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they come, but they may go…

November 10, 2008

so many things in life come and go.






some things are meant to return, others, not.

i expect Fall to roll around every year. i expect for the few extra winter pounds to make their arrival again as well.

at times – there is sadness in my life. usually based on immediate circumstances that are forever changing.

i have also had friends come and go. some times, the same friend enters in and exits out, repeatedly. it’s always for a reason. and there is always something to learn from it…if you’re willing.

i remember Beth Moore teaching one study saying there a friends who bring out the worst in you. that’s good! you want the worst in you brought out. bring it to the surface, deal with it, get rid of it, learn, move on.

then there are those that you just know – to the bottom of your toes – there is a spiritual oppression, something not right. those are the ones to be cautious of and in heavy prayer over as you discern with the Spirit, the best course of action.

i’ve had those before. i’ve had relationships where i’ve had to walk away. for everyone’s benefit. they are the ones i grieve over. the ones my heart bleeds for. the one’s that catch me off guard.

how do you deal with the unexpected severing of a relationship?

41 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2008 10:01 am

    I try to talk to other friends, people that aren’t 100% for me. Because there is always something to learn the differences are if it’s something internal or external. By not turning into something more (with people who will always side with me) that stage of hurt/guilt can be explored and hopefully not continue into feelings of anger/resentment. I wish I’d have mastered that second part by now… lots of prayer in either case πŸ˜‰

  2. November 10, 2008 10:02 am

    i am living this right now. and it is some of the worst pain i have ever felt in my life.

  3. November 10, 2008 10:05 am

    What’s interesting about me is a i have very few truly close friends.

    I have always been some what of a loner as it were. I am the guy who is so quiet in social situations that I am thought to be a snob or somehow thinking myself as above everyone else. My wife says my serious expression makes me intimidating and sometimes unapproachable.

    Generally that precludes any sort of revolving door of friendship with me.

    I’ve met many people here on-line …many theist types whom I have exchanged ideas with…would i meet them in person though?

    I don’t know….I guard my privacy so jealously…


  4. November 10, 2008 10:06 am

    archie – yes, i agree totally with rubbing shoulders with people who arent exactly like you. i have lots of friends like that. and yes, they are the ones i learn a lot from too.

    crystal – im sorry. it is painful. but im thinking, today, if its also a way of God protecting us. ya think?

  5. November 10, 2008 10:10 am

    robert – i have friends like you too. in fact – i remember telling one my first impression of her and she was shocked…she had no idea she came across “stuck up”. i have a friend whose husband is a lot like you. and he says its because he doesnt want friends. hed rather be a loner.

    but i have found you intriguing and welcoming. so your “persona” hasnt come across on line. maybe if we met in person we wouldnt be friends…but i doubt it πŸ˜‰

  6. November 10, 2008 10:23 am

    i hope so.

  7. November 10, 2008 10:38 am

    Hi Tam,

    I don’t know if you ever visit my blog, but this topic has been heavy on my heart lately. I have been dealing with an ‘unexpected severing’. I am dealing with it one day at a time……giving every emotion to God and trusting in His good and perfect will.

  8. November 10, 2008 10:59 am

    I have had and am recently going through a severing relationship…hard is an understatement. I am learning that daily I have to put those people back in God’s hands and believe HE knows whats best. Eventually my heart follows suit, but not immediately, so I am doing it again.

    Another thing that God has showed me recently is my tendancy to pick up unhealthy friendships, I tend to feel sorry them, and think I can help them, and again… *sigh* I can not. Only HE can do that…so I understand your heart…not easy, usually misinterpretted, and always left trying to close my mouth as a result of angry people.

    love you, and remembering as I write this that I am blessed to have you!

  9. November 10, 2008 11:25 am

    This is a hard one, Tam. Sorry you’re dealing with it. I like your question, though, about maybe it’s God’s way of protecting us. Two of my best friends from college severed their relationship with me a couple years ago. I’m certain God may have allowed that to happen to protect me, but it has hurt something fierce! For at least a year, I couldn’t think of either of them without crying. And because we were so close, so many things made me think of them! Now I don’t cry every time, but it still hurts every time. I guess to answer your question – what I did was try to repair the friendships, apologizing for my part in the situation. When that didn’t work, I consulted a wise friend who knew them and asked her opinion. After that conversation and thought and prayer, I decided that the problem was not actually my fault and I’d done everything I could…so I had to let it go.

