Life is a journey of becoming. Every day we move away from who we were yesterday toward who God is calling us to be tomorrow. As we live yielded to the molding and shaping work of Jesus we are always in the process of being transformed more and more into his likeness. As we are always changing — who we are, in relationship to those around us, is always somewhat in flux as well. There are amazing relationships that can stand the transformations that time brings, and there are some we have to release along the way.
Before we go there, let’s all pause and give thanks for those amazing relationships in our lives that have spanned the test of time. It’s truly a gift to have longstanding friendships, and it’s also a rarity. I’ve heard it said that some people are in our lives for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. Recognizing this makes us treasure those life timers all the more, and it also helps us be more ok with those we are close to for just a season. For truly, whether we are friends for a short time or a long time, every one of these relationships imparts some beauty into our world and teaches us valuable lessons on life and loving others well.
Over the years I’ve been blessed to have some amazing life timers! I’ve also had some awesome seasonal friends where time naturally caused us to part ways. And I’ve had some friendships I’ve had to let go of that I treasured, because they just weren’t healthy for me. That’s hard. Friendships shifting naturally is one thing, having to let go because of toxicity in the relationship, betrayal, judgment, misunderstanding, or offense – that’s another. It is so hard when God calls us to let go of a cherished friend because love and unity have left the relationship. It’s equally as painful to try to prolong a friendship past the point of wisdom saying it’s time to move on. On this journey of becoming, loving ourselves well along the way, means being wise about who we choose to do life together with.
As a mom, I try to teach my kids who they surround themselves with has a bearing on them. Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future, I always say. I steer them toward recognizing what healthy relationships look like and guide them away from making meaningful relationships with those who might lead them off track or not be trustworthy with their hearts. That has been one of the toughest relational lessons to instill in them. It involves helping them understand the difference between us loving everyone as Christ loves us, yet being wise with who we let into our close circles. There are a few life lessons I feel are key. This is one of them. As an adult, I still try to live this out today. It’s not easy. I have to remind myself who I surround myself with matters.
Whether it’s for one step of the journey, a few, or many – true friendship takes us by the hand along the way and reminds us we are not alone, we are worthy of being celebrated, we are treasured and loved. Friendship is a gift. Let’s choose our friends wisely. Love them well. Let go when needed. And trust God to surround us with the right people for every step along the way!
Let’ Pray – Father God I thank you for the amazing friends you have blessed me with through out my life. I praise you for those lifetimers who make my world richer, who celebrate who you are leading me to be on this journey of becoming, and who I get the pleasure of celebrating as you lead them onward to becoming more like you and accomplishing more for your kingdom in this life. They are treasures to me! Give me wisdom to love those you have placed in my life well, to forgive when needed, to fight for when needed, and to release when needed. Bless those who are a blessing to me and bless those who have not been trustworthy with my heart. Make us all more like you. In Jesus name, amen.
Verses for reflection:
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 – And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
- Proverbs 27:9 – The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
- Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at ALL times.