Beautiful WILD Friendship – Part 3

Shalom, Shalom, my WILD, Deep Fried Sisters!

How’re y’all doing?

Trust you’re settling into all that God has lined up for you in this second half of the year?

It’s your sister-girl, Ethel, here today, with the third and final edition of our beautiful WILD Friendship Series.

Whoosh! The last two editions have been nothing short of beautiful and inspiring. And today’s Edition is nothing less… It’s a perfect crescendo to this amazing series on wholesome friendships.

So sisters, without further ado, let’s dive into today’s beautiful WILD friendship between sisters Favour Uche-Collins and Olinze Joan! Don’t forget to grab your journal and pen to take notes.

ETHEL: Shalom, Favour! Shalom, Joan! Kindly tell us about yourself: your name, location, and occupation. We’d love to know you better.

FAVOUR: My name is Uche-Collins Favour Aghogho. I live in Port Harcourt. I teach Mathematics and Further Mathematics in a secondary school. I am married with three children (two boys and one girl aged 11, 9 and 3 years old respectively). I am from Delta state, and I’m married to an Abia man.

Favour Uche-Collins

JOAN: I am Olinze Joan. I live in Warri, Delta State and I am a Civil servant.

Olinze Joan

ETHEL: Amazing! A teacher and a Civil servant. So great to glean from your beautiful friendship today, Sisters.
How would you define ”friendship” and how important is friendship to you?

FAVOUR: How I would define friendship… Friendship is the ship carrying friends. Lol. While friends may be two or more people who have agreed to be there for each other, agreeing to do life together irrespective of their differences, status, experiences, ages; them agreeing to allow one person to drive the ship at each point in time of their relationship is what I call FRIENDSHIP.
Irrespective of the class one finds herself, the other accepts her with love. When there are differences, one takes the bull by the horn and addresses it in love and understanding. Friendship can be godly or ungodly but I want to believe since we are in The WILD, we should be talking about a godly friendship. So, the friendship is held together with the word of God. That’s what we use as our compass, to lead the ship on the right course.
Importance of friendship to me: To me, for the almost four decades of my life here on earth, friendship has stood as a lifeline. I breathe and survive through it. It’s as important as my purpose here on earth because through it, I fulfill purpose.

JOAN: I want to define friendship as a divine gift from God to enable us live well on earth. And it is as important to me as life.

ETHEL: Godly Friendships – a true measure of what friendship is supposed to be all about, and I dare say, you both have that locked down 100%. Both of you separately identify and regard friendship as life, this indeed shows how much this friendship means to you. That’s amazing and powerful!
Could you share how you both became friends? What attracted you to each other, who initiated the friendship, and how long have you been friends?

FAVOUR: Wao, friendship with Joan Odidika who has now become Olinze has been a sweet sail! We actually met in the university in 2003 when we went for pre-science in Nsukka (Enugu state university). We just saw each other as fellow students but not really close friends, till we were through with the pre-science and went to the main campus at Enugu. Then, I started to fellowship in their fellowship in Anglican fellowship; Joan was a great figure to emulate – her smiles even as an usher then was consoling. She was one time our mama in the fellowship, yet we were not friends like that; we were just fellowship sisters. As time went on, she came to stay in the same hostel where I was staying. Before you know it, we became friends, closer than ever. We later became roommates, even after school, we decided to stay back in school, rented an apartment together and started working to assist ourselves. We had rough times when things were challenging, for instance, we ate food sometimes without meat, lol.

Joan is good. I remember I had times when I was so sick that I had to go back home. But Joan was there for me. I also remember the days we went out for early morning cry. Hmmm, souls surrendered their lives to Jesus. Joan has actually been a shoulder I can lean on. She was my prayer partner, an evangelism partner, a gist mate, a sister, infact, she was everything to me, she can make you laugh away your pains. Joan is someone who can stay with anyone and she knows how to handle them. I think we were brought together by God because I can’t really say she or I did the toasting. We just found ourselves close and she is really a confidant. You can be sure she will stand by you all the way.

This year makes it 18 years of our close friendship even though we have known each other for about 20 years, and we are still on this path till we get to heaven. I was her chief bridesmaid during her wedding. I was there at her traditional marriage; I traveled to her village and the brother that married her was one of our fellowship brothers and I eventually took her to my hometown (Delta) so that helped the relationship to continue because anytime I travel home, I must go there.

