Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Some of the best advice I’ve heard on several occasions is to intentionally try to meet God daily. In other words we must become attuned to where He is active, present and very much at work in our lives and the world around us despite the negativity that threatens to overshadow His glory and bring discouragement on our respective journeys.
Hence in my attempt to adhere to that wisdom and keep my eye on Jesus, I would love to share with you (whenever time allows, I’m not too lazy to write and for as long as I feel I should do it lol) an example of where I see God daily, especially through my encounters with people and in the lives of others.
So here we are at entry #3.

We started out as ordinary coworkers—she was my medical assistant to be exact. She is an immigrant from Bangledesh while I am an immigrant from Jamaica. She is a devout Muslim, while I am a devout Christian. Between us there is about a 7 year age difference—no need to venture into the specific numbers. Yet despite our differences in just a few short years she has become a dear friend. It was one day at work that I broke down in tears and shared with her some heavy burdens I had been carrying in my personal life. Sure I had plenty of people to talk to and as a matter of fact I had confided in some close to me. But that particular day it was too much. That day, my Muslim friend from Bangladesh in the middle of a slow work day was a safe haven where I could be real, raw and vulnerable. She provided a space where I could bare my soul and receive the truth, comfort and gentle love I needed at that moment. Two people from very different worlds, yet God used her to minister to me about FAITH in a way that few people ever have– Christian or otherwise.

It’s easy to expect support from the likely staples in your life in the form of family and longtime friends. But only God can use the most unexpected circumstances and unlikely people to reach you just where you are when you need Him most. The light of Jesus shone through my new confidante that day despite our seemingly vast differences….yep I see you Jesus.

Side note: Thank you sis Sharon D. Highland for holding me accountable to keep posting after getting lax during the holiday. Lol. I so appreciate you. Iron sharpens iron. Blessings to you 🙂

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There is a popular saying that says that people come into life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  That some people come into your life as a blessing and some as a lesson.  My thinking—there are some lessons I would rather avoid if I can help it—especially in regards to unnecessary people in my life.

The bible says that as Judas,  who was suppose to be a friend, approached Jesus to turn him over to his adversaries and ultimately betray him, Jesus said to him, “….Friend, why have you come?”(Mattew 26:50, NKJV).  Some people side with the devil and come intentionally to cause difficulties in your life.   Others are just innocent pawns.  Caught up in their own bondage and with their own issues, they may unwittingly be a source of trouble to others.  Friend could be generic for anyone who comes into you life–an actual friend, love-interest or even family.   These days because the devil is so crafty and disguises himself in all packages, shapes and sizes, we have to consider Jesus’s inquiry in our own lives  today:

Friend why have you come 
To be a snare to me?
Sabotage all that I have
Ruin my destiny…..

-These are the folks who want what you have or even worse, although they may have much,  they just can’t stand to see others do well. Jealousy and envy are their driving forces.  Yeah they smile in your face, all the while trying to take your place. You know the rest. They get close enough to you so they can twist the knife in your back and make sure you are bleeding from all sides. Might try to act like they have your best interest at heart, but deep down they want to see you fall. Hurt people go on to hurt people.  These folks have some deep hurt or unresolved issues that has not been dealt with so they deal with their pathology by trying to destroy others.  On the flip side,  the trap of the enemy may not be the specific person themselves.  But the enemy may try to access your life through someone they are affiliated with. For instance, I dated a guy who wasn’t  a bad person. His family on the other hand–not so nice.  Lesson:  Anybody in this category, best to  cut lose. Pray for you, love you from a distance, but got to keep it moving.  You can’t walk with me if the intention is to destroy me.  Deuces.

Friend why did you come? 
To be a parasite?
Because you see me going higher
You feeding off my light….

You may remember from your science days that a parasite is an organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism.  Not in all cases, but in most cases parasites don’t really benefit the host (www.freedictionary.com\parasite).  The host supplies, the parasite takes.  These are the nuisances  that see your gifts, talents and your anointing and they want to attach themselves and reap all the benefits of your journey,  your hard work and the grace God has given you.   They have no inkling of what  you have to go through to be who you are, carry the load you have to carry and fulfill your purpose, but for some reason they have the audacity to think they deserve to be a part of you.   According to wikepedia parasites tend to be smaller than their host. Translation:  small minded,  low ambition, low self-esteem.  Resolution:  Whether they try to attach to the outside or to your spirit deep within, why carry something that is draining the life out of you?  Flush them off, pry them off, get them out of your system.  Your eviction notice is served! But I’ll be praying—deuces.

Friend why have you come 
To leave me weak and drained?
Do you think I am your savior
I can heal all your pain?

