I’m starting to notice that all of my posts have really horrible titles that make me sound like a bitch if you don’t read on. Perhaps there’s something going on there subconsciously…
But anyway, I have been thinking a little bit about lost friends today. Not friends that I’ve really had a fight with, but those that maybe have a different life now and have therefore drifted away. It’s those ones that I always feel the most sad about losing and it’s made worse these days by the bane of everyone’s life, also known as social media.
When I was at school I had a really small and tight knit group of friends and we did everything together. I loved them more than anything because I’m an INFP and I get attached to anything that has a pulse shows me love. But when I was eighteen I was going through a difficult time in college and so I dropped out and moved to London. I was really lost and confused and being a bit of a dick to everyone around me because the truth of the matter was that I was terrified of where my life was going.
I think that my friends hoped that they could save me from myself but I knew better and after a few months of being in London the phone calls and visits started to dry up and before I really even knew that it was happening, they were gone. At the time, I was so angry and scared that my first reaction was to tell them to go fuck themselves because that made me look as though I didn’t care and that it was me that was in control of the situation.
I drifted on through life and got married, had a baby and got divorced all before the age of twenty two and I really found myself in a very lonely and dark place. And then along came Facebook.
At first I thought that the Book of Face was the most amazing thing to ever have been invented. It offered me a window into the lives of people I knew and as an introvert, this was great because I could stalk people without talking to them or ever leaving the house. But then I clicked on these old friends and saw that they were still together, just without me.
I’ve never felt such a pang of hurt and resentment as when I scrolled through endless photos of them all together at birthday parties and weddings. It hurt to know that they weren’t sad I was gone; they were thriving as a group.
Throw into the mix, the fact that I was struggling with alcoholism at this point, and you have the perfect storm. I remember totally humiliating myself by sending one of them a ranty message when drunk, explaining exactly why I thought she was a nasty piece of work for excluding me from their circle.
Looking back I can’t hep but hang my head in shame but it just goes to show how much it hurts when friends drift away. But it also got me thinking that perhaps there is always a reason for it happening. It could just be as simple as the fact that interests change and that means you can’t help but drift away. I had a baby and these girls were career women. We had nothing in common any more so if I were to hang around with them we would probably bore each other to death.
But sometimes you get to see a little further in and you realise that actually the reason you drifted apart could have been a matter of life and death. I got the opportunity to speak to one of the girls in the group recently. One of them had got married and the rest had been her bridesmaids which hurt to hear about in itself! BUT, this girl told me that they decided to have a competition between the bridesmaids to see who could lose the most weight in the lead up to the wedding. When I heard this my blood ran cold. If I’d have been included in this ‘game’ I’d have completely gone off the rails. I’d have probably ended up in hospital trying to starve myself if I’d taken apart in their little bit of fun. To them it was nothing but it made me realise that the way these people behave would be really damaging to me and perhaps me being pulled away from them was a way of being saved from myself. God had stepped in again and kept me safe when I wouldn’t have been able to do it myself.
It never ceases to amaze me how frequently this happens with something that is deeply upsetting to me turning out to be the best thing that could have happened. It’s always important for me to keep in mind during hard times that there is a God and I don’t know what strings are being pulled behind the scenes. Things that feel like they are weakening me are actually working to strengthen me and I will only see that further down the line when the dust has settled.
These women aren’t bad or horrible in any way but that had to happen to save me from harm and to strengthen me as a person. It’s probably best summed up by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 when he writes ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ My power of letting go of painful things has most definitely been made stringer in my weakness.