In my early adulthood, my best friend moved away. This was long before the advent of social media--no Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook. Neither of us were phone people. We had busy lives, and we lost touch.
I’ve really never had anyone to replace her.
A few years after that, I had several similar friendship losses, seemingly one on top of the other. Those only served to remind of and reinforce the pain. Sometimes it’s just the way life works. Some people, perhaps most people, are only meant to be in your life for a season. Unfortunately, knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.
My heart was just beginning to process and recover when, miraculously, my best friend was back, only this time, we knew it wouldn’t be for very long.
Part of me was thrilled! We had always picked up where we left off. After all, SHE was my BEST FRIEND.
But the larger part of me was cautious. I knew it was temporary. I knew she would leave again.
We could have had lunches and squeezed in some time here and there, but…I chose not to engage. I couldn’t bear the thought of getting close only to relive the agony.
By the time I decided it was worth the risk and was brave enough to try again, she was gone, just like that. I had missed my opportunity.
Fear had felt truer than Love, so I listened to it. I trusted my past more than our potential future.
Worst of all, I listened to my wounded heart without even considering my friend’s.
I felt stupid. Sad. Cowardly. I was furious at myself.
I’ve heard the phrase “choose your hard.” Either choice you make is going to be hard. It’s hard to get the degree. It’s also hard to not be able to provide for your family. It’s hard to resist temptation. It’s also hard to face the consequences. Which hard is easier, or better, for you?
In this situation, it wasn’t choose my hard as much as choose my heartache. It was the difference between digging my chest out with a dull knife or a sharp spoon. I could have chosen to build on our love and friendship, even knowing she would be gone again. Instead, I chose the heartache of regret by trying to protect myself.
I never took the time to see past my own pain and into her heart. It never occurred to me that it was hard for her to leave, and hard to come back. She had enjoyed our years together, too. I can only imagine that my lack of engagement made her feel rejected, abandoned, unloved.
And now I have another hard choice. I can continue to let a wonderful friendship slip away, or I can connect and apologize and try to rebuild.
You know, reading that now, it’s not such a hard choice after all.
Hard choices lead to hard-aches, but I will risk that over listening to my hard head again.
#bethelove #chooseyourheartache #loveanyway
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