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How to Find Healing After a Friendship Breakup

Cally Logan

Author
Published Jan 10, 2024
How to Find Healing After a Friendship Breakup

When someone has journeyed through a season or multiple seasons of life, and then you are left to face a future without them, it can feel jarring and a bit burdensome. When a breakup occurs with a friend, especially a best friend, it can be hard to know how to move on, adjust, and do life without someone you once called your dearest friend. Breakups of this sort are not easy, but there is hope for a future ahead, even one that feels so unknown.

Breakups of any kind are rarely without heartache of some kind. When someone has journeyed through a season or multiple seasons of life, and then you are left to face a future without them, it can feel jarring and a bit burdensome. When a breakup occurs with a friend, especially a best friend, it can be hard to know how to move on, adjust, and do life without someone you once called your dearest friend. Breakups of this sort are not easy, but there is hope for a future ahead, even one that feels so unknown.

An Unexpected Split

When it comes to a romantic relationship, there is almost a fail-safe within that guards one’s heart that there is potential for the relationship to end. In a platonic relationship, that protective barrier is rarely placed upon one’s heart because there is no thought or expectation that the friendship should end. Romantic partners will come and go, but you never expect a friend to depart from your life, so when an unexpected split does occur, it can feel worse than a romantic split. In the Bible, we see a friendship that experienced a bond different than one would have with a romantic partner; one that was rooted and tied by souls. 1 Samuel 18:1 shares, “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” David and Jonathan experienced a rich friendship bond by oath and commitment; many of us would resonate with such a relationship. When a relationship like that is broken or severed, it can feel earth-shattering in terms of how to move on or continue in a new normal.

The New Normal

Much like habits, people become part of our routine. Perhaps the friendship you lost was one where you called them every night as you prepared dinner, or you would share every little detail of your life with them. When that friendship is no longer there, and that daily practice of communing with them is no longer present, it can feel as if your life has been ripped away. You must cultivate a new normal, one without that person that was once a core facet of your existence. Fostering a new normal will take you out of your comfort zone, but it is a good place to entwine with God and learn how He would desire your days to run. It may feel like a replacement at first, but in time, you will find that this new normal can be one you enjoy just as much, if not more, because it is designed by God and you. Setting in the place of what once was a good and healthy practice will not melt away your memories of the past, but it will help you move forward into the new now. A new normal is rarely what we desire, but it does not have to be something you will not one day come to enjoy.

Taking Time to Heal

Much of the journey onward after a split with a close companion requires space and time devoted to healing. This healing may come through counseling with a trained therapist, and there is nothing wrong with seeking mental health assistance during a difficult time. Having a third party offer input may allow you to see your role in the split, the unhealthy or toxic aspects of the former relationship, or other details that provide understanding and perspective for how things resulted in how they did. Healing also deeply thirsts for time spent with God. Only in and through that time with God can we experience true healing on a soul level. God may reveal to you during this time things previously unknown to you or offer comfort in what lies ahead. The friendship that no longer exists is much like a death, and taking time for mourning can benefit you in the way of not holding on to the pain that the death bore.

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness is another key aspect when it comes to healing and moving on. It has been said that it “takes two to tango,” and in the process of moving into a life without a person who was once so dear, you will find that you play back in your mind conversations, experiences, and parts of the friendship. You may find that you must forgive yourself for your own actions that played a role in the decline of the friendship and forgiveness towards the other person for how they hurt you. Remember the wisdom given in Ephesians 4:31-32: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Invite God into this process and allow Him to work within you to truly forgive all those who were involved.

Releasing Them to God

Ultimately, you will need to release the person to God in order to progress into what life holds for you next. Some friends serve a purpose to be in your life for a season, and some for the duration of your life. Though we may not always understand why, we must trust that God had a purpose, plan, and precise timing for that person in our life. If they do not come with you into the next chapter of your life, it could be for a reason far above our understanding, and in that case, we must trust that God knows what is best in His perfect timing. Work through the anger, the hurt, and the feelings that have ensued since the split of the relationship, and then take your hands off the situation and leave them at His feet. You may not know until Heaven why things unfolded as they did, but continuously pray to be aligned in heart and mind with Him and let Him have the pen in writing your story, including the characters in every season. Remember, above all else, we have an intercessor, a friend, and a true confidant who will never leave us in the Lord.

Friendship That Doesn’t End with God

Humans will fail you, but God does not. John 14:26 shares the truth that God does not leave us, “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” Some translations call the Holy Spirit a helper or a friend, and we are never left without Him. This is why it is vital not to form our deepest relationships with human beings but with God. He is the only One who will never leave, forsake, or abandon you, and He is for all seasons of life here on earth and in Heaven. God graciously gives us companions on this side of Heaven to walk through life with, but some of those relationships are not meant to last a lifetime. Rely on His wisdom and what He sees behind closed doors, and trust the people He brings in and out of your life. Remember that you are never truly alone, and although the loss of a friend can sting bitterly, that pain will not last forever.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Paolo Cordoni

Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. Her works have been featured on "The 700 Club Interactive" and Christine Caine's "Propel Women," among several notable outlets. She served as a mentor for young women for several years and enjoys challenging ladies to develop deeper relationships with God and to live fearlessly and authentically. She received her B.A. Degree from Regent University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time in nature, having genuine chats over coffee, and woodworking. Her new book, The Wallflower That Bloomed, will be available everywhere on May 1, 2024. It is set to be featured in Jesus Calling and on The 700 Club on May 28, 2024. @CallyLogan Instagram CallyLogan.com