Tag Archive | purpose

Thank You Tiffany

girl getting nails done

I’ve been pretty vocal about my feelings in this season of “recovery”.  I know the Father sees it as recovery though for me it has just felt sad.  Lots of negative emotions have been my experience (loneliness, broken heartedness, anxiety) and that was precisely why I ran as hard as I could away from the pain, for fear it would overtake me.

Thankfully, it hasn’t.

Thankfully I met Tiffany.

Yesterday I was living my life in a very “normal” way, and while I felt a little lighter than I had in a while, I still had no anticipation that God was ordering my steps in any particular way.  I only knew that I really needed my nails done.  Spring is here and summer quickly approaching and a girl needs to make sure she is looking her best since she is seen even more in these seasons💁🏾‍♀️😏. So I headed to the mall and chose a nail salon I’ve never attended.  At first I wasn’t even going to stay because there was a wait and I have never liked to wait (as God is very familiar with, and maybe you are too if you’ve read this blog for any significance of a time) but then I figured, “what’s 30 minutes?”

When you’ve waited years for something, 30 minutes is truly a drop in the bucket.

So finally it was my turn and I was really excited about the particular nail polish I had chosen (it is really the little things these days) and though the nail tech doing my nails was great at her craft, she wasn’t particularly conversational and I was actually uncharacteristically in the mood for a good conversation with a perfect stranger (you introverts out there know what an unusual occurrence that is).  And so when she shared she wouldn’t be able to do my pedicure because she was clocking out soon I wasn’t too disappointed.  I then followed a young woman to the pedicure station and received a really encouraging email regarding my new business (will share more on that at a later date) and was therefore consumed with following up on this new opportunity while the woman did my pedicure.  Now I was the silent one.  She made conversation and I politely responded but I was clearly distracted.  So it wasn’t until she moved me to the manicure station and polished my nails (because the previous nail tech wasn’t able to) that we engaged more.  I noticed how meticulous she was with her work and commented as such.  She responded and shared she is an artist, and that in fact she is also a writer and a poet.  I encouraged her in sharing her gifts and when she said she wanted to write books that told people’s stories to help encourage others in similar circumstances, well, I knew I had to share my own testimony of doing the same.  We engaged in a beautiful conversation about difficult seasons, as she too was in a recovery season, and I gave her some resources that have helped me as well as those I have written.  It touched my heart so much when she looked up to the ceiling and said, “OK, God, I hear you!”  Wow.  Look at God. Using me in an unlikely place at an unlikely time to encourage one of His own while I am still healing.  Still recovering.

He does great things.

One of my encouragements to this woman (who told me her name was Tiffany) was to ask God, “What good can come from this season?”  He works all things for the good so how can good come from such trauma and loss?  She nodded her head in agreement taking in every word, even as sadness laced her eyes.  I knew that sadness.  I had it myself.  But now I was feeling something new in the midst of it.  Something I hadn’t felt in a while.

I felt hope.

Hope for the future.  Speaking with Tiffany reminded me of purpose and it let me know (as I’m sure the Father intended) that He is using even my pain to help others.  See, I could not have related to Tiffany before this season.  I would have sympathized because I am an intercessor and my heart is sensitive to other’s pain naturally, but I would not have known for myself what devastation felt like.  At least, not the kind of devastation she was dealing with.  When one hard thing after another keeps happening and it gets hard to believe that good things can happen.

I left the mall yesterday smiling.  It was the first time I had smiled and felt happy without any pain in so long.

As I walked to my car, I couldn’t stop smiling.

I am so encouraged by this experience and others that have happened the last few days.  It has been an amazing week and it is only halfway through💕.

But its not even just the events themselves that have encouraged me, its the fact that I can feel joy as a response to them.

Joy in the midst of darkness.

Joy in the midst of pain.

Truly He is with us.

Here is the finished product of Tiffany’s handwork:

Thank you Tiffany.

SHALOM

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A Company of Poets


I remember last year I was invited to an open mic night by a friend.  When I arrived I was asked if I was performing.  I’m sure I looked like a poet, with my retro hair and high waist pants (I love vintage style) but I let the woman down easy. “Nope,” I said with conviction,  “I’m not a poet!”  I made my entrance and met my friends.  After a few acts in the show I realized that much of the content people were sharing was anything but truth and light.  I grieved for my generation, praying for the Father to send someone up there with truth!  That’s when I knew.  It was me.

