Have you ever been in a place or situation where you felt completely alone? Perhaps you’ve been hurt in a past relationship? Or maybe someone close to you turned their back on you or even used you?
When these things happen, it can be easy to think that you are unloved, useless, and undeserving of fair treatment. However, that is a complete lie. I have come to this realization after experiencing numerous unsuccessful and toxic friendships.
I enjoy meeting new people and forming close bonds with them. In a world where the possibilities of forming new connections are endless, it can be easy to get attached quickly and settle for less than we deserve. And I was doing just that.
Throughout high school, I didn’t have a big group of friends. It was pretty much me and three of my closest friends. During those years, I saw a lot of people in unhealthy friendships and relationships. I remember telling myself that would never be me, but I was completely wrong.
Once I got to college, I thought it would be the ideal opportunity to meet good friends. During this time, I encountered some really nice people; however, they were more like acquaintances than close friends. Although these individuals were nice, empathetic, and believed in God, I didn’t really find anyone who I genuinely connected with. We either had completely different personalities and values, or we weren’t on the same page when it came to our friendship. Which is fine, since every person has the right to choose and decide whether or not a friendship is for them.
On the other hand, I still wanted to form deeper connections. Realizing that I couldn't build any close bonds at my new school, I went searching elsewhere without allowing God to lead me through it. In other words, I had lots of confidence within myself without trusting God to bring these connections in my life.
For some time, I did find some friendships and individuals who were willing to get close to me, but this meant that I had to settle. I settled for mistreatment, didn't receive the love I deserved, and even allowed certain boundaries to be crossed.
It got to the point where I was even drawing away from God, that’s when I knew my friendships were out of control. However, I felt it was fine since I at least had friends. Even though I thought these friendships were good at the time, they did not last long. After a bit of time, these friendships began falling apart, and I’m grateful that they did.
Slowly, these individuals began lying to me, using me to get what they wanted, and disrespecting me. It even got to the point where many didn’t put any effort into our friendship or simply abandoned it. I constantly found myself chasing after these people wanting “to make things work,” but that only resulted in me feeling hopeless, hurt, and emotionally drained.
One day, I came back home feeling saddened by yet another close friend who chose to walk away. As I entered my room, I shut the door and cried out to God.
“Why is it so hard for me to make friends?!”
“Am I even good enough?!”
Feeling frustrated, I began tearing up. I felt completely used, as if I didn’t matter. I thought that I was the problem. In that moment, I realized that I wasn’t trusting God in a specific area of my life—my friendships. That’s when I said, “God, I look to you.”
In that moment, I decided to trust God to bring the right people into my life, and lead me towards the people who truly wanted to be there for me, and I ended those unhealthy friendships. Through this I came to understand that God never intended for me to be in unhealthy and toxic friendships.
Trusting God with my friendships allowed me to accept and understand that it’s all in His hands. Everyday, I continued to seek Him, and I would pray for healthy friendships. I embraced Him in my loneliness and gave Him all my pain from broken friendships. I grieved and cried, but after a bit of time, My Comforter led me to long-lasting friendships.
He helped me heal from past hurts and even had new amazing friends reach out to me. To this day, these people are loving, kind, honest, loyal, and trustworthy. They remind me of my worth, and instead of pulling me away from God, they encourage me to draw closer to Him.
When it comes to building friendships or relationships, it is when we desire for things to go our way. And, a lot of times this can cause us to settle for less than we deserve. There is nothing wrong in choosing the people that you’d like to be around. However, it is important to seek God in everything that we do, and allow Him to lead us in the right direction.
What part of your life have you not trusted God with?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)