Growth Spurt.

We were created to have relationships with others.

But this does not always mean romantic ones.

Even God existed in relationship from the beginning of time. God in 3 persons.

God the Father.

God the Son.

God the Holy Spirit.

So it is no surprise we as people thrive off of our relationships and connections to others.

Lately, I’ve been having the hardest time grasping the fact that you’re not meant to be in all relationships forever.

You always see depictions of those friendships that last forever and if they don’t, then they were “never a true friend” in the first place.

God has been teaching me this is far from true.

The fact of the matter is, all people serve different purposes in our lives. Some people are placed for lessons. Some people are placed for a season. Some people are placed so you can show them the same love God has shown you.

It is inevitable that sometimes you develop and change into different people, and the friendship no longer fits your life. There is nothing wrong with this. People change.

For years I struggled with the same friend. I felt I was doing all I could to be a good friend to them and something was always wrong. But I felt that because we had been friends for years, then I would be considered “fake” for no longer wanting to continue the friendship.

But I noticed recently we only hang out when I asked.  I’ve been the only one trying to remain in contact and keep them informed about everything going on in my life, but I was getting nothing in return.

I felt stuck, constantly wondering what I did wrong. Not to mention the bitterness that started to build up because I always broke my back to be there and I was getting nothing but radio silence.

Then God asked me, “is this why you make friends? So they can give something to you?”

I remembered I was commanded to love people. Without conditions. God didn’t say to only love the people that put the same effort in as you. He didn’t say love them if they acknowledge your success. You don’t love people because of what they can do for you. You simply love people. This means loving every part of them, even the dirty parts. Why? Because God loves the filthiest parts of you.

I felt like this friend failed to love me back, but God told me to look around at all the people in my life that do.

This friend made their priorities clear time and time again, and I wasn’t one of them. So what was I holding onto? I was holding on to familiarity. It was comfortable. I was used to this.

The truth is, God had been telling me for a long time that this friendship wasn’t meant to last forever, but I was afraid to let go for many reasons. I didn’t want to abandon them.

God really showed me that sometimes you just outgrow people and that is okay. Your growth is not the abandonment of others.

Growth is a part of life and sometimes the same people you started with are not the same people you end up with.

God also showed me I didn’t have to be bitter because the friendship didn’t last. I didn’t have to bad mouth the person or tell everyone about how we’re not really close anymore.

You might even experience a situation where your friends aren’t growing at all. They are still entertained by the same mess, still making fun of others, still being petty and you just don’t want to be apart of it anymore. You have every right to move on.

Don’t ever hinder your growth for the sake of keeping company.

God encouraged me to just live and he would replace the people that left in due time. Just because we’re not as close anymore doesn’t wipe away all the good times we had previously. It doesn’t wipe away the friendship.

It doesn’t mean I don’t care about them anymore. I love all the people I’ve met in my life. You each taught me something different and affected me in some way.

Nevertheless, we can’t fight the natural course of life. If our interaction is through a couple text messages here and there, then I have embraced the fact that this is now the extent of our friendship. It doesn’t reach further than that, and that’s okay.

You may be struggling with outgrowing your friends. Sometimes the signs are clearly there, and we just have to let life take its course. We have to learn how to gracefully let go.

Still root for them, cheer for their accomplishments and never forget about them. You don’t have to play a major role in their lives anymore. You might not have a front row seat anymore, and they may not be the person you run to for a shoulder to cry on anymore.

It hit me really hard that I graduate next Saturday with NONE of the people I started with. Then God let me know we’re just all going in different directions and the friendships were seasonal. Now it’s time to change seasons. I’m still a little sad about it.

But God told me just be grateful you got to experience life with them. Be grateful you had the chance to love someone other than yourself. Be grateful you had the opportunity to reflect God’s love.

No hard feelings.

Just memories and a growth spurt.

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Jordyn Austin

 

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