The topic of friendship is an interesting one for me to discuss. God knew that I needed three sisters to keep me in check because they will tell you that I can either take you or leave you. I will likely turn you off before you would even consider getting to know me on a deeper level. Sounds awful…but it’s MY truth! I actually had to laugh at myself while writing this. I am grateful that I was blessed with the gift of discernment at an early age because I never had to guess when it was time to determine whether or not I wanted certain people in my space. I wouldn’t describe myself as a loner but I love solitude especially now because I am my daughter’s playmate at home. She needs a sibling… Despite my loner-ish ways I am glad to say that I have fruitful friendships. How many people can say that they’ve been friends with someone for over twenty years? I can!  This friendship has stood the test of time, space, marriage, and the list goes on. What’s even more ironic is that I chose to become a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in the Fall of 2002 with four phenomenal women. I chose to put myself in a position to forge a relationship with four totally different individuals and it was one of the best decisions that I ever made!

 

As I reflect on what friendship means to me, I also realize that I’ve been blessed to experience the “power of connections.” Now I didn’t coin this phrase so as I was thinking about what I would write, I did a little research and I came across the following statement by Bishop Edgar L. Vann:

 

” The gift we are given, in addition to this life and the place we have been planted, is our capacity to share and be in a variety of relationships. The level of power among your connections is dependent upon, both how you utilize the connections for mutual benefit and how you maintain and grow the connections.”

 

This really resonated with me because I’ve connected with other women at pivotal, make-or-break moments throughout my life. Finishing undergrad and being shipped out-of-state away from my family and the familiar I made a connection that has turned into a 14-year friendship. When I went back to school for my masters I reconnected with a college associate and co-worker. This connection led to a job opportunity on campus because of her help and has resulted in a 12-year friendship. And the most recent and probably most unlikely connection materialized in the midst of a career move. This friendship has grown over the past 5 years and we are such great friends that we’ve decided to share an office space this school year! I believe that each of these connections were divinely designed by God and His infinite wisdom because I’m not sure how I would have made it during those various life stages without these ladies in my corner.

 

So how could someone like me, a self-proclaimed faux Lone Ranger, access this Power to Connect and to stay in connection?

 

I had to recognize my need to be in relationship with others. The time that we spend sizing up folks could be spent getting to know people and acknowledging what they bring to the table and frankly what we don’t! That is the beauty of my friendships and my connections turned friendships. Each lady possesses qualities that I do not and it’s great! To that point every member of my tribe has other members in their tribe and that’s ok too! I welcome opportunities to CONNECT with those individuals as well.

 

 

I had to let down my guard. And why do I have the tendency to be so guarded? Who knows?! I had to give those insecurities over to the Lord because failing to do so would cause me to miss out.

 

I had to be willing to put in the work involved with maintaining each connection. If you value something, you’ll hold yourself accountable for it’s upkeep. This work is ongoing.

 

I would encourage everyone to be open to the power of connections. Don’t close yourself off to the possibility that the person who you are the least likely to gel with is connected to you for a reason. They may also be connected to you for a season but that’s ok! Every connection will not result in a friendship but every connection has the power to produce positive results, IF you let it.