Trust

It is crazy how God shows up in big and in small ways. One of those smalls ways is how in Authentic Living, a follow up course to Freedom Session. I currently do not doubt His presence, nor in Him being alive, but sometimes I have moments when I do.

It is in these moments that, I will definitely be looking to this blog to just remember something so small, and so simple to reveal where and how God is always present and always weaving His plan and His people together. Today, we talked about triads – a group of three go whom are accountable to one another.

In my authentic living group, only four of my freedom session group came, three were there tonight and I thought to myself of how I would love to be in a triad with them. For many reasons, including I trust them, they know me and my story, and I trust myself with them – I know I can be honest with them, without fear of conviction and honesty back.

As we discussed triads, I wondered if they would want the same, and when group was dismissed the three of us came together and started talking, and I eventually lost myself in the conversation. I also had a bit of hesitation, wondering if God would possibly want me to open up more and invite someone else into this triad. But, I brought it up to them that I did not know anyone who I trust with my faith and who I felt knew my story and life enough to guide me, and be willing to guided by me. So one of the girls openly asks, “do you guys want to be a triad?”

We had a laugh admitting to each other, we had one another in mind, did not ask out of fear of rejection, out of doubt and out of being unsure; in the end it turns out God had indeed put it in all of our hearts.

It’s safe to say, I feel like – although, I love my freedom session group, and wish we were all together still, I get this sense that there is a reason it was the the three of us who committed to the group and chose to see it through. I do not know what God’s plan is for us, nor will I try to anticipate and predict. I will let God guide and lead me. I will submit to His authority. But, I truly get this sense that this was God and His intervention. That, as much as it was our choice, God put that in our hearts.

I am so excited to do life with these two girls. I have shown them a side of me I do not like, the secrets I wanted to keep buried and never undid. And now, I am ready to walk on a path to a God lead vision that I am very excited to see through.

I hope, when future me sees this, you remember the joy and comfort. Remember feeling God there with the three of you, as you made the “Kiwi Three“. Remember feeling God as you prayed in the driveway. Remember being confident that God is there, He always is and He is always moving.

God Bless,
w/ love

Ari

Friendship

Yamato (Matt)’s Badge of Friendship from Digimon Season one and Digimon: Tri

Ahh… nerdy reference aside, I really wanted to write this huge positivity post about some of my favourite people on this earth. These are people who have truly seen me at my absolute worst – really, I have done truly regrettable things to them – and taken me at my best. They’re the “in the thick of it” kind of people. I just love and seriously appreciate them to pieces.

It’s easy to forget to appreciate people, at least, I know I do. I really cannot see how my life would be. If not for some of these greats, I would not be the person I am today. So I’m especially grateful to God for these amazing people who He has placed in my life.

My husband is my very best friend ever.

Not everyone in the photos will be people who we hung out with today, but they’re people I can fully be myself around. People who don’t judge my sometimes on the nose sense of humour, my vulgar words or my harsh statements. They’re people who know that sometimes my tone and vocabulary don’t match what I mean. They’re people who can take what they dish out.

I’ve tried to guard my heart a lot throughout the years, but again, the things I’ve done to these guys, they have proven they are worthy of being vulnerable. They’re worthy of bearing my all. Other than my family (immediate and nuclear) these guys are people who mean the most to me than anyone in the whole world. Like, really that whole “7 years of friendship” thing, I thought was a bunch of fake news, but when I think about it… that’s not true.

For the sake of privacy I won’t say their names but, on the off chance they read this, I will use initials.

Pardon the silliness

ACL (omg, her initials are Anterior Collateral Ligament LOL) or KACL? She and I go way back to getting bullied by the same girl – who denies it to today, but whatever – and hiding out in washrooms stalls together. We used to run to the back and climb trees together, and as we go older we stopped. I started talking smack about her behind her back. I listened to the lies and the rumours and even spread some myself. And when I came to my senses and apologized, she loved me. She took me back. That is just beyond crazy. And now, I see how she is so full of joy. She is so eager to have fun, and live. She is so happy to just be herself and share who she is, and be real and intentional with me and I just love her so much. Also, thank God for SV, because he is so good to her. He makes her so happy and makes her so fresh. It’s so wonderful for me to see her with someone who breathes life into her already so joyful personality.

LKF LOL WE DATED – kind of, we were like… 13 but he technically asked so we technically… did? – so you can guess what I did. We broke up, and after a while of taking space from each other that friendship mended and I am so happy it did. Cause he is one of the realest most honest people I know. There’s no BS with him. He’s so honest with mw about really whatever I ask him. I know if I need someone to really tell the truth he is someone I trust. And he is not judgmental. I have said some terrible, awful things about people to him and he has just accepted it. I have maybe shocked him, but in the end he just took it as “thats how [I] feel”. I like having people like that around. Honest, true and non judgmental.

