Tag Archives: dating

**The Road To 27** Post 3 of 7 – Friends and Relationships

** Reflections on Friends and Relationships **

I was actually debating whether or not to even reflect on this because I could go on forever. But for your sakes (and attention spans) I won’t take long.

These past 27 years haven’t always lent themselves to the best friendships and relationships until just recently. Since as far ago as I can remember, I’ve always wanted “friends of my own”. I know that sounds neurotic, but being the miniature tv addict I was, I wanted a core group of friends like the ones on The BabySitters Club or Harriet the Spy. Up until middle school I had those friends — but heading into high school some of the people I thought were closest to me, actually weren’t as loyal as I thought.

Wait. Let’s back up to the beginning and cover relationships. 


My little adolescent/tween view on relationships and dating was the same as my friendships. Since the day I and three other girls in my kindergarten class were molested by classmates (who were clearly exposed to too much sex), my view on relationships was flawed. From that point on, all I wanted was a boyfriend who would protect me (as my father strove to do each day), and grow into a husband that loved me like the Disney princess my parents always told me I was. I failed to realize that NO ONE under the age of 18 or 20 is truly equipped to protect ANYONE — they’re just learning to handle themselves. I remember the night I told my babysitter what had happened, I was scared to my tiny 5-6 year old core! Now that I’m really taking time to think on it, I was more embarrassed than anything because I didn’t want my parents to think I was ‘fast’. That’s why none of you have probably heard about what happened until this very second. I took all of that trauma, bottled it up, and carried it with me all the way until high school and college. Because I didn’t allow myself to really form the right view on relationships (despite the wonderful example I had in my parents) I was naive, too trustworthy, and felt like I could read people a little better than I actually could.  This led to me making MANY MANY bad judges of character and a few bad choices in boyfriends.

WHEW — did you get all of that?! Ok, let’s keep going and put it all together.

DAY 3 PART 2So here it is, 2010. I’m out of college, full time in the work force, and secretly damaged from all that I’d been through. It was serious, painstaking work attempting to really trust ANYONE — even the friends that were still sticking with me. By 2011, things with the last guy I dated blew up into oblivion and all I could do was just cry out to God…why me?! Why am I always the one getting lied to?! Why do these people insist on chipping away at the last bit of kindness I can muster up?! Why do people insist on misinterpreting my well meaning friendship? Will I be alone and friendless forever?! (dramatic I know, but this is what honestly went through my mind — it made for great poetry though, I’ve got notebooks full!)

That’s when God began to answer the prayers I’d prayed for so long! I began reconnecting with old friends, gaining new ones, and while my dating life was pretty much non existent, I was allowing God to heal me from my past hurts. Now, here I am on the brink of my 27th birthday surrounded by the best friends I could have ever wished for — and can testify that God certainly gave me double for my trouble! The dating life is still — eh — but hey, at least I can say I am free from the bondage of relationships’ past AND I’m looking to get my feet wet in the dating pool again! I’m looking forward to a wonderful future with great friends, an awesome boyfriend (whoever that will be), and a wonderful life!


Photo shot and edited by Rich Griffis (www.richgriffis.com)

[photo by Rich Griffis ]


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7 Truths About Marriage You Won’t Hear in Church

7 Truths About Marriage You Won’t Hear in Church

The Church provides a good foundation for marriage, but here are a few of the things you might not always hear.

But it never failed. I would follow the guideline. I would study the handout. But when it came time, the professor would put the exam on my desk and there would be a foreign formula or equation I had never seen—or, at least, one I did not see on the study guide. Looking back, I realize the teacher did not intend for the study guide to be comprehensive. It was simply not possible to include everything from the required reading, class notes and lectures.

Such is the case with the Church and marriage. I am grateful for the foundation the Church gave me in regard to marriage. It was a good study guide. But there some things on the test I did not learn until marriage began. So I am going to give you some answers to the test that some of you might not expect to see. Here are a few truths about marriage I never heard in church:

1. Sex is a Gift From God. Explore It.

God created sex, but through the years, God’s people have allowed Satan to steal this gift—without much of a fight.

