Friendships have seasons. Some friends stay with us forever; others are meant for only a time. While we know this is true, the knowledge doesn’t comfort our hearts in the midst of a relationship that’s ending. One of the deepest pains a girl can experience is breaking up with her best friend.
I’m not talking about a dating relationship. I’m talking about the girl you’ve known since third grade, or your college roommate, or the woman you thought would be standing next to you on your wedding day. But through life’s transitions, something pulled you apart. Perhaps you fought for the friendship only to see her walk away. It hurts, doesn’t it?
Betrayal and heartbreak open two doors in our hearts. Choose the first door and you walk into bitterness, anger and hatred. Choose the second and you walk into love.
The first door is the easy one. We feel justified to take the handle because of the pain inflicted on us. But walking through that door will only lead to deeper pain and more damaged relationships. It will teach us to distrust, lead us into doubt and destroy our hope for real friendships with other women. Satan uses our pain to plant seeds of discord in our minds because Satan hates good relationships. Since God is a relational God, the Enemy does everything he can to destroy God’s intentions for friendship. It all begins when we walk through that door.
The door of love, however, stands open. You don’t even have to turn the handle; you just walk through. That first step is the hardest, when you feel like choosing love means ignoring the hurt. But in taking that step, you echo the heart of God, who loved when no one loved Him back and gave His all to win us to Himself.
If you’re struggling with a friendship breakup, don’t give up hope.
- Remember the good things. Though your friendship may have ended poorly or even with a fight, remember the good times and experiences. When you’re tempted to rehearse an argument or think about how betrayed you feel, think back to the laughter you shared. Think about your favorite trip together or something funny that happened to you, or look at pictures of the two of you from years gone by. Try to replace the negative with a positive at every opportunity.
- Don’t allow bitterness to set in. Bitterness is sneaky, and unless we guard our minds, it has a tendency to sink in to stay. Every time you find yourself thinking negatively about your ex-best friend, ask the Lord to bless her with His favor. If you know an area in which she struggled, pray for her to have strength or wisdom. If she doesn’t know the Lord, pray for her salvation! You cannot be bitter and prayerful simultaneously.
- Remember that Jesus has promised to be your friend. In John 15, Jesus said if we obey Him, He calls us His friends. In this same passage He calls us to love others, even when we are persecuted and betrayed. These aren’t just words; we know that Jesus lived this command in His own life, sacrificing Himself when we neither knew Him nor loved Him. He knows the pain of betrayal. He knows what it feels like to be abandoned by not one, but all His friends. And He is present with you in this season.
Don’t hide the hurt from God. Bring it to Him, but also thank God for the experiences you had and the lessons you learned. Release bitterness and think the best of the friendship, even if it no longer exists. And remember that God is a Redeemer and Restorer. He is an expert Rebuilder, too. You never know what could be in store if bridges remain unburned.