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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Friends & Change

I've never really experienced any big changes in my life or around it. Recently, a long-time and close friend of mine moved out of state. I'd never have thought that my friend would ever leave. It was the furthest thing from my mind. We also had busy lives, so we didn't see each other too often, but I knew she'd always be there if I needed to see her. At least, I thought so. But those were all misconceptions that I had believed that I now regret believing. Now that she's gone and I won't be able to see her whenever I please, I'm left regretting the way I treated our friendship. I'm left full of sadness, like there's an empty part of my life I won't ever get back. And it can all be traced back to the way I thought about and treated my friendship.

So here are some practical ways to treat your friendship, so in the end you can react better to any situation that arises in the form of change:

1.) Don't take your friendship for granted- This was a big mistake I made. I assumed that my friend would always live 10 minutes away from me, no matter what. It seems silly. but when you've known someone for a long time and both lives seem settled in the same area, you don't think twice about it. Sometimes God has a different plan though and things can change very quickly. I assumed she'd always be around, so I didn't worry about whether I saw her often. Don't assume anything.

2.) Don't let your "busyness" get in the way of checking up on each other often- Because I assumed my friend would always be around, I didn't get together often with her. I thought it was also okay to work my friends around my busy schedule, not into it. In reality, in order to make a friendship work, you can't just say "Sorry, I'm busy. Come back when I'm not." You have to make the effort to fit in time with your closest friends even when you are busy, otherwise you're acting completely selfish, expecting your friend to work around your schedule. Because I didn't find out about my friend's move until just a couple of months ago, I realized the importance of making time to visit her every week until she left. And you know what? I don't think I'd ever had so much fun and made so many good memories with her and her family. The last time we got together before she left, I realized how sorry I was that I hadn't done this sooner. So go out and get together with that good friend of yours on a regular basis, beginning now! Make this a "no regrets" friendship.

Now of course, those feelings of sadness aren't going to disappear just because you make the best of your friendship. But you don't have to feel regretful about what you didn't do with your friend when you make the most of a friendship. And you'll always have plenty of fond memories to ponder when you're missing a friend.

I'm pretty sure it will be a while before emptiness closes, but I know that changes are ordained by God for the individual and that there are so many good things in store for them that we cannot see ourselves. I can at least have a peace of mind knowing that the best is yet to come for my friend, and as a friend, shouldn't I rejoice in that instead of selfishly wishing to keep a friend from God's best?

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