Disability, Changes, Lost Friends and Proverbs 18:24

Friends

Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 

For 45 years I had a friend who was like a soul sister; I’ll call her Lindy. We told each other our secrets and when something went wrong we looked to the other for solace.  We had fun and got into some trouble (like the time we took a For Sale sign from the front of someone’s house and put it on our friend’s front lawn.)  We also tried a lot of new things together like, going back to college, venturing out to find new hiking places and discovering different restaurants. We were the same in many ways but also divergent in others: I was a Christian and although Lindy said she was too, I didn’t see much evidence in her life but, it didn’t matter at the time.  Lindy is beautiful and is always concerned about her appearance, and she likes men. Whenever she found a new boyfriend I hardly ever heard from her, sometimes months would go by and my calls wouldn’t be answered. Oh yes, and Lindy lied a lot, if she was late she would tell you she had a flat tire or lost her wallet or, if she promised she would go somewhere with you and changed her mind, she would call and say she was sick in bed.  You get the idea. I overlooked these things, after all, I did the same at times and who is perfect and without issues? No one.

As the years went by my spiritual journey became more important and I wanted to work on my personal issues so I started therapy.  Being  truthful in all areas of my life became paramount and I asked Lindy to partner with me on this.  Although she agreed, she didn’t change.  Then, I became disabled, first with stage 4 kidney disease, and awhile later, a bad knee that needed surgery. I was still working when my knee gave out but couldn’t afford to live on half my regular pay through my company’s disability policy so I continued showing up thanks to ibuprofen and a cane.  During the recession I lost my job due to cutbacks and while living on unemployment my back and knee got so bad I started using a walker.  I applied for social security disability and it was granted in eight weeks.

At first the change in Lindy was subtle…she would make a cutting remark to me with contempt in her voice, or she lied more often about our getting together… usually, she would tell me on the day we were to meet she was “sick in bed”and later, forgetting her lie, she would tell me somewhere she went on “that day.”  I never called her on it. I knew she wouldn’t tell me the truth.  Things got worse, and one day, in tears I confronted Lindy and told her, “You talk to me with contempt and why do you lie to me when you change your mind about something?”  She got angry and denied she ever did either, there was no talk or discussion, and that was that, the end of our friendship. Ours was not an alliance based on honesty, and I am to blame as much as she.  But, I know Lindy would never admit she missed our hikes and walks together. When I asked, she rebuffed my question, the same as she denied admitting to other uncomfortable things.

I believe on some levels I knew that our alliance could have possibly limped along for many more years but, my disabilities, and my psychological changes became too much for the both of us.  Today I am much more discriminating about friends I choose. It’s very important to me that my friend will be able to talk about the hard things that are difficult to bring up and I also want that friend to be honest, not just with me but in all things.  And, yes, it’s imperative that she believe in God.

The Bible is pretty straightforward about our being careful in our choice of friends.  I will never forget Lindy for being such an important part of my life.  And, the ending of our friendship, although painful, also taught me that people change physically and mentally and unfortunately, sometimes we have to let go of what no longer serves our best interest.

Proverbs 27:9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

 

~ by Andrea T on May 26, 2020.

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