“What’s in your hand?” He said to my heart and I was reminded of Moses.  Well all I had was my first book on my kindle app.  My phone’s battery had been dying at the time and I didn’t even think the phone would last long enough for me to read from the first chapter.  But my friend gave me a charger and I courageously took the stage.  I read and felt the anointing and knew that though on the surface I was sharing about overcoming heartbreaking, in the Spirit I was releasing light, truth and hope.

I shared that experience with my (very prophetic) fellowship and one woman wrote on a pad, “Nicole, the poet”.  We talked about becoming all things to all men.  I tucked that little nugget in the back of my mind not thinking anything of it.

Fast forward about 6 months and I find myself signed up for a poetry workshop, writing short stories with poets in them and receiving a loud round of applause from experienced poets who heard my first poem.  I was shocked to find that my writing was not just confined to non fiction, but apparently…I was a poet.

I had my first poetry slam this weekend and shared the pieces He had given me.  Poetry has been a great way to express deep pain as well as deep desires.  Writing has been a vehicle to reveal the hidden things in my heart.  Funny thing is all of my short stories have manifested in multiple ways.  I actually keep meeting people in real life who have the same name and descriptions as my characters!  It’s been cool to see the Father confirm His hand in my writing in this way.


I want to encourage you not to limit yourself.  Don’t think because you haven’t done something yet or walked in something it is not meant to be.  Be open to how the Father wants to use you, your gifts, and all that He has put in you.

He is the Maker.  You are the clay.  And your story is still being revealed…

SHALOM

 

Soulmates & Singleness


Last night I had a good conversation with a dear friend.  We talked about one of our most frequented topics: singleness.  We reminisced about the times spent walking out this path we never thought we’d face and how much we’ve grown since those early days.  Where had the time gone?  We wondered.  I remembered an old video on black women finding love after 40 and some who never “found love” at all.  My friend had also watched that video way back when and shared her sentiments on it.  “It’s depressing” she said.  I can see why she would feel that way though I don’t remember having that perspective as a 20- something watching it.  I only remember thinking, “That won’t be me!”  Even if I didn’t verbally say those words, I feel that message was ingrained deeply in my heart.  You see at that time in my spiritual walk I didn’t understand that God could (and would) use time to work out some stuff that would hinder purpose and identity from being manifested through me.  I certainly didn’t see the stuff I needed working out at that point so of course I didn’t think He would need to do too much work on me.  Ah, to be young and naïve again😆.  My timeline was that of the culture’s timeline and even now I struggle against that mindset.  But what I have learned in the time that has occurred between then and now is this: Father knows best.  I now understand that when God says, “no” it is in my best interest whereas back then I only saw one side of the coin (when God said “no” He was just being mean).  So watching that video back then I interpreted it through that lens.  The one-sided coin lens.

Since I’m a little older now and am actually closer to the age of the women who were interviewed, I decided to re-watch it through these new-more mature lenses.  When I did, I felt grieved for the women who wanted love and for one reason or another did not find it.  I did relate to how they cultivated a full joyful life outside of a relationship.  And I did understand their desire to please God in a life of celibacy that they never envisioned in their future.  But there was one subtle question my heart was asking as the statistics of single, black-educated women rolled on the screen. How healthy are these women?  I wondered.  You see in the last few years I’ve had a lot of revelations as to why I needed singleness and everyone of them had to do with the fact that I myself was very unhealthy.  I wouldn’t have known a healthy relationship if it hit me in the face.  And I’m sure there were good men around me who avoided me like the plague because of my red flags.  Thankfully I had the Holy Spirit who guided me and pruned me and created something a little better than what existed before.  So I watched half of the video and felt their pain and empathized with their cup that I myself am also drinking from, but I also know that we can be limited in our understanding of God’s ways…

Statistics are statistics and I can’t say that I am exempt from them.  Maybe some of the reason I am single is because black men are incarcerated and gay and not educated.  Maybe I am affected by these facts.  But my experience trumps statistics.  And my experience is that I am chosen and God has been very intentional with me to deliver me and heal me and restore me (He is such a good Dad).  He has been very intentional with me to set me apart, teach me and grow me.

