This weekend has been full as they normally are. I met with my brothers who I share tender memories with of hitting the streets with the gospel when we were young and full of zeal. The only female surrounded by guys, I was just as bold and fearless. Those were fond days with night long fellowship, bible studies and witnessing. Now 15 years later (where does the time go?) we rivaled our times of fellowship, choosing to leave after 5 hours of conversation.
Some things never change.
It is an answered prayer that I have prayed for godly men to be once again on the scene. There was a season (a very long season) where I had to let them all go. I had to detox.
Some of the most powerful spiritual fasts I have been on have indeed been from men.
I struggled like a feen needing a fix, but Jesus strengthened me through the withdrawals. Somehow, some way, He kept me from (another) toxic relationship that would destroy my self esteem and thwart my purpose.
I asked my brothers, “How have I changed these 15 years?” and they responded, “You love God more”. I was shocked. How could I love Him more when I feel so far away from Him? When I no longer have that zeal? Those exciting, “Yes Lord’s!” that I kept giving in my 20s. And even early 30s. How could that be? It wasn’t until the next day when I pondered more on their response that I heard God’s answer: “You have demonstrated greater sacrifice now than you did as a new believer. True love is sacrifice“.
True love is sacrifice. We see that on the cross. Christ demonstrated His love for us by submitting Himself to horrible torture and unimaginable pain.
I have not resisted unto bloodshed.
But I have given my all. Over and over again. And He has rewarded me diligently.
There is a woman in scripture who only had 2 mites. It wasn’t a lot in her day. It didn’t compare to the big givers in her local synagogue but her giving astounded Christ because she had given her all.
I spoke with a dear friend on the phone yesterday. We talked for 3 hours. We began a friendship—a sisterhood, at the age of 14 not having any idea we would have more than a friendship; we would have a covenant. Christ did revolutionary things in our lives so even when we were not in contact we were still transforming into two souls who would shake the kingdom.
She said “Nicole, you’re an overcomer”. I needed those words. I needed to remember all that I had overcome. The fact that I am going back to the beginning, giving up my independence, facing memories that once threatened to be the death of me has stretched me further than I ever wanted to be stretched.
“Only an overcomer could go back”, she said. She’s right. I now have authority in what I overcame. I now have authority in that territory, in those relationships, in my family.
It has been a rocky road. This has been a rocky season.
But the transformation is magnificent.
And the manifestation of my transformation is still being revealed.
After my morning run…