the art of growing apart

For the past couple of days, there has been in the forefront of my mind this question: How is it that the people we used to tell everything to a year ago or two years ago, now no longer speak to us? There may be a change of living causing this, or it may be that you are attending two different colleges, but somehow the person you used to confide in and laugh with until the sun rises is no longer in your life. They have almost literally dropped off the face of the earth. You no longer know what they had for dinner, or what the last thing their ex did that pissed them off was, or what their favorite song is right now at this very moment, or what their grade is in public speaking. You are no longer having jam sessions on back roads or late night trips to Walmart just to dance through the isles. You no longer can bawl your eyes out to them at two in the morning because of what some stupid boy or friend did to them. You can’t do this because you don’t know what is going on in their life. I know, this sounds sad, right?

However, after much contemplation, I have come to this conclusion: sometimes people just grow apart.

Yes, you heard me. Growing apart is not only common, but sometimes it is good. I once was on the phone with my friend while I opened up a cup of applesauce where the label read “Natural separation may occur” at the bottom. How relatable is that? I mean, seriously. What a great analogy of life.

I know in my own 18 years of life, I have grown apart from many people. The friend group that I had in fifth grade is certainly not the friend group that I have now. Things happen and people change, sometimes for the better, but sometimes for the worse. I think that it is essential for people to truly assess the friendships that they are building now to see if there is effort being put in from both parties. There is no sense in being a friend to someone who is not being supportive of you or chooses to talk to you when it is only convenient for them. I am guilty of this, but I have truly worked on being intentional in my friendships and trying to love like Jesus intends us to.

This is not always an easy task, I have been faced with many difficult situations throughout my mere time on Earth, and sometimes girls (or boys) can just be plain mean. It is important to remember to show grace in every situation that you can, whether or not it is what the other person may deserve. And if that grace is not reciprocated, or effort or supportiveness is not reciprocated, sometimes it is okay to grow apart from someone. If they are not being half the friend you are, then it may be beneficial to you to not have that negativity in your life. I promise that after a while, the pain will subside and you will find people in your life who will be there for you and who will love you and encourage you in your relationship with Christ no matter what.

Natural separation is totally normal, and sometimes it is truly for the best. You are going to mature a lot in your early twenties, and sometimes, you do outgrow people. Ideas change, opinions change, and mindsets change. You are probably not the same person that you were a year ago. And it is okay to realize that change, learn from your past mistakes, and to head into new relationships and friendships with a hopeful and an optimistic heart full of grace.

I am a firm believer in that when God closes one door, another opens. When He leaves one friend behind, He will certainly present you with one again soon.

” – clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:12-14

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