I remember a time not so long back, okay, maybe it was a while back, that I caused a stir amongst my friends. We were at university when I made the statement that if we were not intentional about relating, we might not be friends once we left university. We were a lovely bunch of young women and the occasional guy, and my statement did not resonate well with my friends. My statement was met with mixed feelings. The question to ponder was: Was I being too negative, or was it something worth pondering? After all, at that time we spent all our free time together during the week and even on most weekends. We executed small business ideas together, danced at youth functions, attended functions together and did literally everything that could be done together. That time was Lit! The cooking times, the bible study conversations, the gentleness, the fall-outs, the endless chatter about everything and anything. It all brings back wonderful memories.
Fast forward several years to present day and lo and behold, we don’t do all those things together anymore! I won’t say that we don’t relate at all, but it is definitely not like it used to be. I suppose the best description I can give is that the friendships have evolved to suit the respective seasons of our individual lives. Some of us are married with young ones, others are pursuing a career, whilst others are juggling it all in a seemingly effortless manner.
That notwithstanding, it is still lovely to pick up the phone or send a WhatsApp message or an email to see if we can meet up on a weekend or perhaps plan a getaway trip, to rekindle past moments, or more importantly to make new memories. Despite the evolution of all these different relationships, I can confidently say that the true friendships are still intact. Certainly not like they were before, however the bonds that kept us then still keep us connected now.
The friendships have evolved to suit the respective seasons of our individual lives.
Friendship, like life, has its seasons. People that you befriend at a certain point of your journey called life, will not necessarily be with you always even though it might be a tight friendship at the time of its inception. Then there are those friendships that continue till the twilight years of your life, or those intermittent ones where you connect perhaps once a year or once every two years and yet it feels like you were never apart.
However, there are also those connections that we often hope we didn’t have to experience. The kind that end with a bitter taste on the palette because you or they made a choice with consequences that did not have a favourable ending. I have grieved over such too, but have found the courage to move on, and forge other wonderful connections. In all its various shades friendships are essential to our existence. We are relational beings, and so it doesn’t take a dissertation to prove that you and I were made for relationships, friendship being the purest of them all.
I won’t say I have a proven formula for making and keeping friends – no. However, what I have come to appreciate is that all relationships need mutual understanding, forgiveness, faithfulness, commitment, likability, trust, loyalty, honesty, integrity, lots of fun and play, open conversations, and love to tie it all beautifully together.
I still am not sure what draws one person to the other, but whatever it is that has connected you to a kindred soul, I say, put the work in to it to nurture that relationship. For me, I am grateful for the friendship that I have in Christ that holds all the precious others intact. The more I relate to Him, the more I know myself and relate to myself better, which gives me the grace to build relationships with others that take after Him.
Join in the conversation below with your experiences in your friendships.
Maya works in the Human Resources space and is passionate about people development.
She enjoys reading, colouring, movement, and exploring.