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When A Friendship Shifts

Posted in Growing A Friendship Series, Overcoming difficulties, POPULAR POSTS, and Relationships

I’m hopeful when a friendship begins. I’m grateful when a friendship grows. But I’m hurt and perplexed when a friendship shifts.

friendship shifts quoteDuring a recent conversation with a friend, awkwardness hung over every word. Our once familiar space felt foreign to me. It was evident our friendship was changing.

We’ve been friends for years, but now phone calls are fewer. Texts are shorter. Sharing has become shallow.

If you’ve ever had a friendship shift, you know the symptoms:  Disruption followed by silence or distance followed by absence.  

Sometimes it’s by mutual understanding; when the busyness of life competes with our priorities. Other times…

To read more, join me over at “Even In This.” I am guest posting this week on Karen Foster’s blog at!


  1. Kim

    Hummm; I’ve been there Sis. Joy, what was a blessing, was coming to the realization that the relationship shifted due to a shift/change in our daily lives, causing a shift in communication. This can be difficult to accept at times when we become use to a pattern of like mindedness but not everyone is consistent in that manner. The individual may not know how to handle the changes that are occurring and therefore they become more introverted! I found that my consistency in our long loving friendship was simultaneously glue to keeping us moving forward. I would give them space when needed and chime in at other times. Continue your consistency as you pray for the relationship! Improvment is soon to come.

    June 28, 2016
    • Joy

      Thanks for the encouragement Kim! Yes, friendships require breathing space to grow but I’ve seen space become a wedge if the friendship is not nurtured. 🙂 I appreciate your observation about becoming introverted if we’re uncertain about the changes in our friend’s lives. Hopefully, the instruction from Proverbs 17:17 will help us all to become the kind of friend God intends.

      June 28, 2016
  2. I echo Kim’s comment about being introverted, and in my case, emotionally withdrawn from each other. Our “glue” has been the blood of Christ that makes us sisters when we might consider bailing on each other. And you’re right, Joy, Proverbs 17:17 has been our motto.

    June 28, 2016
  3. Lyn

    I find I’m going through this shift in quite a few of my friendships.Most of them that have 2-4 decades of sharing, caring & tearing. Because of the level of intimacy shared over the years; I feel God calling on me to continue to develop that level of intimacy and depth with Him & not others. Reminding me & echoing what was said earlier that people can & do fail us. It’s hard not to isolate & harden my heart to this experience. Knowing that it’s for my good, and God is who I can pour my heart out too, gives me peace.
    Thanks again for your on-time word and encouragement.

    June 30, 2016
    • Joy

      Hi Lyn! I’m glad this post speaks grace to your friendship journey. Our friendships (and needs) change over the years. I’m glad your relationship with God continues to guide you and grant you His peace.

      June 30, 2016

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