Relationships 101: Letting Go of “Perfect”

Disclaimer: I AM NO GURU/EXPERT. I’M JUST SHARING MY EXPERIENCES AND THE LESSONS I LEARNED. THE FEATURED IMAGE IS NOT MINE EITHER.

The only scripture I will give word for word is this:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 10:17

I gave that scripture verbatim as you will read that I support a lot of what I learned by scriptures throughout this post. The goal is for the reader to seek and confirm the accuracy of those scriptures by actively engaging in the word. For those who don’t regularly read the bible, this is a good way to start. The point is to create a healthy habit of bible study all while engaging with me and learning from my own personal experiences and seeing how God moved through them to teach me. There are a lot of Gurus and “experts” out there just giving their opinions. God’s word however is the only word that will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).

With that said, here are 5 lessons I learned in relationships, whether it was platonic or progressed to more than:

Be honest and upfront. Both go hand in hand. It saves both parties involved a lot of time. It’s less friction. And whatever the result, there may be understanding in the end. I say maybe because you may be in one place mentally while the other is not depending on the situation, that is okay.

They will never be Jesus. This is a lessons that I am constantly being reminded of. Which is the reason why God insists that we love him first, then ourselves, and THEN others. Mark 12:28-31 I have come to understand that no matter how high of a standard I hold my relationships, I have to understand that we are human and the same way I have weaknesses, so does the other person involved. I can be hard on those I love and that has shown me how hard I can be on myself (hence the scripture above). I’m learning to self reflect and to take it easy on myself, so that I am in a head space to do the same towards others as Jesus does for me (ALL THE TIME).

To love the rose is to embrace its thorns. Now this is a step further from the previous lesson, like in the next dimension. This is stepping into intentional relationships. Going in it for the long haul. Being willing to stick it through, again whether with friends or a significant other. In 2 Corinthians 12:6-10, the Apostle Paul speaks about moving in his purpose but still having troubles which he referred to as a “thorn in his flesh”. He asked God multiple times to remove it, but God reminded him that his grace was all he needed because his power works best in weakness.

The “thorn” or the weakness plays a role in our walk with Him. It keeps us humble or we’d only go to God when a thorn is there. The weaknesses or (speaking for myself), personal character traits in ourselves or what we see in others that we deem as flaws, our shadows of the past, or skeletons in the closet are the thorns. But God is constantly doing a work in us, for when we are weak (going through those torments like Paul), God’s strength is made perfect and his glory shines. If you read the first five verses of chapter 12, Paul says he could boast about the blessings, but it would do no good. People would look to Paul as being in control when in fact it was God’s strength that allowed him to carry out such great things. So, he is adamant on shining a light on God. The work he does in us, allows us the power to control our strongholds. As we stay in communion with him, he will constantly have power over those thorns.

For me personally, as I drift out of God’s presence from time to time (and we all do as believers), I can tell because the power feels like it has gone tranquil in my body (it never dies as I know he is always in me). The strongholds I once had power over, are overtaking me again. When I am confused, it’s like God is there but I left him behind, and I have run ahead of him trying to figure it out on my own. When I finally realize it, I turn back to him, and he is. There where I left him, patiently waiting like the gentleman he is. This is how he humbles us, that thorn when we realize it was piercing at our flesh, should cause us to check ourselves. It is all in how you view the thorn. It can either be a burden or a reminder. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 KJV) comes to mind because I can’t do anything without him. Nevertheless, I can do all things through Him that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). Paul concludes his testimony with a changed perspective, now embracing his weaknesses and shining light on them. This is why it is important to be transparent as a believer who ministers to other believers because when with others your weaknesses, they see your strength (or rather God’s strength in you) and are encouraged by the blood of the lamb and the power of your testimony (Revelation 12:11). This also relates back to Mark chapter 12 as quoted above, when you love and seek God first, you understand his heart posture, this gives you the proper insight on how to fully love yourself, and then love on someone else (that friend, significant other, child, etc.), as he loves us.

“Your testimony is healing for another.”

If you can’t handle their past, don’t put them on a pedestal. Now this is yet another dimension of relationships. You see the imperfections of the other person involved, now you have to ask yourself, “Can I handle what they bring to the table where they are right now? If so, am I willing?” If you’re like me, you tend to jump into things too fast. You tend to attach to one’s potential. You dive heart first into the situation ready to build and fix. The rose lenses is my stronghold. But that’s just it. We are not going into relationships to fix or change people; we are there to compliment or add to what God has already ordained them to be. But I have learned to start paying attention to, are they “ordained yet”? Or is it the “potential” I am fixated on. I had to learn to take off the rose lenses and look at what they are showing me right now. Can I handle that? Turning down your heart, and turning up your mind to the red flags is a must. If there are red flags, I’ve been doing both of us a favor and allowing God to close the book before the story is written that should’ve never been told. If it is too soon to tell, wait and allow the person to truly reveal themselves. This is not fun. Especially when you have to let go. I personally, didn’t realize my tendency to try to fix things that were not my place to. A generational curse that I have identified and have released to God. What I am learning to do is take my time, and really understand the person in front of me. If something doesn’t sit right with me, I go to work on my intentions understanding the person, and I pray about my understanding. Am I being judgmental or harsh? Is that generationa curse of trying to control everything trying to butt in or is this really a red flag that I have overcome and God is revealing to me in this new person (friend or new man). With sound judgement, I move accordingly. Proverbs 8:1 Relationships can be scary, but remember not to worry about anything but pray about everything that is on your mind (Philippians 4:6) Which brings me to my last tip:

Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23 : Not obeying this scripture or taking the time to actively live out this this scripture is what gets me in the most trouble. I wear my heart on my sleeve, so instead of taking control of my thoughts, I allow my emotions to take hold of my inner thoughts and it is detrimental. I recently ended two relationships who I cared about deeply. Two friends, one we were exploring dating. Because I didn’t take the time to guard my heart, by grabbing control of bent up emotions, I allowed my mouth to write a check that I couldn’t cash. My intentions are always good but, because I didn’t proactively approach both situations with care, the relationships suffered as a loss.

Now I believe the ending of both were inevitable based on all the signs but, how it ended was up to me. I could’ve been obedient by writing out my feelings each time prompted and organizing my thoughts to strategize a care plan for both, but instead I allowed the thoughts of concern to fester in my mind.

“I don’t care what social media says about letting the relationships drop or fall off for whatever reason and being this hard independent person who doesn’t need anyone and not claiming to have friends, I mean that’s cool too if that’s you. To each its own. But if it meant something to you, you’ll feel it when it ends. And that’s okay. Just don’t lie to yourself. It does more harm than good.”

One relationship should’ve ended years ago but I wasn’t ready to let it go. So, I held on, bottling things in while I watched it dwindle away by the time I siad something, I was already out of it. Made peace with myself and understood we were just growing apart. But by the time I made them aware, they were completely blindsided. Because lack of communication and fear of confrontation because I held on to what was (the thorn in my flesh), my lack of faith in God, killed any understanding that person could’ve gained had I intentionally worked at the friendship and put my all into it. But it was in this ending that the mirror was turned on me and I saw myself for who I was what these thorns were doing to me and my relationships. Sometimes God will allow things to happen for the blessing in the lesson. Lesson learned.

In these two friendships, noticed same problem presented itself in different ways— I love how the holy spirit reveals “cycles” during a trial. I say all this to say that if we don’t get those thorns in check, we’ll never receive what God has for us. And sometimes he’ll check us in ways we would never expect. God is dope like that but I digress.

In his Damaged Goods Series, Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church said this:

There are 3 parts of us: Soul, Body, and Spirit

The realest version of you was made a spirit. Where the intent of the thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.

Even though the spirit was made first, the soul and body usually respond first. This is our flesh and emotions/feelings we have to grab a hold of and keep in check) and wait for the spirits response/holy spirit (the first creation of us hence Genesis 1:26 NLT “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us”. This was while God was still creating Earth in the first week, when he thought of Adam.

“We all have damaged goods, but God can’t heal what you act like doesn’t exist.”

– Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church

I really want to engae with you guys. What are some lessons that you have learned from your everyday relationships? If you resonated with this, please like, comment your thoughts, and share to 3 other people. Relationships are one of the most important blessings God has given us and we can’t do life without others! Take care.

Until next time,

t.

Seek God


When I say prayer helps, it helps. Last night, I reminded God of his promise that I would lend and not borrow. He came through with that promise today. I will continue to pray and remind him of his promises to me and my family. 
I’m spreading this message to anyone who is waiting on their blessings but feel discouraged. “Never be afraid to pray big prayers, never be afraid to remind God of what he promised you. His answers are yes and amen. He can’t break his promises to you. All he wants is to give you your needs AS WELL AS your desires. If you pray for ordinary, he will give you ordinary. But dare to ask for exactly what you want and watch him give you extraordinary favor.”

OK so understand these are not my words. I give JOEL OLSTEEN all of his credit due. I’ve been struggling to read this book and I’ve had it for a couple of months. 
I’m going to create a contract with as many as God’s promises as I can stand on (scripture included) because when I go to God with my case, I will give him no room to ask me for proof. And as Jesus as my lawyer, I can’t lose. I encourage you to do the same.

Better Days Are Coming. 

I have a testimony to share. I hope this encourages you to keep faith & God above everything.


So if I haven’t told you already, I got a new job! Great pay, part-time hours (great because all of my bills are being paid and less time away from my baby, and I have time to complete my studies! But, it doesn’t start until July 18. That’s okay, I plan to use this time to relax, workout, read, anything I haven’t done in God knows how long. 

In the meantime, I am currently waiting on unemployment to process, and have bills to catch up on. This is stressful, because we have to eat. So Today, after returning my ink cartridge to have money to buy groceries, I decided I’d go to Walmart and get some groceries. I have a credit card with them that I’ve been trying to pay off but always have to end up using (Rule #1 If you’re gonna get a credit card, pay what you owe, even if it is a minimum payment they’ll take, pay more if you can!). 

