendship. Then I must grieve that loss and in that grief I need to look for all the blessings that friendship afforded me over the years and how God used that person in my life through so many different stages and in so many different ways. Every time I think of that person in my grief, I will thank God for her and then pray that God will bless her.
Should a time ever come when that person desires to re-enter my life, I leave the door open for that to happen and welcome her with open arms. After my time of grief, I will look forward with hope and expectation that God will be pleased to bless me in the future with a friend as wonderful as the one that I let go. If it be Your will, may it be so, Lord.
Thanks so much, Candy. I have had my heart broken by a few friends who distanced themselves from me right away after my husband died. I was so hurt, then so angry ! Like you, I had never ever knew that this could happen. After much research about this online and in talking with other widows I realized that I wasn’t the only one who was treated this way. I was forced to gradually let go of my hurt. But, I never did what I shoukd have done right away, which was to pray about it! I guess that I was overwhelmed and let myself be pushed further from God instead of running right towards Him. This post us a great reminder that we need to go to Him in all things. It might have saved me a lot if pain .
Candy, thanks for your thought-provoking post. You encourage us to be gracious and patient, even though people have hurt us. Blessings to you!