Friendship is really hard work. Human beings are complex; often we are unaware of our ’dark sides’ and how these shadows might affect others. Sometimes, we simply don’t have the energy to invest in relationships. And, there are times when these relationships feel completely exhausting and unfulfilling because the relationship you so desired did not materialize the way you thought it would. We live in the sadness of disappointment, regret, and resentment because of it.
But does it have to be that way?
We often use people to meet our unanswered desires. Because we are unable to receive affection, affirmation, and emotional support from ourselves or from God, we look elsewhere to find a source of love. But, true relationships grow out of this place where you know you are loved. In this way, people no longer possessions, but become a gift. A gift in which we can trust. A gift in which they are free to love me the way they see fit. My love for them becomes the gift itself. This love is a gift of God. And, anything that comes from God is eternal. As Henri Nouwen puts it, “Love between people, when given by God, is stronger than death.” This is why we love people even past their deaths. We hold an eternal connection. This is also why we can share such an intimate reality with Christ; because even though he is not with us, he still lives within us (Galatians 2:20).
Trust that you are loved. Trust that those you are in relationship with love you. And, find the eternal bond that you share.