Tag Archives: relationships

The Art of Friendship…

Your friends and loved ones are inside the inner most core of your sphere of influence. I have learned that who you associate and surround yourself with is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. In other words your friends are truly a reflection of you. Your relationships especially the friends you choose are extremely important in your walk with God. At times they could mean the difference between back sliding and pressing forward towards Him. It is important to choose friends that will uplift, support, encourage and understand your walk with God. If your friends are constantly trying to get you to do things you know are wrong, are always discouraging the things you try to do for the Kingdom or just have a general negative attitude about your journey you may want to consider loving them from a distance. At least until you are stable enough in your walk with Christ to resist the pull of the world. As Christians our goal is to bring people closer to God not have them pull us towards worldly ways. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says ‘But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway’. So it is possible that after all of our attempts to show people the light that we ourselves can be castaway if we do not practice self-control and continually renew our minds and spirits with the word.

In order to have healthy and Godly friendships we have to know how to be a great friend. This is one thing that I try to be purposeful about in my life because I truly value the positive, genuine friendships that God has given me to develop while on earth. Just as in any relationship, communication, listening and speaking life into your friend is so very important. I didn’t always have great friendships and I had to learn how to be a friend to the people God had placed into my life. Growing up I was bullied in school a LOT, I can remember going home crying most days because I was this socially awkward, uber quiet, lanky girl that was the tallest female in my grade (any grade) to top it off I had super short hair that refused to allow a little thing like a comb or brush to tame it. Basically, think of a black Olive Oil with a fro-perm! Unfortunately I never stood up for myself and would allow others to walk over me and speak to me any type of way. I ate their words, literally internalizing them and they manifested in the form of tears, hurt and self hatred. The more I heard that I was ugly, had nappy hair, was a nerd and weirdo the more I believed it. I brought a lot of those feelings about myself into my adult life through insecurities and negative self talk. I didn’t like me, I didn’t know who and whose I was. Yes, bullying can affect people so much that they carry it with them for years! But because of these insecurities and lack of self-love, I didn’t feel worthy of love. I allowed people to surround me that didn’t have my best interest at heart, this included friends and romantic partners. They would call me a friend to my face and talk about me behind my back, steal from me or make fun of me I would laugh with them on the outside but tears filled me internally. My boyfriend at the time claimed to love me, but the relationship was filled with anger and abuse because neither one of us knew how to love, ourselves or each other. Now there were a couple of people that I believed to be true friends and they are still around today, two people to be exact, but some people I truly had to learn to love from afar. I can remember going through an ordeal with one of my then friends where everything came to a head and I had to stop speaking to her. It was difficult because I thought we were best friends. She wasn’t a bad person at all, but not someone that uplifted and encouraged me. Around this time I wrote a letter to God to bring me friends where our relationship would be one of mutual support and genuine sisterly love. And guess what! God has answered my prayers, because that’s just what He does! God has since sent some awesome people my way that I truly love and consider chosen family. I have positive, uplifting and inspiring relationships with them and best of all they push me towards God through conversations, bible studies, invites to spiritual events and much more. This is in part because I learned that in order to have great friends, you have to be a great friend. I had to search my own heart and see where I contributed to my friendships in the past falling apart or why I chose those type of people to have in my circle. I make a conscious effort to check my selfishness at the door, to remember important things going on in my friend’s lives and to make a special effort to reach out and keep in touch. Because I’m human I fail, but when I do I woman up and attempt to make it right. Many times the efforts we have to make are small but there are times our friends will need us most, a big move, an illness or loss of a loved one and we should always try to be there for them. So often when we get boyfriends or husbands we forget about our sister friends that we traveled with while single or life just gets busy and we can forget to cultivate and tend to these relationships. But if we want the sweet fruit of a genuine, supportive, caring relationship we have to put in the work and effort to make it grow and blossom. My girlfriends are my confidents, my sisters in Christ and my truth tellers when I don’t want to hear the truth. I can count the number of people on one hand that I consider true friends and honestly quantity means nothing to me without quality so I’m extremely grateful for the few I have. I thank God for my friends and the things I went through growing up, it made me so much more appreciative of them and without the occurrences in my past I wouldn’t have a story to tell which hopefully will help others master the art of friendship.

