Seasons. A distinct beginning and end. A defined set of circumstances that can be expected within a certain period of time.
When you think of the word “seasons,” I’m sure you think of the 4 seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. But as people we experience seasons in our life. The most easily defined seasons are school, employment, and retirement. But even through those events we experience smaller, but no less significant, seasons. We can experience seasons in our employment . . . changing employers, or completely changing careers. We can experience seasons in our relationships, too.
Nothing in our life is permanent. Nothing is guaranteed to last forever. I take that back. There is only one thing that is guaranteed to last forever. Salvation through Jesus Christ. Beyond that, everything in life will someday come to an end.
That is where I am right now. I am currently bearing witness to a relationship as its season in my life comes to an end. Knowing that this is happening does not make it any easier to deal with. It does not make my heart hurt any less. I am in mourning. The other person in the relationship is not dead. He is quite alive and happy. He is thriving in his relationship with Christ. What I am mourning is the death of a relationship that I have held so dear for a very long time.
With this particular friendship, I believed in forever. I believed that this friend and I would have wheelchair races in the halls of our retirement home when we got old. I believed that this friendship would be the one that could transcend time and distance, that no matter where we both were or how long it had been since we had last talked, we would always be able to pick up where we left off. I believed that our friendship would be a season that never came to an end.
But all seasons come to an end. Life can not continue forever in the hot days of summer, or the frozen nights of winter.
I do believe that every person comes into our life for a reason. No matter how long or short of a time they are in our life, they either do something to teach us, or we do something to teach them. There is a lesson to be learned from every relationship in our life. I have learned a lot from this friend in the 7 years of our friendship. I have learned lessons about myself that have shaped me over the last several years. I have learned lessons that will continue to influence me in the future. I have learned lessons from this friendship that will shaped my future relationships.
I am mourning the friendship that I thought would never end. But I celebrate the mark that friendship made on my life, a mark that I will carry with me always. Do I wish that the friendship could continue? Absolutely. I love my friend with all my heart. Some might say that “we started traveling different paths,” or “we just grew apart.” That implies, to me, that he and I had control over this friendship. We didn’t know it at the time, but God was the one who brought us together as friends. God a plan and a purpose for that friendship. And now God has brought our season to a close.
I regret not one single moment of the past 7 years. I look back on each moment, good and bad, and see how those moments influenced us and our friendship. He was my best friend. (That’s the first time I have said that statement in the past tense. I had to stop typing for a moment to let the past tense really sink in.) I am thankful for the man I met 7 years ago. I am thankful for the man he is today. I am hopeful for the mark he will go on to leave on this world before God calls him home.
Seasons are only temporary. But when God ends one season that means He is taking you into a new season. The season of this friendship has come to an end. The season of my mourning will come to an end. The next season in my life will soon begin. I will look back at the last 7 years and smile. I will look ahead and be hopeful. I will look to God to get me through the seasons.
Until next time . . .