Last week, I sent my discipleship group back to school for the year. We wrapped up our summer together with dinner at my house, talking about the year ahead - what they were excited about, nervous for and most ready to do.
The evening got me thinking about how, without them having been assigned to my group, I'm not sure I ever would have met them. They're seven+ years my junior and in completely different walks of life than me. But, we connected deeply and quickly - proving to ourselves that age and background don't necessarily mean as much as we might think when it comes to friendships.
I've reflected a lot on friendships this year and have especially focused on growing deeper in them this summer. I have a tendency to hold on tightly to every relationship I create. In college, I yearned for my high school friendships to stay the same. After college, I did my best to keep every friendship in tact - vowing that time and distance wouldn't force us to grow apart, but instead, closer together.
As I've gotten older, though, I've begun to finally understand that relationships change. And it's OK. This has been, easily, one of the greatest lessons of my 20s.
I have finally begun to understand that it's OK when friendships change and the best thing we can do is let go of the ones that aren't good for us and hold on tightly to the ones that are.
Only we can control who is in our lives. If people are toxic or, sometimes harder to recognize, just not the type of person that brings joy to your life, it's OK to allow them to lift out. We spend a lot of time and energy cultivating our relationships and it's important that we are selecting to invest in things that are life giving.
If a relationship zaps your energy, constantly frustrates you or brings you hurt in any way, let it go. If it energizes you, brings you joy and is life giving, hold on to it with all your might.
Only you can control who you let into your life. Give yourself permission to seek, give and live good love. In the end, it's the the most important investment we make.