I was never educated about sex—and I grew up in a Christian family. My framework for sex was built by my friends at school and the movies I watched. Big uh oh. I still struggle with enjoying the fullness of sex today because of the cloud of lies formed during my teenage years.

It is time for God’s people to take back the gift of sex. The lies surrounding it are ruining lives and marriages. If you are married, explore the fullness of sex for the glory of God. Pray for sexual intimacy with your spouse.

2. There is More Than One Person Out There You Could Marry.

Soulmates are made, not born. Maintaining a healthy relationship is more about commitment than perfection. Every person on earth has imperfections. And the reality is there is more than one person we could spend our lives with.

Soulmates are made, not born. Maintaining a healthy relationship is more about commitment than perfection

I meet too many young people that are waiting for something that is not real. “I just couldn’t marry her because she smacked her food.” “He just wasn’t the one. But I know my soulmate is still out there. I just have to keep looking.”

What if God does not want you to find a perfect person, but find an imperfect person who will draw you closer to Him? What if God desires you to marry a person with flaws to expose yours? What if God wants to teach you the value and life found in committing to one person forever, not the exhausting pursuit of searching your entire life to find the perfect person?

3. The First Year of Marriage is Really Hard.

What have we done? Are we going to make it? Why is this so hard? These are all questions I asked myself many times during my first year of marriage.

We were arguing. We were fighting. It was really hard. And every day I thought something was wrong. Nobody warned me about the difficulty of the first year.

If you are in the first year of marriage and thinking about giving up, you’re not alone. Everyone struggles. Persevere. There are better days coming. Your marriage will get better. Stick with it.

4. A Spouse Does Not Complete You.

Jerry Maguire has brainwashed a generation of people to believe a lie. Spouses do not complete people. I bought this lie, and it wasn’t until I let go of any notion my wife could fill some void that I was able to truly love her. I had been expecting Tiffani to do something only God can do.

If you are empty, broken or insecure and you believe a spouse is the silver bullet to your problems, buckle up. It will be a bumpy ride. You will never be able to enjoy the beauty of marriage if you think your spouse’s job is to complete you.

5. Marry Someone With Similar Goals, Dreams and Passions.

Marry someone who is a Christian, yes. But I would go further—marry someone with similar passions and dreams. Of course, no two people are going to want exactly the same things in life. But some things are harder to work through than others. For example, if you love foreign missions and your potential spouse hates going overseas, tension is going to arise.

If your spouse has similar passions, they will be able to understand your struggles and fully support your pursuits. There is much power in two people living life with the same goals, dreams and passions for life.

6. Marriage is Not for Everybody.

Paul talks about this in Corinthians. He tells the church at Corinth to remain in the situation they are in. If unmarried, then stay unmarried. If married, then stay married. Later, he says, “So then the person who marries his fiancee does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better” (1 Corinthians 7:38).

Maybe it is time for God’s people to accept the reality that God has not called everyone to marry. I have talked with young men and women that are almost consumed with finding a spouse. And most of the pressure comes from church. Once a person reaches mid-twenties, we assume something is wrong with them if they have not married.

Marriage is holy and good, but it is also possible to follow Jesus without a spouse.

Shame on us. Marriage is holy and good, but it is also possible to follow Jesus without a spouse.

7. Marriage is Not About You.

I love weddings. But in an increasingly individualistic, “me” culture, weddings create a potentially dangerous situation. It is all about the bride and groom. Everyone looks at them. Encourages them. Congratulates them.

Many couples have bought the lie of the wedding day: It is all about me. But marriage is at odds with this mindset. A successful wedding day is one where everyone serves you. A successful marriage is one where you serve your spouse. The wedding day is a day where the spotlight is on you. Marriage has no spotlight. The wedding day is joyous and celebratory. Many seasons of marriage are about persevering and not letting go through the storms.

