I have always heard the quote “There are friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for a lifetime!”
You don’t always know going into a friendship what category this relationship will fall into. Obviously. I think if people knew the resulting relationships came with labels, perhaps warning labels, would we ever take the risk? Friendship is a risk no matter how you want to look at it. Are we all looking, possibly unbeknownst to ourselves even, for the lifetime ones?
We have all had friendships that have either failed or have come to a certain plateau; meaning if you see each other in public you are so happy to see each other, hug, and walk away making promises to get together soon. Most of the time they are empty promises; you really mean to, but you don’t make the time. You don’t make the time. Those type of relationships are the hard ones to figure out because there is so much history, but the longevity just isn’t there at this point. So which category do these fall into?
Reason. Friends will come into your life for something as simple as a reason. They may appear to fall into the ultimate category of lifelong friends because they seem to have it all together. They may be a great person, may seem like they have needed someone like you all along; like everything has fallen into place. However, they are here for a reason: perhaps to teach you a lesson or learn one from you in turn. They sometimes sap you of your care, love, forgiveness, and advice. They can use you for their purposes, even unintentionally at times, and when it comes to your time to get the same treatment they are nowhere to be found. The reason friends go just as quickly as they came in the first place. Once the need is met, they are gone. You may not realize it until years later just what they were.
Season. Friends that stay for a season are possibly the hardest ones to categorize. You think you mean something to them, you think you have a strong bond and they are going to be in your life forever. You share secrets and make memories, but you don’t know what life has in store. Friends that stay for a season teach you things as well; you trade experiences. However, they leave in the end, too. Maybe they move away and you can’t or don’t stay in touch. Maybe you have a fight and can’t or don’t reconcile. Maybe they will find themselves back your way in time or maybe they won’t. Either way, the time you spent building the friendship is valuable and hopefully worthwhile for whatever season in life you are in at the time.
Lifetime. Then you have your lifetime category:. They become family to you. You can barely remember a time where they weren’t a part of your life. They have been with you in the good and bad times, the ups and downs. These friends will tell you when you are wrong and when you are right. These friends will fight with you to make you better. They celebrate the youness that makes you, well, you! They are there to cry with you and to comfort you. They build you up, but aren’t afraid to knock you down a few levels when you need it. They can even disappear a time or two, but they always make their way back and it is as if no time has passed in between.
Overall you need all types of friends. Ones that are there for a reason, a season, and a lifetime. If you don’t have a healthy mixture, you won’t be able to value the importance of the other categories. Like it or not, we all play our roles in the lives of others. The ugly thing is, we have all been the same way to people in all categories of their lives. Looking back, have I been a good reason, season, and lifetime friend?
Probably not always. Ok, definitely not always. People change. Needs change. Situations change. Lives change.
Change is the only constant and it is the law of the land.