I have often read the verse that states, “All things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). While it is a sentence that I should embrace, I looked at it as a platitude that I said but truly did not believe. I recently had the experience of seeing what that verse really means played out in my life.

When I was in my teens and twenties, I had a very dear friend. She and I were inseparable and this girlfriend had considerable influence over me. Events and things would happen, and they weren’t real to me until I talked to her about it. We discussed and processed issues, boyfriends, parents, all of the things going on in our lives. I would rely on her to influence decisions I made. We talked on the phone daily, sometimes more than twice. She was my best friend!

Then she had some life changes and we couldn’t connect every day. I understood the reasons for her other priorities and just felt we would eventually get back to our old selves. I waited and waited but we just grew further and further apart. I talked to her about it, but she said there was nothing wrong, she was just busy. Except when she wasn’t busy, she wasn’t spending the time with me. I waited a decade for my best friend to come back. I finally gave up.

Through this time, I grieved the loss and wondered what I had done. What happened that she wouldn’t tell me? Why did she leave so abruptly? What was wrong with me? I couldn’t figure it out. We had years of friendship and it all just evaporated. I felt completely alone. This same scenario happened to me in several close relationships over that decade’s time.

Getting to this place of feeling completely alone allowed me to look elsewhere for my comfort and my counsel. That is when I became a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ. Even as a Christian, I continued to want to have my old friends in my life, but God had other plans.

Recently I reconnected with some of those old relationships. When I did, I found that the course of our lives had taken completely different paths. It became clear to me that all those years ago, when God took these people from my life so abruptly, it was truly what he had planned. If all those people had been in my life, my life would be completely different! He has shown me that in order for me to follow him, those relationships needed to be removed. So now when I look at the verse claiming “all things God works for the good,” I truly believe it. As life events occur and I question the purpose, I know that although I may not be able to see it now, and I may not be able to see it weeks, months, years, or even decades from now, I know that God is in control and has my best interests at heart.

“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.” Romans 8:28

Kristi L. Andersen is the principal of Kristi L. Financial Partners, LLC. (www.KristiLAndersen.com) Securities offered through and Registered Representative of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Some Advisory services offered through AdvisorNet Financial. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.