Embrace your wedding day. Prepare for it. Celebrate it. But do not make the mistake of believing the lie that it’s all about you. After your 20 minutes of fame, the spotlight is gone forever. It is no longer about you (and this is a good thing, you will see).

This article was originally posted at frankmatthewpowell.com

Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/7-truths-about-marriage-you-won%E2%80%99t-hear-church#vXHRxaV9BGkXlBKd.99

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This picture is deep! “Sexually transmitted DEMONS are harder to get rid of than diseases”!!!#SOULTIES!!! Watch who you lay down with!!! Each person you lay down with, a piece of them are with you! #real!!! That’s why so many people are miserable, mean, angry, evil, etc, because there are so many spirits upon them!!!#becareful & #mindful of what/who you are letting enter you!!

(repost via Eboni Sharpe)

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What I’m Learning From My Parents on Their Wedding Anniversary

555768_10151603661910086_2029036310_nToday I had the honor of singing to my parents in honor of their 30th Wedding Anniversary which is tomorrow. They dated for 6 years WITHOUT SHACKING before they got married and are still going strong! Sometimes I honestly get kind of sad thinking on how strong their marriage is because I know that the way society is set up today, that type of marriage is statistically not in the cards for me — BUT GOD knows my heart and I will have whomever He has for me. I have faith. And because my parents instilled the importance of having God in a marriage, I will remain in the ‘fields’ working until my man of God scoops me up. There IS such thing as a strong, black marriage. Once two godly people join together and do things THE RIGHT WAY (no cheating, no violence, no LAHH mess) — a long lasting marriage is possible. My parents are proof of that. Ladies and fellas, don’t let these reality shows and songs and movies fool you — marriage is HARDDDD work, but can totally work if your heart and your soul is in it! 


My timeline is constantly flooded with quotes and reposts of Bey & Jay or Marilyn Monroe  from souls who yearn and desperately want to have a love that they only hear of in their grandparents’ stories of how it was back in the old days. THIS IS NOT COOL. I know there will be people who will get defensive as soon as I say this but [we] as a society are responsible for the degradation of marriage.DSC_0019 You have girls who want a boy to treat them right but feel as though there is no “real connection” if they don’t give up the panties or get turnt. You have boys who chase skirts and demand the goods because they (incorrectly) feel and learn from older men in their neighborhood and in hip hop that “this is what real men do”. SO what happens? The girls grow into women who begin sleeping with every dude they like or break their back working to pay the bills for an apartment they share with men who are NOT their husbands YET daily stay praying and wishing and hoping for a commitment. Those boys (who really wanted a good girl all along to inspire them to be better) grow into men who are womanizers and treat women like dirt because they are scared of taking a chance on ONE woman because “there may be someone better down the road”.


Watching my parents I’ve learned that there is no such thing as a “soul mate” despite what the secular love songs and movies would have you think — there is that person that GOD has designed for you. Sex won’t make someone stay. Having a child with someone won’t make your relationship stronger if it’s founded on rocky soil. God knows your strengths and your weaknesses and knows who would be the right match for you. All you have to do is keep your heart open to His voice which will let you know if “that person” is the one. There will be many people whom WE may THINK is the one — but are not God’s best for US. Not saying they can’t grow and mature into a great husband or wife, but they are not the one that God has for YOU — maybe someone else. My parents knew how to listen to God’s voice even before they were strong in their Christian walk and as a result, they found each other. DSC_0022And though you can never truly know EVERYTHING about a person, my parents learned each other by taking their time and dating 6 years. Not saying it will take everyone else that long, but the point I picked up from them is that you can’t meet someone and 2 weeks later fall in love. EVERYONE will get butterflies when first dating someone — it’s human nature. The chase is fun — but taking time to hang out with each other WITHOUT SEX or DATING SOMEONE ON THE SIDE will really allow you to know a person well without physical or emotional distractions clouding your judgement.