Then there are the needy folks.  These folks  kind of have that parasitic mentality as well.   They may not intentionally attach to you for specific benefits or getting ahead, but they are parasitic in that they drain you with their issues, their needs and their problems. Nothing wrong with being a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear or being a support, but when the relationship is unbalanced where you are disproportionately giving more than you are receiving or that friendship is a burden, it’s time to go.  You continually overextend and sacrifice and you are not getting that effort in return. These folks might have been hurt by other people especially  friends in the past, so if they find some comfort in you they may become a tad too attached for your liking.  If not careful they want to monopolize you all for themselves and have a problem with you having outside friendships besides the one you share with them.  Resolution:  I can be there to  support, but it is not my assignment to carry or cure sick friends.  That can only be Jesus.  I think you better call him.

Friend why have you come?
For me you want the best
As you journey along side me
Indeed I’m truly blessed
Your love, support and most of all loyalty
Your presence being in my life make me a better me

This is the ideal relationship–the one that helps you thrive and grow.  The essence of this connection is that it is symbiotic based on the traditional scientific definition: a mutually beneficial relationship involving close physical contact between two organisms that aren’t the same species(http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/evolution/symbiosis1.htm). Both parties benefit as each is giving and receiving equally.  These are the relationships where you are loved in spite of you.  Loved in spite of your flaws, faults and shortcomings. Where you are allowed to be yourself,  yet you are challenged to become a better person.  Secure in and able to love themselves, they can in turn genuinely love you.  They rejoice when you rejoice, grieve when you grieve, fight for you and uphold you.  They are the rare exception where water can be as thick as or thicker than blood.  They come as a help, not a hinderance; an asset not a liability; a benefit not a a curse to your life.   Resolution:  Strive to be that type of friend and to have these type of people in your life.  If you let God chose, these are the treasures God will send to be a blessing.  Very often they look like Jesus.

Remember when they  use to  say he or she is a drag?  You can’t rise with drags weighing you down….and yet still I rise

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise323

So this next blog represents a period of spiritual and emotional confusion for me.   I really felt uneasy about writing it for many reasons.  One of which is because it shows  me at a very vulnerable place.  Perhaps why the Lord would have me write it is because not only will it help someone else but help to bring complete healing to me in that tiny part where I probably still need it.  Here we go…

So I thought he was “the one.”  You know,  the one God had chosen just for me. Tall, handsome, seemingly honest, gentle, attentive.  He seemed to be a man of good character, hardworking and our purposes could have meshed.  Most importantly–He loved the Lord.  Whereas this was something I really didn’t care about before, as I had recommitted myself to Christ it was an absolute must.  No one is perfect—there were some  minor concerns.  But not anything major that seemed apparent to me. When we like somebody we find a way to explain away anything, won’t we? You know how it is.  Now I am not a person that shares my business with too many people ordinarily.  I wouldn’t even say I have a best friend. I have a few close friends, friends,  many associates–but not a best friend.  Well earthly friend anyway. Depending on the stage of my life I have been in, there are different people I have confided in about different things.  Uncharacteristically, I spoke to  quite a few people about this particular person and our dating situation.  That was probably mistake #1.   Too many opinions and too many voices instead of listening to God’s still small voice.  At one point I didn’t know what to think. Depending on who I spoke with there were basically 3 types of reactions:   there were those who discerned immediately that something was not right based on wisdom or  what they felt in their spirit; there were those who didn’t say much but had a watch and see attitude and  finally  there was the 1 or 2  who thought this person was the one for me.   Long story short, he was not what he presented himself to be.  He was dishonest, deceptive and not someone I would want in my life.  What the bible calls an angel of darkness disguised as an angel of light.  Now  my intention is not to bash or criticize anyone in writing this.  I am not without sin, so I have no business casting any stone. I can only pray for this individual and keep it moving.  But the lessons I learned from this one situation are lifelong and priceless.

