Life is so crazy. Sometimes I look back & wonder how I made it to where I am…or even how I made it this far. I look back & see so many life-seasons I have gone through. There have been good seasons & bad seasons. Some seem like they lasted forever & others flew by too quickly. Besides the lessons I have learned through all those seasons, the biggest blessings I see when I look back are the friends who have traveled life with me through different seasons. These people are like bright shining stars in the story of my life. These are the people that bring nothing but smiles when I think of them. They are the people who have left a lasting impact on my heart & life, & who leave huge holes when they move on. Moving on doesn’t mean we’re no longer friends…no, these are the people I love so much & we may go a long time with little communication, but we can pick back up like there was no time lost. These are the landmark people in my life & I really can’t explain how much they mean to me.
The funny thing is, God knows when we need these kinds of “seasonal travel buddies”…He sees the loneliness of our hearts & He provides abundantly. Now, don’t misunderstand me, there will be seasons you go through with the ache of loneliness as your only companion- trust me, I know it too well. These times are not punishments from the Lord & they don’t mean He doesn’t hear your prayers for friendship. Sometimes these times are there to teach you to hear from the Lord & rely on Him solely. Sometimes they’re a part of our life so we learn that God is our best & truest friend. Sometimes these seasons are there to teach us to truly treasure the seasons when God does bring people alongside us. As much as I am thankful for the lessons He has taught me through seasons of loneliness, I am even more grateful- to the point of tears- for the blessing of close friends I can truly open my heart to, unhindered.
Honestly, that’s the season I feel I am in. I didn’t realize it until just recently. I was getting ready to meet a friend for coffee & I was making the bed before I left & it just hit me- I am so thankful for this season & opportunity. The opportunity to have free time, to feel relaxed, the opportunity to catch up with old friends. The waves of realization just kept hitting me- the realization that this time 2 years ago I felt so incomparably lonely even while surrounded by people, yet there was no one who could understand what I was experiencing. Then, when I met up with my friend, we realized our current situations were almost carbon-copies of each other & we were both so encouraged & grateful to know neither of us were alone.
You see, I have exited a time of severe drought into a time of abundant rain of close friendships. And I don’t mean tons of friends I go party with every weekend- I mean the kind of friends you can just sit with, open your heart to, cry to, & so much more. I have gone through a time of longing for at least one close friend my age & in my same season of life & I have now found myself in a season where I am surrounded by so many close friends, & I am beyond grateful for them.
Be encouraged. If you feel lonely, be encouraged that this season is temporary. Be encouraged that this season will eventually pass & you will find yourself in a situation better than you can currently imagine or dream. Take this season to look for, store up, & treasure the lessons the Lord is teaching you. If you find yourself surrounded with incredible friendships, be encouraged for the treasures God has given you. Take the opportunity, in your time of abundance to be an encourager, to be to someone else what you longed for in your own “dry season.” Be a blessing to those around you & give to others out of the abundance of friendship, joy, & encouragement the Lord has currently placed in your life.
So today, take a moment to look around your life. Who are the seasonal travel buddies God has placed in your life? What do they mean to you? Take a moment to call, text, or drop a note in the mail to remind them you’re there & remind them how much they mean to you. Take a moment to come alongside others in your life- those who may be in different seasons than yourself- & listen to their hurts & their heart. Be there. Give them a hug & let them know they are loved, no matter what they’re going through, show them God’s love even if they can’t return it in any way today.
Be thankful for the seasonal travel buddies God has placed in your life & in your gratitude, become one to someone else who may desperately need it more than you can ever know.
Be blessed, friends.