A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
~Proverbs 17:17 NIV~
A few days ago, I posted a status update on social media that simply said, “I miss my friends.” Of course, a few people responded by saying they were still with me. Yes, for the most part, I have many people whom I call friend who are indeed still speaking to me and will interact with me if I reach out to them. I meant no offense to them. I value the people that I have had the opportunity to interact with during my life. I feel that people are put in our lives for a reason and I don’t want to take them for granted. I also know that we sometimes disconnect and there isn’t always a good reason behind the lack of contact. Somewhere along the way there is a point where we stop asking about each other and it can leave the other person feeling hurt and confused.
To restate this and hopefully clarify, sometimes we go through things and we aren’t able to fully express what we need from each other at the time we are going through it. We either cocoon ourselves and lose touch with friends and loves ones or we purposely push someone away and they give up on us in order to protect themselves from whatever is hurting us; thinking that if we can’t handle it, then we surely don’t want to see what their problems can do to us if we hang around. Sometimes, when we push others away, we do it to protect them. Sometimes, we want them to rescue us. Sometimes, we are so lost and confused that we don’t know what we want. We have just reached a point where the way we are feeling and acting isn’t working for us anymore and we need for something to change.
Sometimes, nothing makes sense and although we don’t want to be without the people we love, we simply cannot continue to do the same things we have always done or be with the same people we’ve always been with until we get it together. Having been through this a few times in my life, I can honestly say that I’ve been surprised by the number of people who didn’t even ask what was going on with me. Although I like to take care of things on my own, sometimes it is nice to have someone hear you out or help you see things from a different perspective. I get that some people may not be comfortable reaching out or that maybe, they are going through things themselves. But if we are friends, shouldn’t we want to know when our friend is hurting? Shouldn’t we want to be support to them? If we reach out and they reject us, then we have done what we can do. But if we have a friend who is dealing with a particularly difficult situation and we simply don’t want to deal with their drama, are we being a good friend? There is a very fine line between supporting our friends and meddling in their lives when they need space. It can be difficult to know if we are doing the right thing by asking someone if there is anything they need. Should we hang back and just wait for them to ask us for help? Or should we step up and let them know that we are there if they need us? Either way, we leave ourselves open to rejection. But, in letting someone know that we care what is happening with them, we are doing what God would want us to do. We should never withhold love or concern in the interest of convenience.
I understand that we all have things going on in our lives, but it takes less than five minutes to send someone an e-mail or a text and ask them if they are doing okay. If you have friends who are struggling, take time to tell them you care what is happening in their lives. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to tell people what you are going through. The best way to heal is to confront the issue and to actually use the support system you have. Friends can’t help you or offer support if they have no idea that you’re struggling. Yes, we may want to be strong and to take care of things on our own, but there is no shame in having someone around to talk you through the difficult parts. Carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders doesn’t necessarily make you stronger. Sometimes it only causes further injury and it ensures that the healing process will take even longer.
Healing takes time. Healing is a choice. Healing must happen on purpose. Healing requires feeling. And the way we get to healing is through knowledge. I do miss my friends. But I know that in some cases, there was a need for us to separate and go our own way. In some cases, I did all I could do for them. In others, I did not. Going forward, I hope that the people in my life will know that I am here to listen when they need me to hear them. I hope that if I am ever able to help, that I will do so. And I hope that if I ever need someone, there will be someone there for me.
For more information on healing, please visit our blog for Higher Ground for Life. Healing for Life is a series on understanding what it takes to recover from personal trauma. Just a few pieces of information to help you get started on your journey toward healing. I hope you’ll take a look. God bless.