I'm going about my normal life, homework, ministry, meals, and conversations. And suddenly she comes to mind. Or he. Whoever it is today.
My goodness, I haven't heard from her in months! Maybe I should shoot her an email or text message and see how she's doing.
So I do, or I forget. But it's still a few weeks before I hear from her.
We used to talk every week. Three or four times a week. What happened?
-We got busy.
-She has a boyfriend now.
-She got married.
-We weren't meant to be friends forever.
I know all the common answers to that question, and the applicable ones run through my head. But is this really the way our lives were meant to be?
Once best friends, now only in touch from month to month, or summer to summer?
It hurts. Maybe more for me than others. I try to convince myself that it's because I loved (and still do love) them so much. I like to know, though, that I held a place of influence in their lives, that they valued my conversation, relished my friendship. When we suddenly drift apart I wonder, was that ever true?
I'm sure you can relate. It hurts to lose friends. Well, not lose them. That's a bit dramatic. But to grow apart from them, to see your lives turning in different directions. But is it purely selfish to feel this way? I want to know, is there any pure motivation to my hurt?
I don't know.
I only know that there is but one thing to soothe this and all other wounds.
Though our close friends may only walk this path of life with us for a short while, Christ is ever present, always near. Each of us has a separate path that God has set for us to follow, and at times our paths converge in very intimate ways, but only Christ can actually set foot upon each road and take the journey with us, His hand grasping ours. This is my consolation when friends come and go... when I come and go.
Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
He is near, and will always be near. He will always hold the highest place of influence in my life, for He bought my life. I thank Him for using me to encourage or challenge others in turn, but I realize that whatever role of influence I had in their journey was really His.
The same is true of them. I may miss their words of grace, their smiles of love, their ability to make me laugh when I really felt like crying. They were simply a conduit of God's grace in my life; everything good I received from them was a gift of the Almighty Heavenly Father, and the Friend who sticks even closer than a brother.
Friend-growing-farther-away, I know you're busy. Don't feel obligated to return my calls or reply to my emails, I don't feel obligated to respond to yours. Thank you for being a willing vessel of Divine Grace. I pray God's blessing over the rest of your unique journey, and I look forward to seeing you at our final destination. I'm sure we'll have a lot of catching up to do.