For every season of life we've had our "go-to friends" who we can call on and seek advice from. When you are dating, you normally hang out with other couples. Once you're married, you automatically start spending time with other married couples. And then once you have kids, you realize that the majority of your friends have kids and you like to gravitate towards others who have kid proofed living quarters.
The problem I have always had with these seasons of friendships is that I often long for my old friendships. Once you go through a new season of life there's much to be excited about. At the same time though, it's all too easy to miss the season that is passing and those seasons that have already passed us by.
By far the hardest transition I had to make was going from being a single woman to a married woman. Sooooo many of my close friends no longer talked to me anymore and not because we had a fall out, but more so because I felt they thought I was "busy." Or perhaps, they thought I was too busy. I remember hosting many get togethers at our small apartment, wanting to show off my wifely skills in the kitchen or lack thereof. But as the days went on those friends stopped showing up and life kept moving on.
Now that we are a family of 4 we only seem to have close friends with those who are in the same situation as us. We still make attempts at inviting single friends over and hanging out with married couples or couples without children, but for the most part families tend to surround other families. The up side to this is there is a sense of mutual understanding of kids running around naked in pools, toys everywhere, toddler tantrums or meltdowns, and those typical conversational interruptions. I love the ease and comfort of spending time with other families who just "get it" because they're going through it. Conversations flow easily, interests are similar, and it is always a good time for everyone.
I still do have a big group of friends (and even my two sisters) who don't have children yet. I love my friendships with them and most of them have an equal love for my family so the friendship continues as our family has grown. But it is hard for me sometimes as a stay at home mom to relate to those in different stages of life. I haven't worked outside the home in over 2.5 years now and my day consists of meals, diapers, potties, and rock piles. Often I have to remind myself to still find ways to invest and relate to my friends who aren't currently in this stage. We might never be in the same season of life together but the friendships that do last with time are the ones I cherish and hold dear.
New friendships will be formed and old ones may stay as a fond, but distant memory. I will try to remind myself that many who are no longer in my life are still only a phone call away. I have learned through the years that you can only pursue someone so much until you realize that a door has simply been closed. I love all the new friendships I am forming and the ones that have remained through these different life journeys. Nick and I have an open door policy and those who know us best know we love hospitality and spending time together. My feelings might get hurt sometimes with past relationships now gone, but God has put the people in my life who are around right now for this specific season--for me to show love and to serve, and to be loved and served. We are all going through life together and my prayer is that all of my friends either in current or past seasons know that our door is always open.
Have you experienced different seasons of life with different groups of friends? Do you still spend time with your friends from college, or high school? Are all of your friends married, or parents or empty nesters?