Sunday, July 23, 2017

Marriage, Pregnancy, Children, and Friendships

**Hopefully this will not be too disjointed...

At 36 weeks and 3 days pregnant with my second child, something has become very apparent to me. It is not easy to keep friendships alive. Maybe this is only true for me. Maybe there is something about my personality that pushes people away. However, I need to piece all of this together in writing in hopes that I will reach a manner of understanding.

When I was pregnant with Christian, I was a senior in college at UNC - Chapel Hill. Throughout that pregnancy, I lost two of my best friends. I'm still not sure what happened with one of my friends. This particular friendship was one that I had gained while in college. All of a sudden, we were not friends anymore and she posted tons of slander on my social media pages. It was to the point where I had to delete my accounts and start fresh because of the lies and deception being posted. The other friends, well, that one is on me - 

This girlfriend of mine was one of the best girlfriends I had ever had. She went to a college far away and we kept in touch mostly via text, social media, or phone calls. When we were both home, we were inseparable...until I got pregnant. During pregnancy, you become very hormonal. Being young and having all of these changes happening, I tended to resort to whining/venting to this friend in particular. Most of this whining/venting was about my then-boyfriend. After a few months, I believe she had just had enough. She quit answering my texts and phone calls. I would whine or vent and she would give me advice. I wouldn't take the advice - to break off my relationship - and I'd call and whine again. I imagine it was incredibly frustrating for her. Looking back on the situation after six years, I understand how the friendship fell apart. I tried to heal it, but the damage was done.

Fast forward a little while - 

I met Nick when Christian was four years old. I had my share of failed relationships, and I did not allow these men to meet my son. Nick was different. Believe it or not, within a few months, Christian had decided that Nick was his dad and has never looked back. I had already fallen completely in love with Nick at this point and had no intentions of losing this relationship. Somehow, this relationship felt right. This relationship gave me a sense of peace that I had not had in a very long time. I felt as if God had used Nick to heal a hole in my heart left by other failed relationships - romantic and friendly alike. This was the man that I was supposed to be with. Nick was meant to be my best friend and my husband. I knew that after about two months of dating him.

We got engaged in February of 2016 and were married in November. Over the course of my engagement, I gained several friends. I was able to bond with my bridesmaids and several married or engaged teachers at my school throughout this process. I still have these friendships to this day. Something about marital bliss seems to perpetuate lasting friendships. Babies, however, do not.

Within the first week of our marriage, Nick and I conceived a baby. This is what we wanted. This is what we had prayed for. We wanted to be married and we wanted a baby. God granted us exactly what we asked Him for (even though I was sure it was going to take more time than that).

Over the course of my engagement and the 36 weeks of my pregnancy with this precious baby, I've lost a friendship. Just one this time, but it might just be the most important friendship that I have ever had in my lifetime. This person was my best friend for over 12 years. This time, I'm not sure what caused it to end. This time, I'm hurt and saddened and confused. This time, at least, I have a very reliable, Godly man to help me heal and understand my loss. However, while Nick may sympathize with me, he does not understand how this affects me. I'm not even sure that I do at the moment. My friendship with this person ended on June 4, 2017 - the day before Christian's sixth birthday. These events were linked, but in no way is this the fault of my beautiful, redheaded boy. He has nothing to do with it. It's all me. 

Honestly, I think it's all God.

Before you get offended or think that I am blaming God for something bad that is happening to me, keep reading. I do not think this loss is negative. To be perfectly clear, I think every single loss of a friend is intentional. God does not make mistakes.

Let me say that again for those in the back - God does not make mistakes.

I think that every person on this planet has many seasons in their lifetime. The friendships that I have had fit well within those seasons. As I grow in faith and go farther in my walk with God, these friendships have to change. I can no longer associate with those who would hinder my walk. I do not let go of people easily, though. Once I have developed a tight bond with someone, it is difficult for me to walk away. This is why, I believe, God had each of these people (the three mentioned above) walk away from me. Whether by allowing them to hurt me by spreading false information, by ignoring me, or moving across the entire country, God had these people leave me. They ended the friendships. They put a finality to the end of the relationship(s). He allowed them to walk away. He gave me the strength to cope with the loss.

Despite the fact that I'm currently coping with the loss of a friendship, I know that I will get through this tough time in my life. 

Even better than that, I'm about to grow my family by an entire person! Nothing is better than that.

God makes no mistakes. 

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