…first of all, to You!

Featured…first of all, to You!

It seems impossible to love people who hurt and disappoint us, yet there are no other kinds of people.

Frank Andrews

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines friendship as “a state of mutual trust and support between [group of people].” In this day and age where social media has taken over real life friendships and deep connection, we find ourselves caught up with the quantity instead of quality of friends. We are quick to speak instead of lending a listening ear. We give too much or too little in exchange of being lonely or getting hurt. We find ourselves less and less connected in friendships and embracing the “solo” culture. But fact is, we all need friends. Healthy, deep and real relationships.

Building friendships is a lifelong journey and for me, that journey can take a little longer than most people. I am introverted so you do understand when I say I’m a bit slower at warming up to people. I enjoy the company of good friends whether large or small groups. Although I’d say the latter is more of my comfort zone. I’m that girl who wants everyone to be included so much that in my past friendships, I spent years trying to nurture friendships that didn’t exist. I was obliviously giving so much in friendships where the other party just saw me as an acquaintance.

We all have the perfect picture of what our “perfect” friends should be. We’ve all probably picked friends based on status, family name, culture, or influence. Anyone who comes into our lives and does not meet our standards gets kicked off the “friends list.” Some of us have probably also picked someone that didn’t quite fit the ideal expectations but turned out to be the ABSOLUTE realest and just what we needed. For the past several years, I have spent time building and investing in healthy relationships. I have been the most open about meeting new people yet intentional about attracting and developing the right friendships. I’ve come to understand this: Friendship is not about who you know the longest but who walks in your life and takes a seat throughout ALL seasons.

Now let me back up and say, yes, social media has its negative aspect, however, some of my very strong friendships now came from a simple “hello” on social media. So what’s the point I’m trying to drive home with this post? Be open to meeting new people, invest in building healthy friendships, clear your mind from grudges from past hurts – every living being will disappoint and hurt you. Move on. Ain’t nobody said to go back to toxic relationships. By toxic, I mean friends who tear you apart instead of building you up. Those who secretly smile while you’re going through difficult times. Those that occupy your time to their benefit. Walking away from such friendship is the best thing you can do for your emotional and mental health. Everyone that come with you can’t go with you.

I stumbled upon these words years ago and it’s been my prayer ever since: Lord, I do not ask for many friends but for those whose loyalty are first of all to you.

No such thing as “The One”

No such thing as “The One”

How did you and your significant other meet? How did you know he or she was “the one?” Or you are still figuring it out? How did you fall in love? Was it love at first sight?

 

For me, it was far from love at first sight. I met my husband, CK, in high school. He enrolled in my school in my sophomore year…something about his dad pulled him out of his old high school because he wasn’t performing well. Thankfully, he was able to transfer his credits and start as a second year student. He was quiet and hardly spoke to any girl on campus except to me of course. Me, on the other hand, although shy, had a lot of male friends and admirers. By the end of my senior year, eleven guys would ask me out and my answer would be “no” every single time. Unlike most girls, the last thing on my mind in high school was finding a boyfriend. I was determined to get out of high school with good grades and gain admission to a reputable college to pursue my dreams and aspirations.

I knew nothing about CK except for the fact that he had a great voice and good looks. Although sometimes his lack of style and poor choice of clothes at that time was a real turn off for me.

The high school we attended was faith-based institution. Towards the end of every semester, school administration organize a grand praise and worship gathering. This event was an opportunity for the entire school to come together and worship God in songs and praises.¬†About a week to the event, I asked CK to sing a Solo with me. No, I wasn’t in love with him. And yes, he agreed. To this date, I still don’t know what propelled me to ask him. Probably my outgoing personality at that time? We will never know.¬†Months turned into weeks and weeks into days and soon came time for graduation. As we were moving out of our various campuses to go back home, we discovered that his house was about 30 minutes walking distance from mine. We became very close friends after graduation and the rest is history…..

There is no cinderella story here. No “romantic” beginning here. I met a guy, we became friends and we both fell in love. I remember thanking God for him and in the same breath I asked God to remove him from my life if he’s not the man he has prepared for me.

There is no such thing as the one. Many people go into relationships with expectations: “If I start dating, then I’ll be happy; He/She will solve all my problems and make me happy; everything is going to be perfect once I get married.” Marriage is a good thing. In fact, marriage is a fulfillment of God’s Word in Ephesians 5: 31-32. However, going into marriage, or any relationship for that matter, with a mindset to gain fulfillment from your partner, will leave you disappointed. I get it. I understand. Relationships are painted colorful on the outside, thus making people assume it’s rose-colored glasses, all easy and perfect when you enter into one. Fact is, relationships are hard. They take lots of effort and commitment. In order to find the right person, you equally have to be ready to become the right person. Even the “right person” if treated wrong or not loved right can sure become the wrong person for you.

So here’s my definition of The One: A person created in the image of God, whose loyalty is first of all to God, who sees faults and love regardless, who understands marriage is all or really ALL. A person who does not expect much of you and is willing to see the worst part of you. A person who equally understands and admit that he/she is flawed as well. That you both are a work in progress and together you will build each other up and be there for each other for better AND for worse.

Love is humble. Love is kind. Love is beautiful. Love embraces flaws. Love is patient. Love sees the beauty inside.