Again, pardon the silliness. I don’t know if I have permission to post faces.

AJD we used to have so many sleepovers and we shared so many secrets. I missed her so much in the years that we were apart, but instead of telling her or showing her, I distanced myself. It’s probably one of my biggest regrets. When we got closer again, it just reminded me of why I loved her – and still do. The support she shows to her man as he pursues music, how she genuinely loves his work and wants to share him with the world. The way she is so genuine. Like, you just know what she says and gives, is who she is. There’s no lies, no secrets, no ulterior motives with her. It is so amazing to have someone like that. And RG, is so great for her. And, through her, having him in my life is really great. I have never met someone so truly passionate. I’ve met a lot of people who wanted to share their art and craft, and I support them. But RG, i don’t just support. I really, genuinely believe in him and I want to see him succeed.

finally DLVB – my boy-version. Really. I seriously cannot write enough about him. We have done some awful things to one another. Ranging from backstabbing, ignoring and avoiding, to down right dirty talk. But, ultimately, he has taught me forgiveness and love. He has taught me that, the people who are worth keeping are the people who fight to stay by you. He has taught me the real meaning of through thick and thin. He has showed me that people change and friends drift, but if you care about someone and want them around, you’ll put in your effort to make that work.

These are just the people I hung out with today, but there are so many more I can and will speak about. I think the common factor for these guys is I’ve known them since the ages of 4, 11, 9 and 4 respectively. There REP and YAJ but, I think I’ll save it for another time.

I guess I write this to remind myself, there are people who are absolutely worth my effort. People who earned my trust and I will continually work for theirs, whether I have it or not.

So here’s to friendships and here’s to love.

God Bless
w/ love

Ari

p.s. next post gets kind of raw so…

Friends.

It’s such a blessing to have those friends you know may go, but never stay gone. They may go off on their own and have their own adventures and go through their own journeys but never forget you. I have my own friend like this. We grew up together, watched each other fail, rise, struggle and win. He watched me fall in love and fall apart. I watched him grow in faith and rise in leadership. I’m watching him and his relationship with God and He’s seen me in my own. It’s this friendship I have taken for granted, often listening to the whispers of the devil, my own self doubt and feeding my own insecurities. I chose to focus on how he was invited to things, and I was not. I focused on how he was picked to be a leader and I was not. I focused on how he chose other friends over me. Each choice led me deeper and deeper in a coward spiral towards rock bottom. I fell so hard.

I will not be going to deep into that aspect of my story, not now at least. I will say, I was so wrong to see all these aspects. I forgot to realize, at one point, I was invited and said no. I was the one who wanted to be a follower, and player in the sidelines. I’m the one who chose to pull away and withdraw, avoiding him and many others. And, we since mended our relationship, but something felt off. At least, on my end and on my part. I felt something was incomplete.

I first had to forgive myself. I had to forgive myself for my mistakes. For prioritizing my opinions, my thoughts, my pride over his. Over God’s. I had to forgive myself for my fall, and my failures. And most of all, I had to receive God’s forgiveness and let Jesus die for me. Because, as a Christian, I do believe that Jesus is God and came down to live on earth to die, crucified, for my (and all mankind’s sins). But, I believed it in thought. This year I finally believe that I am forgiven and accept and receive God’s forgiveness. I know I am accountable and responsible for my sins, but I also know they are paid. I do not have to pay anything or any one back for what I had done. After all, what’s done is done. What I did is in the past, and Jesus had already breathed, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Though He lives, my sins stayed dead with His death. And as He lives He vouches for me, He speaks on my behalf. I can go on, and be free from my past and let myself lower my standard of perfection. I am not perfect.

Anyways, I’m not here to convince any one I am guiltless. I have faults. And I had to own up to my responsibilities in the problems I had caused. Maybe the problems were a two way street, but I had to cross mine. It felt so good. and for the first time in five years, I truly feel that weight, that burden, that pushback lifted. It was always me. I was the one who erected the shield and in an attempt to stop myself from feeling, in an attempt to ignore my failure and guilt, I had strained our relationship. At least my end of it.

Praise God, that I have overcome this battle. Praise Him for guiding me, to feel again. To feel the guilt and process it, and to let myself express it. To Apologize for what I had done. I was able to fully take responsibility for my pride, my withdrawal, my hurt and anger. It was amazing. And finally, the friend I had from 5 – 19 was back. It was like all those years that I had lost, God brought back.

Truly, I can say I love the way God is working. I love the way God is moving and I am so thankful for this friend. This friend of a lifetime. I am so blessed and my heart is truly full.

God Bless
w/ love

Ari