A letter to the one who has lost a friend
"You can be hurt and still act and react from a place of holy discernment and wisdom. You can be confused about what has happened and still react and act from a place of peace because God the Father is the God of peace."
Since the pandemic began, I’ve experienced the loss of friendships—not just people I merely liked, but people I dearly loved. When I say “loss of friendships” I don’t mean the physical death of a friend(s), but I mean the ending of a companionship. I still find myself grieving the losses from time to time.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “People are in your life for a reason, a season, and/or a lifetime.” While this reminder is important and true, it does not dull the sting that burns when one no longer gets to experience the companionship and intimacy of a dear friend for reasons out of their control.
In my personal experience, I’ve felt abandoned, and I’ve realized I’m not alone in this. If you know me at all, you know I have all the words, especially when it comes to writing letters. I love to write people letters, and I’ve also been journaling since I was 8 years old. Letters to God, myself, and others have helped me process deep feelings since I was very little. So, I thought I’d write a letter and speak some honest thoughts paired with some truth and encouragement that have helped me through my own grief when it comes to the ending of a friendship.
To the one who has lost a friend,
I see you. I don’t know why either. I’ve cried the tears and I’ve sent the messages and even left the voicemails; I still don’t really understand. I’ve read and re-read every text, searching for where I’ve said or done something wrong. I’ve asked questions and been given no response. I’ve reached out and made myself available, only to be ignored. Even after all the hurt, I still love my friend. They lived in the everyday of my life, but they’ve become just a passerby on social media. I’ve even felt the turmoil of do I unfriend? Unfollow? Do I cut off the only lifeline left? I’ve felt the pain of acceptance and surrender. I, too, have been grieved and full of sorrow - I miss my friend.
Here's what I’ve learned—as much as I think I know and have control, God knows so much more—He knows so much better. God knows what your friend needs. He knows what’s going on in their mind and their heart. He knows how this will turn out. Place your friend in the palms of our loving Father’s hands. You don’t have to fight Him on this one. You don’t have to keep walking in defeat or fighting for control. You don’t have to keep feeling unloved and confused. Release your friend, but don’t stop praying for them. Ephesians 6:18 says,
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
I’ve learned this is so important. Praying for people is walking Kingdom-minded, and it also keeps our hearts in a place of humility and surrender. Is it hard to pray for people who have hurt you? Absolutely! But, this is where the power of the Holy Spirit comes in and helps. I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit and how He leads, guides, and helps us through any circumstance. If you find yourself having a hard time opening your mouth and praying for the friend who has hurt you, invite the Holy Spirit to intercede. Ask Him to give you the words to pray – ask Him to shift your heart to a place where you can pray and speak life over the person(s) who has hurt you. Don’t be surprised when He shows up and comes to your rescue in a way you never thought was possible—I’ve experienced Him take my hurt and transform it to compassion and care. He’ll do it for you, too!
Don’t stop loving your friend. Don’t let bitterness or hate plant a root in your heart. You can only control your actions and reactions in this life - act wisely and react wisely. You can be hurt and still act and react from a place of holy discernment and wisdom. You can be confused about what has happened and still react and act from a place of peace because God the Father is the God of peace.
I’m sorry you’ve lost a friend. Maybe you’ve lost more than one. I’m sorry you’ve felt the grief I’ve felt. I’m sorry it has been confusing and hurtful. But I testify of God’s faithfulness and goodness; I testify of His closeness and His care for not just you, but also for the friend with whom you no longer live life.
May His peace overwhelm you today and always. May it also overwhelm those who have caused you pain – He loves them too.