JOAN: I came to know Favour from her then roommate (in our university days) who happened to be our Choir Music Director. The first attraction was her intelligence and dedication to God. As a student then, she had a lot of Christian books which she arranged neatly in a corner in her little room.
Favour initiated the friendship. I knew her in 2004 but we became friends from 2005 (18 years now)

ETHEL: Whao! Divinely orchestrated friendship! 18 years of getting to know each other, becoming a bonafide sister by marriage and all round intentionality to grow this partnership that God blessed you both with. I have goosebumps just listening to Sis Favour give us the blow by blow details of how you met. Let me say again, Whao! This is so beautiful!
At the beginning of your friendship, were you open to trusting each other? How have you managed to build and maintain trust over time?

FAVOUR: In terms of trust, I think I have a problem there because as far as I hear that you are a child of God, I become so open to you. So, trusting her was never a problem for me. I believe God also orchestrated it, so, I just was open to her. For managing the relationship, we’ve learned to be true to ourselves, when we have any issues, we just trash it with wisdom and apply the word of God to it.

JOAN: My Favour was open and makes friends easily while I was the opposite of her. There were no feelings of trust (from my side) at the beginning but not long after, we became good friends (more than friends). We are true to ourselves.

ETHEL: To thy own self be true, because true intimacy can’t be built on ‘fakeness’. I love that there is no pretense, neither is there a showing off between you two. You have truly built a firebrand friendship, allowing God steward and drive the ship of this beautiful encounter.
Considering factors like time, distance, career, marriage and motherhood, how do you maintain your friendship and effectively communicate and meet each other’s needs? Please share practical steps.

FAVOUR: Infact distance, career, marriage and motherhood has really stood in our way but it has also never been a challenge, thank God for phone. We just call each other. Most Christmas time, when I travel home, I must spend days with her. I remember 2021 Christmas, we had a retreat together. It was so awesome! Also, there was a time when her job brought her to Port Harcourt, she spent the night in my house. Her husband knows me, likewise, my husband knows her, so the relationship has gone beyond us to our families. My mother knows her very well. When I lost my younger brother, her husband was the one who took me home because he was at PH then.

In terms of meeting needs, there has been times when I needed counsel, I would call her and she would spend time and talk to me with the word of God. For the past three years, I have been battling with breast cancer, she has been there for me. Some nights she would call me and we would pray together in tears; even with her own burden, she would ignore it and focus on mine. I had some issues maritally, I would call her and cry on her shoulders and she would collect the tears and console me, pamper me, give me assuring words.

Financially, she has been of help to me too. I am just talking about her side to me, I also do so but not compared to what she has and is still doing for me. I thank God for making me meet Joan. If there is another chance to choose a friend, I will still choose her. She’s a mother of four boys but she still creates time to advise me that’s a mother of three. Whenever there are any issues, we call each other to discuss before taking any decision.

1) We are both committed to our relationship.
2) We talk often (hardly do we go a whole week without talking to each other).
3) We pray together a lot. (Once one person has any issue or burden, we take it together to God in prayers).
4) Our secrets are exclusively between us.
5) We enjoy each other’s company.

ETHEL: Oh my! Sis Joan! Sis Favour! I’m completely in awe of how you both have been vulnerable with us your WILD Sisters so we can truly understand the depth of what you both have together. From your sharing, you’re teaching us in real time what true friendship is all about. A relationship that has withstood the test of time and is still growing and budding beautifully well. I’m completely humbled by you two. Phewww!!
Does your friendship allow for corrections and sharing hard truths? If so, when was the last time you had such a conversation, and how did you handle it? Have you experienced disagreements or hurt in your friendship? If yes, how did you resolve it?

FAVOUR: Yes, it allows for that. There was a time I had taken a decision to do something but when she heard it, she was like, “No Favour, don’t do it”. She advised me with the Word, I saw it was right, so I retrieved my initial plan.
We agree to disagree. We have not really had hurt; we are careful knowing fully well that we have emotions so we just ensure we respect each other’s boundaries. The main thing in this relationship is that we look out for each other. What can I do to help uplift my sister? That was what propelled me to introduce her to The WILD community because I knew it would help her like it had been helping me.

JOAN: Yes, we tell ourselves the truth. There are times we hurt each other (although it’s minimal, ‘cos we have understood ourselves better over time).
In times like that, we talk over it and resolve it.

ETHEL: Truth spoken with God’s love corrects rather than hurts. I’ll love to ask how boundaries are sustained with this level of friendship as that’s another sensitive area but we might just leave that for the 2.0 edition, hehe.
After reading the book, “Messy Beautiful Friendship,” what valuable lessons did you learn, and how have you applied them to improve your friendship?

FAVOUR: I learned a lot! It gave me room to know that some other people are out there who need my friendship, I need to give them that room.
It also made me see that so many people had been my friends all these while, and I didn’t recognize and give regards to it. So, I had to renew these friendships, and it has been good. It also made me intentional with my friendships, creating more room for my existing friendships to be nurtured more.

