Thank God for bringing us to the end of another month! Yes, the year is moving too fast as usual, but as long as we’re here for the ride we should be thankful. I don’t believe in coincidences—I believe God uses so-called coincidences to remind us how blessed we are and to get us to take the focus off ourselves, among other things. It has been a month of revelation for me.
One of my 2014 goals is to refine my friendships: I want friends who need me as much as I need them and when I’m the only one in the relationship who’s leaning on the other, I feel uncomfortable and dissatisfied. It’s not that my friends are unsupportive; some are just not making me feel needed. This may be because they’re married and they have someone to bounce ideas off of, and that’s the way it should be so I need to figure out how to get the balance I need in my friendships, and this is why I’d like to make some friends who are in a similar stage of life to me. I decided to initiate a “state of the friendship” discussion with a long-time friend and the conversation didn’t go at all as I hoped—I felt worse than I had prior to initiating the conversation! I discussed it with another friend and I felt misunderstood and worse still. I left home that day for work and when I arrived, I read an email that wiped all thoughts of my problems from my mind: a colleague had received a serious medical diagnosis and was now in the process of undergoing urgent treatment.
It’s amazing how quickly one can go from “woe is me” to “God, please send healing and forgive me for being so fixated on something that is so not such a big deal”. Don’t get me wrong: my friend issues were and are serious to me, but the level of importance that I had given them in my life was way too much compared to what my colleague is going through. This reality check has changed how I regard my friendship issues, has led to me being more prayerful and more focused on others (my colleague), and it’s also given me some perspective as I refine my friendships. Friendships are important but I’m important too. For too long I’ve found my identity in my friendships so when they fade or end it feels like I’m losing more than a friend because I’ve lost a part of myself. Now I know that I need to focus on being my own best friend and stop looking outside of myself for someone to be that friend I want. I have less patience for passive-aggressive friends and I’m more direct in communicating when I don’t like something a friend says or does (total work in progress though!). I wish my colleague didn’t have to send that email before all this was triggered within me, but I’m thankful for the lesson it has brought.
There’s much to be thankful for this month:
- Were you thankful for Valentine’s Day? I was! I didn’t really go out of my way to show love to anyone in particular, but I was happy to play cupid for my father and run an errand for him for his long-distance love—my mom. A friend delivered a beautiful and healthy Valentine’s Day baby—so special! Little Madelyn is beautiful and I love holding her and watching her sweet little face! I’m thankful for her safe arrival (2.5 weeks early!) and for the health of her mom, my kind friend who is the brains behind the coding of key parts of the Nigerian Blog Awards site!
- Most of Canada celebrated Family Day last Monday, including me: I hung out with my mom and sister and we had a very relaxed day. In my city, if you don’t work for the government you get the day off, because government employees already have a day off that most of us don’t get. But I live in the capital of Canada and it’s a government town, so it’s a shame that so many employees have to work on that day (though many just take the day off). In my opinion they should make Family Day a holiday for government folks and take away that other holiday in November. I enjoyed the day off!
- Another dear friend’s baby boy arrived safely on Saturday. I’m so thankful that she and the baby are doing fine and he sure looks cute!
- My brothers are thriving on their own. Both are learning to be responsible for themselves and it’s such a great lesson. I didn’t move out until I was 29, so they moved out before I did and I think it was a good thing that’ll continue to impact their lives for the better. I’m also thankful that they’ve been protected in all their comings and goings.
- I’m glad that my dad was in town last weekend, and my mom had the weekend off so they were able to get some quality time together. It doesn’t often work out that my mom is not working while he’s here.
- Have you ever needed help, and asked for it, and the person who helps you goes out of their way to make the whole process dreamy, even though you’re the one imposing on them? My brother-in-law’s brother (also my brother-in-law?) did this for me last week. I needed someone to run an errand for me in Nigeria and I told him what I needed. He explained that he couldn’t do it, but he found someone who could and he told me when the task would be completed. He then he contacted me to report that it had been done and wanted to know what the next steps were. When I told him he offered to make things even easier than I had suggested if he’s able to. I was so thankful because he didn’t have to take care of the logistics; he could have just stuck to what I asked but he exceeded my expectations.
That’s my list—what are you thankful for?
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