[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]W[/mk_dropcaps]e live in the day and age of busyness. To have a full schedule comes with the territory of the microwave generation. We all seem to have that feeling of “busyness” no matter what we do. Yes, some of it is required and necessary, but I think it is something we have begun to idealize. Even when we are not busy, we will self-impose “busyness” to help us feel more significant. Going from being single to in a relationship, I have had to face what self imposed busyness I let creep into my schedule. You have to when you are syncing two "busy" schedules. A relationship only strengthens with an investment of time. Yes, there’s something to be said for quality over quantity. However, because some of our schedules have developed so much “necessary” busyness it is more difficult to weed out the unnecessary. Even as adults, we carry the mindset of a child that love equals quantity of time. Why not invest more time to strengthen the relationship you’re in? It is, after all, the most significant relationship you will have here on earth. Scheduling issues are a real thing. Personally, I always thought in a relationship it would just happen. "We will figure it out”, I thought. The reality, however, is that it takes intention. There is a price to pay for strengthening a relationship. The cost of this investment, though, is highly outweighed by outrageous returns. With time as our most precious asset (one that is spent at same pace no matter what), it can begin to feel uncomfortable to spend it on one person.
During the initial season of transition in a new relationship, it may feel uncomfortable to set aside old habits and activities that now distract from the relationship. I am not saying to ignore your friendships, but perhaps the pattern and rhythm in which you invested into certain friendships, hobbies, and activities will need to change. That may seem a bit harsh but hear me out.
I believe we can all agree that most friendships are seasonal or set for a specific purpose. The nature of those relationships will change when either the purpose is fulfilled or the season has ended, and yes there are some, albeit just a few lifelong friendships. Friends whom the season of deep connection has ended are not replaceable, but the face and rhythm of interaction has a striking difference.
My childhood best friend is a perfect example of this. She is one of those life long friends, but the rhythm of our friendship has morphed drastically over the last 20 years. At first we were acquaintance friends, both being competitive swimmers in a fairly small town. She and I were incredibly close during high school, even though we attended different schools, due to an increase in our swim training schedules. We swam together on the same club swim team and spent most of our free time hanging out or having sleepovers at each other’s houses. When college came, we were no longer able to do that. Our relationship began to change and started to look very different. We had a difficult time with the change at first. Change is hard. There is no way around it. Over time we both became more secure that the other one was there for support when circumstances required it, even though the face to face time had diminished significantly.
I have had other friendships with whom I invested a lot of time and energy. Yet, when minor changes took place in the friendship, they went off the radar. How does this relate to scheduling time with your significant other in a relationship? Simply put, change is hard. Expect schedule changes and a recalibration to your daily rhythm but also to the friendships in your life. I have tried resisting this truth because I love my friends so dearly, but have recently had the Lord comfort me on the matter. Even if you do not spend as much time with a specific friend as you once did, it does not mean the relationship is no longer significant. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to know when friends are meant to transition from your inner circle to just friends. There will be a mourning period for the loss, but God is always faithful to fill each space He creates. It is not something you will have to tell them directly, time will ease you both into that transition.
If it gets really rough, do not lose heart. The true friendships will last when it is a friend who truly values you. Choose to be at peace when it looks different than before. God takes us through different seasons and it is not about our own comfort, but about bringing Him the most glory. Change always brings good when you are walking with God. If it is the Lord who creates the space, He is faithful to fill it.
Look to Romans 8:28:[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.[/mk_blockquote]