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Does God Care: When Relationships End?

Today I am starting a new series on the blog called “Does God Care.” One of my favorite parts about running this crazy blog is your emails and messages about what’s going on in your life or what you’re struggling with. Please, contact me at anytime. I would love to hear from you.

Today I am starting a new series on the blog called: (drum roll please) Does God Care?

I’ve found myself slipping back into some old destructive patterns lately believing that God doesn’t care about what’s happening in my life. To combat that, I am going to write for the next few weeks about different areas of our lives that it’s easy to believe God doesn’t care.

For as long as I can remember, God has given me an incredible amount of empathy and compassion for people, all people. I love to meet strangers and hear their life story. I am crazy content to sit with a cup of coffee non-coffee flavored beverage and listen to an old friend talk for hours about the fun and not so fun details of their journey.

Along with my love for relationships also comes some serious struggle that I don’t talk about much: the struggle of letting people go.

I have had a core group of friends since the first days of 6th grade and these people have been there for me at every turn from painting my new house to holding me as I sobbed in some of the lowest moments of my existence. For most of my life I’ve wanted every friendship to be that way: to last a lifetime. If our connection faded, I felt I had failed them, that our friendship somehow had less value.

My People.

This has been an ongoing battle, especially now that I am 27 and most people in my universe are in the middle of big life changes. As our lives progress, our friendships simply can’t stay the same. They might evolve or they might fade but the hardest part for me is recognizing that both of those things are okay.

This week a new pastor friend of mine reminded me of this quote that I have written about before:

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

God brings many people into our lives for a simple reason. Maybe it is to get us through a difficult time, maybe it is to teach us an important lesson we desperately need to learn, maybe it is to introduce us to someone else that will be even more influential in our lives. These people, however, are just a flash in the pan and before we know it they are gone.

God also brings people into our lives for a season to teach us some bigger lessons, to influence us a little more deeply, and to give us a community to fall back on. These are the relationships I struggle to let go of. These are the people I invest in, create awesome inside jokes with,  and yet, the season always ends. Inevitably, someone has to move on and it slips away.

Finally, God brings people into our lives for a lifetime. Often times this is our family and our very closest friends. These people aren’t always the easiest to love, yet you know that no matter what, in a crisis you have their back and they have yours.

I believe God calls us to recklessly love the people in our lives here and now with no reservations. Yes, the truth is I do want every relationship to last forever. But that idea is motivated by my own selfish desire to control and predict, for comfort and ease.

I’m learning to accept that if a person is meant to be around, they will be. If God has other plans, who am I to say that my will is more important than his.

So today, I am working so hard to be thankful. Thankful for the people God has put in my life today, for the relationships that have faded yet changed me, and thankful for the friendships yet to come. While saying goodbye (or not getting to say goodbye) is incredibly hard, I know that I need to step out on the water and trust that He will provide the relationships I need when I need them and that letting people go is healthy and is a part of his incredible plan for my life.

The key to living fully is not to love people less knowing we might (and probably will) split ways, but to smile and laugh through each reason, season or lifetime relationship knowing that the everlasting love of walking with God.

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