About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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  1. It does seem as if friendships are one of the most common casualties of change, and this is a sadness well worth feeling and handing over to God. I love #4: Pray God’s best for your friend, because it seems to be the strongest defense against a load of bitterness going forward. Even though God promises to give us “people for our life,” sometimes it takes a lot of faith to move through seasons of change, letting go of companions for that season and waiting for the next gift to arrive.
    Blessings to you, Kristen. I appreciate all your thoughts on this life of continual change and growth.

  2. Kristen,
    All great wisdom on friendship! I can relate to having struggles with each of those points and the truth is that I can’t control others’ behavior, I can only control my own. One thing I struggle with is feeling like I’m always the one putting more of the effort into some friendships. Then I get hurt if the effort is not reciprocated. Or, I’ll think that if I haven’t heard from someone in a long time, that they are busy off having fun and don’t have time for me when the truth is that THEY might be struggling and need a friend to reach out to them. Maybe if there’s one lesson I’ve learned is to NOT assume anything in friendships. Dig for the facts. Then, in some cases, we need to (like you said) hold those friendships in open palms up to God. Great post!
    Blessings sweet friend,
    Bev xo

  3. Kristen, you wrote this especially for me! I have been mourning the “loss” of a friendship for about a year. We went from lots of communication and visits to seeing each other on Sunday’s at church. I have really struggled with this but neither one of us can pinpoint what changed. This morning has changed my perspective completely and my heart feels lighter. Thank you for this and continued blessing to you!

    • Karen, that’s so hard, isn’t it? I’m thankful your perspective shift has helped, and I pray your heart continues to feel lighter on this subject. Sending love!

  4. Thank you so much for your words today. This time last year, I was struggling so hard with changing friendships. Looking back, all of this is so true, and I wish I had focused more on what I did have and not what I didn’t. But the lesson is learned, now, and I’m glad I went through it.

    • Yeah, these things are so hard to go through, and it’s only natural to mourn the loss. You’re right, though. When enough time has passed, we can be thankful for the lessons learned.

  5. Thank you for ur words today …ur post resonated with me and I mourn the loss of several friends …so I will change my focus to those that will be around my table this thanksgiving and thank God for them

  6. Kirsten,
    ” God gives us gifts, signs of Love present everywhere”. You’ve expressed the beauty of the gift of friendship in your post so beautifully….and while, no, they might not last forever, they are a gift from God’s to be remembered.
    Thank-you…..
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  7. WOW – this is so what I needed to hear. This happened very recently to me as well … I sense God telling me to rely on Him alone. Friends and family are important but I’ve let them take the place of running to Him first. Thank you for sharing this. I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear it.

  8. This is what I call the “thank you Jesus” post! There are times when I pray over a subject, issue, concern and Jesus aligns it with the daily (in)courage post. Timely is not even descriptive enough… I have been praying about a friendship that no longer resembles a “friendship” for a few weeks. But this morning, during my time with God, I asked again for Him to help me be patient while His will be done. This post…THIS POST…was an affirmation that His will has already been done and that it is okay for our friendship to be what it is…right…now. Thank you Kristen. God bless you.

    • “His will has already been done and that it is okay for our friendship to be what it is…right…now.” I love the way you say this, Lillian. It ministers to my own heart somethin’ fierce. Thank you, dear!

  9. Thank you, this is so timely for me. I’m in my late 40s, a SAHM, and feel isolated. My husband and I waited to have children, and now the people who are our age are empty nesters or nearly so, while the parents who have kids our age seem to not be interested in friendship with us because we’re older. I have seen friend after friend betray me or exclude me to the point I don’t even want to try to make friends anymore. Yet I’m such a friendly person! They say to have a friend, you have to be one — and I am. I bring meals to people when they can’t cook because of tragedy or illness, or to celebrate a great milestone like a new baby. I have donated generously to what friends are trying to accomplish. I have attended parties with great gifts, given one friend free flooring and others large-ticket toys my children have grown out of, sent thoughtful texts, organized family camping trips and fun day trips for the whole family, invited people over for pizza and fun without any expectation of reciprocation, remembered birthdays — you name it. I am positive and helpful. I do these things not because I want people to be my friend, but because I already consider them friends and want to treat them that way. Worse yet, most of these “friends” are Christian women. So I feel if I can’t even have Christian friends, what am I doing wrong? If person after person leaves me behind, I begin to think something must be wrong with me, but I don’t understand what it could be. I have good hygiene, I’m not judgmental, I try to raise my kids right. So yes, I’m guilty of #2 on this list and also not doing #5 because I’m afraid even the few friends I have left will go away or be taken from me. Friends are so important to me because my family is scattered far away and my mother, stepmother and blended family are so fickle because of our family situation in the past. I don’t understand why people can’t be straight with one another. My heart just can’t take it.

