Growing up, we've probably all had a "best friend". Sure, we might not have used that word... but you have that one friend, or group of friends, who you secretly might think of as your best friends, your besties, your close friends, your buddies...etc. Sometimes I think when you're a kid, it's so much easier to make friends. Many times for children, it doesn't matter if your friend is a boy or a girl, or even if you have many common interests because kids can figure out almost anything to do, whether its imaginary make-believe, playing on the playground, running around in the backyard...etc. (I'm probably going to say "etc." a lot...bear with me? Pardon the pun ;)) When we get older, our interests narrow a little, and we begin developing or learning more about the things that we really love, like writing, art, computer-related activities, sports, etc. (Oops, I said it again!) Sometimes we find out that we don't have the same interests or passions as our childhood friends. Sometimes that means the relationship eventually drifts away...other times, the friendship continues, despite differences in interests.
Looking back on my childhood / preteen years, up to where I am now, I realise I have had many close friends (and I still do). Though I may not talk to them today, or even have any way to contact them, I can still look back on those times as great memories. Now I have new passions and take delight in things that are different and perhaps bigger than catching bugs in the backyard or playing with plastic toys. But it took me a while to get to this point, to understand that some friends are only around for a season.
Maybe you've heard the phrase, "Make new friends, but keep the old; some are silver, some are gold." In a way it's true. Even though we meet new people, we shouldn't abandon our old friendships. You will be closer to one friend than another, and that's okay. Friendships take time and investment - you can't be everyone's best friend.
Sometimes, you just have to let go. I always thought that I would be friends with certain people forever - truly the meaning of "best friends forever" in my mind. I thought a certain person and I would always be friends - we would always e-mail, talk, keep in touch, etc. (there we go again... with that word...:)). But sometimes, it's simply time to move on.
This is pretty tough for me. Although I'm not always a very good friend, I probably am a somewhat loyal friend in the sense that abandoning a friend at any time, for any reason, is not something that I would do. With that personality trait, I look at my group of friends and think that they must be the same. It's simply not the case. I am fairly social and can be a bit clingy at times, even when it's time to move on.
All I can say is, don't be surprised if you - pardon the cliche - find yourself drifting away from some of your friends as you get older. I've learned that you can still love your best friends, and still be there for them, even if you don't hang out much anymore, or call each other every day. You can still send them a note or a message, or call them once in a while to see how they're doing. But sometimes you just have to let go and move on to the new places and plans in your future.
I once read some extremely good advice: not to be surprised when a friend hurts you. It shouldn't be a surprise - after all, we're all sinners! Instead, when a friend hurts us, we can use that opportunity to show God's love to them and to, perhaps even grow closer to that friend.
Anyway, this is a very random and slightly wordy, all-over-the-place, disorganized post. :p I was simply thinking about some things I've learned about friendship and wanted to share them with you.
As for the stuffed bears in the photo at the top, I adore stuffed animals! The larger bear I received while in the hospital for my cardiac arrest. The smaller bear I also received in a hospital, but a different hospital, one I was staying at in England. A good friend of mine share some great memories involving that bear. Even if we don't talk as much anymore and we now live an ocean away, I know she will always be one of my closest friends, and I will always love her. :)
And for those reading this... know that I will always love you, girls! :) Even if it comes to a time when we don't talk much anymore, and our interests change, I know we can still be friends. I'm so glad I get to know you for this season of time, whether our friendships last for months or years. You are all such blessings to me!
"A friend loves at all times..." - Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV)