We’ve all experienced this at one point in our life, right?
I remember one of the first friendships I made in elementary school with a girl in my track. Not on the track team but… you know… the different types of education tracks we have (or used to have?) which our parents chose that determined who you’d be closest friends with? Anyhoo…
I was in “E track” and from 1st to 6th grade there was a girl in my track whom I had become best friends with. I still have pictures of us in my old film printed photo book when we made brownies and put chocolate frosting all over our faces for fun. We were silly like that.
But then things changed.
Heading into 7th grade I found out she was switching schools. In fact, she would be moving 30 minutes away from me, which doesn’t seem remote in this current far reaching world we live in through our fingertips, but 20 years ago when I was 12 and couldn’t drive, it looked continents away. Add to this, three of my other closest friends were also going to a different school than me entering 7th grade. Go figure.
This was also the stone age when cell phones were non-existent to everyone (except to the US president) and Facebook wasn’t birthed yet. Therefore, staying connected was virtually impossible (pun intended).
Heading into 7th grade I had to make all new friends again. It was a challenge for me. I think partly because I was still on the shy side (odd to those who know me now I know). But looking deeper than that, I realize how much this separation from my closest friends, even though it wasn’t based on malicious intent and was merely situational, I felt the hurt of loss in my heart.
Pile on the multitude of other friendship losses I would experience in my life up until now and the ache in my heart from these lost friendships some days feels heavy, real and debilitating.
Friendships ending in bitter betrayal.
Friendships ending from differing belief systems.
Friendships ending because of physical distance (which those of you may know, I’m a horrible long-distance friend).
Friendships ending simply due to the busyness of life, especially when motherhood kicked in—which can make you feel really isolated even if you’ve prepared yourself for it.
With these losses I start piling on the lies that say, “You’re too much” or “You’re not enough.”
Labels attached from the rejection I’ve felt which read: unworthy, unloved, uninvited.
Not pretty enough, not popular enough, not humble enough.
Too prude, too weird, too emotional.
The negative list goes on and on.
I lived with this weight of lies on my heart up until a few years ago. Now the burden is not so heavy–although I cannot say the weight of it is completely gone either. Even through wonderful counseling and meditation of scripture and seeking God in prayer to restore my heart to wholeness, these lies still have a sneaky way of rearing up their ugly heads over me from time to time–in the worst ways. I want to say I’ve been completely healed from this issue of rejection from others, which at certain points I definitely thought I had mastered it, yet in all honesty God is still refining me to wholeness.
Over the past several years I’ve been slowly unraveling those lies replacing them with Truth.
- Truth that says, maybe I’m too much or not enough for some, but I’m just right for the one’s God brings to me.
- Truth that because I was rejected by some doesn’t mean I am unworthy, unloved or uninvited by all.
- Truth that I am beautiful regardless of the number on the scale, popularity isn’t everything, arrogance always reveals itself in time.
- Truth that my prudeness is nothing to be ashamed of, my weirdness is what makes me unique, and my emotions are what drives me to pursue life fully with my heart on my sleeve.
I continue to live with a mindset to love others freely with an open heart, yet I know this also opens my heart up for the possibility of it being trampled on. It is why I cannot do this friendship dance on my own.
The abounding Truth that has held me up over the pains and aches of lost friendships is to know for certain that I have established a friendship that will never fail. A friendship that is real and inviting and ever present in my life. A friend who coaches me when I need directing and encourages me when I need lifting. Yes… that friend is Jesus.
I believe that we have everything we need if we truly trust and believe Jesus to be our personal friend. Our mentor, our helper, our lover. Every need we have can be filled through Him.
Friendships may fail, but it does not label me a failure. Nor does it mean you are completely friend-less.
Reminding myself today, and you, when friendships fail, Jesus will not.