• Christine Ward

Friends for Just a Short Time or for a Lifetime

Someone I was once very good friends with said something one day that kind of stuck. It resonated with me, and I realized that I’ve done this a lot throughout my lifetime. She said something along the lines of, “You never know when someone will be with you for the season, for a reason, or for a lifetime.”

When I was young, I moved around a lot. I mean, I can’t even tell you how many different schools I went to. I transferred so much that it was hard for me to build lasting friendships that actually stuck after another disappointing move.

Don’t get me wrong - I never had a problem making friends. Still, I usually kept these friendships on a superficial level because I knew how bad it hurt every time I left them behind.

Better to just not get too invested.

I did keep in contact with one crucial childhood friend, someone I considered more of a sister than anything else. Through the years, we were thick as thieves and went through a lot of life lessons together. Unfortunately, though, at one point, I realized that we were both walking two very different paths. I had to let her go, and it killed me.

Finally, when I was 16, I was blessed to be able to have a stable life for once. My G-ma, my life’s saving grace, took me in and gave me consistency. I was finally able to have a place to call home, and I settled in.

I started a new high school again, but for the last time, thank God. I found a crazy group of friends who took me under their wings and treated me like I had always belonged - I was able to form friendships that mattered. I needed that at the time.

Fast forward a few years later, and along comes my husband - and with our marriage eventually came kids. That crazy group of friends that I’d invested all my attention to didn’t seem so important. I realized that my priorities and some of theirs didn’t align anymore, and the inevitable happened.

We drifted apart.

I found some new mom friends who understood that just because we don’t talk every day, doesn’t mean I don’t care. They have kids too, life gets hectic, and sometimes mom time gets put on the backburner (ok, all the time). We might talk once a month - I’m so glad they get it.

The fact is, in life, you’ll find people who you’re meant to be there for or vice versa, and then they drift away just the same as they drifted in. You’ll find people who’ll get you on such a deep level that they’ll be in your corner until the day you die, and you’ll also have people that come in and just take.

Life changes, people move in different directions, and you realize who matters and who doesn’t - especially during the hard times. I’ve recognized that every single person who has come into my life has drifted in for a reason - and there isn’t one person who I used to call friend, who hasn’t left a mark on my soul.

When it comes to friends who I don’t talk to much anymore, I’m still here cheering you on from afar, although I don’t want to be in your circle. Thank you for the life lessons you taught me - good or bad. I’m sorry I still have trouble really connecting sometimes, it’s just who I am. I’m reminded of you occasionally, and I still miss you.

I hope you’re doing fine and get what you’re seeking in life.

The point here is - yes, people do come into your life for specific reasons and make their mark. Some friends hang around for seasons of your life, and you realize that life is just leading you in a different direction.

That’s ok.

There are also those friends who stick around for a lifetime and, at some point, become more like family (you know who you are). It’s a natural cycle, so don’t feel bad about letting some people go - they had a purpose.

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