I originally titled this post “It’s Hard to Lose Friends,” but that’s not fair. It’s not always that we lose friends but that we miss them. I’ve seen several social media shares lately on a post that basically say, if friendships are based on me reaching out to someone and checking in, please don’t give up on me.
I get it. Life gets busy. I have never been one to hold that against anyone. My friends are friends no matter how often they reach out or respond. It’s not about me. It’s a friendship, and that is a give and take, ebb and flow dynamic. It’s not a tally sheet. We don’t just give when we’ve been given. It’s not a chess match of who gives what. Most friendships go through seasons. Sometimes we share a lot, and sometimes we’re silent. Our personalities impact our contact with each other, too. I enjoy reaching out to encourage others when certain dates approach (but I still miss many), when I know someone is experiencing a need or burden (and sometimes I don’t know), or God prompts me to pray and connect (and I usually respond but not always), but that’s not everyone’s bend. I love that I have friends who have a variety of strengths, interests, and personalities. They make my life richer.
When we don’t hear from someone, I don’t think we should pout and have pity parties. I assume someone is busy. I also assume God brought them to mind for a reason, and it’s not a selfish one. I go ahead and reach out.
Most of the time.
Recently, I found myself hesitant to reach out. My hesitancy started with not wanting to bug someone. I knew she was in a busy season. She said she’d reconnect when she could. I didn’t want to push. But a month became several. My hesitancy transitioned into thinking maybe her neglect was purposeful. Maybe our friendship was simply moving into another season, and while that made me a bit sad, I also understand it happens. Our paths didn’t cross, so, out of sight, out of mind. I hoped she at least was reaching out to someone and not getting overwhelmed by life, but…I didn’t reach out. If she didn’t want to connect, I didn’t want to push.
More time went by, and I decided my feelings were hurt. She must not care. She chose to move on. I didn’t sit in that space for long before I thought, “What am I—twelve?” If I’m so intent on encouraging others, if I am determined to have healthy relationships, if I truly care about loving others, I needed to grow up and reach out.
I haven’t heard back yet, but it’s okay. I miss my friend, but I haven’t lost her. She’s still close to my heart and often in my mind and prayers.
Be an adult in your friendships. Be healthy, generous, forgiving, and patient.