Friday, October 7, 2011

Circle of Friends

One of the things I have noticed during the past 10 months as a widow is how dramatically my circle of friends has changed.  It amazing that people I have been close with for years, have drifted out of my life and God has introduced new ones.  It seems like the worst possible time to have such a drastic change occur in my support group, but it also makes perfect sense.  As a widow I am walking through one of the most dreaded and difficult obstacles of life.  Its intense, its difficult, its emotional.  It changes who you are, and how you live life.  The truth is not everyone can handle what I have walked through and who I am right now.  And that's okay.  

God is a God of seasons.  Not everything he brings in our life is permanent.  We would like to think that the friends that come in our life are like a stable building, a permanent fixture in our neighborhood: the high school, the post office, the historical site.  It has always been there and always will be.  The reality, however, is that our life is more like the shopping plaza on the corner.  While a few of the big stores are constant: the Jet's Pizza, and the Kroger, the majority of the stores are continually changing: the restaurant changes every few years, and the salon every 6 months or so.  By bringing changes to our circle of friends, God has the ability to bring people in our life who best fit where we are at that specific moment.  The demands I unintentionally place on my friends as a widow is quite different than what was needed from my friends when I was married.  

In talking to other widow's, it seems common that the majority of your married friends are the first to drift away.  They pack up their boxes, and relocate their store, leaving a vacancy in the shopping mall.  But its very temporary.  Before you even hang up the "For Lease" sign, God has sent a new tenant.  And should it be any surprise that this new friend is single-again too? Yes she also has been through the odd transition of being married and all of a sudden being single with children.  When you share your desires for marriage again, she understands.  She gives you guidance on how to live this single life with contentment.  And when you are frustrated beyond belief at the challenges of single mother hood, she takes your hand without judgement, and says "I know its hard.  I'm praying for you."  

A few of the stores in my shopping center haven't changed.  My "grocery store" is a friend who when we were married, our families were very close.  Our husbands were best friends, and so were we.  She was widowed a year before I was, and since we are both walking this walk at the same time our relationship has become even tighter- if that is imaginable.  Its as if the death of our husbands caused her to sign a 10 year lease in my shopping center.  She understands me more than anyone else, even sometimes better than I do myself.  During the funeral weekend she flew into town and was my advocate.  She had my back, and taught me that the funeral was about me and my family.  Do whatever I need to do to say Goodbye.  I needed that then.  And I still need her now.

I have also had several amazing friends leave my personal shopping center; its healthy and natural. I still love these friends, and while we have not ended our friendship, we are much more distant than before. I trust God in that.  And their departure has left several openings in my life for new friends.  Of course it is no surprise that these new friends are my age and also single.  They both were married to their high school sweethearts, and just recently became single.  They understand the frustrations of single-parenting.  They also feel out of touch when it comes to dating: How do you meet a nice guy at our age? Oh and what's the deal with texting a guy?!?  We often connect late at night after our kids are asleep- and share odd stories that no one else seems to relate to.  These women, and a few other friends have been a strength to me, a support, and part of my healing process.  I'm grateful that God loves me enough to make my life a revolving door.  Letting friends come and go in the right season; the timing in which we are most beneficial to each other's lives.


  1. Always.....bff, like Aaron was to Moses.....I will continue to hold up your arms for a VICTORY, and I know you will do the same for me when I am Moses and you Aaron. Our God is "I AM" and will always provide His best at the right time! :)


  2. Beautifully said, and so true for many widows. God does send certain friends for just the right season.

  3. Ferree, It took me a while to realize that this was normal and that God was using it. Knowing that helps me to not feel abandoned, but understand God's greater purpose. I love all my friends, new and old for they are all special to me in every season!

    Jules-I wouldn't want another aaron than you! You are my rock and without your wisdom, love, and encouragement I wouldn't be walking this out like I am! Love you!