I’m Noah, a jack-of-all-trades — singer, mover, actor, writer are just the first four names that kick off an impressive resumé, including (but not limited to) barista, babysitter, and uncle. I’m most passionate about telling stories through performance art, whether for my TikTok audience, my friends, or anyone else who might want to hire me. This is Part 2 of a two-part story; click here for Part 1…

A few months after our romantically questionable trip to my hometown, Evan started preparing a song he had written to perform for a church event. He asked me and another person to sing harmonies for it, and I was elated to be included.

In the year we had lived together, he hadn’t asked something like this of me. Even though I had been pushing for the three of us roommates to create something together, it never seemed to happen naturally; in fact, things between us had begun to feel forced (but are you surprised?).

For example, a month earlier, the three of us had gone on an overnight camping trip in upstate New York. I had suggested it, planned it, and booked it. A few forced laughs and awkward silences in, I couldn’t help but hear the paranoia ask: Do these guys even really want to be here?

So, to be invited to collaborate on something with Evan was huge: I am wanted! I am worthy! I am desirable! 

Warning: do not equate your worth to how much or how little attention you’re being paid.

I told Evan I wanted to prioritize this collaboration, but that I had to clear it with my work schedule. He said he might find someone else to do it then, if I couldn’t. I said I wouldn’t mind — just for him to hold off on enlisting me while I moved some things around.

A day later a mutual friend came over and, to my surprise, said to Evan, “I can’t wait to be singing with you on this project! It’s gonna be great!”

Awkwarrrrrrddd. 

“Uh, I thought I was gonna do that part,” I said.

“It was just easier to have him do it,” Evan responded.

I was crushed. I sank into that awful place again for the next day. I spilled all my insecurities to Evan as we talked about it: how I felt completely replaceable, this a clear example of my fears being manifested. He called me codependent and said he felt “disturbed” by my behavior.

He said he needed time away from me.

The next few weeks turned into a month. Passing by each other in the house, I kept asking myself: Has he had enough space yet?

No, I haven’t, the answer kept returning.

I grew stressed out of my mind. What did I do wrong? I thought our home was a safe space to unpack and heal, a space for the lies to be distilled. Was I really asking that much of him? We went from having daily check-ins to . . . nothing.

So, I started using again. I dove deep into pornography, and I kept justifying it: I deserve this, I’m such a bad friend.

Clearly, I wasn’t doing so hot. I wasn’t sure what else to do, so I decided to reach out to my church for help. I couldn’t seem to resolve this problem on my own, Evan didn’t want to talk about it, our other roommate hadn’t taken any initiative as a mediator, and now I’d gotten stuck in sin patterns with porn for the first time in ten years. I’d gotten so scared of losing these friends, and I was so mad at myself.

I really needed counseling, both for me and for us (as if I’m the one who knows what “we” needed collectively). I based this decision to get our church involved on Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:15-17 (ESV):

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

The advice I received from my church? That both Evan and I were right, and neither of us were wrong: I needed resolution, Evan needed space. So, we shouldn’t talk to each other — for two more months. If the Lord could bring new light in only one month, imagine what He could do in two!

Just two more months of suffering, porn usage, and hell, I thought to myself.

During the next two months, both of my roommates could still talk to each other, enjoy the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade together, and hang out with each other in their rooms, but not with me. Sure, we still had cordial conversations sometimes, but it was most frustrating being kept on this short leash, watching them have more freedom in their relationship than mine with either of them.

Twisting and turning in my head, I remained convinced that I needed these men. Especially since God had brought us all together.

Two months to the day finally arrived. I even waited a few additional days for someone to say something. Neither of them did.

So, I sat them down and explained where I was: I didn’t enjoy living in the apartment anymore, I felt excluded, and none of this felt fair. 

“Noah-centric” was their exact response. From their perspective, I’d started a mess, the mess was all about me, and everything started to get better for them whenever I wasn’t pressing in.

Later that week, Evan and I met one-on-one. I asked where his heart was and whether he still “needed more time and space away” from me.

He told me he did still need the space, maintaining how he’d felt this pressure put on by me to be something more than he was. For the past two months he hadn’t thought of me much, sharing that the separation was a really great relief for his brain.

What a . . . nice thing . . . for someone to say about their friend.