You see, because I wanted this relationship to work badly and was trying to force my own plan instead of really taking time to discern what was God’s will, it was a prime opportunity for the devil to come in and cause complete chaos and confusion. Needless to say I didn’t heed the warnings of those who opposed the relationship.  I thought they were being negative. I wanted to hear and see what I wanted to hear and see.    As a matter of fact, once I saw that certain people weren’t on board I confided in them less and talked to those who agreed with me more.  Perhaps if I had listened to them from the beginning as the Lord maybe was warning me through them, I may have avoided some of the headache and heartache I endured.  Secondly, I was relatively young in my walk with Christ so  I naively thought because the friends who agreed with me  had a prophetic gift, that they must be right (this whole thing with prophecy is another topic). That they most certainly must know what they are talking about.  This person had a dream or a vision or this thing was said prophetically in prayer–for me it could only mean they were confirming what is true.    But I Peter 5:8 says “be sober, be vigilant;  because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour”(NKJV).   Now do I think these friends are evil  or maliciously meant to steer me in the wrong direction?  Do I blame them for what happened? Absolutely not.  Now don’t get me wrong–for a while I wrestled with why some of the things that were said to me were said if it seemed God was saying this is not the person.  But, I truly believe that their intentions were pure and they were well meaning in what they shared with me.  Maybe they just wanted to see me happy, are still maturing in their prophetic gifts, who knows.  But I don’t knock them.  These are still very good friends of mine, they are powerful women of God and I have learned from them in many ways.    But you see the enemy can work through anyone–friends, family, husband, employer, me, you–anyone, even unintentionally.  The devil does study us to know our areas of weakness and can play on our desires.  Although I was not actively looking for  someone, maybe in my subconsciously hoping for that life mate to come along, the devil created a situation where there was deception and poor judgement on many levels.  It was my responsibility to seek God first for His instruction, guidance and wisdom on the situation.  No one else.

Secondly, we cannot rely on others to be responsible for us.   In Matthew 26 just prior to Jesus being betrayed by Judas and turned over to the Jews for crucifixion, Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray and took 3 of his close disciples, in other words his close friends with him.  Being distressed he asked them to  “…Stay here and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38, NKJV).  But the bible further goes on to say when he was done praying, “then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? (Matthew 26:40).

When the Lord showed me this scripture, it gave me such clarity.  It spoke 2 things to me.  One was that Jesus had to stay awake for himself.  If Jesus’s disciples who walked with the great Messiah daily and did great things by his power,  couldn’t stay awake for him,  did I really expect my friends to be completely vigilant for me or have all the answers? I am not saying God doesn’t send people to accompany us and help us along the way.  I have some wonderful people in my life–friends, family, spiritual mentors, etc.  But ultimately we have to be intentional and proactive about watching for ourselves and ask God to grant us the grace to decipher the plot and schemes of the enemy in all forms.  Secondly, it just highlighted the fact that Jesus is truly the only person we can completely depend on.  Notice in the scenario above that Jesus was the only person that stayed awake.  It is as true for us today as it was back in Gethsemane.   No one will be as watchful for you or defend you like Jesus:  no friend, no family, no pastor, no mentor.  He will be more vigilant for you than you are for yourself.  He will stay  awake even when you fall asleep.  He will never fail or steer you wrong.

This situation also really emphasized  that in everything, I mean everything I must seek God’s guidance.  Even down to who I should take counsel from and when.   Sure I had heard this before.  Hearing it is one thing, but living it really made it so much more clear.  Not because people are close to you means you are meant to share everything with them.  There are some things that are not meant to be shared with anyone.  Things that should stay between you and God. He wants you to share every detail of your life with Him anyway. He wants to be your best friend.  Now, before I talk to anyone about anything, I try to make it a habit to talk to God first.  He is my best friend.  He is the best counselor and His wisdom is unparalleled.  Next, there are some things that are meant to be shared only at a particular time.  When God instructs you in His perfect timing.   Lastly, God will instruct you on  who to share with.  Interestingly,  one of the friends who initially thought this person was right for me, eventually said that she felt the Lord saying to not discuss this situation any further with anyone, even her herself, unless He leads me!  Apparently the Holy Spirit began to show her something too.  She never asked me about him again except to say maybe he wasn’t the right person and to be sure about what I was feeling.  God is amazing that way. I still didn’t even listen completely to that initially, but eventually I got it.  Eventually we all saw that this person was not true.  The Lord may not have you share something with certain people if they are not equipped, mature or  in the right place spiritually, emotionally, morally, etc. to counsel someone on that particular issue and vice versa.  There may be things that should not be shared with you because you are not quite there yet to advise others on that situation.  We all have areas, myself included where we are lacking and need to grow.  But it is through our trials and difficulties, even self-inflicted, we grow.

I could write probably 10 posts alone in regards to all that I learned through this experience.  If led I will share more another time.  I don’t know who the one is for me and thank God I have reached a place where I really am not concerned.  Although it seems this person is not the one and despite how hurtful it may have been,  through this experience I have strengthened my prayer life, matured spiritually and gained valuable insight and knowledge that I never had before.  My spiritual eyes were opened and I began to recognize when God was speaking and when He was not speaking. I learned to ignore the idle talk and not jump based on emotion.  The bible says “ALL things work together for the good of those who love him…”  This was truly the case for me.

In life you may fall sometimes to ultimately rise higher.  The key is that you must  be determined to get back up again.  I know I am….and yet still I rise….

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

stillirise323