I am thankful for the friendships God has provided me with over the years. I lived a nomadic lifestyle as a kid. My dad was in the Air Force for 20 years, and as we moved from state to state, country to country, I can see how the Lord gave me companions along the way. I’ve lived in the Memphis area for 12+ years (except for one year away at Hell University), and I couldn’t be more grateful for the people God has strategically placed around me.
I am finding myself feeling bitter about the friendships He has taken away. Bitter toward God, toward my dad’s job, toward circumstances, toward choices that have been made. My brain says God is in control, and He moves people away from each other because He has better things in store for the both of them. But my heart doesn’t want to hear that right now – it just doesn’t take away the pain of absence.
I often find myself missing childhood friends that God moved me away from and more recent friends that God moved away from me. I am bitter/angry that I didn’t get to grow up with the same group of kids my whole childhood. I am resentful that we weren’t able to keep in touch, that we didn’t share high school football games or college all-nighters, that we weren’t at each others’ weddings, that we’ll never play with each others’ kids.
With today’s technology I can look up any old friend I choose and attempt to reconnect. But should I? Those friendships have faded to surface level “What are you doing these days?” conversations. We don’t really know each other anymore. So often times touching base via Facebook or email just reopens my wounds, I think.
And what about the spiritual side of these lost friendships? Maybe God moved us apart because the relationship wasn’t meant to continue. But, maybe God allowed technology to advance to this point so the relationships could continue. Maybe He still wants us to love each other deeply, with the love of Christ, despite the miles that separate us. Can we, really?
I am struggling with the answers to these questions in regards to several different long-distance friendships. I want God to tell me to pursue them, to try to rekindle the closeness that once was. I don’t want Him to say cut it off and let it go. I am “asking” Him what to do, but I am afraid to hear His answers.