One of the last little things I’ve learned from watching my parents over the years is that you have to be the type of person you want to attract. MEANING, you can’t be slinging dope or getting faded every weekend, but desire to marry someone who is responsible and have their stuff together. You can’t update your FB or Twitter status with every play by play of your life and want to marry someone who is drama free. You can’t look to marry someone who is naturally attractive and is headed for success in their career if you put on 5 pounds of makeup or don’t keep yourself up at all while blowing all your money on parties, alcohol, and weed. Marriage is WORK. You have to put in what you want to get out of it. My parents show me that each time I see them together. Though they have different personalities and interests, they both had common goals — they didn’t just dream of doing something, they both went to school and did what they had to do to make it in the education field. They both shared the same spiritual faith. They both were on the same page with “spare the rod spoil the child” (LORD my butt is still aching from those whoopins. I used to act up ya’ll haha) — they came together and put in the marriage what they expected out of it. They taught me to not date or want to get married out of loneliness because that’s a surefire way to have your marriage fail — they let me know that I needed to build myself up while I’m single and figure out what I want out of life how to better myself so that I can attract a man who is doing the same thing!DSC_0023 If I am giving, faithful, and caring towards my husband — and he is giving, faithful, and caring towards me — then BOTH of our needs would be met. Ok that’s enough of my 2 cents — I am so proud of my parents and am blessed to have them as examples.

– Joc

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People Ain’t Even Dating “No More”…..



My timelines and mini-feeds are flooded DAILY with posts and status from men/women questioning “if there are any good ________ out there.”

They are “tired of the same ole same ole”….”sick of bummy dudes cheating on them despite the fact that they give them everything”….”trying to figure out where all the ‘queens’ are…the list goes on and on (and on).

Though I’m young in years, I know that DATING like they did it in the ‘days of old’ is the key to knocking out most of these questions and frustrations.

Let’s look at how dating was a few decades ago…..

STEP 1 – You are friends and spend time together

STEP 2 – You express your interest and go on ‘dates’ to find out more about the other person. (if you find that they aren’t someone you’re interested in romantically you stop it right there and either stay JUST friends or nothing at all).

STEP 3- If things go well, you begin to date exclusively (meaning NO one else in the equation and no sexual intimacies)

STEP 4- Enter into a long term relationship which leads to marriage.

Not to say everything went perfectly and everyone played by the book, but for the most part this was the overall standard on how things rolled.

Looking at the ‘dating’ scene today, you could get any manner of situations….

STEP 1 – You see someone out or in the club you think is cute and exchange numbers or have sex

 STEP 2- You chill on the regular (aka have sexual relations) and eventually call yourself “talking”; meaning you are an item, but are free to do whatever you want with whomever because you are not in a CONFIRMED committed relationship.

STEP 3 – You grow used to the person and start living together or driving each others cars or having each other babies or putting major purchases in each other’s names despite the fact that you’re not confirmed as an exclusive couple

STEP 4- One or both of parties start to wonder “what are we”? and demand commitment, but when they get told “you know how I feel about you” still stay in the “situationship” and settle with life the way it is waiting for the day you get a commitment (sometimes one of the parties get fed up and actually leave the relationship but most times that takes years)

STEP 5 – Stay in a sexually physical relationship for more than 2 years awaiting the day you (A) feel  like you’re tired of playing around and are finally ready to settle down or (B) finally get the ring you’ve wanted forever.


Not saying successful relationships haven’t come from scenarios like this, but often times it’s like 1% that come out together in the end. This is also not to say that people dating the “old fashion way” don’t break up either — I’m calling attention to the point that it will help weed out a few bad seeds before you’re in too deep.

