Have you ever noticed that a great deal of media portrays a well-known concept called “the best friend?” It seems that in our culture, we have an ideology dedicated to a “soulmate” friendship. I can name at least 8 films/shows that will swoon us to believe that this one friendship will provide us with happiness and meet all of our ultimate needs.
Jess & Milly (Miss you already) – Great movie…you will cry.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (Sherlock Holmes)
Tom & Jerry (Tom & Jerry)
Lucy Ricardo & Ethel Mertz (I Love Lucy)
Fred Flintsone & Barney Rubble (The Flintstones)
Bert & Ernie (Sesame Street)
Meredith Grey & Christina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)
Dean Winchester & Jared Padalecki (Supernatural)
From kids shows to adult shows these movies portray this “best friend concept.” If you have a best friend…that’s fantastic! It is good to have this kind of stability, but on the flip side, we also need others in our life to give us the words of advice for our particular season.
It is hard for me to believe that we can have all of our needs met by 1 person. And that 1 person can fulfill all of my needs.
Life is full of events that bring about life-altering change. Life will alter our perception of the world, and we will grow into a new person through each season of life.
AND…you will come across a different person in these different seasons that God will place in your life to meet your current needs.
I can’t allow myself to find, or have only, 1 best friend that can possibly meet all of my needs for every season of life.
For instance: I work full-time, I am done with college, at the beginning of a career, and I am in a serious relationship. This part of my life calls for a friend who is in the same stage as I am. It also calls for various mentors who has either been in this stage, or is at this stage, and can provide advice. If I rely on one person for the rest of my life then they may give me “bad advice” because they can’t relate or haven’t been there.
Another instance: One amazing friend of mine who I have known for over 10 years is about to get married. I love her to death, but I do not expect her to come to me for marriage advice – I haven’t been there! I can’t tell her anything beneficial if I have never been in those shoes.
Another instance: A few of my friends are having babies. Again – I have never been pregnant, nor do I have a child. I cannot give the proper advice to the parents of these kids. I don’t have life experience to give them. That season, for me, has not yet come.
If we rely on one person for all of our needs we will eventually come to a point of resentment, disappointment, and lack of relational fulfillment.
God built us for relationship – and relationships change. Some friends will be close to you for years on end, and others will be there for you for just 1-2 seasons. And guess what? That’s okay!
We also can’t keep every single friend we come across for the rest of our life. You will eventually wear yourself tirelessly in an attempt to keep up with all of these friends. Some friends will want to stay…even though you know God has called you to let them go.
Yes – it’s hard and difficult to let those who want to stay go, but if you know God has called you out of that friendship (especially if it is unhealthy for you), then we must find a way for ourselves to move forward.
We need to come to an understanding of where we are in life, who we need in our life to meet our relational needs, and also ask God where He wants us to go in life so that He places the right people in our path to get us in that next season.
On my TimeHop, for April 4th, I posted over 7 years ago a status that says: “God determines who walks into your life….it’s up to you to decide who you will let “walk” away, and who you let “stay…” (crazy that, that is my TimeHop for TODAY! That just tells me I am meant to share this).
And I share this because God will provide us the people we need, but we also need to have discernment as to who we need to let walk away and who we need to let stay…
Because, we as humans, let our fear of change hinder us. We will allow the wrong people to stay in our life, and also let the right people leave it.
I once had a best friend when I was kid. She was incredibly awesome at the time. Later, she moved away, and we attempted to keep up with each other. Well, that didn’t work out. I eventually moved on and made new friends. We now live completely separate lives and we are in completely different seasons. I would have never expected her to be the one person for the rest of my life. I had to let go in order to find new people who would meet my current needs.
It’s important to learn when it is time to let go, or when it is time to keep. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a moot point where you no longer grow. As Preston Stack puts it, “when a hermit grows it must shift it’s shell or it will die.” I know you won’t die (that’s extreme), but you will need to shift in order to grow because your old relationships will not match your new season if they aren’t growing at the same rate, or on the same path as you are.
I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below, or send me a message!
Photo by Joshua Sazon on Unsplash