Whenever they need to talk, you always make yourself available. But, as soon as you need them to return the favor, they have something else to do. You text them at least twice a week, but they barely or rarely text you back. You support their events, but when yours roll around, they don’t show up. You seem to be the only one who makes an effort to call and keep in touch; they manage to live their best life without ringing your phone. They plan parties and get-togethers at their homes, but exclude you? You share information about your life and successes and they want to be removed from your email list. You let them borrow a few dollars, but all of a sudden their bills are due, and they can’t pay you back; you thought you guys were better than that. At first, you two were hanging out, commiserating about the single life, but she got a boyfriend and left you in the dust.
You and Mr. Man shared late night talks, hung out in public a time or two, met members of each other’s families and touched each other either physically or emotionally. However, this isn’t a relationship, and never will be? You put up with all of his garbage, had his baby, and now he doesn’t like you, and can’t see himself with you in the future? You worked harder on the job than anybody else, and really deserved that promotion, but they favored the numskull you trained? Your family member did or said something really trifling to you, but acted as if it was nothing. This person has caused you some of the worst emotional pain you have ever experienced, but they trivialize it and leave you holding all that baggage. You thought you guys were friends, but they moved, changed their phone number and never gave you the new information. They were supposed to give you a ride, but left without you. You’ve been anticipating this date for three days, but he calls to cancel at the last minute.
If you are anything like me, reading these situations remind you of other times when people have deeply disappointed you, which can resurrect some hurtful memories and emotions you thought had long passed. I am willing to bet the offenders have no idea of how you feel. We think that having the ability to distance ourselves from others is a demonstration of strength when actually it is a sign of emotional distress that needs to be healed. Among my friends, I am infamous for blacking people’s names out of my address book when it appears that I am no longer a part of their lives, but doing so has always been a hurtful thing for me. I have never felt strong or cool when severing ties with someone I once called a friend.
Sometimes, for your own growth and emotional health, certain people need to fade from your life. We often outgrow people once we reach a certain stage of emotional and spiritual maturity. Even if it is for the best, releasing relationships cause us pain, emptiness and loneliness that many of us are too proud or too afraid to acknowledge. Many have told me they can go for months or years without speaking to some of their friends, but that doesn’t mean the end of the friendship. Doesn’t it? Many have said that in their busy lives they think of me often, although they don’t call. Then why not call? If you find yourself thinking of someone often, then maybe – just maybe – it means they could use your support with something they really cannot handle alone. I regret to this day telling a friend I would call him, but didn’t, because a few days later, he died. My last conversation with him haunts me until this very day.
THE BIBLE’S REMEDY FOR DISAPPOINTMENT
Feeling let down by someone you thought you could count on is emotionally distressing, but you have to remember to keep your trust in God rather than people. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8 NKJV). For a long while, I was in such a big rush to get married because I wanted someone to be down for Ashan R. Hampton! Someone to have my back and be my cheerleader whenever I needed it, because I’ve never really had a best friend, although I have several good friends. (If you have a best friend, you are truly blessed, and should not take the friendship for granted.) Very often, I had to endure some tough situations alone, but I was always reminded during those times that Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother, and that he would never leave me nor forsake me (Proverbs 18:24; Deutoronomy 31:6).
During one of Paul’s unfortunate incarcerations, he also found himself friendless. He said that when everyone forsook him, the Lord stood with him and strengthened him (2 Timothy 4:16-17). Likewise, when it seems that we no longer have the support system we once had, we must remember that the Lord sees, and is there to love and comfort us.
If you have recently had to release a relationship where it seemed you were always the giver and the other was the taker, then be encouraged to know that your good works will not go unrewarded by God. It takes a lot of heart to love people beyond lip service, and unfortunately, everyone will not be that loyal to you. Please do not become bitter or hard-hearted against making new friends and continuing to love them as God has given you the grace to do so.
Love begets love. Rest assured that your good spirit and loving heart will attract people with the ability to love and support you back. As the saying goes, what goes around comes around, but as the Bible says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Therefore, if you sow blessings and good energy into the lives of others, then God will make sure that you are doubly blessed for your efforts. Be encouraged by the words in I Corinthians 15:58 that remind us that “our labor is not in vain.” Continue to let all you do be done with love (I Corinthians 16:14), and love will surely overtake you!
BE A BLESSING!
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Ashan R. Hampton is the author of several Christian inspirational books: “Prayers & Confessions for Modern Christian Women” (2020), “Still Single Over 40: Reclaim Your Love Life” (2019), “Prayers & Confessions for Teens and Young Adults” (2018), “MCW Living Single Bible Readings” (2017), “Prayers & Confessions for Everyday Victory” (2017), “Before You Start Dating Again” (2016), “Some Bitter, Some Sweet: Becoming a Single Woman God Can Use” (2016), “Soul Thoughts: Poems & Essays” (2015), “Girl Please…Know When to Let That Man Go” (2015). Visit our website for ordering information at www.mcwwisdom.com/books.
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