I don’t know my future, but I do know my past.  He is my past.  He is Father and Maker and Friend.  And most importantly He is trustworthy.

Job 13:15 (KJV)

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him…

I hate that we are called to very difficult things.  That sometimes we don’t have the answers this side of heaven.

But sometimes we do have the answers.

I have found many answers hidden within the crevices of my heart (Ephesians 3:11).  And often, almost too many times, He has confirmed those answers through dreams and prophecy.  I have lived my life this way for the last 15 years, and I am encouraged by the Spirit of the Lord within my heart that no matter what the statistics say, no matter what another person’s story is or perspective is, I need to stay true to what I know inside.

He has intentionally set me apart for such a time as this and for my own good.  And He will give me the desires of my heart as I have first delighted in Him.

SHALOM

Jesus Started With Twelve


Last night I had my second speaking engagement and it went so well!  The whole process of me receiving this opportunity was so unexpected that I can’t help but see God’s hand in it.  While I was unemployed last year I worked filing individual tax returns during the tax season.  One day a client came in to sign off on his paperwork.  He was not my client but my coworker’s client, however because my coworker was unavailable I handled the sign off.  Although this should have been a simple task, things did not run so smoothly.  There were a few errors that needed fixing and I had to speak with management to correct them.  This caused a few trips to the back room, getting on the phone with management and working feverishly to fix the issue.  I was so worried the client would think I was the cause of the error and that I was unprofessional.  Instead he was laid back and very pleasant.  He made small talk and asked me what I did professionally in the off season.  Well, since I was unemployed I didn’t want to mention that aspect of my life so instead I said off handedly, “Oh, I’m a local author”, to which his eyes lit up!  Turns out he was a higher up at a local library and they featured local authors in the library!  He asked for my book but I had just sold out at my first speaking engagement (thank You Lord).  Instead I took his card and agreed to contact his assistant.  Fast forward one year later and I found myself walking into a library that has my picture in the lobby on an easel along with 3 other stellar individuals, a shelf with a row of my book so that readers could “check it out” and a podium and mic set up on stage.  Oh yea and a parking spot that said “Reserved for speaker”.  “Wow!” I thought.  “Where is God taking us?!”  (I was referring to both myself and my mom who was faithfully by my side.)  Mom had mentioned she was praying for the event and hoped for a large crowd.  While we definitely had a good group, it was not the large crowd she desired.  I know to her and others there were just a few individuals present but to my eyes the room was full.  It was full of His glory, His purpose and maybe even a few angels.


Last night I met a guest who shared some personal challenges he was having in this season.  I knew that even if no one else showed up, I was there for him.  The evening was such a blessing as I got to share my testimony of the pain I faced and how God met me in that pain.  I then shared on what I’ve been learning in becoming a healthy single and looking for a healthy dating relationship.  I was so encouraged and inspired by this open door that I sailed home that night on a cloud and woke up this morning with a smile😊.


4 years ago I started this little blog not knowing it would eventually lead to me becoming a published author.  Now a business is developing and income is being received.  Speaking engagements are being booked and skype calls are being made and I am just trying to keep up.  It truly is exceedingly abundantly more than I could have thought of.  So even if there are just a few present, those few matter to God.  I firmly believe that if we are faithful over a few He will make us rulers over much.  He will give the increase.  All we have to do is be faithful and keep moving forward.  Even Christ Himself practiced this protocol.  Because He was faithful with just 12 the gospel has now spread to most of the world over thousands of years.

And He only lived until the age of 33.

Imagine what He could do through you in your lifetime!

SHALOM

Being Asked the Question

“So are you seeing anyone?”, she asks as we sit across from one another in her marvolously decorated dining room and finish up supper. When I walked in I was instantly impressed and a little taken aback by the amazing interior design work that graced each space. She then let on that she herself was an interior designer (amongst many things) and her home was her own expression of that gift.

