Friendship: Redefining Footprints on Our Hearts

seasons of life-


Friendship: Redefining Footprints on Our Hearts

In middle school, a friend gave me a decorative banner with the quote, “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay a while leaving footprints on our hearts and we are never the same,” by Flavia Weedn. This sentiment stuck with me through many moves as I made new friends and lost touch with old ones. I have reconnected with some long lost friends many years later through social media. A friendship at 30+ and largely spent online is vastly different than carefree childhood days spent pretending and dreaming of being grown up with children of our own. Seeing that dream realized, either in person or through social media is a true blessing.
Umpkh88c0fyd4tbez83a8msvxmsnp031After spending a year or two as a military wife, I realized that friendships can form only for a season and rely only on the present. Knowing a person’s backstory or goals for the future is not essential in supporting each other through a deployment. Friendships begin the exact moment you meet. Sometimes, deeper relationships develop from these survival seasons, learning each other’s history and hopes along the way. Deep, long-term friendships form from the initial bond of sharing the military life. Other times, the season passes as each moves on to the next duty station.
Some friendships are mutually beneficial, each person providing support to the other. Other friendships seem more one-sided. At any point, this balance may shift, due to life’s ever changing circumstances. These shifts became even more noticeable when I became a wife and mother. My first child’s birth occurred during mid-tour leave of a 15-month deployment. About a year after my husband’s return, my son and I were on our own again, this time for 12 months. Through those times, I relied on my family relationships, but they lived in another state. I began to form different types of friendships than at other times in my life. Making friends comes easily for me, being that I am naturally extroverted. Asking for help, on the other hand, does not. I am independent and strong willed. I will try to do something to the point of exhaustion and frustration before giving up and asking for help. However, during times of deployment, I made friends that did not simply ask what they could do but told me what they would do. They kept their word and eased the burden of being single-while-married, a new mom, and far away from family. Balancing these friendships with motherhood never presented difficulty. These friends walked with us through the trenches. Sometimes, we have the honor of doing the same for them.
Fast forward about a year and a half, we moved across the ocean. I learned in a much bigger way to make friends quickly. Not long after we arrived in Germany, my husband deployed again and again I was pregnant. Our daughter was also born over leave, which the unit graciously allowed my husband to take. Sometimes I needed people to help me. I had a great MOPs group and church family. Other times, I provided for others through these wonderful groups.
Because of the time difference, my morning was in the middle of the night for my stateside friends. When one dear friend suffered insomnia, I had the joy of chatting with them. As she faced the crises of divorce and her mother’s death, almost at the same time, I was there for her. When she despairingly asked, “What do I do now?” I said without much thought or plan, “Come see me in Germany.” Over the next several months, her joy and hope returned as she looked forward to her trip. She and I (and the kids) traipsed about Europe while my husband worked on an assignment in Israel. While I helped her in many ways, her time with me was invaluable. We each received renewal during that time. My kids tend to brighten the darkest of days (though they have many infuriating and grouchy moments as well, the good often outweighs the bad). She never looked at my family as a burden, but a blessing to her time of healing. She saw me as a superhero for the many balancing acts I accomplished in a day. I relished and thrived in her praise, not because I don’t receive enough positive affirmation but because she saw me in the real moments of motherhood and loved me in spite of my shortcomings.
Though I like the original quote, perhaps I would amend it. In my life, the following has been truer: Some people come into our lives for a short time. Some leave, never to be heard from again. Others return, forming stronger bonds than before. The very dearest friends stick by you through everything, in all seasons, sharing the good and the bad. At times, you will be the giver, at times the receiver, but always blessed if you have such a true friend as this.

28 thoughts on “Friendship: Redefining Footprints on Our Hearts

  1. Jerusha (

    This has to be my third readthrough on this post and it’s still touching me… Thank you for sharing it with us on Fast Pass Friday. 🙂 – Jerusha, (PS, new site looking mighty fine!)

    1. growin49_wp

      Glad you enjoyed it so much. Feel free to share it anywhere and everywhere!

  2. Melanie Redd

    Aren't you grateful for friends – in whatever form they come in! I tell my 20 year old daughter quite often – be nice to your friends, they are gifts!