I asked Evan what he still wanted out of our relationship, since he made it clear we would “never again have what we once had” — whatever that meant.

He said he needed me to forgive him and move on.

So, I said, “Okay, I forgive you.”

He asked me the same question of our relationship, and I said I needed an apology since I wasn’t sure what I was forgiving him for. He got angry, and I reminded him that I’d forgiven him — I still wasn’t sure what for, but regardless of an explanation, I’d forgiven him. If he wanted to honor me and whatever was left of this friendship (I guess it was over?), then I told him I’d like an apology.

He paused for a while, like he often did.

Then he proceeded.

He apologized for being my friend. He apologized for writing me handwritten letters, promising me I could come and talk to him about anything, whenever I needed. He apologized for saying he enjoyed deep conversations, because our conversations went too deep. And he apologized for offering more than he was actually able to give.

A few days later, he blocked me on all social media.

How could things get worse? I guess, just like this.

One of the last things Evan said to me was that he “prayed the Holy Spirit would fall on me, and that I would move out of the apartment” — the apartment that I’d found for us, under a lease with only my name on it, full of furniture that was primarily mine.

Feeling so fed up, I decided to let Evan have what he wanted and moved out. I moved to Brooklyn for a few months, and then all the way to Los Angeles where my car broke down. This led me back home to Michigan, where I’ve now been for several months. I had no more conversations with Evan, along with no further explanation of anything from the third roommate. From afar, I knew Evan had performed a song at that roommate’s wedding — a wedding to which I wasn’t invited.

How did we go from Jonathan and David to heaven and hell? What exactly happened between us? 

I’ve replayed every variable in my head over and over: I was too obsessive, I was too much, I was never enough, he was never enough, it’s all his fault, it’s all my fault, he caught feelings . . .

You’ve heard it said that if you love something, let it go. Was I in love with Evan? I don’t think I was, because love doesn’t suffocate, doesn’t grip or constrict. Remember 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV):

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

And while this story of my former friendship with Evan is layered, I can now firmly say that it wasn’t loving. I kept records, I was easily angered, I didn’t trust, I lost hope, and, at times, I lost patience.

Does God ever stop loving us? Does God ever stop hoping more for us, does He stop trusting His perfect plan for us, does He start keeping score of our sins, does He let his righteous anger overcome mercy? Never. 

The friend I was looking for, the perfect being? It was found. And it was found in Christ alone. What I thought I was pursuing as a holy and pure friendship was, admittedly, born out of pain and a longing for someone to be like God. What I was actually searching for was something to obsess over, something to consume me, something that only God could meet in which He alone could satisfy me.

While I’ll probably always wonder whether there were romantic feelings between us, and while I’m not sure what I’ll say to Evan if I run into him at our church back in NYC, I can proudly say that this story has a happy ending. I found the lifelong friend for whom I’ve craved, because Christ never leaves me or forsakes me.

Unlike any human being, I can trust Him with all of my aching heart. I will lean not on my own understanding of what I “think I deserve,” but in all my ways I will submit to Him and His love for me. He will make my paths straight, good, true, right.

I’m learning how to pursue friendships and life with more of an openhanded posture. I have found so much more community who checks in on me, cares about me, wants to pray for me and asks for prayer, and displays mutuality better beyond anything I’ve yet experienced. I’ve been clean from pornography for five months. I’m remembering that I need to work the talents I have for the Lord, not for man’s approval. I can’t wait to see what amazing things He has in store for me. 

I’m not sure you can avoid heartache in this life, but I know for a fact that you can’t rush healing. Thank you Jesus for continuing your healing in my sometimes-codependent heart, and for being the fulfillment of friendship.

Have you sought God in another person or people? Have you experienced the fallout from a formerly close friendship? What does healthy mutuality look like in same-sex friendship, and how does your relationship with Christ satisfy your longings?

About the Author

  • WOW. To a 97% tee, this is what I have recently experienced with a friend I referenced in my comment to Part 1. I’m learning how to have more openness and healthy emotional boundaries and expectations in other friendships, now. I hope to enter the same posture of resting my relational hopes and desires in Christ.

    Thanks for sharing your processing, Noah! I feel less alone in similar thoughts of doubt, anger at self, and frustration.

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