Who’s in Your Tribe?

Given the state of our society and world today, I have been in this space of dejection and woe in my spirit. It has been so disheartening having to witness the crimes against humanity that is consistently happening each day, in multiple realms that make up our society. Whether it’s another black sister or brother being killed senselessly, a child going missing and later found lifeless, another sex-trafficking bust, a black sister dying of birth complications due to negligence – the list goes on. Our world seems to be bursting at the seams each day we are given to begin again. I find myself pondering upon an array of thoughts like, is God present in all of this? Can things change? Are we experiencing a new world beginning to take root? Will I be able to bear and raise children during my lifetime? What can I do now to impact lasting change and still feel hopeful that things can get better?

If you’re experiencing the thoughts and feelings that I have been raking through these past couple of months, I am here to remind you that you are not alone. You inner thoughts, feelings, questions and concerns are valid and worth expressing. Even I, as a firm believer in God and what His Word says concerning the past, present and future, have moments of doubt, fear and questioning that can bring me into this confusing state. I could so easily become engulfed in the chaos, if I didn’t find the proper channels to bring me back to a state of peace and understanding that all of these things must happen for new things to come take it’s place.

My question is, who is in your tribe? Do you have someone you can lean on when you are on empty? Can you call one of your homegirls to pray for you? Is authenticity and vulnerability present in your friends groupchat? With all that has been occurring in now over 5 months, this is the perfect time to evaluate the contributions of all the people that impact your sphere of influence in your life. My prayer this season has been for God to release all relationships that no longer serve me and cultivate relationships that serves purpose, with people I can get real and raw with and push me to my purpose (Proverbs 27:17-As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens a friend). Out of comfort and history, we often remain in relationships that have not bore good fruit long ago and can’t understand why we are still in the same place we were in emotionally, spiritually, physically and all the ‘ly’s we could think of, from last year, two years ago or sometimes more than 10 years ago.

What has recently (I mean really recent, coming from someone who used to keep people guessing, due to personal reservations) became a favorite coping mechanism to navigate all that has been happening is sharing my thoughts with people who have my best interest at heart, yet challenge my way of thinking with a different perspective. I’ve been blessed to begin new relationships in God-ordained ways and being able to trust them with what’s in my heart and mind. My prayer also guided me to open my eyes to relationships I already had and did not water because of lack of effort or made-up excuses.

I am a firm believer that once you start aligning your desires with the desires of God for your life, He will bring into fruition those things in due season. Why not immediately, you may ask? Oftentimes, we haven’t made room for those new relationships to take place because we are 1) holding on to someone He has already shown you you need to let go of or 2) we are not good friends ourselves (God doesn’t play about His children). God is so amazing and intentional about everything concerning us. He knows what we need to make it through this journey called life. From the beginning, when He created Adam and considered that he should not be alone and later created Eve, that brought me to the conclusion that life should not be done alone – not romantically, but in this context, relationally.

If you’re not certain about what kinds of friends you should have in your circle, consider these characteristics that have proven to be effective in the relationships I currently have and have witnessed in other healthy friendships:

Secure

Reverence for God

Standards & Values

Honest

Dependable

Assertive

Ambitious

Patient

These characteristics do not fully encompass all that someone should have in order to be part of a friendship circle, but I consider effective for mutual growth.

During this time, I challenge you to evaluate the people you are surrounded with, who you are allowing to pour into you and influence the trajectory of your life. As you are evaluating your friendships, evaluate yourself and your impact on others. Are you being what you expect from others?

Until next time,

Peace out Gem ✌🏾

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