    Unfortunately, I’m not real good at letting things go, much less letting people go. So I’m still working on it.

  10. November 10, 2008 11:31 am

    Wow. I love that Beth Moore concept (can I tell you I’d never heard of her before finding Angie Smith’s blog? Sheltered life).

    I have had many friendships fade because of distance and lack of time… but not sever, really. Those high school or college friendships that are just too many to maintain… if I saw them on the street we would hug and catch up; it’s just the ebb and flow I guess. I’ve never really made many acquaintances… I get invested most become friends.

    There have only been two people in my life where it has severed. One, a good friend in high school who moved away… I did something, I still don’t know what. She was hurt and angry and REALLY doesn’t like me. I wrote and apologized for her hurt and asked what it was that I did and what I could do, but I never heard back. I had to let her go but it still nags at me from time to time.

    The other, I severed a few years ago… and it was something I had never done before and had no idea how to go about it. I had never told someone to stay out of my life. It was a priest who was one of my closest friends, a spiritual advisor. He manipulated and abused a friend of mine… and suddenly a curtain lifted and I could so plainly see all the manipulation that was going on for years and I was so blind.

    Part of the severing was for my friend, and part was because I saw no remorse and no intention to change or seek help. Just hypocrisy and sickness. It’s been a few years and still the mention of his name knots my stomach. I don’t think that will ever change… not because of the severed relationship but because of the actions that will never be acknowledged. I have been fortunate that I have only severed one person from my life… the letting them go part was quick and simple. I didn’t mince words. But living with knowing what he did, who he is and how easily I was blind to it… that part doesn’t fade.

  11. heidi permalink
    November 10, 2008 11:47 am

    I cry alot…

    I love realtionships. I am so passionate about them and also put alot of energy in them. Sometimes…. Okay… alot of times I get hurt. Relationships that I thought were lifetime ones often become severed … then so is my heart.

    Then there’s ones that God gives me a spirit of discernment of it’s not right.
    I have one of those relationships right now, that I am praying over and crying over.

    It’s tough…

    Prayin sis.

  12. lazrus2 permalink
    November 10, 2008 11:54 am

    “how do you deal with the unexpected severing of a relationship?”

    Grieve & PRAY
    Examine yourself & PRAY (confess wrong/ask forgiveness as needed)
    Love & PRAY
    Forgive & PRAY
    Seek God’s direction to wait or act (PRAY)
    Obey what He says & PRAY some more
    Never give up hope for reconciliation or stop PRAYING

    [If it keeps happening with more and more relationships, restart at line #2?]


  13. November 10, 2008 11:54 am

    How do I deal ?? Does not eating, not sleeping, not waking, and not feeling constitute dealing? Probably not. When I emerge, I’ll let you know.

  14. November 10, 2008 12:02 pm


  15. November 10, 2008 12:11 pm

    oh, i’ve had to deal with this one recently. it’s painful, even though i know severing the friendship was the healthiest approach…. it’s still heartbreaking.

    i echo @mandythompson… 😦

  16. November 10, 2008 12:13 pm

    There are people who:
    Add to your life
    Subtract from your life
    Multiply your life and
    Divide your life.

    People that subtract and bring division, I have no problem walking away from. I am dissapointed because I assumed the best in them and the idea of them was more pleasing then who they really were as people. These people need prayer, but also they need to be held at bay until they can stop being destructive, etc. We used to collect toxic people like it was a hobby or something. These days we’ve learned to set boundries.

  17. November 10, 2008 12:18 pm

    It is so painful to loose those relationships. I’ve had several relationships, mentoring relationships really, end because the person did not want to hear what needed to change. They only wanted to hear good things all the time and never wanted to face the things that needed to change.

    I’ve had friendships that have survived so much; moves, marriage, changes in life, so much. I guess some friendships are not that strong. It takes more than one person to want a relationship to work.

    I’ve grieved the loss of relationships like small deaths.

