The Importance of Boundaries
Don’t allow people to use you. Offer help but don’t be a dump truck. As a Christian, sometimes you may feel like you have to be this “missionary of a person” all the time– always available, always giving, always saying “Yes”. NO. You have to put you first and create boundaries so that people don’t walk over or abuse you. KEYWORD: Reciprocity. Expect reciprocity! Nothing is wrong with expecting to be treated the way you treat others. No, not everyone is going to love like you or give like you but do they have a heart to? Are they willing to? Your friends will value you, your time, and your energy!
Who I Am
After losing friends, I had to take time (I still am) to do some self-evaluation. What are the common threads throughout your friendships? Are similar experiences occurring? Is it you? You have to take accountability for your role in every situation you’re in. It took some time but I realized I’d developed a bad way of cutting people off. I cut people out of my life but subconsciously I didn’t feel peace about it. This led to mad animosity and resentment ( yes mad!). I had to learn that: although it was okay to let people go, it wasn’t okay to harbor negative feelings about them. I had to learn how to fully release the individual from my life.
Heart Tip: Acknowledge how they made you feel and forgive them for it.
How To Be A Friend
Just like having a bad manager can teach you how to be a better manager; so can friendships. I’ve learned that I needed to treat my friends the way I desired to be treated ( cliche I know but so essential). I’ve learned what it takes to be a true friend:
– a friend loves at all times | a friend is loyal Proverbs 17:17
– a friend is available in times of need Job 2:11
– a friend is forgiving Colossians 3:13
– a friend helps you to be a BETTER you Proverbs 27:17
– a friend uplifts Ecclesiastes 4:10
The Process of Healing From the Loss of a Friend Can Be Just as Painful as a Death
Loss is loss whether it’s through death, divorce, or separation. Knowing this, you should allow yourself the time and space to heal. I’ve tried , in the past, to pretend it didn’t happen. “If I can just stop thinking about them, I’m good”, I thought. Stop trying to push them in the back of your mind. Stop trying to ignore the feelings you have because of the friendship ending. Deal with it now or struggle through it later, the choice is yours.
Heart Tip: Don’t stay angry at what happened. Nothing God allows to happen, happens by accident.
Use WISDOM with Who You Should/Shouldn’t Allow in Your Life :
This is the BIGGEST lesson I’ve learned in losing friends. BIGGEST!
Do you know how many times God told me: “no, not that one”; “don’t befriend them or don’t get to close to that one”. After I ignored His voice countless times, He still tried to get my attention by waving many red flags! Everyone you encounter does not have to take residence in your life. I repeat: everyone isn’t meant to be your friend. Seek God for wisdom on how to choose friends and relationships. Let Him show you why that individual has walked into your life.
I’ve suffered through the pain of giving people positions in my life that God never did. Trust me when I say: Let God tell you if they are seasonal or lifetime and then act accordingly.
Heart Tip: Taking time to seek God’s voice, in regards to friendships, will help you in the long run.
Learning When to Let Friendships/Relationships Go:
I want you to know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with removing yourself from certain individuals. I want you to know that your peace and purpose are often dependent on this. If anything threatens your peace or purpose , you should consider cutting/removing yourself from it until you are able to deal with it. If it doesn’t bring peace, it’s not from God.
Not every friend is going to grow with you! As you grown in your purpose, learn who you are, and build your character; some of your friendship will end– and this is okay! Don’t stunt your growth holding on to the past. Don’t neglect your purpose trying to stay confined to the roles of an old friendship. Growing apart is a part of growing. I know it hurts but God will heal your heart and send you new friends that are chasing after His.
Before you go, let me leave you with this final heart tip: Friendships and relationships grow in healthy ways by having clear and open communication. Did they hurt you? Tell them how they made you feel; be honest! Lastly, forgive them; forgive yourself; and move forward. Don’t harbor onto hate, resentment, or unforgiveness; life is too short to.