Tag Archive | spiritual warfare

Like Father, Like Daughter

Being an only child has its pluses and minuses. Plus: You learn to play on your own. Minus: You usually hate to share. Plus: You usually have your physical needs met. Minus: You can be (maybe a little 🤣) spoiled/self centered. Plus: You have a strong sense of self. Minus: You can be stubborn/bossy. (And some of these characteristics may not describe a typical only child, instead they may just be describing me LOL).

I was talking to a friend recently about growing up an only child and not having that experience of sitting at the dinner table together to share a meal with a family. Growing up in a single parent home my mother was more concerned about me having food on the table over us eating it together. Many evenings she was working when in fact I ate. My friend felt bad for me but even when I myself started feeling bad I was quickly reminded of how she and I shared all of our meals together some 4 months ago when the shut down hit.

Me and Dee❤️

And so in that case I could see God giving me that experience of eating with my sister. Similarly I found myself having another redeeming familial experience yesterday when visiting my dad for the Fourth of July weekend. (Side note, there are many in the black community who are not celebrating the fourth and I totally get it. Why should we celebrate the Independence of a nation that enslaved us? And so while we did gather during this holiday my heart personally is not to be affiliated with the “liberty” of slave owners.) For the first time in my whole life I partook in a holiday celebration with my father. This was a huge deal and I had to send out for backup prayer requests to my trusted intercessors who, thankfully, reminded me that I was not alone and that they were with me.

I made the trip physically on my own, trusting God all the way. I knew He was ordering my steps and that even though there had been so much warfare against my relationship with my father much of my life, the Father’s heart was that it be healed and restored.

I went and stood with these people who look like me: dark brown skin and musical. They sang for hours doing karaoke and relived the time when my father was a star in an all male group. He actually went to California to make it big. They had a cd recorded, of which I have the digital copy. You can find it on iTunes 😁. It was heartwarming to see my relatives gathered at the back porch as if it were a stage and watch my father and his old group members perform. I knew God was giving me the desire of my heart.

So many were happy to see me and over and over I heard about how much I look like my dad. I wrestled with my emotions and am still processing but it is not missed by me that the Father is healing.

Sometimes we miss things in our childhood. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. And sometimes God gives us those things later in life.

I never grew up in a household of people who looked like me. My love of music was shared for sure but they were not performers. In my youth I had loved performing and seeing my father’s relatives do so showed me where I got it from. DNA is a powerful thing. We can end up just like the people we were conceived from even when we are not raised by them.

In this season I long. I long for so many things. The thing I have longed for the most and for the longest time is to have a family of my own. The Father has given me His family and that has been a blessing but it has never replaced the longing to have my own. I think that Mary would agree, she still missed Jesus, even after He gave her John.

“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!””
‭‭John‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

How could she not? He came from her own womb.

But the love and belonging that my blood family has in their heart for me is evident. Even as I struggle with the lost years, I am in awww of the gained days. Being around people who are “mine” is a dream. And there are so many dreams God has made come true.

He is faithful.

Like father, like daughter ❤️

In other news stay tuned for a release of a new book I’m working on! I am so excited about this book project and what God wants to do through it! This book has offered me an opportunity to express both my spirituality and black culture. It adequately expresses where I have evolved in my faith at this point in my juncture. May He get all the glory ❤️.

SHALOM

Soldiers Need To Be Made

glory1

I’ve been watching “slave” shows lately.  One of them was “Underground” and it was really good.  Though I really appreciated the character development, storyline and creative writing it entailed I was let down by the lack of spirituality.  There seemed to be no characters with really deep relationships with Christ.  I think it has to do with the fact that people who have not had an encounter with Him cannot reconcile a God of love with suffering so they are unable to write about Him.  I struggle with that too sometimes…

The latest show I’m watching now is “Glory”.  It was actually made in the late 80s and maybe because I was just born I don’t recall seeing it growing up.  “Glory” is a recounting of the civil war from the Union’s perspective.  It tells the story of an all black regiment who are made up primarily of run-away slaves.  As one character put it “We runaway slaves, but we come back fightin’ men.”  Though many of them are run-away, there is one man who is free.  He was born free and his father before him.  He is well educated, speaks properly and has cheered on the freedom of his people in a sense from the sidelines.  He was actually very close to the Captain of the army; they grew up together.  But though the slaves had it so much worse then he, it turns out the other mens’ slavery actually better equipped them for the battle ahead.

The men who were slaves learned discipline, both physical and mental.  They learned to control themselves in order to stay alive.  They learned to take orders and they learned to endure monotonous grueling work for long periods of time.  When the men are trained to be soldiers the freeman is targeted by the man training them because of his physical weaknesses.  At one point the Captain intervenes on the freeman’s behalf telling the Trainer that they grew up together, to which the Trainer responds, “Then let him keep growing up”.

The freeman did not understand why the Trainer was so hard on him.  He did not understand the training process, but the whole time I was watching the story unfold it was so heavy on my heart that he needed the training to be difficult.  He needed the training to be difficult because the war would be difficult.  The Captain knew that.  He had fought in a previous battle where many men were lost and he was adamant that his men be trained to endure such a battle.