Here’s to a purposeFULL life #kingdomfocused
Court

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

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One of my good friends and I white water rafting in Costa Rica, I highly recommend it!

Continue reading The Art of Friendship…

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What to do with a broken heart…

I honestly believe that everyone get’s over a broken heart differently, there are a myriad of ways. But one thing we should all do is to give that brokenness to God. Recently when I was going through a breakup one of my friends told me that ‘brokenness makes room for God’ and that is true. In this situation (as in many) it ultimately did bring me closer to God. I gave my heartache to Him in exchange for His peace and the security that everything would work out for my best. I had to trust Him. Therefore the first pointer for getting over heartbreak is to focus on God and his will for your life. It could be that that person was just a chapter in your story and their part is over it could also be that you need some time apart and the relationship could rekindle later. But regardless, God wants you to draw closer to Him and he will draw closer to you (James 4:8).

Give it up: Give your brokenness to God. Read his word so he can comfort you, reach out to Him so He can hold you, pray to Him so he can speak words of love to your heart, cry out to Him so he can protect you and praise Him so He can bring you new joys into your life. Yes, He alone can turn your mourning into dancing so allow Him to do so.

Mind over matter: get your mind off of the matter. I know that it’s easier said than done and it can be extremely difficult not to think about that person but you have to get your mind off of them. Your mind has to be trained to not focus on things you don’t want to, try not to rehash conversations over and over in your mind.  When these things pop in your head make it a point to drown it out with something constructive.  Of course, I don’t recommend doing anything that would cause you to back slide or be detrimental to your well being like drown your sorrows in drugs or alcohol, overeating or go in debt while shopping your sadness away as I used to. I learned the hard way that those things only lead to further frustration and complications in the long run. Instead, find beneficial ways to keep those thoughts at bay. Read a book (or The good book), watch positive YouTube videos, talk to friends, do something you love like writing or dancing.  What helped me was writing, I journaled, blogged or wrote in my book.  If you find something that you are passionate about many times this will consume much of the time you would spend pondering about your past love.

Ditch social media: or at least that persons social media sites for a while. This can be hard to do but I would almost say it’s a must! Trust, You will want to know how they are doing or if they’re seeing someone else but ultimately you are only torturing yourself! And if they are not mature or are petty they may post things just to get under your skin because they know you can’t resist the urge to peek. Plus Facebook stalking is just not cool, do yourself a favor and stay away!

Do not reach out and touch: When we break up with someone we can find every reason in the book to reach out to them. If we see a piece of their hair on the floor we’ll want to call to ask if they want it back. But you have to be strong, remember all the reasons you broke up, the reasons it did not or could not work. Know that communicating or seeing that person will make it even more difficult to let go and will probably cause more heartache in the long run. If that person has asked for some space be respectful and give them what they asked for.

Dump the memories: Relationships are messy and usually there is no black and white. Sometimes it can be a break up to make up type of situation, but if you know for certain you are over make sure you get rid of things that will remind you of that person. You don’t have to burn or dump it (unless they don’t want it) but the post office delivers so give them a try.

Forgive them: Ultimately you will have to forgive that person for anything they did to you and you will have to forgive yourself. Understanding that hurting people hurt people allows you to eventually let go of that pain without excusing them from their wrongs.  Think briefly about why they may have done what they did; ask yourself if how they were raised, or treated in past relationships may have contributed to their actions. People are only human which means they are flawed, none of us get it perfect so unforgiveness is not an option.

Get on with your life: Go out with friends, volunteer, work out, travel, become more active in your church, if you have kids get more involved with them. Whatever you do learn to enjoy your life and the place where God has you at this moment. One year from now your heart won’t ache and you may not even be thinking about that person, know that trouble does not last always and choose happiness over despair.

Help others, especially those in your situation: There are people out there in your same situation, everyone in the world has or will experience some type of heart break in their lives. Many times it is said that the best way to get over your situation is to help others through theirs, so reach out to hurting people and if this isn’t a possibility definitely pray for them.

Focus on the gain: Instead of focusing on what you lost, think of all the things you have gained by letting go of this relationship, especially if it was a toxic one. Yes many of us long to be tied to someone in a relationship, sometimes to our detriment, but right now you have freedom and there are many perks to having it!

