Several months ago I began to reflect on the many relationships in my life. I didn't really see myself as being a person having lots of friends but one who had many people around me. However my husband differed and stated that I had lots of friends and he wished that he could have that as well. I couldn't find the words to explain to him the difference of being a person who attracts people and a person who has developed deep connected relationships. Friendships take time and emotional energy to develop and the ability to be vulnerable. As I was preparing for my quiet time that evening I felt a question tug at my heart. Do you truly have lots of friends or do you have associates? Can you tell the difference between the two ? Are the people who are your friends depositing into your life as much as you are deposited into theirs? Are your relationships balanced and based on a mutual love and respect for one another? Do they have God as the center of their lives? Can you see the strategic purpose behind why God has placed you in their lives or vice versa? I was blown away by the directness of this pondering. I had not thought about the nature of my friendships or the impact they might have on my spiritually well-being. I had to really think and look at my life and see the many different people God has strategically place in my sphere of influence and social circle. I have people in my life that are here to add to my life with their experiences so I don't have to make the same mistakes and could learn from their wisdom. I have people in my life so I can provide a certain perspective for them so they don't have to experience some things. However, majority of my deep relationships are anchored in one thing... A unwavering love for God. It is the essence of who I am and whom I'm around. The thing that attracts people to me is the deep seated love and light that shines through me from God. I realized that instead of focusing on the amount of people I have in my life and what we are doing for one another, I would focus on God's purpose for us in each others' lives. I can be a bit sensitive if I feel rejected because I don't fit into a perfectly labeled social cast. I have yet to find one group that I don't stick out in like hot pink and black plaid in a beige room. This bothered me during my adolescent year and throughout most my young adult life until just recently. Actually its only been the last four years that I can truly say I am pretty comfortable in my own skin. I really got to a point that the only thing that mattered was that I was truly "Accepted in the Beloved". That God loves me and uniquely created me with all my quirks. (BOLD, Talks a bit much, finds humor in the simplest of things, non-pretentious, spontaneous, a bit OCD, book nerd, and a total unapologetic compassionate Jesus Freak!) It really doesn't seem flattering if you just look at those words written across a page but when you see someone living life like this, it brings to life the scripture in Jeremiah about being "Fearfully and wonderfully made." I think before we truly examine the outside relationships in our life we must come to terms with our relationship ourselves and God. If we don't find the value in who we were created to be then how can we expect others to do the same. Once those questions were answered for me then all my other relationships fell into place.
A few Photos that represent the uniqueness of Roschelle D. Ogbuji