Me & my two very best friends.Throughout this blog, you'll see some pictures of some of my closest friends--although it's not ALL of them, I just wanted to share with you that I've been through SO much from real friends to pretend friends. I have a few best friends. Out of them, there are two of them that I have been best friends with since I was 17 years old--and that's Delan and Noel. I've been friends with them for the past 12 years. THEY have proven to me that IN season and OUT of season they will ALWAYS be there. THEY know all my business and they grow, change, support & SHOW up & out for me. We make time for each other, we travel on girls trips together. We encourage one other. We agree with each other for Gods best. I cannot give them the title of "Best Friend" unless we GO through some stuff together. We've argued, disagreed, agreed to disagree, confronted & everything else. Through every season, they were there. I can CALL them my best friend because they've paid the price for the friendship as I have for them. I cannot slap that name on a "random"--a random in a friendship term is identified as someone that doesn't make you better--but worse.
Me & my best friend, Delan after she landed in NYC to visit me when I lived there in 2007! I met her in when I was 17. She invited me to church with her & its there where I gave my whole heart to Jesus. Together, we've been obsessed with Jesus since.
Me & My Noel in 2011 in Jamaica! Noel is such a beautiful person--inside out. I've known her for 12 years as well. SHE is so filled with wisdom & is another Christian after God's own heart.
Ok, so lets get into this..Friends. So many of us "have" a TON of them. We have all of our "friends" on facebook, the people we meet in passing that we deem "bff" right after we meet them.. but lets all be honest & not get it twisted "There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.- Proverbs 18:24. I think its interesting that the NLT translations puts "friends" in quotations. It's almost as if its saying--they aint' ya friend. Stop expecting friendship like actions for those that claim that they "love you"--LOVE is a VERB. In a friend, their should be some love-like-actions following it. If they were supposed to rock with you--they will never LEAVE you.
And your mind may be going as you think about a friend that you are no longer cool with--as you shake your head yes & agree with me. But I ask you..what type of friend are YOU? It's easy to talk about somebody else's grass without looking at your OWN. ARE you a good friend? Do you gossip about your friends? Do you PRAY for them & cry out to them? Do you grieve with them when they grieve & CRY with them when they cry??? What is really good?
Growing up--I always thought that everyone was supposed to be my friend. I would give them 100% chance to prove themselves. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who reveals peoples hearts to me now. After a TON of "friendships" that went sour, I realized that God places special people around me so I can help them & they can help me to accomplish the very perfect will of God for our lives. Those friends don't suck all of my energy & drain me. They built me up. THEY make me better daily. I pray that I'm the same for them.
(snorkeling in Cayman Islands with Delan & Noel!)
How to recognize a good friend:
1. They #1--push you towards Christ. They aren't pressuring you to drink, go to clubs, have sex, stay the night with randoms or your little boyfriend or girlfriend, they don't push drugs, stealing or lying on you.
2. They are accountable to you. They call you out when you're wrong but still LOVE & support you back into the will of God for your life.
3. They don't always take everybody elses side, especially in a marriage or a God-ordained relationship. They listen & tell you the other side of things. In my own life, when life would get hard I used to book a vacation & run to an island for a weekend. When I started courting with Cornelius, if we got in a fight--I would do the same thing. My best friend told me that I cannot keep running from my issues & I must finally confront those areas & change. They help you see PERSPECTIVE.
(adore her, me & my Jules in Dubai)
4. They get on their FACE for you. A friend of mine was going through tests & after I encouraged her on the phone & prayed with her--I hung up and cried and cried out to God for her. I got on my face as if it was ME. A friend WANTS what you want for your life as if it was themselves. I felt the pain that she was going through and I hated sin & I hated those attacks but I knew that God was greater than it all. You're prayers cannot be all about YOU. So what's your motive for your friendships? Make sure it's to GIVE the advantage & not take it.
5. They consider you & stick up for you. I wish someone would try to talk about one of my friends in front of me. I'm going to confront the situation in a loving way. YOUR mouth should never be on anybody elses business unless you have a solution and you'll pick up the phone and call that person.
