Tag Archive | growth

When You’ve Come A Long Way

I sat in the Starbucks location 10 minutes from work using my early arrival as needed time to recoup from the day.  I was meeting an old high school friend and would need the short break to gather energy for the meeting.  Not because my time with her would not be enjoyable but simply because that is what introverts do: they gain energy during down time.  When she arrived I was flooded with friendship from her smile to her perky nature.  She made it known that she was outgoing, friendly and extroverted, all of the qualities most of my close friends have.

Over my standard café latte and her sweet treat (which turned out not to be sweet enough) we caught up on life.  She advised it had only been a year since our last convo but I’m pretty sure it was longer.  I need to look up the pictures on Facebook to confirm that though…  She mentioned not having friends past certain seasons and I can identify.  I don’t have too many I keep in contact with from before college.  Most of my close friends are from that time of academic and spiritual endeavors on Miami’s campus.  I shared I think that mostly has to do with me having a shared spiritual experience with those folks.  When you become born again it changes you and sometimes old relationships do not carry over after this change.  She too is a believer, like several others from back in the day.  Our connection is always easy and comfortable probably because of our shared faith.

After about an hour of deep conversation she said, “Wow Nicole look at you compared to your high school self!”  I believe she was inferring I had come a long way.  I was too afraid to get more feedback on that statement though I wanted to ask for her to elaborate.  I can’t even picture my high school self from an outsider’s perspective and how different I am now.  I only know the process I have gone through for that transformation to take place.  I assume she sees a more polished, mature version of myself.  It is truly the work of the Father to polish and polish and polish those rough places around me and cause me to shine.

He is still polishing…

We talked about the ex and I was tickled at how distant that time frame of dating seemed.  I thought back to how deeply my feelings were for that man back then.  I thought I would never get over that breakup.  But last night I sat in front of her, experiencing a greater level of wholeness I have never experienced before.  It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get this far.  It took a lot of faith walking and fearful courage.  But some how, some way, the prophecy I received long ago came to pass:

“You have come leaps and bounds” the prophet said.  I knew at the time I had not but that the word was for a future time.  To God His work in us is already finished so His view was that it had already happened.  In my time it would take another 10 years…


Somehow the 10 years came and went.  And then another year.  And another.  Now I am here, removed from heartbreak, still developing, still learning, and still walking by faith.  But now I have something I didn’t have back then.  I have a history with God.  I have a history of Him showing out for me.  Doing the impossible for me.  And creating a masterpiece out of a life that was at one time in shambles.

He is faithful.

Psalm 18:33

“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet [able to stand firmly and tread safely on paths of testing and trouble]; He sets me [securely] upon my high places.”

SHALOM

 

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Still Leaping

I stood in the parking lot of the apartment complex and flashbacks one after another clouded my vision. Could it really be that once upon a time I lived here? With him? If not for the memories, which I felt very unattached to, I would not believe that fact. But the memories were plenty and I even had a book I had written about the heartbreak from that relationship. So it must have really happened.

I remembered my grandmother dropping me off at “home” one day. We sat in the car talking. My once favorite person in the whole wide world had been replaced. I was in love. I’m sure it broke her heart to see me in such a state, living with a man unwed. Following the same path of so many before me. Following her own. I’m sure she was wracked with fear that I’d end up pregnant and drop out of school.

I should have ended up pregnant and dropped out of school.

I stood there and thought about our pet. The rabbit we owned that ended up dying. We both grieved heavily for that loss; he was like a child to us.

I thought about how far I had come and realized I was a teenager back then.  I’m in my 30s now.  A full grown woman. I have come leaps and bounds.

I’m still leaping.

Still overcoming. Still learning my identity and how to have victory in weak areas. Still learning about how much God loves me.

I know her prayers have been answered. The grandmother who interceded on my behalf that I would get out of that toxic relationship. I know He (God) did more in me than she could ever fathom.

It is a beautiful thing when you can reflect on a man who was at one point your whole world and not feel a tinge of loss.

The Father had mercy on me. He taught me true love. I’m still learning.

I’m still overcoming.


SHALOM