Originally published Tuesday, 14 May 2013.
Losing my best friend is probably one of the most difficult things I've ever had to write about.
I hesitated even writing about it at all because it's so personal, private, and painful. But, I decided it's better to share deeply and from the heart, instead of suffering in silence. Where do I even begin? How do I craft such a letter so delicately without offending, slandering, or using cutting remarks? Losing my best friend didn't happen in one particular moment, but happened over a long and very painful time. I honestly never expected to gain a husband and lose my best friend. There are so many instances of meanness that I regret. Promises I wish I hadn't made, and words I wish I hadn't said.
It was during those months of a broken friendship that I found God in new and fresh ways that I didn't expect to encounter Him.
Now, instead of being afraid to talk to my friends or to make new friends--God showed me how to trust again. Now, instead of swearing off all best friends--I learned what it means to choose my friends "carefully" (Proverbs 12:26). Each tearful journal entry became yet another chapter in my life. I love that God wastes nothing. No tears or heartache goes unnoticed before God. In my newest eBook, Loves Me Not, I share about I have learned about Christians and friendship.
I wonder if you've ever lost a close friend.
+ Friends don’t gossip about each other (Proverbs 26:20).
+ Friends are gentle instead of harsh or angry at each other (Proverbs 15:1).
+ Friends words bring healing (Proverbs 12:18).
+ Friends should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19).
+ Friends don’t destroy each other (Proverbs 11:9).
+ Friends are understanding and even-tempered with each other (Proverbs 17:2).
+ Friends pray for each other (Job 42:10, James 5:16).
+ Friends spur each other forward (Hebrews 10:24).
+ Friends encourage each other daily (see Hebrews 3:13).
+ Friends share in each other’s troubles and joys (see Romans 12:15).
+ Friends are reliable and stick closer than a brother or sister (Proverbs 18:24).
Maybe like me, you weren't anticipating the loss of a best friend or family member, but now that it's happened--how do you (and I) move on? There is good news!
After reading this list--I want you to know not every friendship ends in brokenness.
I want to share with you a story of another friend. I thought I was going to lose her friendship because of a boy. Instead of letting our conflict get the best of us, we used it as an opportunity to forgive one another and pray for one another. It's been a few years, and she is no longer dating this guy--and we are still friends. Be encouraged, if you are still learning like me, take some time to go through this list and ask God what He might say to you regarding some of your Christian friendships.
[Photo credit: Sean Molin Photography via photopin cc]