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The Broken Friendship

Several years ago, I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across a photo of a friend I hadn’t spoken with or seen in a long time.

And not just any old friend. She was the friend for a season of my life.

My stomach dropped. I closed the app and set my phone face-down on the sofa. But she remained fixed in my mind.

Our relationship dissipated for no single reason. There was no blow up conflict, no falling out. We walked through one era together and entered the next apart.

But should I have written? Called? Was it too late?

Over the years, questions like these became conclusions, and conclusions became labels. I was messed up, a betrayer, a flake, and incapable of relationship, to name a few.

My subconscious acceptance of these labels allowed shame to seed in my soul.

What followed was one of the most fruitless seasons of community in my life. I spent time with people but was not fully present. Others tried to open the door to my heart, baking brownies to welcome me, stopping by to chat before dinner, and asking me on walks, day trips, and coffee outings. I became a master at being fun enough to invite around again yet distant enough to conceal the “real” me.

Ironically, I’d never been so thirsty for the very connection I pushed away.

In my desperation, I began reading every book on friendship. And one day, a passage struck me:

“…sometimes God brings relationships to an end as a way to move us along to where he has called us to go.

I hugged the book to my chest, closed my eyes, and let the words sink deep into my heart.

I had a choice. I could choose to believe that God was over this broken relationship. That He intended the separation for good, even if there was fault on my side. That I wasn’t odd for growing apart from someone I cared about.

When I finally started trusting this, I began to shed the labels that bound me. And, with time, shameful hiding turned to authentic longing, and my heart began to heal and believe in the beauty of friendship again.

I doubt there’s any woman out there who hasn’t experienced the loss of a dear friend. If you’re anything like me, this sits with you. Weighs on you. But won’t you believe with me that, no matter the cause, no matter whose fault, God is using your broken relationships to take you where you need to go?

The choice is ours: remain in regret or believe He’s creating beauty from the broken. What will you choose?

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