When someone hurts you, it can be tempting to wish you had never met them to begin with, but the truth is—without them—you wouldn’t be who you are today. The laughs you once shared, the thought provoking conversations you once had, and the pain their departure caused have all played a part.
God allows people in our lives for a reason, so I will never regret the relationship I lost because, without that influence, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Without the growth my friend encouraged in me and the heartbreak of losing such a friendship, I wouldn’t be able to influence the way I do today.
Someone once said, when we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind. As “Saturn” by Sleeping At Last puts it, “With shortness of breath you explained the infinite [so] with shortness of breath I’ll try to explain the infinite.”
Here are 10 things I learned from someone I used to call my best friend that have born fruit for myself and others time and time again.
10. You know you love someone when…
“How do I know if they like me?” is an age-old question that has perplexed members of every generation, but so is “How do I know if I love them?”
If you become aware of someone’s budding sentiments for you before a thought of a relationship with them has even crossed your mind, it can be hard to think clearly.
Thankfully there are 10 points that can help you discern whether you also have affection for them or if you’re just imagining it. Read more here.
9. If you love someone, let them go
You need friends who care more about your character than your feelings, people who will do what is right no matter how much they may desire the opposite. If ending a relationship is the means by which necessary growth will occur, you have to do it, no matter how much it’s going to hurt.
I was in tears when the reality above set in. “I’m losing my best friend,” I told my mom.
“Because he is your best friend,” she said, “you have to let him go.”
“You know that I love you so / I love you enough to let you go.”— Sleeping at Last, “Already Gone”
Read more here.
8. The most beautiful people are others-centered
You weren’t given another day because you need it but because someone else needs you. The most beautiful people are the ones who embody this truth. They are listeners because they fully invest themselves in you.
They work hard and tirelessly. They encourage and build up. They arrive early and give without expectations. Each of them deserves the world but every day chooses to serve those around them. Read more here.
7. Don’t rush something you want to last forever
It is better to wait long than marry wrong. Great things take time. As Proverbs 20:21 says, “An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.”
As Charles Stanley once said, our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we are waiting for. Anything worth having is worth waiting for. Besides, the longer you wait for something, the more you’ll appreciate it when you get it. Read more here.
6. We have to treasure every moment
Homer wrote in The Illiad, “Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.” Therefore, we have to enjoy the beauty around us while it lasts because one day you’ll wake up to find you only have memories of it. Read more here.
5. There is beauty in silence
The world around us is full of noises—background music, passing cars, the activity of people nearby, the hum of an air conditioner—yet moments when we can discern these qualities of our life are often quickly altered. We call a friend, we turn on the TV, we put in earbuds.
When it comes down to it, we don’t want to hear ourselves. We don’t want to be caught in a moment of silence when our inner voice could pipe up. It is so much easier and far more entertaining to ride the roller coaster of life than to spend days blanking at the puzzles formed by the complexity of heart issues, but we need to.
Read more here.
4. The point of pictures is to remember
We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone, to relive treasured memories and share their magic with others. If you want to learn what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph. If you think photos are not important, wait until they are all you have left. Read more here.
3. What you need in a future spouse
As long as your relationship with God is on-par, you—in the mysterious balance between man’s free will and God’s sovereign will—have the freedom to choose your spouse, but how do you know who is the right one? What should you even look for to begin with? Thankfully, the answers are not as ambiguous as they may initially seem. Read more here.
2. You just need to go to bed
In a season where my mind swung between maintaining sanity and feeling alright, there were nights my mind was swelling with so many thoughts I was afraid it might burst. I felt like I was continuously running around in circles, always at battle with myself and the world around me.
“You just need to go to bed,” he told me, and honestly that was all it took. “Turn it off and turn it back on,” the number one piece of tech advice goes, and do everything you need to ensure a good night’s rest. As C.S. Lewis said in his book A Grief Observed, “I do all the walking I can, for I’d be a fool to go to bed not tired.”
1. God is Love and He loves me
A Christian is a sinner saved by grace, but it has always been my tendency to identify with the “sinner” part rather than a balanced view including the “saved by grace” part. That’s what always took my breath away about the relationship I lost: that God would bless someone like me with a friend like him.
I told him once that I could not comprehend how God could love a despicable creature like me. He merely said “God is love,” a simple truth that hit home with clarity I somehow missed before.
To be in a relationship with someone who is always pointing back to Christ, where you pursue His will together, is one of life’s greatest blesses. I got to experience Christ’s love for His Church on a first hand level that brought my relationship with God to life in a way it had never been before. If I know Who love is, it’s because I knew the best guy friend a girl could ask for.
But no matter how many life lessons or sage pieces of advice you receive from one person or another, never forget that every good and perfect gift comes from above. God is the source behind it all and He is using every element of your life—the good, the bad, and the ugly—to draw your heart closer to Him so He can be glorified.