  18. November 10, 2008 12:27 pm

    I don’t deal. I guess I have to grieve through it. Feel the knot in my stomach for awhile. Get angry and self-righteous. And just recently decided to treat this friend as I would anyone else that doesn’t have ears to hear and pray for a breakthrough. Sadly in a lot of cases, I have found out what they truly thought of ME during our “friendship” after the fact. I mourn that more than them not being around.

  19. November 10, 2008 12:37 pm

    I had the same best friend from K until last year.

    She would do things to damage the relationship, then I would, then she would, then I would…you get the picture.

    I finally decided that I was tired of damaging each other. I walked away. She’s tried to strike up a friendship again. I (of course) will always consider myself her friend, but we’re toxic for each other.

    When we’re friends, both of our relationships suffer. Not just w/ my husband & her boyfriends, but with our kids.

    We’re better off. I just continue to love her from afar.

  20. November 10, 2008 1:05 pm

    i think that because i am an only child, dealing with the unexpected ending of friendships has been completely crippling. that is absolutely not supposed to be the reaction. i should not be crippled by the loss of a relationship with someone, whether they walked away, i sent them away, or through death. i finally finally finally learned in the past few years that my friendship with Jesus trumps all others…..and that healing from these losses is possible. forgiveness is a huge part of overcoming such loss.

  21. November 10, 2008 1:06 pm

    I dealt with this before and I think sometimes it is very clear that nothing positive is happening much anymore on either side. I am dealing with a new situation now where I get a vibe like she really doesn’t like me. I don’t know her very well so that makes it more difficult.

    I do have one toxic friend who I have known most of my life. I have figured out how to deal with her and of course I have distanced myself from her. I think that is a great middle ground if you aren’t sure to cut relations with a person or not. You are still there for them and talk from time to time, but it that person isn’t your closest friend or someone you talk to all the time. I will always love this friend, and maybe one day she will come around, but this allows me to still be in her life, but not at her mercy.

  22. November 10, 2008 1:09 pm

    “will always love this friend, and maybe one day she will come around, but this allows me to still be in her life, but not at her mercy.”

    That’s a good way to put it.

  23. November 10, 2008 1:21 pm

    sheeze – i didnt expect so many to see so many of you either going through this, or had having gone through this. and in a disturbing way…it kinda makes me feel better? i feel bad saying that, but…it does.

    i just told a friend a bit ago that the hard part about knowing a relationship is being severed is that yo still love them. but…the relationship is so volatile that there is no communicating. thats difficult.

    but someone said it above…God first. we are accountable to Him. He will be the one to convict and lead.

    still…its a grieving and sad process.

  24. November 10, 2008 2:17 pm

    How do you deal with the unexpected severing of a relationship?Joyfully. It might seem strange to think so but you’ve broken from something that could be destructive for you and for the other person. This allows you and the other person to grow instead of holding one another back. You can look back on the good times and joy that you bought each other and the lessons you learnt. Isn’t that some small cause for celebration?

  25. November 10, 2008 2:22 pm

    hover – that is great insight! really good. thank you, hov!

  26. November 10, 2008 2:36 pm

    Hey Tam!!!

    This particular type of situation plays to my wounding fairly well, at least to my historical wounds and journeys. As a result of those, I think that I seemingly handle the sudden stop of a friendship or a relationship with little consequence. I would assume that to the exterior I appear a bit aloof or perhaps even cold, but my history allows me to shut down the emotion of loss fairly fast. So what do I do? I just move on… Crazy eh?

  27. November 10, 2008 2:44 pm

    How do you deal with the unexpected severing of a relationship?

    Hmm…I’m not good at dealing this because I tend to have no problem walking away especially when I’ve been hurt, or when the relationship is toxic. I have very few close friends (all of whom seem to be out of the area), and it takes me some time to “warm” up to people. It usually takes some kind of “situation” for me to open up. I tend to be a loner… but unexpected severing doesn’t necessarilly mean that it is any less painful.

  28. November 10, 2008 2:45 pm

    I’m sort of like the flip side of Robert. Or maybe Robert sideways. I too have very few close friends. Two of my oldest and best friends live far away and we only talk occasionally, but we are still very close (if that makes sense).

    Rather than being the shy and brooding guy at the party, I’ve got to be the class clown. This helps me keep people at a safe distance.

