#ToHER: Did Finding God Have to End Our Friendship?

June 12, 2022

We bring to you letters written by women to women they love, miss, cherish or just remember. To celebrate the support women continue to show each other, this is #ToHER.

From: A friend scorned by Jesus

To: Diana*, the friend who chose faith over friendship

Dear Diana,

I know you won’t like this, but I’m not writing this for you — I actually hope you don’t see this because too much time has passed to fix our friendship. Writing this letter is my way of finally letting go.

I want to start from the parts that were my fault because I blame myself for everything. When we met at university in 2013, things weren’t great at home. I didn’t know it then, but I was too emotionally dependent on everyone around me, to the point where I’d expect them to act in roles they didn’t sign for, as if they were my family members. So when we met, I placed those expectations on you. I wanted you to be the friend that made me feel safe. Someone I could call to escape the fights at home. 

I never knew how to articulate my feelings in our friendship. Anytime you didn’t show up the way that I wanted, it felt like you didn’t love me. Like when our other friends talked over me because they were much older.  If I could go back to 2013, I’d explain how I felt to you. I wished you stood up for me more. 

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When you found God a year later, everything changed between us. We didn’t even meet up for lunch anymore. If I could go back, I’d tell you you didn’t need to cut everyone off, especially me. I found God too, you know? But when you stopped hanging out with me, it hurt me badly. Like, didn’t you remember I was also Christian? 

You created an entirely new world that didn’t include me — or other friends we had — and I never stopped thinking, “Me too?” I thought you’d find a way to hold on to me. I thought I was special, considering how much time we’d spent together. But I wasn’t. You had new Christian friends.

I didn’t even realise you were dating someone at the time. For whatever reason, you hid him from us, and I’m not even sure for how long. I know I wasn’t perfect, but I tried to show up for you. I understand “setting yourself apart” when you wanted to get serious with your faith, but I think you could’ve found a balance. 

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I can’t remember a lot after uni, but graduating helped our friendship. We didn’t have to see each other, so it was easier to ignore how absent you really were. At least, over the phone, we seemed to be fine. 

It’s crazy how much hope I had that we’d go back to being real friends. Because of you, I joined a Christian group — I didn’t just want to be part of a Christian community; I wanted you to be in it. I took over when your friends bailed on your bridal shower though my invite had been a formality. I was too happy I’d gotten an invite to care about that. 

But I couldn’t continue chasing you. I needed to free myself from the leash I’d wound around my neck and handed to you.

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After seven years of trying to make things, I accepted we needed to be on very different paths. But it wasn’t like flipping a light switch. You randomly called me in 2021 and before picking up, I found myself hoping it was for some kind of reconciliation. But of course, it was for work. 

The fact that you only visited my apartment five times throughout our friendship should’ve been a sign that we were better off not being friends. Especially since you once lived only seven minutes away. And I never stopped visiting you. There was a lot more I wanted to say on that call,  but there was no point. 

I don’t know if you felt the way I felt on the other side of that phone. But if you’re reading this, know that I’m praying for you, always.

All my love, 

Temi

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