How to Lose a Friend

Posted by Mercy Alarid, With 10 Comments, Category: Spiritual Growth, Tags: , ,

I lost a friend a few weeks ago.

She didn't move away. She didn't die. She just walked away from our friendship! We were good friends. In fact, best friends! We did everything together. She knew everything about me, my kids knew her really well, and my husband was used to seeing her around all the time. She had fridge rights, if you know what I mean! We were close…

Our friendship lasted for 30 years almost to the day! That's remarkable considering I moved countries, changed languages, adjusted to a new culture and live a different life than she and I were used to as kids. She was such a good friend that she left everything behind to be with me. She’s been there in the good times, but mostly in the sad times. She’s wiped away my tears and held me as I tried to regain strength to keep living.

I could say the end of our friendship was all her fault, but it wasn’t. I could say I didn’t see it coming, but I did.

It started a few months ago. Friends and family began hinting at the unhealthy level of influence she had over me. I didn’t pay much attention to their observations until God spoke to me and said, ‘As long as you hold on to her I will never be able to fully hold on to you.’

I heard the words behind his words – ‘It’s her or me. You choose.’ Needless to say I started putting distance between us. I know, I know, I should’ve ended it right then and there, but it took me a while.

When she called and asked if she could come over for morning coffee and devotions, I said, ‘Not today.’ She reminded me of our tradition and tried to convince me to let her come over, but I didn’t give in.

I was elated to find out that my devotions were so much more precious and productive without her there. No distractions, no tangents, just God and me! I had never been able to actually memorize large portions of Scripture, but now I was doing just that! Since I had no one to talk to as I prayed, I actually listened to God and journaled as he spoke so candidly about life with him and our future together. She kept calling, but it got easier and easier to say no.

When she came by unexpected to a family event, I set clear boundaries and asked for privacy. I know it was harsh, but I should have done that a long time ago. My kids loved it because they had my full attention and I even got silly and played with them. Quite the change, if you knew me…

The worst was when she showed up at the restaurant during my date night just to remind me of something I had forgotten to do. Talk about a stalker right? Brian was furious, and so was I. She sat next to me, didn’t even acknowledge my husband who was about to share a bite of his food with me and started ripping me apart. Thankfully, she is a very discrete person, so nobody heard her vicious whispers but me!

I had reached my limit. As she spewed out venom and told me how ridiculous it was for me to enjoy date night while things fell apart at work, I stopped her mid-sentence, put my hand in front of her face, (oh no you didn’t… oh yes, I did!) and said, ‘This is the last time you speak to me this way. In fact, this is the last time we speak at all. Find a new friend. Find a life and let me live mine.’

Brian was speechless… imagine that! He’d been telling me to do that ever since we got married. I was shocked that I had actually uttered those final words. My friend’s voice grew smaller and smaller as her eyes grew bigger and bigger, and tears streamed down her face.

After about thirty seconds of her sulking, me staring, and Brian smiling, she pushed her chair back, stood up quietly and simply walked away.

That was three weeks ago. I guess that marked the end of our 30-year friendship. I haven’t seen her. I haven’t heard from her. I haven’t even given her a thought until now. I assumed she would be back, but this time she finally got the message.

I still have sad times and even painful times. But I am not holding onto her anymore. God’s holding onto me and that has made all the difference. Sadness does not overwhelm me anymore. Darkness doesn’t keep me from seeing the light of hope anymore. He’s holding me… and I’m just resting, nestled safely in His arms.

I could say I miss her, but I would be lying. I love my life without her! I love who I have become in these last few weeks – full of life, full of joy, full of God.

My friend GUILT has left the building. My friend GOD has moved in!

Some of us may never admit we have engaged in intimate friendship with guilt, but at one point or another, we all do. Guilt has our ear, our trust, and our devotion, while it moves into our homes and wreaks havoc on our minds, hearts, and relationships. In my case, guilt was my friend until I realized that bad company corrupts character and that I could go from guilt to God. Today, choose to walk away from a toxic friendship with guilt and into the loving arms of the friend who sticks closer than a brother.

‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set yout free from the law of sin and death.’ Romans 8:1-2

Author Profile

Mercy Alarid
Mercy Alarid is the Creative Arts Pastor of Passion Church. Mercy has a Master's degree in Education. Mercy is a member of the faculty of Central New Mexico Community College, where she is an instructor in the Education department. Mercy has been married to Brian for 17 years and they reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico with their 3 children: Chloe, Colin, and Lauren.
10 Comments
  1. Date: August 12, 2011
    Author: Evy Pineda

    I found your first story so inspiring.. I have had some of those friends and it has really been difficlt to convince me to let them go and even more difficult to make them stop liking and stalking me . I have distanced myself from those friends and like a drug that I could never give up..I came back to see them uncountable times. I let them approach me in the intimacy of my home, so many times I cant remember... they had too much influence. on me...I had no voice.. I struggled to find my own inspiration but it was as if this friends of mine owned me and directed every step I took. They were tall and strong... they ate all my food and drank all my juices ...I used to think that I couldnt allow it no more ..and one special day I realized.... I couldnt be serving two Lords... or I served the lords of my friends ..or I served the Good Lord who was always knocking on my door and never gave up on me even if I never even gave Him a good look....I have heard Him calling...but he was too boring..my friends were so much fun until they got me compromised and in so much trouble.... Once I got into something very complicated and life threatening .. I thought my friends were there to support me and get me out of the mess..but they were gone as soon I fell into the abyss... I knew then that I had made a wrong decision. because they were deceivers... people who drank my energy and love as if it was the last drop on earth.. as if my blood was what kept them finding that life that nothing else will give them...so they hunted for me... As I laid there in the darkness...all alone bruised and sick... I heard the gentle voice of that one that was always knocking on my door..or calling me from afar.... I raised my eyes and there He was... with a giant smile and a long rope to help me get out and as I reached the top... He gave me His hand ..gave me a last pull and I fell in His arms.... He hugged me as if He was hugging a lost daughter.. His eyes full of tears of joy as He watched mine for the first time watching His... He said... Im so happy to see youre unharmed.. come I will take you home...Since that day I have only opened my door to my beloved friend Jesus... my other friends.. envy, anger,rebellion,lack of love, indifference,overindulgence,lust,proudness and lies have never come back... They left me there in that hole.. they thought I was dead.... and I really am for them.. my life began when I held His hand ..when He with those eyes full of love held me against His loving self.

