Principle Two from God Will Make A Way — Choose Your Traveling Companions Wisely — reminds us of the importance of the company we keep, whether friends, family, co-workers or acquaintances:
There are many people who want what God has for them, but unfortunately, just like a kid who thinks he doesn’t need a teacher, they fail to take advantage of the gifted, loving and wise people he puts in their path. Part of God’s program to make a way for you is to put good people around you who are gifted to help you get where you need to go. Some of these people will just show up in your life, sent by God at just the right time. Others you have to seek out on your own. Some will be professionals. Others may be neighbors and friends at church.
As the Bible tells us, when we love and support each other, we are actually handing out the resources of God Himself: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). Part of God’s program to “make a way” for you is to put you around good people whom He has gifted with the resources that you need to get to where you need to go.
From my own experience, I can honestly report that in many cases the reason for a friend’s emergence in my life isn’t always clear, at least not immediately. Other times, the reason presented itself from the start. In more instances than I care to remember, the relationships ended for no discernible reason.
For example, about two years ago a very dear friend I’d known since high school suddenly disappeared from life. She’d stopped calling and/or returning my phone calls and emailing soon after becoming engaged, as if she longer needed or wanted my friendship.
This friend and I had much in common (shared Catholic faith, traditional values and a love of culture) and had spent many years swapping bad date stories and commiserating over being single. When she finally reconnected with an old friend, which sparked a new romance and ultimate commitment, I was beyond thrilled for her. I congratulated her over the phone and sent her a lovely Hallmark card as did my parents, who always held her in high esteem.
Based on the duration and closeness of our relationship (in spite of living 1200 miles apart), which over the years included hiring her to sing at my parents’ 50th anniversary party, dinners with her parents at my family’s home and supporting her through the tragic death of her brother many years ago, we expected to be invited not only to the wedding, but also to any bridal showers and other pre-wedding gatherings.
But the invitations never came, nor did the courtesy of a phone call.
To this day, I have no idea what happened, but I’ve since let it go with lots of prayer and forgiveness exercises. I am not sure if I did something that hurt her but in my prayers I affirm her forgiveness, offer my own and then bless her and her marriage.
So what was her purpose in my life, and vice-versa?
The answer to that is admittedly murky, but I trust God had a plan all along. It’s never easy when friendships mysteriously end; I’d prefer to have a solid reason, such as a knock-down, drag-out fight that damages the relationship beyond repair. As unpleasant as that would be, at least it would provide a plausible explanation.
But as with all things, the best we can do is try to make amends in person but if that’s impossible we need to create that closure through prayer, trusting that God knows what’s best.