Thursday, September 3, 2015

4 Ways to Let Friendships Change with the Seasons

Lately, God has been showing me how he authors changes, even the ones that come in relationships. That doesn’t always mean changes are easy, but knowing that truth does mean I see changes differently. Because, yes, when life changes, so do friendships.

(I know, I don't really like it either!)

I’ve shared before, I’m the kind of person who wants to hold on tightly to friendships so things stay as they’ve always been with people choose I to be around. But that’s not realistic, as God is teaching me in this season of many changes.

I’m sharing these four ways to let friendships change with the seasons – for you, yes, but as reminders for myself too. And when I say “let” I really mean I’m slowly learning to hold loosely the people I love, even when on some days I want to pull them all closely and hunker down in a commune-like bubble.

1. Find new ways to hang out.

One of my dearest friends home schools and now that my kids are both in school, we haven’t hung out as much as we used to during the week. So I met her at the park one day for lunch. We got to talk, the weather was beautiful, and her kids got to play. Win-win-win.

My best friend works full time now after being a home with her kids most of the past nine years. So we’ve met for a later-than-usual dinner after my kids’ soccer practice and walked (and talked!) after school.

2. Reach out to friends as you pray for them.

I have many friends going through things. They’re waiting on babies to be born. They’re waiting on adoption processes to move or moving through the adoption processes they’ve been waiting for. There are medical situations and job changes. So I put them on my prayer list and then I check in with them, even if that means sending a text with some encouragement or a quote that reminded me of them.

“There is something beautiful about being thought of, isn’t there? When I think of all that hangs off everyone’s plates – errands to complete, children to care for, responsibilities to follow through on – to know the Lord brought you to their mind is an amazing gift in and of itself.”
{Kristen Strong in “Girl Meets Change”}

Reaching out doesn’t have be complicated, especially with today’s technology. Even when changes are for the good, they can be hard on people. Being present with prayers is a practical way to be there for people you love. {Tweet that.}

3. Remember not to take their changes personally.

It’s true that a close friend’s circumstances can affect your life and have ripple effects. But I’ve had to remind myself God’s plans for one family often won’t look like his plans for mine. You can encourage them in whatever is happening for them – take my friend’s full-time that her family needs financially – and still process the effects on your life.

4. Notice the provision God has for you.

When a friendship changes because of logistics and schedules, I grieve what we used to have. And that is okay and healthy. But those changes don’t mean God is leaving us without. So many times I’ve seen new friendships develop or old friendships take a new shape in my life.

Yes, sometimes people are in our life for a particular season. Sometimes we see the big picture in those scenarios and sometimes we have to hold onto the promise that God is for us and working all things together for the good even when we can’t see the whole thing.

Sometimes the provision looks like new friendships. My closest friends are done having babies, but God has put a different circle of people who are pregnant and adopting in my life. God knows what we need and provides that – even when it surprises us. {Tweet that.}

What would add to the list?

I’ve mentioned “Girl Meets Change” by Kristen Strong a few times around here and I’ll mention it again. It’s the perfect companion for those seasons when change is happening. This book releases soon, but you can preorder it now – and I recommend you do!

I'm linking up this post with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Gathering

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

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