Got some groceries, going to check out, it goes over the balance (I was able to exceed the balance before, thought I’d try again— no Bueno). After removing a few items and reswiping 4 times, the cashier refused to allow me to swipe, even the last 10 bucks I put towards it didn’t help *sighs*. So indecided to suck it up and withdraw my rent. 

I spent $20 at one store I love because they always guarantee fresh produce hence their name, Farm Fresh. Then decided to go to dollar tree and get snacks and anything else I could for $1. My church just happens to be next to them so I decided to stop in there first to schedule an appointment with my pastor (it’s been so long since I’ve been to church and finally made it so my family could all come, so why not? It’ll be quick). 

A woman I know (I have got to remember their names), gave me some information and before as I was getting ready to walk away, she offered me some chips. I said sure then she informed me to let anyone know who needs food that they give out boxes of food every Thursday. I said, “I need food.” And she went to work. 

A box FULL OF FOOD! Chicken, ground beef, fruits, vegetables, frozen foods, snacks (the good brands too)! I mean everything I needed was there! In the house of God. Bread, deli meet, cheese, (am I covering every food group?) juice, bagels, even an entire cake! I thanked her numerous times as she helped me get it to my truck. We talked a little more, and then I get ready to head to food lion, but I still wanted to go to Dollar Tree. I still needed milk and bread. Thought I’d save a few bucks.

I’m approaching the entrance as an older couple approaches as well. They kind of cut me off to get to the door first, and instead of being upset and holding it against them, I decided to hold the door open for them (I’ve always believed in killing rude people with kindness). Anywho, I go in, get what I need, and while I’m checking out, they happen to be behind me in line. So as I’m reaching in my wallet for my cash, the older man says, “I’ll pay for her stuff.” 

I looked around like, seriously? I thanked him a great deal as I was almost on the verge of crying. He had no idea how thankful I was & how much he was helping me out. I had to reflect on these blessings. God did not want me spending my rent money at all. And twice, I tried to and he said no. Had I not come to him (stopped off in church first), I would’ve missed out on a blessing. And had I went straight to Dollar Tree, I would been there too soon to receive the second. God works in mysterious ways. But it wouldn’t have worked out if I hadn’t been in place to receive those blessings. 

Today confirmed a few things:

  1. My faith was strong 
  2. He takes care of me despite my indiscretions 
  3. Prayer works
  4. God is real
  5. Better days are coming

As I was on my way to food lion, I noticed I’d seen this woman who was pregnant with two children at her side. I’d like to believe that God told me to give her that $10 I had been holding on to. That’s exactly what I did. I parked my car, I caught up to her and said, “Excuse me, God told me to give you this if you want it.” She replied, ” usually I wouldn’t accept this from anybody, but thank you.” I walked away and continued my ventures.
God bless you all. 

Until Next Time,

T.

 

    God has a way of bringing me to my knees..

      
    Man, I just don’t get it. 
    I’m at a stage in my faith where God is clearing out everything and everyone that is toxic to me (whether I like it or not). And with fair warning. Signs, feelings, vibes. Dreams.

    It’s sad when you have to find out the truth. Not be told the truth but find out after. This really hurts.

      
    …Did I mention how much I love Joel Olsteen? I came across this book in B&N, so far it’s a good read.

    As I mentioned in my last entry that my faith has been tested since the new year began. This book has helped me understand God’s moves. I’ve always found the hardest part about receiving a blessing has always been the process of getting there. A blessing is good, yes but sometimes as a believer I forget that I may have to go through a tunnel before I can see some light. Especially when I don’t expect it.

    I also find my train of thought shifting. I’m looking at things not as setbacks but milestones to better things. This book is helping me to realize that because of all of this turmoil, I should get into position to receive. 

    Get this book if you’re in the same spot in your faith as I. Buy it if you need clarity on how God moves in our lives. Get it if you need motivation to keep on keeping on. Trust me you won’t regret the read.

    “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Blessings… Understand them.

      
    Blessings…

    I think I mistook the meaning of what came with them. In the matter of a years time, I received the greatest of them but at very high costs. Some blessings I didn’t even ask for.. Or maybe I did with out realizing it would be an outcome of something I was doing. 

    I try not to bite off more than I can chew. But because of grace, that is God’s grace, I was presented with something I wasn’t ready for… At least I thought. You see this blessing requires time, patience, and sacrifice.

    With time, there’s good (when dealing with God)… And there’s bad (when dealing with the flesh). With time, God heals, rebuilds, and restores. Something I’ve been long waiting for which is good. But also with time there is waiting, which involves a lot of patience. And with waiting, patience can be an issue. In due waiting, I sometimes— or a lot of the time find myself taking matters into my own hands. That battle between flesh and spirit interferes with my blessings. And sometimes when I’m not careful, I sacrifice that blessing God was preparing for me. Funny how that goes.

    Though on the contrary, in order to receive my blessing, I must sacrifice something(s). What I thought was there to help me forever and ever, may have only been to get me where I’m going. Some blessings are only for a season… 

    Understand… The blessing.