    • Dear Heather,
      I hope and pray that as you read the other posts, that you can see others have the same problems, some worse than others, and yours does sound extremely painful, especially because you have certainly tried so hard to be a good friend to many. I now am in the 70 age bracket, and probably most of these ladies writing are much younger. Over the years, I have lost friends, and also have been blessed with close Christian friends. There have been lengthy periods of time where it was pretty “dry” as far as friendships. But that “dry” time did pass into a time of close friendships. Please remember that “this too shall pass!” I think you are a very neat person and that you certainly bless your friends, caring for them and sacrificing! I went to a counsellor for a while and she said this is an extreme time for our culture that the norm is “it’s all about me,” very narcissistic! So you are a real exception to go to such sweet lengths to bless others! Just remember, everything you are doing for someone else you are doing first for the LORD and HE appreciates your giving and will certainly somehow, sometime bless you for it, as HE promises: you will reap what you sow. So take heart, your good will come back to you, HE will see to that and repay you! The other thing, that comes to my mind is maybe you shouldn’t try so hard, or do so much. Sometimes people feel they can’t give back as much as you are giving so they pull away. You seem to have lots of energy and are so willing to help and bless others, maybe you can find something else the LORD would direct you to with all that energy and willingness to help others. Just some thoughts and may you have comfort for your pain. HE heals the brokenhearted, stay in HIS WORD, dear beloved Girl!

    • Heather,

      Praying for you in this season of loss. Like NJ said “This too shall pass”. I know it’shard feeling left out. People are busy these days & narcissistic. Be patient & pray to God for a couple of great friends. Just be your lovable self & & God handle the rest. If you have time volunteer with some organizations & see who you meet. You could find a local MOPS group & introduce yourself to those women. Just suggestions to help you.

      Father,

      Heather is needing some good friends. Please bless her with one or two women who will do life with her. It is hard as she is late 40s with children. Help her to find a good mentor friend who can help her get through the long days as a SAHM. Lord she is trying hard to bless others & show your love to them. Shower her with some peace & reward her efforts with 1-2 good friends.
      AMEN!

      Blessings 🙂

    • Heather, I’m so, so sorry for all your friendship struggles. I’ve certainly been there, girl, and it’s so frustrating and disappointing. I second everything NJ so eloquently said here, and I would add an arm around the shoulder with the encouragement to keep on keepin’ on. As you feel the Lord leading, keep humbling yourself by lifting others up in kind ways–just like you’re doing. In due time, the Lord will exalt you. (James 4:10). I’m praying that one way He’ll do this is by putting women on your path that bless you with true-blue friendship.

      You’re so beloved, Heather. Sending love.

  10. Thank you Kristin, for acknowledging this “minor loss” that repeats over and over in the course of a lifetime.

  11. Love this today, I have been lamenting about a changed long term friendship from teens to our ages now at 50+ , I feel sad, wondering what I did, but I know I did not do anything. People change, and we (I) have to accept that and that even though it has hurt, it’s been over a year since this change. And I was still holding out hope this friend would reach out, but did not happen. I wish her the best and God’s Love

    • Thank you so much for sharing part of your story here! I guess within any friendship, there has to be room for letting go. But dang, if that isn’t a hard thing to do. Your actions give me courage to do the same with those changing friendships in my own life.

      Sending love to you, dear one.

  12. How timely your post is for me personally. I have just gone thru the loss of a very close friend who meant the world to me. And to this day, I don’t know why the friendship is over BUT I do know that while it took a long time of mourning, I have moved into a new space in my life without that friendship. I do wish my former friend all the happiness and love his heart can hold and I know that if our paths ever cross again, I’ll do my best to dig deep for the facts. Thank you for this post and how it reminds me to trust God to know what is best for me.

  13. I know this sadness so well… I know about the missing seat at my table. Loss of anything is hard to bear and the loss of a person whom I had shared my whole life, who knows me from all my phases in my life, who knows the me before my hubby, the me now; that is truly unbearable. I can no longer call her, catch a glimpse of her, or hear her voice for she is now sitting at the most high table with our God. Yes.. always be thankful for all that we have, even if it means sitting at the table alone at times. I miss you Zer Cha, my best friend. I am so happy you are seated at the table of our God. Save a seat for me!

    • So sorry for your loss. I pray that you are feeling the comfort of the Lord and that you are surrounded in love. God bless you.

  14. Kristen,

    We all go through seasons in our lives. People & life change. Things happen. Loss of any kind is hard to bear. God understands. We just need to thank God for the friends He sends us. We can still keep in touch with the friends who have “left us” for a time. Send them cards or emails letting them know we still care about them. I have some ex-co-workers & we still get together once a month when we can. In the interim I email or text them to see how they are doing. Life for them is hard now. They need the encouragement. Life can get busy & messy. I cherish ALL the friendships I have. God has given me some really great Christian women to do life with & I am blessed. Praying for everyone’s loss. May God send new friends your way!

    Blessings

  15. Wonderful wisdom here, Kristen. #2 especially resonated with me, and your advice is spot on: Look upward, assume God wants your attention elsewhere, and trust God. Thank you for sharing on this important topic that, indicated by the number of comments, is a concern for many women.