Monday, August 1, 2011

Friends are friends....forever?

I have written and rewritten this post...I just can't seem to put down in a blogspot what I am feeling. The feelings are intense and hard to accurately portrait them to you without you becoming confused by the mess of words that I spew out from my keyboard.

I remember singing the Michael W. Smith song "Friends" many a time during my high school, college years. By the time I was married I had made friends and said good-bye to them but usually because one of us was moving. In fact, I can't think of one single person whom I have an estranged relationship with until this past week.

It got me thinking about friendships in general. Throughout our lives we come in contact with many people. Some will stay in the acquaintance stage while others may move to that inner circle of close, dear friend status. Then, there are all the levels between the two that are occupied by the majority of our friendships.
I happen to be one of those gals that have a lot of friendships in the mid levels. I have a few that have been intimate, close friends but for different seasons of my life. We change, we grow and sometimes that means our friendships change as well. I am okay with that. But, when the majority of your friendships are couples that you and your husband are close with...and, when your husband dies...can you see some difficulty here?

Yes, you would think that those people would be the ones that gather around you to support you knowing that you are an individual that still needs that friendship. I found out last week that one of those close friends decided that she no longer wants to be my friend. Our friendship, I have been told, was based on my relationship with Eric. Since Eric is no longer here, we no longer need to be friends. I am just someone she knows now. Wow! This was a close friend...or so I thought. As this has sunk in I have found myself grieving all over again. It's hard enough to lose your husband, the life you had with him, your children's father, and pretty much your identity...but, to have a friend tell you this is just...it's just junk!

But, the shock has worn off and over this past week I have been reminded of a sweet blessing. God opened a few doors for me to have some interaction with some dear friends that I thought were backing off due to my different status in life. Those who really loved us both, loved me all the more when he died. They did not treat me like a project, they did not exclude me from functions, they backed off when they were told to by others, they loved me by helping me with my children and understanding my situation. I can't thank the Lord enough for those who loved me beyond what I could even see...
Thank you Dave and Jean H,
Thank you Carl and Jennifer S,
Thank you Steve and Wendy W.
And, a huge thank you goes out to all those at Central Valley Presbyterian who gave, loved, and prayed for me.
You loved me even when it hurt.
You have accepted my new life with Phil.
And, more importantly, you have been a shining example of how the Church should take care of its own and the widow and orphans.

So, if you didn't understand this post you now understand why I have had such a hard time writing it. Such grief, such sorrow over losing some friends while joy over reuniting with other friends. And, then the mixed feelings of sadness over time lost with those friends.

~Heather

12 comments:

Kainos said...

Heather I am so sorry that you are experiencing this. Different circumstances, but we lost many friends from our old church when their grace could not continue in our families life after my husband became ill...too much to say and it would take up so much space on your comments and this is not about me...I just wanted you to know that I feel and understand the pain you are experiencing! God bless you and you beautiful family in this next season and prayerfully new friends in your life!!!

Home School Dad said...

I understand why this post was hard to get published...so many feelings and thoughts and wishes...hard to put in black and white. You did well! The Lord has given you the gift of encouraging others. And the fact that you use it when you've been through such pain, is a blessing to many! Thank you! :)
Amy (HomeschoolDad's wife)

hm nds said...

Heather, while we loved, LOVED, Eric, more than you will ever know, you and him were one. We love you, as well, more than you'll ever know. You are a project to us. A project of love. :) We are glad to call you a sister in Christ, sis! :)

Mendi... said...

Although I have not lost my spouse, I completely understand what you are trying to say here...been there, done that myself. Heart-wrenching to say the least... In these times and situations the Lord reminds me to love without limits and forgive without boundaries lest a deep root of bitterness grow from within me. He's telling me to let go and move forward with my face set like flint upon Him!

Praying for you as you work through this "season"...

Mendi

Christine said...

So sorry you've had to experience even more pain. I say it's this person's loss to no longer want to be your "friend" You and your family are so very precious! I've learned so much from you over the years :)
Hugs!
Christine

NYLass said...

I wish I didn't understand this post - but I do. Thank God for solid Christian friends who are faithful to preach truth - where would we be without them?

Stacy McDonald said...

This post made me cry. I am so thankful the Lord gave you such good and faithful friends - and a good and faithful church family!

Anonymous said...

My she got tired of putting up with your delusional religious behavior?

Lazy D Ranch said...

The above comment does not use foul language and so I am allowing it to be posted.
Maybe the anonymous author of such thoughts should put more effort into learning how to write rather than name calling.

Abundantly Blessed said...

Heather,

I am SO sorry you are going through this. I can relate to the pain of having a very close friend turn on you and 'all of a sudden' they aren't your friend anymore. It hurts! Plain and simple! I am glad the Lord opened doors for you to interact with those friends you thought were backing off. I pray for you and your family daily!!!

HUGS,
Vania

Bobbi said...

So sorry you've experienced this loss, Heather. We too have experienced the loss of those we thought would be "forever friends" in the Lord. To be ripped away for inane reasons is incredibly gut wrenching, confusing, and leaves one's mind and heart boggled. I loved what Mendi shared; not allowing a root of bitterness by which many can be defiled. Bask in His love, provision, and protection dear sister.

Fruitful Vine Lady said...

You brought tears to my eyes, Heather. I'm sorry for your loss, again. Heartwrenching to find out that people aren't truly the friends you thought they were. May you find joy in your renewed friendships. The people you named are very special, indeed. Love you, friend!