As promised, today we are announcing who our FIRST EVER GUEST WRITER for Travis And Kyra is as well as sharing a little blog piece on community and relationships.
We have so many incredibly anointed and wise friends who help to sustain us in our day to day! We could not help but think that our audience would be blessed by experiencing a little nugget of wisdom from the beautiful people we call friends.
We are extremely honored and count it an enormous privilege to announce that our first ever guest writer is….Amber Zacharia!!!
Amber is a freelance producer and designer who is passionate about finding and showcasing a compelling story in each project she puts her hand to. She graduated from the University of Washington and worked for VIVE, a C3 Church start-up, in the Silicon Valley before recently moving to Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Shaun.
Her greatest passion is to build the local church and see many experience the love of Jesus.
In her spare time, she loves traveling internationally, testing out family recipes, volunteering at her home church C3 Brooklyn, songwriting with her midi keyboard, working out at her local barre studio, and spending time with her sweet family.
Amber is the type of friend who just knows what to say exactly when you need it. They type that hears from the Holy Spirit so clearly and will send you a text or make a little comment that ends up being exactly what you need when you need it.
I vividly remember a season where I just felt so unqualified, like I could not do anything right. I felt like I just kept disappointing everybody because I was not what they needed me to be and I remember the encouragement came from a simple text…She was visiting my home church and I was on worship team and all she said was “ Love YOU! You killed it up there! SO fun seeing you in your element” and I was instantly reminded of the gift that God gave me for worship and that it was my element even though I had allowed other negative thoughts make me feel otherwise.
When I reflect on that moment, I cannot help but to think how different my life would be if I did not have people I could be vulnerable with. The wisdom that she has poured out on me has given me the license to dare to dream, to dare to set boundaries, to dare to strive to be my best self in God.
Relationships are important and having people that will point you to the truth is vital, so now I ask you the question, Who do you have in your life? That will remind you of the truth and point you to the purest source of love and affirmation.
Do you have people in your corner fighting for your life? People who will literally go to war for you. Who act as an extension of His love in your life? The people who will worship you through the warfare, pray you through the pain, be a light in the darkness, lift their hands in faith for you when you don’t have the strength to lift your own? These are my friends but I had to pray for friends like this.
I believe that almost everyone wants friends and community right? People to laugh with, people to cry with, people to experience life with. And while I believe It’s important to have a personal relationship with God I also believe He hasn’t called us to do life alone, He has sent people our way to do life with.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
I have really been meditating on the concept of community. How much we elevate it in our society and forget the importance of actual relationship.
com·mu·ni·ty; referring to a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
And re·la·tion·ship; referring to the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or simply put, the state of being connected.
So often we skip to the conclusion when we pray and forget that there is power in the process. We ask God for community but is “community” without relationship really even community at all? and is a “relationship” without vulnerability and honesty really even a relationship? No accountability to your thoughts and your day-to-day allow you to hide yourself from how you actually feel. You can have community and have no connections but it is impossible to have relationship without connection.
We live in an age where people just want to belong. They want to feel loved, needed, valued and honestly just to fit in. We want to belong to something. We call that community. We settle there and end up lacking true and genuine friendship and start believing the lies of the enemy that we are alone.
Sometimes we look at our feeds and the highlight reel of other friendships and forget to pray for the RIGHT kind of relationships. The ones that help to sustain us. Yes, live off of the source and living water in God but He divinely orchestrates relationships that are extensions of the love He died to enable us to receive.
Sometimes we pity ourselves for our lack of true friends and we forget that having great friends, starts with being a great friend first. Even when we do not feel like it and asking God for the right people to come into our lives.
I talk to so many people that believe the lie of the enemy that they are alone, that nobody cares about them, that nobody understands them. They end up in self-pity, wondering why it is “just them” why they are so alone when they are great and kind people with so much encouragement and love to give.
We all need the type of friends who will pray us through our darkest times and celebrate our highest highs. The friends you can be real with, the friends who aren’t focused on what you can give but rather on what God has given you to share with the world. Your voice, your purpose, your divine appointment. So why do we feel so alone both in our victories and our defeats?
This is where I ask you to analyze your desires. Are you after the hollowness of a relationship in which you have to be relatable to everything (which inherently makes you relatable to nothing) or a passionate, specific relationship orchestrated by God? Truly connect yourself to Jesus and you will start to see your relationships through His lens.
I went through a lot of the last few years with community. Community at work, community in my extracurricular activities but I did not necessarily have a healthy reciprocation with giving in my relationships. I was always the friend you could call at anytime but I never really knew, who I would call if I needed somebody at 2AM to listen to me cry if I was in despair. The type of friends that would stand with me when it wasn’t comfortable to. Celebrate my highs and sit in the mud with me in my lows. But I realized it actually started with me.
What do I mean by this?
Now some of you are reading this thinking, I am always the one giving, I am always the one pouring out but still, I feel like I do not have that true friend in my own life. Trust me, I understand what it is like to always be the friend that is pouring out and being “too nice” as the kids say.
I found myself in relationships without a healthy reciprocation. I was a total pushover and when I found strength, I went to the complete opposite side and thought that when people dismissed or took for-granted my friendship that it gave me license to neglect them but it doesn’t.
I had the revelation that not everybody is able to love you back in the same way you love them because they are still simply figuring out who they are and learning how to love themselves.
When God gives you the eyes to see, He is giving you an opportunity to take action. To fight for someone and to wear their burdens and that is a privilege. Refuse to only be friends with people that have something to give. Sometimes God wants you to be a blessing to somebody, a light in their darkness a hand in their fall. Bitterness is not of God and un-forgivness isn’t either.
Think of the type of relationships you want in your world, the type of friends that you want, the type of mentors that you want and BE THAT to somebody else. I had to pray for the friends I have today but it started with me being that friend to somebody else first.
You want the friend that will be there for you in hard times, so be there for somebody else in their hard times, love those who do you wrong and when you think you aren’t seeing the fruit of the graciousness you have poured out. Think about the lifetime ahead of you, then about your children because remember that God blesses in abundance, He is faithful and blesses generationally. So even though you might not see it personally, know and believe that your children will harvest the fruit of the legacy of love that you leave.
Relationships are messy but all together beautiful. There is something incredibly freeing about people who actually know you. Who can truly mean it when they say they love you.
My prayer is that you seek genuine relationships and try not to hurt or isolate people along the way. Try not to make assumptions about the condition of somebody’s heart and then label it discernment and wisdom. Assumptions often times lead to ignorance and it inhibits our ability to actually be a source of love for someone. Ask questions, listen to people, pray about it and in all things seek to be an extension of His love.
We love because He first loved us.
With prayers and love,
Prayer | Action | Faith