Where Did My Friend Go?

What to do when a friend is slipping away.

By Sarah Holman


I had a best friend growing up, and we were really close.  I know most of us do, but of course I felt as if we were closer than two friends had ever been.  We could never remember a time we had not known each other or had not been best friends.  Our moms met every Tuesday at a park since before we could remember.  We went to each other’s birthdays and went over to each other’s houses on a regular basis.  To me, at least, it seemed that this would go on forever, that we would never be parted.

In 1998 we moved, and there was now a two hour trip between us, but that didn’t matter.  We became pen-pals and exchanged letters on the average of one every other week, and I still have many of them.  I still felt lonely, though, not getting to see her often, but as we learn over and over again, God had done this for a reason.  Looking back, I see that God had done the kindest and best thing he could have done for me by putting that space between us, but I was less than appreciative at the time.

As I said, I was lonely.  We started going to a church with mainly public schoolers, and that was hard for me, because I didn’t really fit in.  To further complicate matters, my body began to make the transition from a little girl into a woman, which also changes how you relate to your friends. You no longer just play with them, you talk to them and want to know their thoughts. That is when I discovered a hard side of life that is sad but true – best friends made when you are young don’t necessarily translate into best friends as you get older.

After talking with my “best friend” on one of those occasional meetings we had, I was beginning to find out that life was taking her on a very different path than I was on.  I was heart-broken.  My girlhood dreams of a friend who would be my best friend until death was shattered.  I cried so many times as I saw us drifting further apart, but there was little I could do.  I felt so alone.  This girl was my only friend; I had no other girls my age to fill the void she had left.

Thankfully, God has given me wonderful mother and father who helped me through this time. They helped me cope and learn many valuable lessons, which I would like to pass on to you along with some things I see now with hindsight.

 

Distance is important

When you are going though something like this, one of the kindest things you can do for you and the friend is to put distance between you.  I don’t mean distance as in miles but distance as in time and emotional energy.  Spend less time with this friend.  This is not mean; it is a kindness.  That may sound bad, so let me explain.  When you spend a lot of time with someone who is very different than yourself, one of two things happens, neither of which are good. Usually, when you feel like you are losing a friend, it is because they are making choices that you disagree with.  If you continue to spend a lot of time around this person, you are likely to become like that person, even if you disagree with what they have done.  The other thing that can happen is that, if you are strong enough in what you believe, you finally can’t stand to listen another minute of her going on about having a boy friend, how she hates her parents, or the reason such and such is a bad thing.  You blow up and get mad, leaving both of you feeling hurt and angry and helping no one.

I must tell you that I understand that putting that distance between yourself and the person you consider your best friend will hurt and be hard, but, looking back, it is the best thing that I did (or should I say, God did).

 

Others

It is easy when you see that you are losing a friend to just curl up and cry and moan, but it is important that you take this time to look around you. Are there others in your life that you can pour out your love to?  Is there someone else that is going through the same thing that you can help? For me, God used the loss of my “best friend” and the long period of loneliness that followed to strengthen my friendship with my sister Rose.  We had both just moved and left all of our friends behind, and the two of us grew closer during this time.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand that there is a built-in need for us to have friends and, even though we love our siblings, we are with them all the time.  We want friends outside of our home, but we should also make sure that we don’t forget our siblings in our search for other friends. Use this time of heartache to grow closer to your family and God who is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.

 

Finding new friends

I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of people (myself included) who would just deicide, “Obviously having friends is going to hurt; therefore why bother?”  However, it is important that we move on and have other friends.  Maybe that means being a friend to someone who is younger than you and desperately needs a friend.  Maybe you could just start greeting and helping new girls at your church feel welcome.

It is important that you don’t close yourself up and refuse to let yourself make friends.  Sometimes the most healing thing is to find someone to be a friend, even if it's only temporary.

 

Note to younger readers

For those of you who are not yet in your teens I would like to give you piece of advice.  Actually most of us could use this, but I want you to hear this.

You and your friend are growing up, and it is important for you to know that you will all change.  You and your friend might change together, or you might grow apart. You need to be willing, no matter how much it hurts, to let your friendship go if it becomes an unhealthy one.  So many girls these days are more afraid of being lonely than they are of having bad friends, and this should not be the case.  I have known girls who have been ruined by bad friends.

 

Loving and forgiving 

There are many of you who are reading this and have had friendships that have ended badly, like mine.  You know what I went through, because you have gone through it too.  We need to make sure that we forgive the hurt and move on.  It is too easy to wallow in the pain and sorrow, too easy to hold on and become bitter.  We need to pray that God will help us to forgive and let go.  So let us together dare to do what the world holds of little or no value.  Forgive those who hurt us, intentionally and unintentionally, as Christ has forgiven us.

 

Parting Thoughts

I pray that God will bless you with friends that will stick by you through thick and thin.  I pray that those of you are hurting because of a friendship will be encouraged and will learn the lessons God is trying to teach you.  May God bless you all.



About the author


sarah holman bio pic

Hello!  My name is Sarah Holman.  I am 17 years old. I live in central Texas with my wonderful mom and dad, my four younger sisters and one younger brother.  I love being the oldest at home of six children, though I must admit I feel the pressure of doing something wrong when there are five sets of little eyes are watching.

Some of the things I love to do are writing, reading and playing piano.  I have also enjoyed volunteering as a page for the Texas Senate and other political functions.  I have graduated early and I am hoping to become a published author and ultimately a wife and mother.

I welcome comments at thedestinyofone(at)juno(d0t)com

Visit Sarah's blog at destinyofone.blogspot.com

All Scripture references taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.

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