Proverbs 17: 17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
Its been a few days since I last wrote. I am actively searching for a new career opportunity so my search is my full-time job now. The last few days have been great and the one thing that has been a re-occurring theme for the week is recognizing true friendship and the value that people add or take away from your life including what you add and take away as well. Proverbs 18:24 A man who hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. It seems strange to think of relationships as mathematical equations mainly addition and subtraction. Weighing one’s interactions with one another based off what he or she can do for you at your time of need. However the reality is that in order to be a friend, you must show yourself friendly. Literally since Sunday after my “timeline tangents” piece, I have been confronted with whether I am a friend or foe, or if my current circle of friends are friends or foes.
Sunday, I had the pleasure of having dinner with a friend whom I met in 2012. Not a foe. I suppose at some point we had some interests as a prospect maybe for love and a relationship. But after the first few gatherings, I had a small voice in my head that said, He is not the one. He is a great person, and can be a great friend…so I stuck him in the friend zone. We remained in contact but not as often as our first few months of knowing each other. Fast-forward to 2015, this same person and we are chatting up over dinner and drinks about men and women and relationships having a great time, and I thought to myself how great to call him friend. How thankful I was, that I had the sense and courage enough to not waste this man’s time nor my time with false hopes and intentions. I would not be able to enjoy this moment the way I did. Speaking so freely of my dating bloopers, and crazy encounters and him sharing as well, it was certainly a night of laughs.
Then Monday, I was in the courthouse, listening and shadowing my supervisor for the cases of neglected and abused children. One of my fellow volunteers was testifying in court. I found myself nervous and excited for her because I knew that this would be me soon in two months. She was so nervous to speak about the case that she has followed for well over a year. I felt compelled to encourage her, and tell her she would do great, and just speak from the heart and tell the truth and facts. I presented myself as a friend, I showed support for her concern and her fears, and I helped increase her strength to do so with a few simple words: You can do it. The same words that the holy spirit whispers to me on a daily basis as I go through life. Not only can I do it, but I don’t have to do it alone.
Then Tuesday, oh Lord Tuesday: Interview in the daytime and bible study at night. Ready? Go! I had an interview at 11:00 am, it went wonderful, however not without some hiccups. For starts I was late (points off I am sure) even though I was at my destination 15 minutes early . It totally wasn’t my fault though, I was in a weird Leed certified building where the up button gets you to lower lever floors, and the down button gets you to upper level floors. There are sky lobbies and valets and each floor has a specific map to get to it. Oh and my destination was 53. Excuse my french, what in the ____? Yeah exactly, so I was lost in the building. I arrived about 6 minutes late, filled out an application (to which I wondered why am I filling this out when I have a fully developed and engaging resume: hash-tag millennial and first world problems. the level of redundancy was unnerving.) I have gotten so accustomed to typing, that writing makes me feel like an arthritis patient, and I hardly recognize my once beautiful handwriting). As neat as I wanted to be, I was turned off by using a pen to fill out a 3 page application, for an interview I was already late for when my perfectly typed resume answered every question asked on the application. Because of the hiccups, my disposition was a bit short and I was a bit thrown off. My interviewers told me everyone gets lost to the office and politely smiled. So I suddenly felt like the butt of an inside joke, not to mention the email confirmation has the instructions on the bottom on how to use the crazy elevator. This was going to be interesting. My answers at first were cold, straight forward and I believe I may have come off as uninterested. Ding Ding, enter still small voice…be nice/kind, show yourself friendly. I felt like I was failing miserably, just a small shift in my spirit made all the difference. Now prayerfully, my professional and friendly side showed more than my frustrated side. My anti-pen and three page application tantrum I was having with myself was about to make me blow an opportunity. My point, you can be your own friend and foe at same time, try to chose to be your friendlier self if you can.
Long day, and now I am in bible study, learning about financial stewardship, and about how I handle both my body and finances are means of stewardship. All of my resources come from God, including this 34-year-old temple. It was given to me by God, so naturally I should be a good steward of it. All of this was great, but that wasn’t the only bread that fed to me. It was what happened afterwards. Some of my nights are sleepless and I am always thinking. So this week, I thought of my friends. The people I consider to be friends, the ones who have shown themselves friendly to me throughout my life. The ones who have been there for my biggest seasons, smallest seasons, saddest seasons, happiest seasons, busiest and slowest seasons. Here I am finishing bible study, and a great minister comes to me and speaks to me and prays over me about friendship. He describes my late sleepless nights wondering where all of my friends are, what they are doing, why they were here for this time but not that time. To trust people to a “degree” . So I think to myself “Um-mm, pause, who are you and why do you know what I have been doing at night? My makeup is flawless, so I have no bags under my eyes, my smile is brighter than a Colgate commercial, and the joy on my face is obvious!” The tears flowed freely as well as the praise upon my lips. He reminded me that there is a friend in Jesus, which I know all too well. Then it hit me, only one friend has been there for every season: God. He knows all about every season that has been upon my life. Look at God! It gets better though.
Wednesday, I called people, I text people to say hello, I extended myself to find out how people were, ate dinner with one of my little sisters (Hey Brownie). I even had a few unexpected phone calls from people who I simply adore and have fond memories with, and have not heard from because life gets so busy. Busy all the time. We picked up right where we left off as if nothing ever stopped/ended. Today, I got a pedicure with a woman who I have come to call a new friend despite having met some time ago through my fabulous stylist. She is a wise and beautiful person inside out. I can only hope I will be as awesome when I become her age. I enjoyed talking and catching up and guess what, we talked about friendship: recognizing it, developing it, maintaining it, and sustaining long-lasting friendships. We talked about people and life and discerning and assessing who is worth trusting. So this week has been about friendship and trust for me. I rejoiced for the ways that God shows me my strengths and weaknesses. Newsflash Deniece, not everyone is going to be your friend, not everyone will lift you up….BUT GOD will. He will send the appropriate person(s) to encourage me, He will make me an encouragement to others, and He will show me that He is the best friend I could ever have. If I trust Him, know Him, and spend time with Him, then I can see Him in my life. He will always show up and show himself friendly and loving towards me. Amen? Yes Amen.
Proverbs 17: 17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.