Now, mom and dad, before you freak out I should clarify that I am not talking about drugs or alcohol or any other kind of substance like that. I am talking about the influence of people.
What does it mean to be under the influence of someone?
According to Dictionary.com; influence is defined as: the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc.,of others.
If I am being honest with myself then I would say that I really do not like the idea of other people or things effecting my actions, behavior, and opinions. While I am on this honesty role, I will acknowledge that I am under the influence of other people. So what do we do about that?
If I look back at my life, I can see a pattern. I can see that during the times that I was most depressed, anxious, and lonely were times that I had some of the most toxic relationships in my life. That is not to say that I had "bad" people in my life, it is to say that some relationships are just toxic for me; and that does not mean that the person that I am in relationship with is a toxic person.
I look back and see all the heartache and pain and I realize that sometimes I put myself in the position to feel that way. I let myself be in toxic relationships. I can see how my circle of friends has an effect on my life, my health (mental and physical), my walk with God, and so much more.
This causes me to examine the people that I am closest to right now. Man, I have some amazing people in my life. Now let me highlight a few people for you:
My parents are amazing, godly people who show love wherever they go. They love me and they support me. They have taught me what a godly relationship looks like and they are amazing examples of what it means to follow God. I hope that I can become at least half the people my parents are. They are simply the best.
I live with some of the greatest people ever. I have been friends with Rachel for almost 14 years and she is one who provides constant encouragement and support; she just has such an amazing heart for the Lord. Her husband Ryan is just as wonderful. He is so gifted and uses his talents to glorify God. I have learned and continue to learn so much from these two.
My dearest April is such a godsend. If you click on her name it sends you to her blog. This girl has such an incredible heart. I do not think that I could have survived this last school year without her. She has walked beside me through the good and bad and she loves unconditionally. I pray that I will be continually blessed by this sweet soul for many many years to come.
My boyfriend, Shane. He is such a joy. He brings me so much happiness and peace. If a person could be your safe place he would fall in line right after my dad; and since my father is about 1200 miles away, Shane is my safe place. He lifts me up in prayer, he is my strength when I feel weak, and he keeps me in check.
My sweet Breanna, if all the joy and the love of the world could be found in one person it would be her. Her and I are education majors and I know that these last four years would have been so much worse if I did not have Breanna walking next to me through them all.
I really have been blessed with the best. Anytime I am struggling, hurting, celebrating, laughing, crying, enjoying life; I know that I have these people to walk beside me through anything. Thank you all for your amazing friendships, my life would not be the same without you. And for those that were not specifically listed in this post: that does not mean that I do not love you. I simply felt the need to highlight these specific people.
While I am thinking of influence, and I have already addressed the people that Influence me, I should talk about my influence. What kind of influence do I want to have on the people around me? What kind of impact do I want to make on the world? What do I want to be remembered for?
On May 19th I posted this to facebook: "Last night Javi wanted the green hand sanitizer to match me and this morning he wanted the strawberry yogurt to be "just like you" he said... I am honored that this little munchkin wants to be just like me! However, I am also scared. I have these precious little eyes watching my every move, just to be like me. I am just praying, and praying hard, that I can be the best person that I can be, that I can be a good example.... if only for this little boy that I love so much."
I want to be like my parents, Rachel and Ryan, April, Shane, and Breanna. I want to be a great example for my younger siblings. I want people to look at me and see the Lord. I have a long way to go and a lot to work on, but thankfully, I am under the influence.