In the last couple of weeks I've been reflecting on the people God brings into our lives. Sometimes He brings people into our lives for a season and sometimes He brings them into our lives for the long term.
Whatever the situation and length of time they are a part of our lives, they play a role in making us into the person we are. We may not notice at the time, but God uses the people in our lives to encourage us, challenge us. Sometimes God uses them in our lives to carry us to Him when we don't feel like we can keep going because we've been hurt.
The truth is, I prefer it when God brings someone into my life for the long term. It's easier to always have the same people around. They know you and you know them. There's less risk in what you share because of the length of time you've been sharing.
When God brings someone into your life just for a season, it can be hard to let go. When you've invested yourself in getting to know them and allowed them to get to know you, it's not always easy to let them go. It may not be that they're gone from your life completely, just that the way they're part of your life changes.
Sometimes we don't realize the difference a friendship with someone for a season made in our lives until something happens that means that person won't ever be able to be a part of our lives again.
That happened for me this past week. A person who came into my life in a time when I needed what they brought to a friendship passed away at what we would consider too young. Changes in the circumstances of our lives meant we weren't as close any more as we had been at one point, but her passing still hit me harder than I expected.
When I look back, I see how God arranged the friendship we had for the time we had it, because He used it in my life in a big way. A way I hadn't realized until this past week.
The more I reflect on this, the more I realize just how God uses people in my life and me in other peoples' lives. I don't often think about that. It's easy to go through life without doing so. But, I've been reminded of the importance of paying attention to who these people are in my life.
Who are the people in your life that God has used to impact your life?