“One who has unreliable friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” Proverbs 18:24.
I’ve been struggling lately with the loss of a friendship. There was no dramatic fight- just a slow fade away. We’ve been close for 10+ years, and she knows me better than anyone else on earth; better than my mother, my other friends, and ex-boyfriends all combined. That’s what makes her ghosting me all the more painful. She knows me and she doesn’t want my friendship. She doesn’t love me or value me as much as I do her. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
The truth is, she’s always been kind of a bad friend to me. We’ll get really close and then she won’t call me back for a few months, busy with work and other friends. We’ll get close again, but she’ll consistently choose other people or things over me. I’ve been stuck in an unhealthy relationship without realizing it for all these years, because when she comes back around I’m so happy and relieved that I forget the periods of in-between.
When I really think about it, deep-deep down, I’m sad not just at the loss of her as a person, but because it feels good to be known. Fully understood. But the more I chase approval from those around me, the more I need it, and the more hurt and disappointed I am when I don’t get it.
And honestly, it’s not their responsibility to fulfill that need for me.
I’m finally seeing that it takes two people to form any relationship. We both make decisions to behave and accept behavior, and I am just as much to blame for a long, unhealthy dynamic, and a slow fade-away as she is. I’m hurting and will continue to hurt, but I think this friendship break-up might be one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
God, only you can fill me up. You, who created me in the womb, know me better than I know myself. You love me as I am and will always accept me. Please take away this gnawing need for approval and attention from those around me.
WRITTEN BY SARAH WITMER