When I originally came to college, I was coming out of a weird friendship situation in high school. So the college I went to was sort of a refuge for me-- It was a beautiful community with lots of ways to get involved.
I even met my husband Jake there, and we had a core group of friends that were such blessings in our lives. I felt that God was filling a void in my life and that these people were going to be my lifelong friends, but I didn’t take into account that we were in the time of our lives when things were changing so fast. We all had different ideas and goals of where we wanted to be, so even though we all envisioned ourselves staying close together, it didn’t work out that way.
“So Jake and I moved to Colorado because he got a job out there, but we had it in the back of our minds that we would always have friends back in Springfield. We ended up not enjoying our time in Colorado too much, so we moved back here and that happened to be the time that we got engaged. It was a shock at how fast everything had changed while we were gone. Everything was so different. People had changed so much during that year. During our engagement, the time that I thought I would be filled up the most with, that I would have girls who wanted to come to my bridal shower and tell me what marriage was like, and just show a little bit of interest in the fact that I was making the biggest decision of my life, I got nothing. Either silence, or an occasional comment that felt extremely out of obligation. I was away from my family during this time, and it was unusual being in a situation that you envisioned one way for so long, and nobody cared. I had one or two girls who were there for me, but the majority of love and attention that I received was from some new friends that I had made. These girls that I had just met for the first time just started asking me questions like ‘what does your wedding dress look like?’ and just acting interested.
Looking back at that season, I think I put too much blame on my friends and I forgot to realize how much I had changed. It was my fault, too, because because not only had I changed, but I didn’t keep in mind that people are never going to be who you need them to be. God made us all as individuals who function in unique ways, but He made us with these hearts that need people. It is humbling to realize that I need people who are never going to understand me or see eye-to-eye. I believe that void in our life is only to be filled by God. Each person has something to offer, even though it may not be the whole package, and you can give each person something that you offer, too. Just like we would like to receive grace, it is just as important to give it, and be careful with who you let determine your value. Should you let the humans around you that are all so flawed determine your worth? I think that is what hurt me so much during that season. I thought since those people didn’t care, I wasn’t import and that my wedding wasn’t important. But I realize now that that was not the case.
Sometimes you forget that some people are in your lives for just a season, and just because they play a different role in a different season doesn't mean you have to toss them to the curb. The saying goes, "If friends were flowers, I'd pick you."
I'd like to shake this saying up a bit:
I say, If friends were flowers, there would be annuals and there would be perennials. I think there would be those that are there for a single season, offering beauty and growth for a temporary time, and there would be those who root themselves in such a way that they cannot be removed. Annuals are so important. They give and receive for a season. Their presence is crucial. Their gift is undeniably one of a kind. The memories and photos of them can and will always be treasured. But perennials come back. No matter how barren the winter, how infrequent the rain, how scorching the sun. Perennials still show up, over and over again. Even when you don't want them. Even when you can't see them. They will always be there. They will always show up.
You can read more of Sharon’s writing at freelyronnie.com