Tis the season for transition. For moving. For meeting new people. God is opening my heart. He is opening me like a flower that is blooming. The season is changing. There are lots of prophecies coming forth. Lots of confirming words. Lots of things to look forward to. I share my struggles with my sisters. With my roommate. With our cat. I’m going to miss him when I leave, but I’m grateful they will not be too far way.
After five years I’ll be saying goodbye to my landlords. The same ones who came to my 30th Zumba party and my first book release party and gave me a job when I was laid off. Such love. Such favor. Such family.
I’ll be saying hello to the woman who raised me. The woman who needs me in this hour. The tables have turned. I am honored to be there for her. I recognize the sacrifice that is shown on my part.
Sacrifice displays love.
There is a sacrifice of another sort in my belly. It has been there for quite a while. He has been there for quite a while. And even in the messy way I have responded to the sacrifice, He, like a loving Father moves towards and not away.
At His nudging, I practice opening my heart. I practice having conversations and being open and letting new people in. I do this because I realize the only way we can receive a gift is to open our hands to receive it. Open our hearts to receive it.
It is almost June. It is almost summer. The season for blooming is here…
Father give us grace and courage to be open. Give us grace to bloom.
In just 2 months I’ll be moving back in with my mom.Whew.To say that I am shocked by this prospect is an understatement.The shock is probably only slightly overshadowed by my pushing my mid 30s and life looking exactly the opposite of what I pictured.But I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.My roomie has the same shock and she is 6 years my junior.My besties have the same shock and we are all the same age.
This weekend I drove around the new neighborhood which is not too far from the old one.I talked to old friends I have reconnected with in this season.So much of the new resembles the old.It’s weird.
I am reminded of a revelation God gave me a few years ago after a big test.He said my life was like a helix.It wasn’t that I was walking in circles over and over the way I felt I was.Instead, I was moving forward in a circular motion.It seems living with my mom again is a part of that same pattern.No matter how hard I tried to make choices that would position me in a certain place at this point in my life (husband, 2.5 kids and dog), I still ended up here.Back to the beginning.
We went to church for Easter (mom and I).I know this is a new beginning for her and I’m blessed to be a part of it, I just wish it hadn’t cost me so much.
On Easter I was reminded of why it costs.It costs us because it cost Him.We are not above the teacher.We are not above our Master.If He sacrificed, we too shall sacrifice.
My roommate gave me a card on Easter which read, “Nicole, just as Christ died and resurrected, I look forward to seeing the resurrection in your life”.That is what I too am desiring.To see the resurrection from all the death.To see the fruit from all the pruning.To see if the wait was really worth it…
I’ve learned in this season I have a natural propensity to say “no”. And not even through any fault of my own. Simply genetics and the fall of mankind have influenced me in that way. Without me realizing it if someone asks me a “yes or no” question I will automatically want to lean towards the “no”. Add to that the many times I have desired harmful things and God has said “no” or “wait” or “not now”. Can you imagine how that mental wiring has shaped my view of the Father? Not in a good way I will tell you. Though I have known His love, fellowship and intimacy, I subconciously felt it was conditional. “Nicole, if you do this than I will do this”, is how I interpreted His “no”. And then of course there are certain scriptures that can be interpreted the same; that somehow we will lose His love if we do not obey. It is only in this season that that way of functioning finally took its toll on me. I realized something is wrong here. The way I am functioning does not line up with scripture. The Word says we now have PEACE with God. Why do I not have peace???
So I challenged my own view and went into a period of battle within myself. Turns out that view rooted in fear was not just a generational stronghold but one that webbed its way all the way to my African ancestors. And also of course all the way to the fall of mankind.
But in the midst of that battle and my own revelation of false ways of functioning, doors started opening. They started opening in my career and even in my dating life. Things were happening that I had desired for a long time.
God was saying “yes”.
Last night I met with a couple who hired me on the spot. I am officially now a consultant. I once again have multiple streams of income. God is grooming me for entrepreneurship and as uncomfortable as it is, it is clear this is the only way for me. I tried and tried to take the “normal” path. I looked at my peers and did not understand why I was not receiving the benefits of these degrees. Why was I consistently being humbled and feeling stuck? Finally there is movement and I can start to see the shape of what He has been forming.
Who He has been forming.