Here is what I would suggest doing if you want a meaningful and successful relationship (and yes, I am working on practicing this myself):

#1 When you meet a person you think you’re interested in, make it known that you’re interested by suggesting you go on a date or hang out. If you’re a woman who wants the guy to ask YOU, don’t give him a hard time and make him guess — let him know you’re interested in him. This could be something as simple as a smile. If you’re a smiley person…um you may want to try something else. haha

#2 Once it’s established that interests are sparked and you go on your first date and DO NOT INTRODUCE SEX!!!! This will totally cloud your better judgement I DON’T GIVE A FLYING FLIP WHAT ANYONE SAYS! Soul ties are real and you can be the ‘hardest dude’ or ‘baddest chick’ out here…you still have a heart and your feelings will get played with. Take time to get to know about the person you’re on a date with. Their interests, their background, what they currently do. If at the end of the date you’re feeling like this isn’t going to work. Suggest you continue hanging out as friends….other wise, just cut it off.

#3 If you find yourself going on multiple dates with ONE person in particular, and introduce kissing and touching, I think it’s safe to say that you are ready for an exclusive relationship. MEANING you should stop dating anyone else you have lined up. This is VERBALLY established. No ghost texting or wondering…it is understood by BOTH parties that you are not to date ANYONE ELSE. This will make things sticky, messy, and a lot of wires can get crossed. If you’re into one person in particular…BE into them. If you keep stringing 2 or 3 other folks along – what’s going to happen when you’re ready for marriage? You just gonna cut them off out of the blue? Are you going to cheat because you don’t know who you love? EXCLUSIVE denotes ONE!!! So do that!

#4 Eventually you find yourself exclusively dating someone for 6 months to 2 years…it’s time to start thinking about marriage. By this time you should be pretty familiar with the person’s family and their habits. Not to say you will know EVERYTHING about them, but you should know the important stuff. I still wouldn’t suggest living together — even IF it’s “gonna happen anyway”. This leaves the door WIDE open for sex and even though you’ve probably been dating each other for awhile, it still may cloud your judgement. Say you find out something terrible after a year and a half of dating. You’d be lying to yourself if you say that sex wouldn’t cloud your better judgement. Shoot, if it were me, I’d be weighing out the pros and cons of this thing; so I know you would be too! SEX can lead you to make decisions you otherwise wouldn’t. Not saying you have to be perfect, I’m just making the point that your relationship could be that much more exciting if you save everything until AFTER you’re married. It gives you something to work for…to look forward to.

If you’ve been living with the same person or in a relationship with the same person for over 2 years and you’re an adult…it’s time to think about marriage or get out. Though I know plenty of people who have ‘common law marriages’….I personally don’t agree with them. I still love the people, I just think that they rob you and your ‘special someone’ or the happiness and adventure that is marriage. If you’ve been living with someone for 8 or 9 years, have kids by them, share the same bed, and do everything else a married couple does — but STILL don’t get married….I just don’t understand, nor do I desire to. If you’re a woman who wants to get married and have been with the same guy for 15 years, he’s probably not going to marry you. There goes your marriage benefits and TECHNICALLY if he cheats on you, you can’t say too much because essentially you’re just dating.

I also don’t agree with getting married JUST because or just to have sex and get government privileges. That’s a slap in the face to the blessedness of marriage. It’s like you’re taking it as a joke. TAKE YOUR TIME…DO IT RIGHT….ok I’ll stop before I start singing the entire song.

But do you get me? Great!

– Joc



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Being Alone May Scare You But….

When I saw this on my friend’s Facebook page I HAD to repost it. For one thing, I’m up late working. On another note, I’ve lived this before — it’s the driving force in why I am a better woman today, a stronger woman at that! Because I went through the ringer,  and now know the importance of keeping God first (seriously, not a cliche) and being wise in your relationship decisions.

I’ll be very transparent here. Back in high school a guy I dated cheated on me. Plain and simple. I was a goody-goody and almost everything went over my head (though I thought I was on my Deliver Us From Eva trip. haha WRONG). But instead of getting out of the relationship, I stayed longer than I should (dumb high school mindset). As a result, that led to a few bad relationships shortly after — all the way up to college really. I was damaged and didn’t even know it. It didn’t click that the reason I was making bad decisions in guys was due to the fact that I wasn’t healed from the bad relationships long ago!

