Of course, no friendship is perfect, because, well, none of us are perfect; but we can pursue healthy friendships, in which we bring out the best in others and they bring out the best in us. Figuring out how to have flourishing friendships isn’t always the easiest, and for a lot of my twenties, I was sifting through the highs and lows of relationships to figure out the difference between toxic friendships and healthy ones.
After a week of struggling with God, I gave up fighting. Truth be told, I was in the midst of training for an Ironman, and I was just too tired to dwell on anything else. Moreover, months of isolated training for up to 20 hours a week did wonders for my relationship with God, as I spent much of that time praying and learning to hear His voice. I knew what I’d heard, and was prepared to give dating over to God, even if it meant giving up on my dream.
Honesty hour: Sometimes you just have to have an honest conversation (or a few dozen). Air out the room. I am not saying this is always an available option but, if you've got an open door to talk about it, I would say you should really try to be honest with the difficult person. Sometimes, it's a matter of trying to understand what is making them so on edge. What's going on there?
I am praying that as you read this, you will hear the alarms sounding off, calling for women to awaken and arise while it is still night, while darkness is all around. And as you rise, may the light of God shine upon you and your enemies tremble beneath you.
The one thing is knew for sure in all of the chaos was that The Father was teaching me to dance while the tears streamed down my face. That both pain and promise could exist in the same soul. I began to ask the Holy Spirit to teach me a new way of thinking, to lift my eyes to another realm. I prayed He would so transform my mind that eternity would become more present to me than this skin that was hosting me for my numbered days on earth.
Accepting a definition of the best version of ourselves without dissecting where it comes from is dangerous. If we view “her” through any other lense than the eyes of the One who created her, we are chasing a mold we weren’t created to fill. And, as many of us know, trying to find that woman is exhausting and defeating.
It is far better to be defined by our character, integrity, and high moral and ethical standards than by a title. Titles change, our roles change, but our character defines us and what we believe. Our character is the outward expression of what is in our hearts and what is driving us from within.
Friendship is an overflow of His love for us, for His glory. God’s heartbeat is for us to be in relationship with one another, so that we can encourage each other and walk out our destinies together. Let us not go into friendships and relationships with expectations of what we should get, but instead with the desire to bring Glory to the Kingdom of God.
It was the summer of 2017 when I travelled to Nicaragua for humanitarian efforts. The region was hot and, in order to balance the pace of the day, I'd drink bottles of water to quench my thirst. At times I'd find shade for relief and couldn't wait to head back to our lodgings for a nice cold shower for relief from the humidity. Each day we worked hard, drank our water and slept deeply each evening.
I remember getting on Skype one evening while in Atlanta with one of the women. Her husband joined her on the call. They said very honestly to me that they thought I needed to stop going back and forth and just come back to Connecticut to get stronger. There was a snowstorm coming. I wasn’t well. I needed to be surrounded and not isolated. My roots weren’t deep enough in Atlanta for me to do this on my own.
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