What Happens When a Friend Doesn’t Stand the Test of Time?

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Growing up, Anne of Green Gables was not only one of my favorite books but also one of my favorite films. Firstly, I am fair-skinned and freckled and Pippy Longstocking just wasn’t my girl, so I adored Anne and her journey from precocious orphan to mature teacher. But above all else, I love her loyalty and friendship with Diane. I always felt it was the cornerstone of the story. Through adversity, death, marriage, change, and distance, their devotion to one another persisted. They were, and will always be, the quintessential “bosom friends.”

We long for this, don’t we? The inclusion that comes with finding good friends with similar interests, passions, and humor. It’s a feeling like none other. It’s that overwhelming emotion of feeling like you're not alone in the world. Some of these relationships often blossom during the most unexpected of places: elementary school, gym, coffee shop, church, college seminar, or work. So what happens as we grow, develop new relationships with others, move, or fall into seasons where we have less and less in common with one another?

Haven’t we all encountered this a time or two, trying to hold onto a friendship that is ripping at the seams? Let me put your mind at ease... this will happen to you at some point, during some season of life that you are going through. I remember encountering my own such moment in a friendship where I kept on asking myself the question: do I concede to the drifting a part or do I fight? I think there is a lot to be said for what our own intuition tells us and life just takes people in completely opposite directions, no bad blood, just different paths. But then there is the other kind of feeling when, almost like in a romantic relationship, that gut-wrenching emptiness in your stomach overwhelms you. In this situation, you want to fight and you do.

Be prepared for seasons of life when people are going to come in and out of your life, but also prepare yourself for the peace of knowing that there are those few who will happily be along for the long haul. Take heart, and listen to yourself and your current time of life. Does this person lift me up? What would my day be like without our constant group texts or Friday nights brought in by laughter and coffee?

Personally, I have had friends that have turned into distance acquaintances and they are living life in their own fulfilling way. Every once in a while I scroll on Facebook and see a post or picture, and think fondly of them and smile. For those whose memory had been a bit tumultuous or difficult and was necessary to end, I like to focus on the growth that time brought me.

As for the friendships I have worked and fought hard for, well, I have never regretted one ounce of tears shed or late night phone call.