I can still remember the time when I lost a very close friend.
I still remember the way it hurt and the way I cried into my pillow. I still remember the sadness I felt in my heart when I thought of this friendship.
I can imagine you understand those feelings too. I imagine you also know what it’s like to “break up” with a close friend.
While we always hear about boyfriend and girlfriend break-ups, we don’t always hear as much about friendship break-ups.
If I was in a dating relationship and broke up with a boyfriend, people would give me lots of advice on how to deal with such a break-up, something that is indeed very painful.
But what about when I lose a friendship? What about when I “break up” with a best friend? We don’t get as much advice on that.
All relationships are difficult. There’s no hiding that fact. Relationships take work and perseverance. Whether they are a family relationships, dating relationships, or friendships, they all have the potential to hurt. As humans, we can never love each other perfectly all the time. Only God can do that for us. Of course, we try our best, but we still mess up at times.
So what about when things don’t get mended with a friend?
What about when a friendship ends and you have to let it go?
1. Remember that it is okay to grieve
A best friend is someone who shares a little piece of your life. They have a special place in your heart and memories. Friendship is special and that friend is important. When we lose that, it can hurt a lot more than we expected.
Grief doesn’t just occur when someone dies. Grief is experienced in many ways and from many losses. Losing this friendship will cause grief in your heart as you work through the loss. Don’t forget that it’s okay to let yourself grieve this.
Don’t brush it off and pretend it doesn’t hurt. Cry if you need to, talk it out with God, go to someone you can trust and share your hurt with them. You won’t heal if you ignore your grief.
“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
2. Don’t drag your friend’s name through the mud
When we’re best friends with someone we have that person’s back always. We defend them and support them. So if that friendship ends, remember that it is not okay to drag your friend’s name through the mud and stab them in the back with mean words.
There is a time and place to go to someone you can trust and share how you feel. But this does not mean going to everyone you know and talking about all the bad things your friend did that ended your friendship.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
3. Seek forgiveness for any way you hurt your friend
If you hurt your friend in any way or wounded the relationship in any way, apologize. It’s as simple as that. If your friend tells you that you hurt them in some way, then it is your responsibility to ask for that forgiveness.
It might not repair the relationship and it might not fix anything, but it’s what God wants us to do. I know it’s not easy, but it is worth it.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
4. Draw closer to your forever Best Friend
Sometimes when a friend hurts or betrays us and we experience that loss, it is easy to withdraw and pull away from other friendships or relationships.
Something we must always remember is that Jesus will never hurt us, leave us, or betray us. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and he is crazy about us. He wants to be our forever Best Friend.
Run to him with your hurts and deepen your relationship with him. Let him be your all in all.
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)
No break-up is easy, but because of God’s love we never have to walk through any of it alone.
Take heart. He will never walk away.