"Friends With Benefits"

As a newly returned follower of Christ, I am not surprised that the topic of friendship has been put to light for me. Especially, at this point of my life where I am redefining who I truly am. When it comes to the topic of friends, there has always been a roadblock. I have never really sat down and analyzed my definition of a friend. Quite frankly, I struggle with keeping friends or maintaining friendships.  When I was informed that the topic of discussion was friendship, more so the light to “friends with benefits”, I was lost.
I couldn’t figure out how I was going to write about something that I am not familiar with, so to speak, something that was of a foreign language to me. It wasn’t until I confessed to myself that friends and friendship was something I do not know how to develop or keep for long. I took a step back, looking at my life from the inside out, discovering that this puzzle piece of my life's picture was missing.
This is when I discovered that this was an opportunity to break through this barrier and it had to start with first mending my friendship with God.  At my first visit to Transitions, the topic was “Friends With Benefits”. The meeting helped me understand the true essence of the role of God in everything during this thing we call life. I realized that it is not until I seek a relationship with GOD that I can ever witness the true “benefits” of a “friendship” with his children on earth. Not only is it important to have a friendship with GOD, it is also important to love yourself. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus was asked “which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?" Jesus replied “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your mind". This is the first and greatest commandment. A second equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself". There are still things I do not fully love about myself but I can say that every day I am more affirmed with who I am and who I am not then ever before. I am a firm believer that it’s because I have been reaching out to GOD, asking for his friendship, that he has giving me the ability to put things in light for me to see.
During my second visit to Transitions, Pastor Todd spoke about prepping yourself. Preparing yourself in being the very person you would want your partner to be. The only way we can prep ourselves is through the help of God. Pastor Todd also mentioned, we must seek a relationship with Jesus before we can seek outside relationships with God's people on earth. After seeking a relationship with him, he will place and develop relationships for you. I must become the friend that I seek. I most carry all those qualities I have been seeking in others. I must become less selfish and give in relationships and friendships instead of take.  I leave it all in His hands and will focus purely on His love because it all starts and ends with Him. 

God, I sit here and I am letting go. I am letting go of everything that I have been trying to control. Instead, I am letting you control everything in my life. I know that you will do the very best for me, as you always do. I am sitting here Lord and I am asking for your friendship. I am asking for your help. I am asking for your strength. I am asking for your forgiving heart. I am asking that you pour all of your great qualities onto me so I can be a split image of you. So I can fulfill my purpose you have sent me out for. I ask that you make this purpose clear to me. I want you to help me become more open to greater opportunities, as well as offer them to me and guide me to them. I just simply ask, that you continue to help and change me. I know change is near and I am ready!

Wanda N. Sanchez is a new follower of Christ, Born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She is of Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage and the youngest of 9.  She attended SUNY Oswego where she graduated with a bachelors of science degree and is presently working on getting a PhD in Physical Therapy.