    Thanks for sharing such a sweet post about your friends. It sounds like God has blessed you with some amazing friends wherever your travels have taken you.

    I came over on #MondaysatSoulSurvivor today, and I'm glad to find your site. I also pinned your photo to this site:

    Hope you have a blessed day,

    1. growin49_wp

      I hope I am teaching my children the value of friendships and loving our friends while we have them. My kids have said good-bye so often. I'm glad you came by and found encouragement today!

  3. Meghan Gorecki

    I love your amended quote. <3 Very true for me as well. 🙂 Needed the reminder.

    1. growin49_wp

      I am so thankful this post has brought so much encouragement to so many! Glad you stopped by and were blessed!

  4. Sharon Brobst

    Thank you! Thank you! I grew up in a very transient family, not military. I learned how not to have deep friendships because you might not be there long.

    As a married adult, I have lived in the same place for 32 years. I am grateful. It's been such a gift. I have learned to have deep, sister, spiritual friendships.

    But I've been going through a season of friendship loss. Over the last several years it seems that God has allowed all my dearest friends to move away. All of them were deep, sister friends. Unfortunately not all of them have stayed in touch, it's been a time of hurt, growing, and most of all leaning on Christ.

    Thank you for this reminder…it was needed today.

    1. growin49_wp

      I am so glad this post blessed you today! Friends coming and going, losing touch, and the hurt that follows is never easy – but yes, it teaches us reliance on Christ! Thank you for coming by today!

  5. Chari

    I love MOPs!!!! I understand more clearly now that some people will not stay in my life and that is ok. God stays through it all! God bless!

    1. growin49_wp

      I loved my MOPS group and hated leaving! I will always be thankful for the time I had that group of gals. Praise God, He never moves or changes!

  6. Sarah McKelvy

    A true friend will stick by you, rich or poor, in good times and bad times, etc.

    1. growin49_wp

      Also true! I certainly don't discount the value of true and lifelong friendships – those that pick up right where they left off even if years go by due to distance or circumstances. I have learned that some friends are only meant to be for a season.

  7. Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard

    As a military wife, I completely understand that each friendship in my life has had a different role in my life. Every friend comes for a reason, but some only stay for a season.

    1. growin49_wp

      It was a strange and also refreshing/freeing lesson as a military wife. Rather than wondering why I lost touch with someone or how they could suddenly seem so aloof. Nice to know someone else shares my experience.

  8. Jerusha T.

    The quote at the end is just beautiful. It really resonates with me because it's true, but it's also a friendly reminder that everything happens for a reason. I hope you come by and share this post on my link party… I think my readers would love it. – Jerusha,

    1. growin49_wp

      Absolutely… could you put the link up info on my Facebook Page or message me there?

  9. marie

    Time is such a gift. I'm thankful for technology that keeps us close and God will provide exactly who you need.

    1. growin49_wp

      Yes! Technology can be a wonderful tool in keeping us close! (I'm also thankful because it reconnected me with my husband before we married and kept us connected through so many military separations). God always knows what we need.

  10. Brandi Davis

    Lasting, true friendships are something I struggle with and is something I am working on. I love the way you amended the quote. It rings all the much truer.

    1. growin49_wp

      I will pray for you to find the right friend to walk with you for each season you need and that a lifetime friend may come along to share your journey.

  11. Emerald

    This was very insightful! Loved it ^^

    1. growin49_wp

      Glad you stopped by and enjoyed it!

  12. Alex Bone

    Fabulous post!

    1. growin49_wp

      Thanks! Glad you stopped by!

  13. Melanie B.

    I've always liked that quote, and I like you amendment to it too.

    1. growin49_wp

      Thank you, kindly. I do still like the original, I just think there is a little more to it (in my experience).

  14. HungryForGod (Andi)

    some friends for a time – but some are just for forever….

    1. growin49_wp

      Very true. Accepting that first part was much harder for me, because it challenged the kind of friend I've always been. I go into relationships with the "forever" mindset. Learning that God may have a different plan for a time grew me as well.

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