Look at the bright side: Know that all things will work out for your good and that the best is yet to come. God has got this and now that Mr. or Mrs. wrong is out of the picture, it makes room for Mr. or Mrs. right to come on in. So take this time to ready your head and heart for their arrival!

Seek counseling:  If you feel yourself spiraling into a depression or a deep sadness I would recommend counseling.  Seeing a professionally trained counselor as well as a spiritual counselor can help tremendously in these situations.

I would like for us to pray for the lonely, the brokenhearted and those that feel hopeless. For them to know that God will always be by their sides and that they will allow His love, peace and joy to fill their hearts. I also pray that they understand that Jesus is the lover of our souls and our ultimate soul mates and if it is His will that God fulfills all the desires to have earthly mates as well.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalms 34:18).

God Bless,

Court

Ways to prevent falling for a wolf…

Although nothing is fail proof, here are some things we can do to combat tying ourselves to the wrong person?
1. Get Godly counsel about him: If you are serious, introduce him to your pastor and other members at your church. What do they say and think of him? If he attends a church visit his church as well.
2. Get to know the people in his life: How does he interact with them? What do they have to say about him? The more you all are together around others, the more comfortable he will become showing his true colors if initially only his representative was showing up.
3. Be observant : Is he a man of his word? Does he do the things he says he will or does he say one thing and then do another?
4. Seek God: Ask God for discernment and wisdom, which God gives freely to those that ask (James 1:5). Seek to know his heart more than what you see physically as his outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7 & Romans 8:27) and ask God to show you if the relationship is within His will.
5. Have him meet people that love you: Spend time with people you know and love together. Ask people whose opinions you trust and that truly have your best interest at heart. Although they should not be the final or ultimate decision makers you should definitely take their thoughts into account especially if they have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him.
6. Trust your intuition: Intuition is one of the ways God directs us, it is that small nudge we get from time to time when you just know something isn’t right or when you should continue on your current path.
I hope these pointers help, happy courting!

Court

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Wolves & Sheep

Sometimes when dating we find ourselves entangled in wrong relationships which can lead to the creation of unholy soul ties and unnecessary heart ache. (you can read more about soul ties here). Many times we trust what we see and hear with our worldly senses and ignore God’s voice or our spiritual senses. A wolf in sheep’s clothing can seem to have it all together a nice home, car, be a tithing member of a church and be able to spout bible verses like he himself wrote a couple chapters But as we all know even the devil has biblical knowledge and just because he is able to quote the bible like the back of his hand does not mean he is a man of God. Many people can speak or hear the good word and never put into action the things they know or even have the desire to truly walk the walk.
Here are some questions to ask when you are trying to figure out if you’re dating a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What are his actions showing you? Does he truly value your walk with God or does he do things that poke fun at your devotion to God? Is he truly exhibiting Christ like characteristics and attempting to abide in Christ? Does he say he understands your desire to wait until marriage to have sex but then constantly pressure you about it? Does he say you all will pray or attend church together but never follow through? Does he understand the true consequences of sin (Romans 6:22, James 1:15)? Does he know that sexual immorality is the only sin we commit against our own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18) and that sin creates a rift or separates you from the most high God (Isaiah 59:2). James 4:22 (NIV) says that anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. Would you want to date someone that ultimately brings you further from Christ, someone that will draw you closer to the world and not to God? God said we have a choice to make and it is either Him or the world (1John 2:15 and James 4:4) choose wisely!

Also in all things we must make sure that our hearts our in alignment with what God would want, so make sure you are upholding your standards and conducting yourself as a woman of God. Pit your character and qualities against the questions asked above as well to make sure you are not causing your brother in Christ to fall.