    So I’ve never lost a friendship due to acrimony and never lost any (except one) that have caused me very much pain, probably because I don’t allow myself to care that much about them. I do have a lot of casual friends but they seem to come and go with time. Maybe because, as a young man, I lost my best friend to accidental death and perhaps that experience still has me putting up barriers.

    It spite of how bad that all sounded, I really can’t complain too much.

  29. November 10, 2008 2:46 pm

    Yeah Tam, I’m the one laughing at funerals too. πŸ˜‰

  30. November 10, 2008 2:51 pm

    I would like to add (I may be repeating someone else’s comment) that I always, always hope for reconciliation. I know reconciliation is possible because, if God can reconcile even me to Him through Christ then He certainly can reconcile me to anyone else in Christ.

  31. November 10, 2008 2:58 pm

    I’ve had one of these before….. a friend of mine that I had been BEST friends with since we were 13 years old… now, in our 40’s and you get punched in the stomach by LIFE… circumstances beyond what we can control takes over…. unfortunately, we had to end what we had….but I left it as…. “We may never be friends here on this earth but that’s OK, you love the Lord and I love the Lord, so guess what, I’ll see you in Heaven”… that’s the way it’s been left.

  32. November 10, 2008 4:34 pm

    ric – amen!!! we HAVE to keep that in our minds and hearts.

  33. November 10, 2008 4:43 pm

    Ric: I agree completely with the hope for reconciliation. I’ve been blessed to experience reconciliation in one of the … nope… make that: THE MOST painful severing I’ve ever had… Reconciliation finally came after many years of prayer. But, note, reconciliation does not always mean restoration… Restoration did not come. Reconciliation, but no restoration. This reconciliation came in the form of a mutual agreement between us – a mutual blessing to walk away from each other and into God’s hands… Reconciliation means being at peace with another, but doesn’t mean restoration to a deep relationship. Sometimes restoration isn’t the best or most Godly outcome – especially in toxic relationships.

  34. November 10, 2008 6:05 pm

    this has now been on my mind all day. thanks, tam. πŸ™‚ no, but really…. thank you for writing about this because even though i am walking through it — it is nice to know i am not alone in it and that of course, there’s a purpose behind it all. i love you.

  35. November 10, 2008 7:42 pm

    Tam – thinking of Robert’s comment about guarding a person’s privacy. Mama and I spent many dollars to fly to Oregon to meet bloggers – people we never met. To really care about someone, you have to be willing to risk being hurt – we took that risk and have no regrets.

    On Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 6PM, as I saw you enter TRF – I ran to meet you – we hugged, wept, – a special relationship was born, regrets? Only that we are thousands of miles apart. Robert, if you read this, take the risk.

    When a relationship is severed, papa takes it extremely hard – with much weeping – I hate the heart ache and the loss.

  36. November 10, 2008 9:42 pm

    I really haven’t dealt with this so much. My Mom died … that’s probably the closest … but not the same thing. I know who to talk to if/when I do. πŸ™‚

  37. November 12, 2008 11:14 am

    Oh I cry and then cry some more. And then I pray, usually wondering what I did wrong. I have to try really hard not to close myself in, retreat from everyone.
    It is hard, even sometimes when you know it is for the best. Really hard when I think it is for the best but I don’t know why? When I’m a friend I’m a loyal friend, an emotional involved friend. Some may think I am too emotional, I am a crier – happy or sad, a crier.

  38. November 12, 2008 4:34 pm

    Not well, not well at all.

    I try to be mature but I guess I’m just not. I cry. I cry lots.

    Even if the person is toxic, I still grieve.

    I hope for reconciliation. I apologize for anything I know I’ve done wrong and sometimes, just because I know the other person was hurt, and feels I did something. The only thing I know to do is walk in humility with everyone. But that does not mean being a doormat, there is a time for severing ties when abuse is present and no one wants to seek help.

    Been thinking about this for many years. It’s never easy.

  39. November 14, 2008 1:57 am

    with a heavy heart…

  40. November 16, 2008 6:22 am

    With lots and lots of prayer.

  41. November 16, 2008 10:33 am

    I don’t want to go….I want to come.. πŸ™‚

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