Tag Archive | friendships

When Your Best Friend Gets Married

My best friend got engaged.  We knew it was coming but then again we didn’t.  We talked about the possibilities and played out the scenarios but nothing makes it real until it really happens.  Well it really happened.

And all of a sudden, memories of our shared singlehood flash across my minds’ eye.

Like that time we laid in bed giggling all night about her then boyfriend and the possibility of them getting married (they didn’t by the way).  Or the time we lay in bed on my trip to her beloved Haiti sharing the sorrows we had of walking out extended singleness. I prayed for her that night, feeling the weight of her longing and pain.  I had such an amazing time during my visit.  If only I would have known that would be the last one, where she would be–well–alone.

Or the time she turned one of those early 30’s numbers and I talked to her for 2 hours on the phone (because she was in another country and that’s all I could do) about how God was trustworthy, and extended singleness was hard, but He was still good.  Only a few years later would her season change.  But we didn’t know that at the time…

I never knew this woman would become so dear to me.  She entered my life when things were questionable and I didn’t think I needed any more friends.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I have needed her desperately especially in this season.  I have needed her to intercede for me and war when I couldn’t remember my own identity.  When I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the face staring back.  I needed her to call me each morning when I was recovering from one breakup or another.  I needed to hear her voice when I no longer could hear the voice of our Father, and I questioned His existence…

She was faithful.  Faithful to be with me regardless of my choices and decisions.  Faithful when I wasn’t sure if I was coming or going.  We walked out a difficult time, but our sisterhood added sweetness to it.

We are like minded.  We have similar values and a similar desire to manifest true wholeness.  We share a call to stand out and be set apart in this generation.  And for the first time since we met (a nice summer day in 2007 that we both remember) we are in different seasons.  Very different seasons.

God is purposeful.  And I believe each season is to prepare us for the next season.

This has been a season where He has not ministered to me directly by His Spirit.  Instead He has used people and circumstances to reveal Himself.  She is one of those people He has chosen over and over again to do so.  Her pureness of heart, vivacious appetite for life and fierce loyalty are character traits I admire and am not deserving of.

When your best friend gets married you have a host of emotions.  SO much change.  So little time.  The time you waited for has finally come, but when it comes, it comes suddenly.  It is a reminder that seasons do change.  And that we must cherish them while they are here for that very reason.

When your best friend gets married, you wish her the best because she is so worth the best.  You are reminded that as similar as you are, and as close as you have been, you are still two different people.  I have my path and she has hers.  And God willing, we will still walk together on this path of life.

Congratulations to a woman who has been more than a friend to me.  She has truly been a sister.

Always rooting for you Ji❤️.

Love,

Nicole

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Adjusting Expectations 


I’m in the midst of visiting longtime friends in a city I’ve been to so many times over the years, but it’s never really stood out to me in and of itself. Instead it’s been the people here–the women here– who have touched my soul in such a way that when I visit, they are all that matter. 


But on this particular visit the present collides with the past and as Hope and I sit in a church and listen to those old gospel songs I have flashbacks of our college choir that we warmly refer to as MUGS (Miami University Gospel Singers). I remember those early days when we sang and belted out our love for Jesus and I was on a high of the Holy Spirit.

We left that sanctuary of praise only to make a visit to the hospital. I watched her care and serve and do what I know would be difficult for me. I think of our dreams and hopes for a future that morphed into a present that wasn’t at all what we expected. I think, “So this was my life. To be with these women. To spend 15 years on a path of surrender with these women. To face hard things and difficult situations, but to face them together.”


My friends are amazing. Parents are ill though we are still young and life is fleeting. We make memories together. Some of these are painful, but others are joy, inspite of the pain.


I’m so grateful for their consistency and this gift of friendship. That as a 19 year old I developed covenant friendships that stayed with me even through my shortcomings and fallen nature.

My friends are worthy. They are go getters and dreamers and doers of those dreams. They are a multifaceted group of talent, love and hope. They are my cheerleaders and I am grateful to have that kind of support system in place when life is never what you expect it to be. When the naive hopefulness of the 20s gives way to the slow dawning realization of the 30s.

They are still there. And I know that is nothing short of the grace of Elohim.

SHALOM

The Light & Darkness

This season has been full of high highs and low lows.  Similar to Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities” I can see the best and worst. I can see both the light and the dark.  They somehow coexist.  The beauty is that Christ is the same, no matter how tumultuous life gets.  He peaks at me through the people who love me, through their desire to connect with me.  He hides behind the open doors I know only He has the power to unlock.  I glimpse Him but He does not bombard me with His heart and presence and power the way He has in the past.  The way I was so used to.  No, He is maturing me.  Have you ever had a season like that?  Where you are being matured but you don’t really want to be?  He is developing the weak things in me…

Hebrews 12:12

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees…

My roommate moved in last week!  She is such a blessing.  I know she is one of the many gifts the Father has given me in this season.  Her smile, her laugh, they are life.  It’s amazing how similar we are in temperament.  It’s amazing we met through this little blog.  God is an amazing connector!

I got to have dinner with an old friend.  She wanted to buy my book and actually bought 2.  She said she could have bought it a year ago but she needed it now.  God is using it in her healing.  I am blessed.  The next day I met a woman at a friend’s party.  She bought my book too.  God keeps selling them…

He is near, even when I can’t feel Him.  He protects me when my heart is in anguish.  When I’m sitting next to someone who was at one time the fabric of my life, my being, and yet we do not utter a word.  We are like two passersby, when once we were like Siamese twins.  I know the separation had to happen and I’m glad it did.  Still, some things in life are not easy to recover from.

