Sometimes we make “friends for a season”. And that’s okay.
Every Friday I like to leave you with one thought for the weekend. And today it’s simply this: If you’re lonely, it’s okay to go out and make friends with people that aren’t necessarily kindred spirits. We need each other. Sometimes those relationships aren’t perfect, but they can be a lifesaver anyway.
Sheila’s Musings: Why We Need “Friends for a Season”
When my children were really young we were living in downtown Toronto. I didn’t live close to anyone who went to my church. We lived in an odd neighbourhood, and it wasn’t exactly my natural kind of place. It was just convenient to Keith’s work.
Everybody lived in condos or apartments, and so nobody had a yard. I needed to get out of the apartment everyday, so I ended up attending a playgroup at a local public school. There I met about eight other moms with young kids, and we became friends.
These were not women I would have normally chosen as friends. We didn’t have much in common except our children’s ages. But they were a lifesaver to me. They were only friends for a season; when I moved away I hardly contacted any of them, and I think they knew it would be like that.
They, like me, were just making friends for a season, too.
One was a 19-year-old girl who got pregnant by accident. She met someone else who raised her child as his own, and they had another one together. One was 41 with her first daughter, married to a domineering man ten years older. Another was from Brazil, the wife of a doctor up here on residency training. Another seemed normal, but shortly after I left I heard she had a nervous breakdown and ran off and got temporary amnesia. It was a very eclectic group, but they were a lot of fun!
I think sometimes we need to make the best of what we have.
I don’t think that’s a cop out to say I had fun with these women that I was not too sad to say good-bye to. I always dreamed of finding a kindred spirit, and I have in Belleville where we have put down roots. But in university, in high school, and in that playgroup, I frequently made friends for a season. I needed people to talk to on a regular basis, people to share my frustrations and joys with, but I knew they weren’t people that I would carry with me the rest of my life.
In Belleville we live right next to Trenton, which is home to Canada’s largest air base. I know lots of military people. And frequently they say the same thing. When you’re stationed somewhere for two years, you know you’re going to leave friends behind. So you don’t try to make lasting relationships. You just try to find “filler friends”, who will help you pass the time.
Occasionally you may meet a kindred spirit anyway, and that’s an added bonus.
But sometimes you just don’t. And it’s important to make do with the women God has placed in your path.
I don’t mean to sound snobbish, but I hope you all know what I mean. We women are social. We need friends. But sometimes the perfect friend just isn’t there, especially when you’re living somewhere temporarily. You can’t hibernate, though. You have to get out of the house and reach out to someone. So you find those people that you fit best with, and you make do.
And in the end, you can look back and thank God that He brought them into your life, even if it was only for a season.
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