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When Friendships End

Throughout life, friends will come and go. Sometimes it's easy to say goodbye to people while other times, the end of a friendship can be devastatingly painful. This can be a particularly tough situation if the other person is responding aggressively or otherwise negatively to the situation.

With some friendships, it's important to acknowledge that nobody will ever "fill the gap" left by the lost friend. Each individual we come to know and love carves out their own place in our hearts. When we lose those relationships—because of death, or sin, or distance—that hole is never really filled for the rest of our lives. It's OK to acknowledge that as well as the hurt it causes. Trying to convince yourself that someone else can fit into the exact same space as the one you lost is not helpful.

At the same time, remember that relationships between two believers never really end in an eternal sense. They are only put on hold. If you are saved, and your friend is saved, then that relationship will be restored, one day...in Heaven! One of the greatest blessings of salvation is knowing that we have the chance to see our friends and family again, without all the sins and death that split us apart (Revelation 21:3-4). Here and now, that doesn't take all the pain away when we're suffering a broken connection, but it does help us look ahead.

Also, you can take comfort in knowing that there may be someone else to take up a new spot in your life. They won't take the exact same place in your heart as your prior friendship, but they can take the same kind of place. There are other people, other bonds, and other relationships to be had in life. Those new experiences will not erase the old ones, and you wouldn't want them to. What's important is to remind yourself, as much as you can, that the end of one particular relationship does not mean you can never, ever have that kind of bond with anyone else, ever again.

There is no way for anyone to say whether or not your lost friend will ever want to have a personal connection with you again. That's sad, but true, and there's nothing wrong with accepting that it's a sad truth. It does not have to be OK, and we can mourn for that lost bond, but we can mourn with an understanding that there's more to life than just that one, single relationship. We have hope for restoration, in Christ, and reasons to look forward to new connections in the future.

Over time, it'll become easier to accept whatever the outcome of this situation might be. Keep your focus on saying, doing, and living as Christ would want, and the rest will take care of itself. Give yourself room to grieve. It's alright to be sad about sad things! Even Jesus cried over the death of His friend, knowing He was about to bring that friend back from the dead (John 11:34-36)! But when all is said and done, and things are out of your hands, it's time to leave things to God and do your best to look forward (2 Samuel 12:15-23).

The healing process is not going to be immediate or easy, but it can and will happen for you. I pray that you find comfort and healing.

—Jeff

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. —2 Corinthians 1:3-4

By: Jeff Laird

Jeff is a staff writer with Got Questions Ministries, and used to be a mechanical engineer. When he's not accidentally setting things on fire in his workshop, or petting strange dogs, he loves helping people better understand God’s Word and how it applies to our lives. Jeff's calling is to untangle the "big picture" of Christian faith, making it easier to understand.

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