So even though it makes me nervous and I have to make an extra effort to do so, when asked the question, I answer “yes”.
“Yes” I will write the book. “Yes” I will be the consultant. “Yes” I will go.
These last few days I have been OVERWHELMED with people and their love. I know Christ is the One who gives good gifts and these people in my life are that good gift. In spite of my history of unhealthy relationships, drama and brokeness He flooded my life with love. My experience on this journey is such a testimony of His faithfulness. For some reason I believed a lie that I had anything to do with this faithfulness or His blessings, but no. He is faithful because He is faithful. That will never change and He doesn’t need a reason to be faithful. It is who He is.
2 nights before New Yrs I had a little gathering at my house. I served sweets and shared the slide show I made for 2015. The group that came were from various parts of my life and I was so touched they came to celebrate with me. Opening up my home was an act of faith and Im so glad I obeyed. We ended the gathering with powerful prayer and I know the Lord was pleased and heard us. A few scragglers stayed behind and we fellowshipped in my kitchen until well after midnight.
The next evening I kicked it with my girls and we brought in the New Year with old school 90s music on the dance floor. It was perfect. I just love when God gives you the desires of your heart😉.
Then my good friend came over the next night. We talked for 6 hours over a bottle of wine. We talked about the past, present and future. We talked about our desires and God’s faithfulness.
Just last night after a day of rest 2 more friends visited, one purchased 3 more of my books. I was so touched by the blessing of this unexpected ministry. To speak healing and hope to the brokenhearted is quite an honor when I myself have been so brokenhearted.
And I ended the evening with a last hurrah with the bestie from Florida. This woman whom I have known over 13 years. A woman who has loved me like a sister. I have been susceptible to the lies of the enemy regarding this friendship but am now healing and seeing truth. It is beautiful to see us coming into our own and manifesting true identity. Healthy boundaries and maturity go a long way. So does love… I know these blessings are a result of answered prayer. He is giving wholeness and abundant life. He is preparing me for the new season.
You wake up that morning like you always do. Get dressed like you always do. Make your breakfast, lunch and snacks for the day like you always do. Everything is normal. You even create a new hairstyle; send a text to friends for their approval and head out the door to make your way to work. Work. The place that has been both promise land and testing ground for 8 ½ years. Sure you know the company has been struggling. They have been laying people off for a while now. But b/c you have tried your best these last 3 years to make your exit with no such luck you hardly expect to be one of those people. Even when you get there and see your boss waiting for you on your way to your cubicle, which is out of the norm. It never crosses your mind. And why should it? You have finally found purpose in the cube. You have finally discovered your calling is more than this job position (again). You have finally become content (again). It is not until you follow your boss’ lead into the office and sit down next to the HR lady that it starts dawning on you. “I’m being laid off”.
It is still taking some getting used to. I am still processing. And it is not because this is a loss in my life or a traumatic event like it is for others. No. It is simply b/c I had finally embraced my cup. I had finally found grace and purpose in the stretching. After 3 years of crying out to the Lord I finally surrendered. I was in it for the long haul. I was committed. God was my refuge and my strength. And now I can clearly see, that was the work He was doing in me.
And my work is done.
In corporate you do not get to say goodbye. You do not even get to pack up your personal items. You hand over your badge and as nicely as they can they escort you out of the building like an outcast to a community you were formally apart of. A community you added value to, and in most cases gave decades of your life to. And just like that, it is over. You are driving home with your severance package laying on the passenger seat, talking to your best friend on the phone who went through a similar experience just a month prior and share that you haven’t just been laid off. You have been RELEASED. God Himself has released you. Because He is the Author and Finisher of your faith. He is your Commander in Chief. He is the One who all men go through when deciding the navigation of your career.
There are times while waiting it really seems like the waiting will go on forever. I look forward and the days stretch into months and the months stretch into years and there is no end. It is like the waiting is eternal. But it’s not. It never is. At some point in time He says, “You are done”.
Even when it’s not in the way I thought it would be, I am learning the natural hardly looks like the supernatural. Unemployment and layoffs, which typically are setbacks, actually are His promotion in my life. So while others are struggling with the change in season I rejoice.
Because I hear Him say, “God job my good and faithful servant! You have finished well!” And I respond, “Father, Your Word is true. Your grace was SOOO sufficient!”