Thursday morning while driving to work I thought about the many times I have laid down my life in the area of relationships. The many times I said “no” because Christ said “no”. I had a speaking engagement that night where I would share my story about how I was so badly hurt by a break up that I would not have made it through if Christ had not manifested His power and love. And though I appreciate that manifestation, I had no idea the level of surrender and sacrifice that would be on the other side of that event.
It is now nearly 12 years later since I first decided to surrender my most prized possession. And in that time frame I can honestly say I have been immensely blessed. But that morning in the car all I felt was the pain from the surrender and it seemed never ending. Then all of a sudden I was in tears while driving and I heard my own voice crying out to a God I haven’t felt in over a year. I cried out to Him in that familiar way I used to when I did feel Him and I knew He was near.
“Where is the reward?!” I asked. I screamed. You see all I saw was the relentless pruning and dying to self and sacrifice. The days that stretched out ahead mirrored the ones that were behind and I was leaning on my coping mechanisms to “make it”. But as soon as I cried out the answer came: “Fruit must come after the pruning”. It wasn’t the manifestation of His presence and voice that I had experienced for most of my spiritual journey but it was a knowing. “It is a natural law”, He said. And I knew that He was showing me that He orchestrated the times and seasons in such a way that when there is pruning there must be fruit. As the poet Lauren Hill said, “After winter must come spring”.
With this knowledge I suddenly knew that my mindset had been incorrect. In attempting to “endure” I was missing a very important truth: God would bring the reward after the cost had been paid. That same day I listened to a minister’s sermon who confirmed what I was hearing. “God loves to reward His children for making the right choice” He said. Instantly I was reminded of a key point in my life where I had chosen to yield and obey. My pastor at the time said that God was going to reward my obedience in my career. Within weeks that word came to pass. I was surprised that God would give me a reward for doing what I was supposed to do. But He did and I was overwhelmed with His blessings.
Then on Sunday at fellowship the prophetic flowed sweetly in a way it hadn’t in a while. I knew as I saw the members coming in that He was going to speak that way through one particular woman. And speak He did. “Nicole, God has seen your faithfulness. He has seen the many times you wanted to leave. He has seen the sacrifices and the obedience. He is going to reward you this day.” I was in awe as the words flowed over me. SO many words of confirmation. Things I had spoken out loud myself. Things I had just shared with a friend that morning. Revelation and understanding in such a dry season. I was encouraged to say the least.
As if that were not enough the very next day I listened to my favorite minister who has spoken into my life unknowingly the past few years. “We are entering a season of reward, “ he said. “God is distributing gifts through his angels to the faithful”. I was elated. And when I looked at the date of the message, it was from the day before. That Sunday, the same day I had received that word at fellowship. God had given me this word 3 times in 1 week. And the way He went about it meant the most to me because first He spoke it to my spirit. In a season I have felt He has not been speaking, this showed me that He has been and that I do hear Him. “He is fine tuning your hearing” the woman at fellowship said and I knew that that is why this last year has been so difficult because He is speaking in the still small voice.
I want to extend this word to you. If you have been waiting and faithful and sacrificing. If you have given your all and then given your all again and then given your all again. If you have felt gutted out and emptied and depleted for the sake of the Christ and His kingdom. I want to let you know that He sees you.
He rewards those who diligently seek Him.
Prepare to receive your reward.
John 15:2 NKJV
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
Galatians 6:9 NKJV
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
If you’d like to check out some tips on being single on V day check out this video!
To hear more about the reward click here!
And here’s a pic of how I spent this weekend😊