I just received my manuscript back from my editor!  I began reviewing the changes last night, sitting on the couch with a cup of tea in my hand and my roomie not too far away.  I love this season.  I love Fall.  I look forward to seeing how the Father will manifest His will in this new year of Rosh Shoshanna…

 

I really like this song right now..

SHALOM

 

My People

Have you ever interacted with someone who just doesn’t see you? Your gifts, your talents, your beauty? No matter how hard you try they are blind to the greatness that is “you”.  I found myself in that position recently. And what made it worse (actually there were a lot of things that made it worse but I’ll address just this one thing) was that I kept seeing myself through their lense.  And because I saw myself through their lense I became a lesser version of myself.  Sigh.

This lesser version was insecure and needy and very unattractive. I was sincerely surprised at my own conduct and tried several times to pull it together and yet was unsuccessful. What is goin on with me? I thought. Why am I acting this way.

In hindsight I still have a lot of processing to do but the one revelation I do have is “not everyone will see you”. Not everyone will see you because they are not called to.  Christ walked the earth, God in the flesh, and there were so many who allowed God to walk right by them without even so much as a glance. What a missed opportunity for them! But they did not have eyes to see.

Those in my life who see me are “my people”.  They affirm, encourage and love unconditionally.  They do not define me by my flaws but by my position.  My position in Him.

Its ok if there are some who are not your people. There are plenty who are. And as we stay on the path and move forward we will meet them.  I have met one particular young lady through this here blog, and now in just one week she will be moving in with me! I never could have foresaw those events but God has great surprises on His path for us.

Those who are called to us, those who deserve the title of being “our people”, they have demonstrated His love and grace which in turn brings out our very best. It is a cycle when this happens, but a very good one.

Here’s to my people, new and old…


SHALOM

The Webs We Weave

Have you ever done something you regret? Like really regret? But even though you regret it in time you do it again. And again. And again…

Romans‬ ‭7:15, 19‬ 
“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do…

For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”

The thing is I tend to enjoy the thing I’m not supposed to do. And not even just because it has that forbidden enticing appeal to it, but part of the appeal is that it actually plays off of my natural desires. My natural desires that are not being met that I’ve had to practice dying to for 11 years.

But anytime I give in, and allow myself to get a “fix” or feel good, or ease the pain, you know what happens? Hurt happens. And more pain happens. And it never ends up the way I want it to.

And years go by and the same thing happens and I wonder when the ending of this cycle will be? How much work needs to be done in my life to where I will not be faced with this issue? I realize I cannot in and of myself do this work. I cannot muster up enough strength.

It must be that I have to glory in my weakness. It must be that I have to admit my predispositions and insecurities. We all have them you know–insecurities. So maybe your struggle isn’t like mine, but maybe you struggle with something.

Maybe there is a web that keeps being weaved through reoccurring struggles that happen this side of life. One thing that is for sure, the web is too entangled for me to untangle all by myself. I have my sisters there helping me. I have my spiritual community. I have my family: those who are here and the ones who have gone to glory.

And O I have a Father who called me before I was in my mother’s womb. He promised me He would work it all out for my good. He promised to be my strength where I am weak. And He promised to complete the work He started. And Oh what a work…

A masterpiece in the place of a web.

Grace and forgiveness in the place of sin and selfishness.

Here is a link to a podcast on generational curses if you’re interested.

In other news, I found out recently my book is available in the local Library! Proof He is not done with me yet😉.


SHALOM

Honoring Those Who Have Gone Before

This weekend one of my besties asked me along for a road trip.  I of course said, “yes!” And off we went to Indiana to visit her fam.  It has been go go go non stop full of extroverts and activities.  Definitely an energy remover for this introvert but still enjoyable 😉.


Seeing her with her fam made me acutely aware of my own desire for family.  That area of life has been a source of pain.  At one point one very important woman made up the wholeness of family for me but then that season ended–10 years ago to be exact.  She went to “be with the Lord” and though the teaching I’m under has helped me understand she still surrounds me along with the cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 11) most times that understanding isn’t enough.

Today is her birthday.  If she were here we would rejoice about all the blessings I have as a result of her sacrifices.  We would talk about the spiritual revelations we were having.  How God was moving and all that He had done.  This time I’d take her out for dinner because now I’m the adult and can do such things.  We would talk about my love life and the waiting in it.  She would tell me she was praying for the right person to come along and to trust God.  She would look at me lovingly, beaming with pride.

Even though I don’t have her here in the natural to do those things, I have her daughter.  Her daughter is just as proud if not more.  She made just as many sacrifices so that I could have better opportunities.  She loves me just as much.


These women have been the reason I am where I am today.  And what they could not do in and of themselves God did through them.  And when there was no man to help He became that man.  He became all that I needed.  He stepped in and filled the lack.

Now I am lacking nothing. Sometimes its easier to say those words than others but all the time they are still true.

Happy birthday to my dear grandmother who is cheering me on as I run this race of eternity. As I fight the good fight, carry my cross and head towards the finish line. She left such an example of how to win this race.

How could I possibly not win it?



SHALOM