They say that friends are for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Friends for a reason may be temporary but are essential parts of our life.
Friendships become an essential part of our lives before we are old enough even to remember. Sometime between age two and three, we notice and begin playing with other kids instead of playing by ourselves.
As teenagers, friends are the central focus of our life.
Remember the first thing you did when got your new school schedule? You checked to see what friends were in your classes and if you had lunch together.
We go into our adulthood with the idea that friendships mean everything and the expectation that they will last forever.
What is a Friend for a Reason
Of the three types of friendships, friends for a reason are the most fleeting but might be the most important.
Sometimes God sends a person into our life because we need their help. And if you are lucky, you may be sent into someone else’s life to help them.
That person may progress into a friend for a season, but they seldom end up being a friend for a lifetime.
The friendship is based on a specific need, and may not be sustainable in the long run.
Having a Friend for a Reason
I met my friend for a reason before I ever needed her.
JB was my co-worker for three years. We were inseparable. We officed together, worked on our tasks together, lunched together, and even went to the bathroom at the same time.
If you had asked me at the time, I would have described JB as my best friend.
It was JB that I called one early morning to verify that I hadn’t wet the bed, but in fact, my water had broken when I was only 24-weeks pregnant.
While I was on hospitalized bed rest, JB was the gatekeeper to absolutely everything between me and work. She didn’t allow anyone to contact me or visit without permission and the assurance it was non-work related and wouldn’t stress me out.
JB was my guardian angel.
I never returned to work after my son was born, and in the weeks and months to follow my friendship with JB faded away.
But she was my friend for a reason at one of the most critical points in my life.
And I will always treasure our friendship.
Being a Friend for a Reason
Rose came into my life when she and her husband were preparing to adopt their daughter. Our social worker put us in touch so that Rose could ask questions about Korean adoptions.
Rose and her husband already had one child – a boy adopted from Russia. Unfortunately, their son didn’t receive the caring and attentive treatment that Korean adoptees receive.
As a preschooler, their son had overcome most of his physical delays but was beginning to exhibit behavioral issues often associated with children who lived in an orphanage.
In dealing with her son’s challenges, Rose had become isolated from friends and family that refused to believe that this adorable little boy was anything other than perfect.
However, I was uniquely qualified to understand and empathize with Rose’s situation due to experiencing a similar situation when I was a teenager.
For a couple of years, Rose and I regularly met for playdates with our toddler daughters, and we talked frequently.
As her son grew older Rose became more confident in her ability to parent a challenged child. And she reached a point where she no longer needed my support.
We remain friends on Facebook, but I no longer know the intimate details of her life.
And that is okay.
Being someone’s friend for a season is an honor, and you shouldn’t feel like the friendship failed or you did something wrong when the reason for your friendship no longer exists.
Have you had a friend for a reason? Have you had the chance to be someone’s friend for a reason? I would love to hear your story.
Read all 50 pieces of advice I shared in honor of my 50th birthday.