It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in a pretty cool restaurant space licking my fingers as I finished the last bit of my burger. Food is sweeter when you didn’t pay for it. The euphoria of the new year was slowing fading away, after Sunday was Monday and then the hustle & bustle of Lagosians gets back in full swing. Soji sat opposite me as he asked for a reasonable explanation as to why I had not put up a blog post almost throughout 2018. I fiddled with my hair & glasses as I tried to come up with a justifiable reason. I got nothing. None of my excuses could hold water, there were all.. well, excuses. So here I am. Finally putting out a blog post like I said I would. This may be the first of the year but it won’t be the last, I promise. Is it too late to say happy new year?!
2018 was quite a year, now that I think about it. It was a year that held so many lessons for me! Lessons that would actually mould me into the best version of my self if I take heed. Amongst others, I reassessed my hope in 2018. My dad passed away and I didn’t see it coming. Does anyone really? I was faced with real hot tears, itchy feelings in my chest & my faith. I held on to my faith & fought for my joy regardless of how I felt. It was really something.
But one major lesson I learnt in 2018 was the value of amazing friendships & the power of influence. That’s what I want to share today.
I remember when I badly wanted to be in a ‘squad’. A close-knit set of girls that I could call my girlfriends, friends that I could totally be myself around and most importantly, friends that challenged me to be a better version of myself.
And so I prayed. (I’m learning to ensure that that’s my first response to anything). I told God that I wanted people that I could relate with on every angle but most especially, spiritually. I didn’t want to hide the God factor in my life, because God isn’t a part of my life; He’s my whole life. I wanted people that understood my bank account balance, people that wouldn’t push me to live beyond my means. I wanted to have edifying conversations and comforting silences.
As usual, God heard me. But it took a couple broken relationships and tears for me to finally see and appreciate the gifts God had generously placed on my lap.
Let’s be honest, We cannot be lone rangers in this journey with God. It’s not even going to be fun! We need God centered friends for so many reasons. Apart from being your support system, gassing you up on a slay day or cheering you up on a bad day, friends are so important for accountability sake. This walk with God will be much more fulfilling when you have people to share your trials and triumphs with. I know how excited I get to text my girls when I learn something new about God. Or even when they stop me from doing something I’ll eventually regret. I sure know that reaching out/evangelism is much more fun with my girlfriends. All the awkward silences or glances from people are way easier to handle than when I’m by myself.
In 2018, I built relationships with people that have raging hunger for the things of God. We would have Holy Ghost meetings (where we demonstrate the supernatural), bible study & prayer meetings, we would encourage each other with edifying voice notes & spot on prophecies. It’s more than I prayed, to be honest!
Let me tell you a bible story. When Paul was newly converted, he had a friend Barnabas that he rolled with. Barnabas was his evangelical partner, as we see in Acts, they did such great exploits together. I’m pretty sure Barnabas also encouraged him if people gave him accusing stares when they heard that Paul, the ex-persecutor of Christians was now a “spirikoko”.
God has designed for believers to have fellow believers whom they break bread with amongst other things. No man is an island, being a Christian doesn’t require you to be a one man army just because you don’t want to get hurt or mix with the world. We are better together.
Another thing I’m learning is- you attract what you want. If you so desire to be surrounded by fervent Christians, (which you should!) you have to be one yourself. It begins with you. I realized that the moment I got serious in my walk with God, i found other serious minded Christians and we grew together.
Bear in mind that it’s not just about making friends upandan, but building edifying and long lasting relationships in Christ.
Even after I found these beautiful people, I was afraid to be vulnerable. I didn’t want to be so attached so my feelings wouldn’t get hurt. I didn’t want them to see my flaws and all. But see, this is the point of God centered friendships; The focus is Christ, if when you argue or fight, the Holy Spirit will help you guys fix it. He will cause y’all to will and do of his good pleasure. He will lead you so you don’t succumb to your feelings.
Let me tell you this for free, not everyone will be in your close knit circle. You must seek Christ minded people, who are serious about fervency in their walk with God. Otherwise, they will never let your own fire burn.
Man is a product of influence, he is a reflection of what he’s surrounded by.
But please, don’t lose your identity or seek people’s validation in the name of kingdom friendships. Don’t spend hours gisting ABOUT God and forgetting to talk TO him. He is our father & he desires to have a personal relationship with each & every one of us. Let him be the first one to hear of your struggles or successes. He is first so put him first.
This was one of my major lessons of 2018! What was yours? Please share in the comment section. It’s so good to be back!