Friends. Where would people be without friends? There are so many songs that reference friends-like, “but, you gotta have friends….” and “people who need people”. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Sentimental even. However, to me these types of songs have hints of codependency . What can I say ? That’s where my mind takes me, but I digress. In reality, I love my friends and would not be where I am without some of the friends that I have in my life, This blog came to life because of these precious gems that God has given to me as friends. Therefore, I would like to publicly thank Frank, Amy, and Millie for their encouragement for me to move forward in life. I also cannot forget Valerie who cheers me on almost daily. Sometimes friends are all we have-especially for those who may not have family.
Believe it or not, my life has not always been happy, peppy, and bursting with love. I lived those moments-which turned in to days of utter despair and worry. I remember a few years back when my job was outsourced and the apartment in the house I was living was sold; and my church was going through a very strained transition. Since I had no job and income was not guaranteed, I had to move home for the first time in years and my mother was a recent widow! Talk about losing all of one’s security in life. I was at a major crossroad and did not want to entertain the thought of change at at the age of 38. Some of my friends were supportive to me by way of listening to my distress and some others…well, let’s just say their conversation went like this “me, me, a little more about me. Ok, enough about me. So what do you think bout me?’ Friends like that will always be there to help you fail. So the questions became, “why are we friends?” and “do I still want to have any alleged friendships like that?” The answer was no. Standing alone is never easy, but I chose my sanity over other’s opinions.
During this season of my life I felt so alone trying to figure out what to do, where to go, etc…. My only true constant in my life was God. I felt like I let Him down and couldn’t even pray to Him because of what had transpired in my life. On some level I must have thought I did something wrong (like I have any control in major corporations or someone else’s house!). Still, these were my feelings. But, guess what? God is bigger than our feelings and praise God for that! It was during this time that God led me out of New York and sent me to Charlottesville, Virginia. I went there in obedience to Him and I cried all the way there because I left everyone and everything I knew until I showed up in Thomas Jefferson territory. I thought it was to start my life over. God opened every door for me to be there because I contacted a church to see if anyone would rent a room (instead of going to a hotel) and God provided through a woman who only charged me $50.00 per week! It turned out that God took me out of my familiar surroundings and put me in a place that I could not possibly relate to. Seriously, an older gentleman heard me speak and said “you’re a yankee! ” In which I responded “yes; and we won the war.” It was then another former New Yorker told me not say things like that unless I wanted to start another civil war. So I did my best not to say too much too soon.
Anyway, it was during this time that I got to decompress and let my spirit and soul heal. God gave me real life object lessons to glean from-like watching sheep. He made me lie down in “green pastures”, He led beside still waters to restore my soul. God did not leave me at any point during this time. He truly did stick closer to me than a brother. I finally was able to let go of my circumstances so that I could be ready to change-and embrace new opportunities. Letting go was not easy, believe me-it never is. I spent 1 month in Virginia until I began to run out of the money I brought. It was then I knew it was time to return to New York. I really did think I would just change my life by leaving my old one behind. In reality, I got to spend one on one time with God alone; without anyone telling me what they thought I should do-especially those people who couldn’t even handle their own lives. I got to know God in a whole new, personal way that no one could have told me. More importantly no one now can ever take that away from me. You see, my identity is now in Him-not what someone said they think it should be. God showed me it was ok to be me with my (sometimes zany) personality because now when He sees me, He also sees His Son, Jesus. I care more about what God thinks of me than what people say about me. People can say what they want, they can even come and go, but GOD remains constant. One of the promises of scripture I hold on to when things start to change is Jeremiah 29:11 “For, I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Change is inevitable, but now I know that hope is always there for those who want it.
God’s invitation for salvation is a free gift through His Son Jesus. It is in this relationship that you too can walk every day with God’s grace. Please know that I pray for everyone who comes across this blog.
In His Love,