Can you remember your first best friend? All of us can think of at least one classmate we considered our dearest friend. For me it was Eileen. We met in first grade and hit it off the very first day.
I was the new kid at school and she shared her snack with me. We did everything together at school and away from school. We remained best friends until several years later when her dad’s job transferred him and the family to another city. Over the years others have come in and out of my life, but none like Eileen.
Have you ever wondered why people come and go so quickly? I have often wondered why God allowed me to get close to someone when He knew we would lose contact two weeks later.
Friends are often in our life for a season; for some purpose that needs fulfilling. There was a girl I grew close to while we were going to the same school. We ended up going to different high schools, but kept in touch because the guys we dated were relatives.
We even kept up with each other for a while after we were married. During that time, I was able to help her cope with the loss of her mother. This was something I had already been through and knew what to say and what not to say.
It was shortly after that we lost contact with each other and rarely spoke. I believe helping her cope with that death was why she was in my life for a season.
There was another young lady I was mentoring. I looked forward to spending time with her at my house and taking her to church with me. After only a year, she too was gone. Once again I mourned the loss of that close friendship.
I remained disappointed until I received a letter from her in the mail thanking me for taking her to church. She told me she had not heard about God before and because of my invitation and my friendship she accepted the Lord as her Savior and was soon to be baptized. I believe her salvation was why she was in my life for a season.
There was another woman that I saw every week at church when my husband and I were newlyweds. I was having trouble dealing with one aspect of my marriage.
When I voiced my concerns to her one day, she gave me one piece of advice that I have kept close to my heart to this day, as well as passed on to other young married women and to my own daughters as they contemplated marriage. She helped me through a difficult time.
Now, even though we still live in the same town, we hardly ever speak and see each other even less. I believe saving my marriage was why she was in my life for a season.
There were a few friends I had in my life for a couple of years. The three of us became extremely close, sharing some of the most intimate details of our lives. It wasn’t until our friendship grew and we really got to know each other that we realized how much we had in common.
During those few years we wrote a devotional book together to help encourage others. After the book came out, we went our separate ways for various reasons; certainly not that we meant to grow apart.
While we do still speak to each other occasionally, we don’t talk on the phone and email everyday like we used to. Both of those friends were in my life for a season.
Then there have been friends who have come into my life, spent a season and left due to my convictions. These were people who realized the depth of my faith and beliefs and didn’t want to be my friend anymore.
There have been friends that have come into my life and because of my convictions I have been the one to terminate the friendship, not wanting them to have an ungodly influence over me.
I do believe that as Christians we need to have some friendships, or even acquaintances, with non-Christians. It is those relationships where we are truly needed.
No, we don’t need to cram the Bible down their throats every time we are together, but maybe we could stand up for what we believe in by choosing not to see a particular movie or choosing not to have an alcoholic drink with our dinner.
Our quiet testimony can sometimes speak volumes, more so than any words we can say.
There have been people in my life just for a season of fun or for reasons I may never know until I am in heaven. Every one of us could think of similar examples from life.
When a good friend does come into your life, take advantage of it. Get to know them as well as you can. Teach them what you know. Let them teach you a few things.
Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes you help them. Sometimes they help you, depending on the season of life.
Ruth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” She is a veteran homeschooling mom of 20 years. She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot)blogspot.com or her website at ruthoneil (dot)weebly.com