Psalm 147:3 ESV

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

The person I was leaving out of my relationships (even way back then) was God. I wasn’t strong in my relationship with Him and was ignorantly fixed on the assumption that I could heal myself — well I really didn’t think I needed healing in the first place! I self medicated myself by NOT addressing why I was choosing guys that weren’t good for me and all I was doing was making things worse for myself.

LESSON TO BE LEARNED: You may be thinking to yourself “I’ve heard enough of these stories to last my entire life”, but trust it is the truth! You should be single “on purpose” ….meaning don’t just wallow in your singleness, feel sorry for yourself, or want somebody JUST to have someone. Try delving into your career. Make friends. Go out. Casually date. Grow in your relationship with God — once you master that, your entire life will change! SERIOUSLY. You will be intentional about dating, weed out the bad ones, and make wise/smart choices in mates. Trust that it beats being emotionally and mentally damaged by a relationship.

– Joc

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Learn to Let Go of The Past

“The only reason it’s hard to “let go” is because we believe the lie that we “need” them. Stop believing that lie….Stop trying to saw ‘sawdust’. Once something is in your past, stop trying to re-open doors God has closed. Some places God is taking you will arrive alone, but not lonely. He is always with you.” – Quentin McCall

Most of you know that I am an avid follower of Quentin McCall. The way he ties in real life application with what the Bible says is uncanny — you can’t help but love it! I know he’s probably been through the storm because the depth and truth that comes from his ‘advice/posts’ hits right at the heart of whatever matter you’re going through relationship wise. If he’s just saying what sounds good….then shoot, he’s doing a good job of keeping up appearances! haha

Tonight he posted the above few quotes and it’s wild how that content ties into the post of CLOSURE that I made earlier today. (well look at God). If you’ve ever dealt with a relationship…saved or not….we’ve all experienced a time in where we just wanted to take a peek into our past to make sure we made the right decision or if that person had changed enough to give the relationship another try. COME ON! ADMIT IT! I’ll be the first to say I have before. That was like the story of my college years. You know that boo you had back in the day or the guy you dated freshman year but reconnected by the time graduation rolled around. YEP, been there done that. Deep down inside you know it’s a waste of time, but you’re single…they’re single…no use in being ‘lonely’ right? So why not.

Thinking on it, I wish I hadn’t. haha BUT hey, what are you gonna do?! — continue to do better, that’s what.

Through years of personal experience and maturation, I’ve come to realize that relationship wise, if it didn’t work 3 years ago, it’s not going to work now. There is always a reason why you breakup with someone in the first place. Very rarely does anything change. Now if it’s like 20 years later that you both meet up and you’re both single, I’ll give you a little rope on that. People actually DO have the ability to change (I feel) over a LARGE period of time. But if you’re talking 1-10 years then NAW…you can keep that relationship behind you boo.

It boggles my mind (now) when friends around my age get caught up in old ‘college routine’ and recycle girlfriends/boyfriends because they’re lonely or meet up and feel like there still may be something there.

If you are now an avid bible reader, regular church goer, stopped drinking, stopped doing drugs and all that jazz — why on God’s green earth would you think it would be worth it to hook back up with your ex (who still does the same stuff). NEGATIVE.

If a girl/guy cheated on you back in high school/college because they were “stupid & not ready to settle”, but miraculously were ready to try again like 5 months later….NEGATIVE run the other way quickly. While people CAN change virtually overnight, it usually involves some traumatic experience or an act of God. Either way, it’s best to stay by yourself and walk the other way.

So Quentin…I feel you on this one my dear! Keep giving the knowledge to the people!

– Joc

WANT TO CATCH UP on the past I made earlier today??  

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