A real friend isn't a "yes or no ma'am." How do you expect to grow if they only
tell you what you wanna hear! A real friend REFRESHES & energizes you. You feel lighter, better & happier when you're around them. They are a breath of fresh air.
7. Friendship is a 2-way street. Are you the only one calling, emailing, texting, tweeting and facebooking your friend?? Ok--they may not be the best at communication but THEY should make the effort to return your calls. One of my best friends isn't the best with the phone but due to us living in separate states--we refuse to let a few days go by without talking to each other. You do what you gotta do.
8. A real friend, rocks with you in every season. You got married? Moved? Went to School? A real friend is RIGHT there with you, encouraging you with bells on. Planning your wedding activities, helping you move in, being resourceful--whatever the case. They don't stop calling you because dinner with you is no longer "convenient." They don't make your wedding all about THEM--getting mad at you because of your bridesmaid dress option or being secretly jealous because they wish THEY were getting married.
9. They speak LIFE. Lets be real. A real friend doesn't bash you when you're not around. THEY SPEAK life into you & speak life when you're not around. If a rumor gets swirling about you--do they add to it to get others to like them or to "fit in"--or do they call whoever out or walk away? EVEN if they don't agree with your lifestyle--they let it be known to you in a loving way--and then they shut up & stop nagging you every five minutes. If you are dressing like a hot mess--they encourage you to dress classy
10. They don't FLIRT with your MAN or woman OR try to date them after ya'll break up. Don't do that. It's messy. If you really want attention, go spend time with Jesus. There's 7 billion people on this earth & His eyes are on YOU. He'll give you all the attention you need. Stop tryin' to get it from somebody elses man or woman. Jus sayin'.
So when you go through things, tests, trials, moves, marriage, divorces, deaths.. will YOUR friends rock with you or will they run off & talk about you?! SO it's time to do a friend check. Your friendships should be BRIDGES & not ditches.
Before we leave--a couple questions are on my heart to answer:
1. How can I forgive a friend that hurt me?
Answer: PEOPLE are gonna hurt you. It happens. Its important that WE forgive people so that GOD can forgive us. "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt 6:14-15). Forgiveness is for YOU. Release yourself from them. And just because you forgive them doesn't mean you need to run & get a future with them. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in & out of your relationships. God closes some doors that don't need to be opened. So yes, forgive them. THEN seek God IF you should continue a relationship with them.
2. I'm saved now, but my old friends aren't so do I still hang out with them? I'm torn when I'm around them.
Answer: Let's be honest, its easier to pull you off of the chair then it is to pull you onto the chair. When you first get saved you may need to separate yourself from them for a season so God can strengthen you to HELP them. If you are going to be around them--YOU control the environment. For example, invite them to church with you or to a Christian's friends house. They may not go right away but after they see the CHANGE in you--they may be more open to God. YOU may be the only bible those people read so be a light. Live differently.
3. How do I know if my friends are real? I'm torn about new friendships!
Answer: Ask GOD to show you the hearts of the people around you. If God rips away your peace regarding a person--it aint personal. Obey HIM first. If you aren't clear--TIME will tell.
4. I don't have many friends that are saved. What do I do?
Answer: God has set you apart for a season. At times, we can get so dependent on friendships that we run to our cell phones instead of God. A friend is wonderful but that relationship should always be put into perspective. THEY ain't God--no matter how much wisdom they have. Just show yourself friendly & reach out to others! Get involved as God leads you at your local church. GIVE the advantage & if people hurt you in the past--let God heal you & stop charging everyone.
In discussing friendships, I started making "BFF" bracelets for my best friends, so I figured now would be a good time to introduce them to you. "No Randoms" covers not having random relationships & friendships. BFF just says, that my friends are real, COVENANT relationships and I GIVE my friend the advantage, I don't take it. I pray for my friends, love them, support them & encourage them. I Pinky Promise.
Shipping is free for the second bracelet for a limited time. You can order them here! www.pinkypromisemovement.com
God Loves you like CRAZY,
Me & my lovely. My niece & one of my closest friends, Danielle! I adore her!