“No I’m not. And actually God has been doing such a work in me these 2 years in that very area”, I respond. I proceed to tell her about my last relationship. All the red flags I ignored and how I was willing to settle (hell bent on settling actually because that was where I was at).  I talked about God’s lack of peace, Him calling me to a fast that helped me let it go and the immense revelation He flooded me with.  Never before had I received such revelation.  She interjected here and there with her own insights from her own story. An older woman in the faith, a mother of 3, she had been once divorced and now re-married.  “You should always have peace when it’s God”, she said, and I agreed.  

She knew me when.  When I was dealing with my first heartbreak. When I was a 22 year old mess, lacking identity and purpose and value. She is a witness to the work He has done.

And she smiles at that work.

I spent a good while sharing my story. The same story I will share in my upcoming book (which I hope to be released this fall). I surprise myself at the details I’m giving as I had no idea we would spend so much time talking about me. I wanted to hear about her–after all, she was the one married! And we did talk about her, but there is power in my own story.  There is glory He gets when I share on His Word being manifested in my life.  So I shared.

And I keep sharing.  The very next day I’m asked the same question (although worded slightly different) by a very unassuming individual. He is someone I’ve only spoken to occassionally and would have no obligation to explain my love life to. But I explain it because it gave me opportunity to share the gospel. I simply cannot explain my single status without explaining the story of Christ–they are intertwined.  There is no natural reason why I am single.  It is simply God’s clear intention for me to be matched with a certain individual of whom I have yet to meet.

I talked to my associate for 2 hours and we were both surprised at the depth of the conversation. It is rare that one goes deep with an associate.  I guess we are no longer associates…

I can think of 2 other occassions within the last week where I have been asked about my singleness.  And each time the response emanating from my lips is laced with wisdom and eternal truth.  It is the truth of the Holy Spirit.  It is wisdom one only gets from walking with Elohim.

Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

When we walk with the Source of life He leads us on the path of life.  That path is tailor made for us and compliments our gifts, talents, purpose and calling.  We have freedom of choice, but when we choose Him, we benefit by becoming who He originally designed us to be.

I can see now singleness looks good on me. Not because of singleness per se, but because it represents wholeness. It represents an alotted time for me to heal and learn my true identity.

I am still learning.  But I can say that now when I’m asked the question, I don’t dread the answer so much.  Especially when it gives God glory.

I’m getting comfortable in my own skin and singleness has helped me to do that.

Some highlights from this season…

hangin with the bestie!

me & my god daughter

my new mentee!!

SHALOM!

Walking in Purpose

Last week I was so honored to be a vendor at a major poetry event. Janette ikz, Ezekiel, Jackie and Preston graced the stage with their presence and rocked the mic as they are so well known to do. Their style of gritty transparency and truth and God’s unconditional love is what makes their lyrics so powerful. Not only did I get to see their performance but my vendor status allowed me access to a time of Q&A with the artists as well as a pic with them on stage.    

They took pics with every single VIP audience member. I was so blessed b/c I had no clue that this was all included in their performance. If not for my friend hosting the event I would not have even thought about selling my book there, let alone paying extra for a VIP ticket. Yet it was so worth the extra funds. I really felt VIP sitting in just the 2nd row, and getting to ask the poets my question about their ministry. It was definitely a sacrifice as I had to leave work an hour early, drive 45 minutes across town and stay an hour after the show to sell books after a 3 hour performance. But again, it was so worth it.   

Imagine my elation when one of my fellow blog readers was also at the event and stopped by my table to say hello! I was so blessed and am looking forward to connecting more with her. I knew that God had called me to this event but had no idea how significant it would be. I sold a few books, was poured into spiritually, encouraged in my faith and was able to encourage others in theirs. I just love the manifest presence and refreshing of the Lord. I had received a message just the night before. An opportunity to be distracted and detour from this path of faith but in His grace (and encouragement from my support group) I stayed focus. I ended the evening in awe, winding down with tea and looking at pics from the evening. I texted back and forth with friends about the night and was so comforted by the Father’s love and devotion. There is no feeling like having purpose and finally, I am seeing purpose in this season. It did not look at all the way I thought it would. I wanted it to look in accordance with my culture’s perspective and similar to that of my peers. But I am unique and God is dealing with me uniquely. Finally I see. There is purpose. And I am awakening to it. And walking in it.  

SHALOM