JOAN: I learnt to be more commited to our relationship cos before then, my Favour is the one that calls more often but now I have changed.

ETHEL: Messy Beautiful Friendship was a wholesome book, reminding us exactly why friendship is a gift from God and how we can give and receive with grace, gratitude and Joy.

Now, to our fun, trivia questions,

ETHEL: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent, how much fun (goofiness) do you have with your friend? In other words, how much lighter do you feel after spending time together?

FAVOUR: I will go with 10, because actually in the true sense, it is above 10. I feel so light, I feel so fulfilled and ease of burdens whenever I talk to her or see her. Like I said, she is really a shoulder you can lean on.

JOAN: More than 10!️

ETHEL: Whoosh! I loveet! The scale got nothing on your friendship. “Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family.” Proverbs 18:24, CEV. I have to say you both have found gold in each other.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent, how would you rate yourself as a friendly person, and how has your friendship ability evolved over the years?

FAVOUR: I will take 10, and I am actually friendly. One thing I know is that I am a sanguine 90% and that being friendly makes me happy. The Holy Spirit over time has made me know that the more friendly I become, the more of my assignments I accomplish. Being friendly makes me feel fulfilled.

It has actually evolved a lot over the years, especially, being in the WILD community has made me skyrocket it to a greater height. Seeing Captain WILD Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo’s way of friendship has added a push for me to go the extra mile and also, seeing other sisters longing to be your friend, irrespective of your status or experience or level in life and the trust they have in you, has made me more open.

JOAN: 8 (work in progress).

ETHEL: The award goes to both of you! And 8 isn’t a work in progress, Sis. It’s above pass mark with ribbons attached to it.
What three words best describe what you are most grateful for in your friendship? Also, share one special thing you love doing the most with each other.

FAVOUR: I’m most grateful for the following in our friendship:
Openness (Trust)
Yahweh’s presence
Whenever we are discussing God’s word and in Abba’s presence, Joan is a prophetess, and you will see God literally speaking through her. In fact, I will say she is an Ephod. If you understand, you understand, lol. I enjoy the way Abba speaks through her, dissecting the word of God.

JOAN: I’m grateful that we do this Jesus thing together.
The most special thing we love doing together is praying and encouraging one another.

ETHEL: Whoa! What a way to honour your friend and the gift bestowed on her! Allowing and giving room for growing a friendship borne of God’s love and will for both of you.
Let’s test your knowledge about your friend! What is her favourite food and colour? Which social media app does she use the most? What’s her favourite bible verse?

FAVOUR: Ha, it’s well. This is a part of me that God will help me, I forget some things alot, especially things that I don’t see as important.
Let me try… I know she doesn’t really have a best food, she eats anything she sees but let me take rice and stew for records sake.
For colour… well, green.
App? WhatsApp .
Bible scripture? She has so many based on the season, so the one I might give might not be the one she has for the current season but let me try.
Matthew 11:28

JOAN: I don’t know her favorite color but I know she likes wearing bright colors. Rice is her favorite food. My favorite uses a lot of social media, but I think in recent times, she use WhatsApp the most.

ETHEL: Drumrolllll, as the judge, let’s see what our final answers are:

FAVOUR: For me, I don’t really have a best food because of my health, so I eat everything that can help my health; I can go with fried rice, chicken, and salad.
For color, I don’t have one but I can go with purple and white and blue and pink, hehe.
Scriptures? I don’t really have one. It all depends on my state. Presently, all scriptures on healing are my favorites. For example, Exodus 15:26; 23:25, Judges 6:23, etc.

JOAN: I don’t really have a favourite food, colour and social media but I use WhatsApp more than others.
Bible verse: Philippians 4:13

ETHEL: Hahahaha. Sisters, I hereby declare that you both won with this trivia session just because you’ve got the major parts locked in and sealed off.

Oh my goodness! What an interview! I almost didn’t want this to end. The intensity and depth you both dug into to bring this to life so we can truly understand and revel in the beauty of Godly friendships is beyond and above. So, on behalf of The WILD sisters and other readers, I say: thank you so much sisters Favour and Joan. May your friendship continue to blossom and bear beautiful fruits.

There you have it! Don’t you agree with me that it was indeed a beautiful interview with a lot of heartfelt moments. Sisters, you too can have beautiful friendships if you are ready to put in the work that it takes and most importantly, base it on the foundation of God. This is your moment and your time to take a bold step – walk up to that person, toast that female friend – ‘Godly toasting’ and shoot your shot .
Take the step my dear sisters and yours might just be the next beautiful friendship we’ll be reading about.

Till I come your way again, please, don’t forget to leave us a comment in the comments section.

Shalom, Shalom!
Ethel ‘Thelz’ Apollo
For the WILD Editorial Team

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *