For a reason, a season or a lifetime

Share your experiences learning to live "In the Wild"
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AidaC
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For a reason, a season or a lifetime

Post by AidaC »

Gracia Burnham was a missionary in the Philippines when she and her husband were captured by terrorists. In her book, "In the Presence of My Enemies,” she recounts their year in captivity which resulted in the death of her husband. To prepare for their assignment as missionaries, they had gone through a very difficult "boot camp" where they experienced life as they would on the mission field. When their time in "boot camp" was ended, Gracia was devastated.

"When we left boot camp after a year, I was devastated. We had bonded with those eighteen people, and it tore my heart out to say good-bye. I cried and cried until I realized, Girl, your whole life is going to be a series of good-byes. You've got to get your act together if you're going to survive in the future. I determined never again to let good-byes devastate me as they had this time." - Gracia Burnham

Although we may never be missionaries as she and her husband were, I've discovered that life for all of us is truly "a series of good-byes." Throughout the years, I've had friends that I'd grown close to, friends who were very much a part of my life and then one day, the friendship came to an end. This has always been difficult for me and, at times, it caused me a lot of hurt and anger. However, recently, my daughter read a poem to me that puts everything in perspective. The poem is called "Are you a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime?" and it explains that friendships are for a reason, a season or for a lifetime.

If the friendship is for a reason, there's a need in our life or in theirs and, when that need has been met, the friendship will end. If the friendship is there for a season, when the season is over, that friendship will also end. The ending of these friendships in no way diminishes us as a person since they were never meant to last forever. However, there are friendships that are meant to last for a lifetime and those friends will always be there with us. If we can determine which type of friendship it is, we can free ourselves from the hurt that can result if it ends and we can learn to flow with the friendship as it was meant to be.

I found a blog post that explains this concept beautifully and, if like me, you've struggled with the ending of friendships, I think you'll find it encouraging.

http://lifelessons4u.wordpress.com/2009 ... -lifetime/
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
eagle77
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Re: For a reason, a season or a lifetime

Post by eagle77 »

Rats - I lost my post and I'm too lazy to start over. Anyway, thanks for sharing this Aida. I found the poem to be very encouraging!
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AidaC
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Re: For a reason, a season or a lifetime

Post by AidaC »

Eagle, I'm sorry that you lost your post. Since the forum is set to time out after a set amount of minutes, it’s frustrating when that happens and we lose what we've written. I don’t know if that can be changed but I’ll check. I’ve had that happen myself and I finally learned to just type my posts as a word document and then copy and paste.

Anyway, I’m glad you were encouraged. This poem has been therapeutic for me since there were two friendships that ended that I’ve still been struggling with. One friendship ended angrily and that person has blocked me on Facebook. That was a shock after what we had shared together for many years. She resented something I said to her and things escalated from there. I can live with the friendship ending but I’ve mourned the way it ended.

“Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.”

She told me that she learned a lot from me. Over time, however, our friendship began to change and she couldn’t deal with the change. Looking back, it’s obvious that the resentment had been brewing in her heart for some time and it just finally came out. I tried to hold on to the relationship and it caused greater problems between us. Now, I realize we were friends for a Season and I should have just let her move on.

The other friend was close until I introduced her to another friend. Then, after a while, she lost interest in maintaining our friendship although she seemed to have grown closer to my other friend. I resented her and felt like I had been used. Now, I realize that we were friends for a Reason and that was so that she could meet my other friend. She has helped that friend in ways that he needs and now I believe that I was the conduit that God used to bring about the connection. I remember Wayne Jacobsen talking about friends connecting friends and,I now feel like that was the Reason for that friendship. BTW, I consider my other friend a Lifetime friend.

“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.”


Relationships are tough and this is a valuable lesson which has helped me to move pass the hurt involved when friendships end.

I hope you’ll try to re-construct your original post. I would love to hear more of your thoughts and experiences.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
eagle77
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Re: For a reason, a season or a lifetime

Post by eagle77 »

No worries about losing my post, totally my fault - I became sidetracked.

Aida, I'm sorry about the recent friendships you lost. It does make things much harder when you loose a friend over an argument or some negative experience. It is very possible that the friend who you introduced to your Lifetime friend had her own agenda, but I hope your friend realize how good a friend you are to him. You appreciate that this other person has been a help to him, and despite any possible covert motives on her part, you regard his happiness and well-being first. Life is certainly not fair, but going by my own experiences, usually when someone has a hidden agenda, these type of things eventually come out.

I've also made the mistake of trying to hold unto a friendship even though I suspected it was time to move on. I don't make friends very easily, and it is rare for me to find someone I cotton up to. In my case too, looking back I believe I might had said something that offended the person, but I have a hunch that he was just looking for a way out. I was there for him and his family when they needed support, but when circumstances changed, he felt a need to move in another direction. I was hurt at first, because I thought we would had remained friends forever, but you just never really know. It is just a normal part of life to have friends come in and out of our lives.

I've learned that you can not force friendship on anyone. If you do, like in the case of the first friend you mentioned, resentment eventually enters into the relationship. Looking back, I can now detect some resentment in the friend I mentioned above. I just simply did not want to see this. I believe God did bring us together for a season, each with our own different set of needs.

For me personally, what I have the hardest time dealing with is that I have hurt others. Because of some really screwed up circumstances, I have dropped a few friends in the past because of things I just could not deal with. I am pretty sure some were hurt by this, and I once thought contacting them. But since years have gone, I decided it was best to let things go and for us to proceed in our separate ways. I guess really we all give and take in our friendships, and that on some basic level there is some sort of need that both individuals have regardless of what type of friendship. The author of this poem was most eloquent in expressing this.
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AidaC
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Re: For a reason, a season or a lifetime

Post by AidaC »

My Lifetime friend definitely does value our friendship. As with any friendship, we’ve also had our differences but we’ve always worked things out because we value our friendship more than we value having our own way.
eagle77 wrote:Life is certainly not fair, but going by my own experiences, usually when someone has a hidden agenda, these type of things eventually come out.
So true. I think it’s also important to keep my heart open to people and I’m even doing that with the friend who blocked me on Facebook. If she ever decides that she wants to restore the relationship, I’m willing to do that although I do recognize that it will never be the same as it once was. Relationships are fragile which is why it’s important to guard and protect them because once they’re lost, they’re usually never fully restored.

Friends do come and friends do go and I think it’s important to recognize that. As life goes on, we make new friends and we would never be able to keep up with all of them if we just always added on. Having a few Lifetime friends makes it so much easier. Those are friends that we communicate with regularly over the years and we fit in the others as they’re a part of our lives.
eagle77 wrote: I've learned that you can not force friendship on anyone. If you do, like in the case of the first friend you mentioned, resentment eventually enters into the relationship. Looking back, I can now detect some resentment in the friend I mentioned above. I just simply did not want to see this. I believe God did bring us together for a season, each with our own different set of needs.
OMG! I can totally relate to what you’ve said. In the case of my friend, she was building up resentment because I was no longer doing what I had done before and eventually her resentment erupted. If I had recognized her growing resentment, I don’t know that I would have changed a lot of what I was doing. My life had changed and my ideas had changed and to continue the friendship, I would have had to give up who I was becoming and I wasn’t willing to do that.

Even with my Lifetime friend, some things have changed but I’ve learned to adjust to the changes because but what’s important is that we’re still friends. I may prefer the old way but it can’t always be about what I want.

I think we’ve all hurt people in the past and I think you're wise in not dredging it up again.

I believe that all of our friends satisfy some sort of need in our lives. There’s a hole in our lives that a specific friend fills and, when we give up our expectations of what that friendship should look like, we can fully receive what that friend can give us and happily move forward.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
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