    Reply
    • Date: August 12, 2011
      Author: Mercy Alarid

      Thanks for sharing all this with me. Some friends should never be given that title! Although my story was just a metaphor for the guilt that plagued my life I know that some people really do embody guilt and we have to do away with them to live healthy lives. But deep down we have to wrestle with what Bobby said in his post. WHy do we keep letting guilt in? Why does it have fridge rights in our lives? Why can it come and go from our lives like one of our loved ones? We must decide we will walk out of the prison of guilt in whatever form it comes our way - whispers from the enemy itself, toxic relationships, past experiences, and even our sin. The Bible says that he FORGIVES THE GUILT OF OUR SIN... not just our sin (Psalm 51). We do not have to put up with it because God has removed its right to be in our lives once we truly repent of our sin and come to God in humility.

      Reply
  2. Date: August 12, 2011
    Author: Bobby Rosa

    Mercy, this is truly a difficult part of life. There are many dynamics that play into this type of relationship and the truth of it all is that God's timing is still perfect! He knows what you need to walk TO and FROM! Remember the eyes of the Lord roam to & fro looking for those who are singular in their focus to Him! I applaud your heart & boundaries! As I read the words you wrote of stating clear boundaries, I was quickened in my spirit to remember Joshua 1, where the Lord tells Joshua "everywhere you set your foot is yours!" It's not ours to decide which territory we are given, but it is OUR responsibility to set under foot the territory given to us! This includes relationships!! Without TAKING dominion over our territory, we allow anything & everything to run in and out of our lives when they wish & as they wish. Its kind of like the girls on Maury Povich show who ask the question, "Why do I keep attracting these losers?" Something inside me said years ago, its because you forgot to post the "no trespassing" signs to losers on your life! The most impressive part of this story is that the day finally came! The Magic Day where all of the strength & real love for self and God came to a head! These are the types of things you teach your kids, your students & your congregation! Victory is in the act of taking the Kingdom of God by force! God says it belongs to you! Thanks for being transparent and also showing grace and mercy for the other party! You model humility and truly have God as Numero Uno in your life! You inspire me to examine myself all the more!!! God bless

    Reply
    • Date: August 12, 2011
      Author: Mercy Alarid

      THanks Bobby. This story is actually a real-life metaphor for guilt. I never had a friend that did all those things - I mean a human friend. But it is true that guilt had become my friend and closest confidant. Guilt did show up when I was enjoying life to spoil everything and did ruin many date nights until that final one. I wanted people to know that guilt will never be a true friend - it is a gloomy version of the real thing. So guilt walked away and I am really happy about it.

      Reply
  3. Date: August 12, 2011
    Author: Betzy Nuñez

    God is so good and merciful and gives strength to do what we think we are not strong enough to do. His grace on our lives is amazing! Great blog love ya!

    Reply
    • Date: August 12, 2011
      Author: admin

      Thank you Betzy. I agree with you wholeheartedly!

      Reply
  4. Date: August 12, 2011
    Author: John Caleb Alarid

    Well done, Mercy! For a long time guilt/ shame kept me away from God. I backslid and went back to my old life for several years. During this time, my greatest need was to be in the Presence of God- church, devotional time or other believers. However, my shame/ guilt kept me away from the cure. The enemy would say, "Your a hipocrate!" or "God does not want you back!" Although I had at one time been in ministry, I could no longer find my way Home. After years of pain, Jesus met me at my lowest point (a lonely prison cell). He did not stone me. He showed me the deepest love. His love and forgiveness melted me. I am not the same man I once was. Love drives me to be the best I can for the One who never gave up on me. Truly, the lovingkindness of God leads you to repentance,

    Reply
    • Date: August 12, 2011
      Author: admin

      Guilt is a killer for sure! I hope we all realize one day that guilt has no power, except what we give it. I love how powerful Romans 8:3 is in regards to who really is powerful... 'For what the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by sinful humanity, God did!' I love that.

      Reply
  5. Date: August 12, 2011
    Author: Polly Ann Martinez

    Awesome Blog Mercy, what an amazing metaphor to teach us that guilt can be different things for different people but in the end, guilt is always an idol that distracts us from God and the good things he has for us. I personally have struggled with guilt all my life - I've made bad choices & guilt is there, I've been in bad relationships & guilt is there, I've put work before God (and my family) and guilt is there, I haven't been the wife nor mother that God has called me to be & guilt is there, I've gained an enormous amount of weight and have not taken care of this temple that God has blessed me with & guilt is there - this list could go on & on but tonight, I choose God over it all!! I am asking Him for forgiveness and will repent. Thank you so much for being the amazing women of God that you are - YOU inspire me. Love you!!

    Reply
  6. Date: September 30, 2011
    Author: Mercy

    Thank you PollyAnn! I love you too:)

    Reply

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