Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
Amos 3:3Friendship Phase 1: Meeting "Ohmygosh we're so similar, we have so much in common, we need to hangout, let me get your number & friend you on Facebook!" Often times, God will speak through the one to another and there's similarities in seasons and struggles. What we don't notice is the complementary dysfunction. Friendship Phase 2: Friendship Patterns I constantly looked for older friends to "parent me." This suited one gal particularly well and we found ourselves over-bonding and emotionally co-depending. As time went on I found myself run over by her strong opinions and insensitivity. Her emotional neediness was constant. I resorted to passive aggression to avoid her unreasonable expectations. Friendship Phase 3: Breaking the Pattern The friendship had become unhealthy and I knew it. The day came when a difference of opinion arose and neither of us would budge. Our friendship end was sealed when she resorted to badgering me with scripture meant to guilt. I had recognized my unhealthy pattern and decided to change but she still wanted her emotional fix. Fortunately, my social life was not dependent solely on her and I went merrily on my way connecting with others who's healthier standards & boundaries challenged me to grow. It doesn't always end so extreme. Unfortunately I have also heard stories much worse. Most times, we have simply slipped apart at an impasse and let life continue for the other. In occasionally wonderful moments, we have discovered how to grow individually, show greater honor to the other, and continue our friendship. Such friends become even more treasured than before; there is shared history of success. This pattern has been fairly consistent throughout all my transitions. In the cases where they chose to separate from me I have seen God protect me from their influence. And even those who have tried to hurt me in the separation I have learned my best lessons from. For more thought on the ways God grows us through the sins of another, please visit my post "What is Deserved."
He will always bring the right people at the right time when we want to grow.And whether or not they choose to grow with us, we have the satisfaction of becoming healthier individuals, freer in our life and mindset, and closer to the Lord as we learn to better honor other human beings. Blessings to you as you find your friendships, ~ Meg