Happy Courting,
Court20140717-081235-29555613.jpg

Unequally Yoked – Part 2: My story

I can remember going out on a few dates with this guy that was tall, dark and F-I-N-E! He seemed to have his life together financially, had two cars a house and he loved animals as much as I did. We had a bunch of things in common, our love of travel, adventure sports and skating to say the least. When we were out people would compliment us and tell us we made a cute couple and every time I would go out with him I would wonder if this could be it, could he be the one! But let’s pump the brakes here, because two things did bother me about him: 1. He drank a lot in my view and 2. Although he was Christian he had no desire to grow in his walk with God. I would say things to myself like well, I have to accept people where they are and you never know sometime in the future his desire to know God may begin to grow. But no matter how much I tried to rationalize it, I knew that we were not equally yoked at this point in time of life. I wanted someone that was crazy about God, recognized His importance in their lives and would passionately pursue Him.
The night he asked me if I wanted to take our relationship further and become exclusive, I had visions of us going to church together, praying and studying together, but in real life he didn’t even want to attend bible study with me! This ladies, is where we sometimes allow ourselves to view things the way we want them as opposed to as they really are or think we can by some magical power change this man into who we want. It isn’t fair to him and it rarely works out for us! But there I was, about to delve into another relationship that I knew would leave me unfulfilled, unhappy and once again able to claim the not so prestigious perpetual girlfriend title. I knew in my heart that our relationship would look great from the outside but on the inside I would never be satisfied. My cousin that had met and liked him thought I was crazy when I stated that I wouldn’t keep seeing him in that capacity. Although he was raised in a religious house hold he wasn’t concerned with growing closer to God at this time and that would always be a problem from me. If I became yoked with him there was the possibility of me moving further and further away from Christ and my goal was just the opposite. Now it is possible that I could have drawn him closer to God, which would be the best scenario, but am I going to bet my future on the possibility of something happening that he didn’t desire at the time? And I say my future because I do not date just to date, I date with the purpose and intention of marriage.
In the end, we still text every now and then to catch up, but I know nothing more will come of our relationship at least right now and I’m fine with that because I know that I want a husband that will push me closer to Christ. This is in no way an insult to him, because we all move closer to God in our own timing. But I would like to date and eventually marry a man that knows what it means to be the godly leader of a house hold and practices the biblical principles of a marriage. Someone that I won’t have to fight off every two seconds because they don’t understand the impact of fornication or moving outside of God’s will (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). A man that will be able to minister to our family and wash me with the word of God. (Ephesians 5:25-27 & 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It will be impossible for him to do that if he doesn’t know God or have that desire for relationship with Him. Sometimes even when we don’t want to, we just have to keep it moving and know that as long as we walk with God, He will illuminate our paths as we do (Psalm 119:105).
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Court

Don’t push that button…

Have you ever been at a point in a relationship where you just wanted attention?  And I mean ANY type of attention from your mate even if it wasn’t positive.  Or have you let your emotions get the best of you and said something just to cause a reaction from someone else?  Well, I have and to be perfectly honest with you, I have done it in all of my relationships.  I have only had three seriously committed relationships in my years here on earth, but they have all been eye opening experiences.  With each relationship I learned something new about what I want from a man, my desires for the type of relationship I would like to have and most importantly new things about myself.  One thing I realized or rather accepted is that I was acting like a spoiled brat sometimes!  In relationships, I often wanted things my way or the highway!  If you didn’t have time to talk to me or were taking too long to get back to me, I would get upset and pass that anger along in a mean or condescending text.  If there was something that I wanted to do that conflicted with what my partner had planned I would be upset and try to make him do what I wanted.  It was a very unhealthy way of life for both of us and ultimately I’m sure my selfish and bratty ways helped to place a divide between us. 

I have grown enough to recognize this as one of my flaws and as God continues to reveal more of my fleshly ways I am able to humbly ask him to change my life from the inside out.  I truly want him to create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me because one day he will send my earthly husband and if I act the way that I have in the past that man will flee with the quickness! When we ask God to change something within us (or for anything) we have to have faith that it is done, so I thank God today for changing my heart and making me into a more mature godly woman.  There also must be no doubt or double-mindedness in that faith (James  6-8) and we also must begin to operate as changed women.  Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26), we must act upon what we know which means using our self-control at times when it’s hardest.  It can be quite difficult not to push someone’s buttons especially when they are so close to you that you know exactly what buttons to push to get the reaction you desire.  It isn’t that we won’t feel that anger or need for attention bubbling up inside us but as mature women in Christ we put away childish and manipulative tactics (1Corinthians 13:11) and begin instead to build our houses up as wise women do (Proverbs 14:1).  It takes a lot of will power, discipline and reliance on God (at least for me) but it’s well worth it in the end when you are able to recognize that wonderful growth through God within yourself.

Scriptures that help me:
Psalm 141:3 – Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips
Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit within me
Proverbs 16:32 – He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city

God Bless
Court

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