dear Worried One,
I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through! I’m sure the hurt is deep and perhaps you might wonder if you should ever invest in a friendship to such an extent again. The hurt of losing the friendship and not being able to understand how things ended up this way is so painful to endure. Yet, I can say with all certainty that you should still invest and choose to be vulnerable with new friends, even though fear looms at the possibility of a similar situation happening again.
My advice to you comes in three parts. First of all, recognise that God made us to have and to cherish relationships. He Himself within the Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — has existed within community since the very beginning. Relationships are God’s idea and if we choose to shun this gift, we really miss out on so much!
Secondly, when we build friendships and choose to love, inevitably, hurt will occur. The ones closest to us will hurt and disappoint us. Yet that should not stop you from treasuring and building up the friendships that you do have! There is no sense in protecting ourselves from hurt by staying away from close friendships. Having someone to listen to and share our burdens, offer encouragement, and give us space to be real is something hard to come by. I think eventually you will find that this joy of friendship outweighs the potential for hurt!
Lastly, pray and ask God to take away this fear, as well as to actively remind yourself not to let these fears dominate your thoughts and heart. God hasn’t placed these new friendships in your life by accident. Nurture these friendships and see them grow. Take it one step at a time. Learn to trust and be vulnerable to others again. Trust God to heal your hurts and pain too. May your fears be gone and may hope fill your heart again, dear sister!