Grieving Lost Relationships

I feel like I’m cycling through old feelings and issues this morning. I struggle a good deal with letting go of friendships. I am a loyal person. I don’t necessarily give friendship easily, but when I do it is firmly fixed in my relationships. Obviously not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime. It’s especially hard to maintain friendships when someone moves because distance is a huge barrier. But I am not usually willing to give up easily. I continue to reach out through emails, letters, texts, phone calls. Maybe not frequently, but enough to catch up and maintain a connection. However, if my attempts do not make contact and the other person fails to reciprocate then I become disheartened and will eventually give up, let go and try to move on.

This morning I was reminded of one such relationship and was trying to figure out why I was so bothered by ending relationships. I think it’s because, when a friendship ends after multiple failed attempts on my end to connect, I feel like it means that my friendship was not valued (and perhaps this means that I am not valued). That’s the core of my hurt – the feeling of being not valued or unimportant.

Intellectually I know that time and distance are difficult obstacles to overcome. I know that in-person friendships are very important and so, when people move, they focus their time on meeting and making new friends they will see regularly. I did that when I moved too. I can’t fault others for moving on. It doesn’t mean I still can’t struggle with the loss.

Because that’s what it is to me – a relational loss. We are supposed to grieve losses. It’s supposed to help us heal and move forward ourselves.

So I guess that’s what this post is – an outpouring of my grief for lost relationships. Perhaps acknowledging these feelings will lead to the healing I need so that I can pour my old energies into current and new relationships.

Lord, help me to treasure the memories of old relationships and let go of any hurt I may feel from losing them. Help me to not close myself off from new relationships because of the possibility of future loss, but to trust that you will provide me with the things I long for – companionship, shared interests, deep conversations, to be known and loved and valued. Help me to forgive any perceived wrongs or slights and rest in the knowledge that I am important and valuable in your eyes. Thank you for your wisdom and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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