BEST FRIENDS... FOR NOW?
by Amanda Delaune
In life there are many things that happen that are out of our control. This is a hard concept to accept, especially when you are a control freak, like me. Although I have experienced many things throughout my life that were beyond my control—some very painful—God has used them all to shape me into the person I am today. I want to share with you one such incident and how letting go helped me grow more in a year than I ever could have imagined.
It’s funny the things that God uses to expose our weaknesses, our flaws, our strongholds, the very things that separate us from the life that He has for us. For me, he used a “friend break-up.” I hadn’t known this friend for very long.
When I first met her, the Holy Spirit warned me, “She’s going to hurt you, but I want you to love her unconditionally.”
It struck me as odd, but I said, “Okay, God. If You want me to truly love this girl, then You have to give me a heart toward her.” And, He did. It didn’t happen instantly, but I continually prayed for her and He really strengthened my heart toward her. Before I knew it, we were best friends.
I wasn’t one to call someone a best friend. I am more of a “best friend for now” type of girl. My friends and I often joked about this, because I would frequently move from one friend to the next. It was simple: the friend that spent the most time with me was my #1, my “best friend for now”. If I saw that a friend wasn’t calling or texting, I’d start to back away. I’d always done this. No big deal. They were still part of my circle, just not my #1.
After several months into my new friendship, I found myself having a strong desire to back away. It’s what I always did, and I wasn’t quite sure why. I confessed to my husband on multiple occasions that I needed to step away from the friendship. I didn’t have a legitimate reason to do so, but I just knew it was time to run. My husband reminded me that God had told me to love her unconditionally and that maybe I should listen. I was scared of getting hurt though, because God had also warned me that I’d get hurt.
Let’s face it—I really didn’t want to get hurt. So, I reluctantly listened to my husband and continued the friendship. It didn’t take long before something happened that ended our friendship.
Those first 4 months after our friendship ended, I was bitter, but God still had me continue to pray for my friend and her family daily. It’s kind of hard to dislike someone that you’re praying for. As I prayed daily, God allowed my bitterness to fade.
During this time, I also pressed into Daddy God like I never had before. I worshiped, read my Bible, and listened to so many sermons. I really tried to immerse myself in His presence. As I pressed in, He graciously poured out His Spirit on me as He gave me songs and poems. Some days He’d pour them out so quickly that I barely had time to grab a pen. I was truly overwhelmed with His desire to speak to me. He reminded me that I was His daughter; a parent always desires to speak to their child.
He also revealed to me my deep insecurities, issues that I never knew I had. Apparently, I had an issue with rejection that rooted from when I was younger. This was the reason that I had “best friends for now”. It turns out my mentality was to leave them before they left me. This friend’s abandoning me brought to life a fear of mine that I didn’t even realize I had. I also had an issue with insecurity. I couldn’t stand if someone didn’t like me. I was a people-pleaser more than I was a God-pleaser. Even though Jesus was perfect, not everyone liked Him. So, how did I expect everyone to like me? That was an unrealistic expectation. I needed to overcome my fear of rejection so that I could truly appreciate the people that God had placed in my life and love them the way that He had intended.
He also revealed to me my deep insecurities, issues that I never knew I had.
Looking back, it’s all so clear now. God loved me so much that He needed me to let go of past hurts and rejection. He needed me to move on from what I thought was best for my life and move forward toward the plans that He had for me. He needed me to trust Him and His heart toward me. In experiencing the hurt from the loss of this friendship, He was able to expose a deeper hurt. Ultimately, He was able to heal a heart that I didn’t even know was broken.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” I’d quoted that scripture quite often, but I can’t say that I ever fully believed it until now. You see, I had to give God control. I had to let go and trust His plan for me. In doing this, I could move forward into living the life that He died for me to live.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” I don’t think that I ever really lived my life abundantly (to the fullest) until now. God has not only restored that broken friendship, but we are closer than ever before. She encourages me daily and we both build each other up like God intended. We’re so much more than best friends now; we are sisters in Christ.
God not only grew me through this process, He’s grown her as well. I think she needed someone to love her unconditionally to help her reach the plans that God has for her life. I couldn’t have loved her with that kind of agape love that she needed if I hadn’t let go of my bitterness and chosen to move on.
A few months back, she surprised me with a bracelet that I wear daily. In it, it has the serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change (control), the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It’s this Control Freak’s daily reminder to let go and move forward, trusting that God’s plans are so much better than mine.
He has also strengthened my other friendships and relationships. I no longer fear abandonment, because I trust that God is working all things out for my good. Also, I am in the process of sharing those poems and songs that He gave me with others. In the end, I am truly thankful that everything happened the way it did. It took the loss of a friend to truly find myself and to move forward into the abundant life that Daddy God has always wanted so desperately for me to have.