Dearly beloved we have gathered here today to mourn a loss. Some friendships grow in different directions, others suffer a fatal blow, and other friendships fall apart at the hand of foul play. It doesn’t matter what happened, friendships that fail are difficult to get over.
I know first hand that losing a friend can be tougher than heartbreak. My circle has been small for a long time, but when I found out that the value I placed on the word friend was not shared with one who I considered one of my closest, I kind of freaked out. I didn’t really know what to do when I lost a close friend and I made some mistakes that made it a whole lot worse for me and for her.
I don’t want you to go that route so here are four tips to help you cope with the death of a friendship.
1. Admit that you are hurting.
You don’t have to admit this to everyone, but be real with yourself. If you have lost a friend, or a friendship is damaged – IT HURTS. Admit that your feelings are hurt and you will be better able to move forward. Many people invest a bunch of energy into proving the lie that they are, “Just fine,” without the friend. You aren’t fooling anyone and you are hurting yourself even more.
2. Don’t play divide and conquer.
After the loss of a friendship there is usually a proverbial line drawn in the sand that forces mutual friends to choose a side. Try your best not to create any drama or force people to choose between you and the former friend.
3. Evaluate your use of the term friend.
The hardest lesson that my eight year old daughter is learning is that not everyone is your friend. True friendship cannot be severed! So when you lose a person that you thought was a friend, ask yourself were there warning signs that this friendship did not share a common definition or boundaries. Search yourself to see what you could have done differently.
4. Choose gratefulness.
The friendship wasn’t all bad. Be grateful for the good times. Treasure the time in the friendship when things went well and know that the old adage is true, “Some friends are for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” Whichever category the friendship fell into try to accept it, learn as much as you can from it, and be grateful for it.
I know how bad it hurts to lose a friend. Whether it is over something real or imagined, intentional or unintentional, accidental or maliciously concocted – IT HURTS. I want to encourage you to leave space for grace, and leave space for reconciliation. It may not be extended to you, but in the words of the Apostle Paul, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” You can’t control anyone else, but how you respond is totally up to you.
The best antidote for loosing a friend is becoming a better friend to the ones you have remaining.(Check out this post for tips on how to get along with other women.) Loosing a friend made me realize that I have to be intentional about maintaining my friendships and treating others the way I want to be treated. Remember, that even friendships that seem dead can find newness in different seasons of life.
Pray with me:
You admonish us to, “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” Lord remind us that the measure that you use to forgive us, is the same measure we use to forgive others. Help us to look beyond the hurt of a broken friendship and look to you to turn our mourning into joy. Let us find joy in knowing that every friendship serves a purpose when we turn it over to you- even if the friendship is over. Thank you for being the best friend anyone could ever have. May we model our standard of friendship by the one you have set for us! May we love as you love and forgive as you forgive.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
LEAVE A COMMENT: What is your definition of a friend? How do you know a real one? Have you ever lost a close friend? What did you do to cope?