Spiritual battles and physical battles are so similar.  I have always felt that we, as humans, were born into war.  We were born into a war where there are casualties and there are soldiers and there are choices to be made on which one we will be.  I believe Christ came so that we do not have to be casualties.  I believe He came to show us that we too can have the victory.

But we will have to fight for it.

There is a process we are each called to.  It can be difficult marriages or difficult children or poverty.  It can be physical sickness, mental illness or tragedy.  Whatever the process it is for refinement.  There are seasons where I hate my process and there are seasons where I love it and there are seasons I feel both.  There is an ebb and flow to my journey and for much of it I have fought the flow.

But God.

He has birthed out 2 books anyway.  He has given me jobs and titles and degrees and positions and ministries.  Even in spite of myself.

I believe the training we receive is not just for our battles here on earth but the positions we will hold in eternity.  I hope to one day hear those words “Well done My good and faithful servant” but there are times where I wonder if He is pleased at all. Though I know His Word says otherwise…

I hope you will see that your process is not in vain.  He is training you and the harder the training the greater the reward.  The greater the harvest.  The better the solder you will be.  Soldiers are not born, they are made.  You must go through the process to be made.

Months ago He said to me, “Who are you Nicole?” My reply was, “I’m a warrior”.  He said, “Then fight!”

As warriors we must fight.  As soldier we must train.  As His, we have already won.

SHALOM

 

Life Without Fear

It’s funny how long you can go living in a state that is less than ideal. Your life has been that way for so long you don’t know any better. It is your normal, even when it is abnormal. Who are you if that thing changes? What will your life look like in this new state?

A couple of years ago I had a great awakening of unhealthy ways I was functioning in in my relationships. I realized I was hurting my loved ones and they were hurting me. Thankfully I was in enough pain to choose change. 

Often we must be in enough pain before we choose change. 

That experience was more enjoyable than the current season I have been in where once again unhealthy things surfaced and God was calling me to change.

This time darkness surrounded me and confusion set in when I confronted the dysfunction. This particular battle would not be quick. No, this would be a fight like none I had ever faced because I wasn’t fighting against an external opponent as in times past. The real battle was against myself.

I pulled out the old weapons but they weren’t working. I had to learn how to use better tools for this greater level of warfare.

I’m taught that fear is a learned behavior. Science proves our bodies are naturally wired for love. Fear only comes in when we learn it. That means fear is something natural and not eternal. Every natural thing has an end. But how many allow fear to dictate their lives? How many are comfortable with fear being a steady companion?  Too many.

I wrestled and wrestled but my foe would not be vanquished. I was so afraid. I felt this giant must be bigger than I. Maybe bigger than God.  Then one day I had a question in my heart: 

“Who are you Nicole?” And I knew the answer, “I’m a warrior”. Then He said, “Then fight!” 

The truth is I wasn’t fighting with all my might. I was holding back waiting for Him to rescue me.  So I obeyed His command.  And do you know what happened? I wrestled the negative thoughts to the ground and won!  The fear was gone. For the first time. It wasn’t “managed” or ” redirected”.  It was gone.

This new life, the one without fear, is still taking some getting used to. I still must be intentional about my thoughts and focusing on truth.  But the victory I’ve had is motivation enough to see what other victories I can accumulate.

And so I must ask, “Who are you my friend?” If you are a warrior, then do what warrors do, and fight!  

SHALOM

Transitioning

Only a few months ago I was in the thick of the routine.  I had found a way to carve out interest in the mundane and apparently that was my ticket to change.  Often I felt like Joseph, sitting in that jail cell, weighed down by circumstances.  Now it feels like the chief butler has told Pharaoh about Joseph but Joseph doesn’t know it yet.  There is a word sent forth for his change in season, but the next assignment has not been given just yet.  There is still a process Joseph is going through.  He is still walking by faith.  He actually must prophesy and use his gifts to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.  There is a role he plays in his own deliverance.  Faith without works is dead.

I sit here now at a desk with a computer awaiting clients.  No longer am I at my cubicle of 8 years but I’m at a desk I’ve only known for a week.  Well, we did get slightly acquainted last tax season but it was brief and part time so we didn’t have the luxury of getting too familiar with one another.  Now I am opening the store after only one week of training; leadership always seems to find me.

But I’m still in transition.

The King has sent forth a word concerning me, but I must prophesy about my future.  I must agree with the Word.  I am warring for that word to be manifested.

In the mean time, as I wait for the assignment, there are other assignments.  There are speaking engagements, and selling books, and preparing taxes.  There are times of worship and times of building my faith and letting God develop me in those weakness that I didn’t know were there.  That’s the thing about the routine, sometimes we get comfortable and we think just because its been that way for SO long, and we have been that way for so long, it will stay.  We will stay.  But we are always evolving.  We are always changing into the idea Elohim thought up before the world began.

It’s been a rough week.  The war.  The battle.  But I have chosen to live and not die.  And His Spirit has delivered me once again from the hand of the enemy.

SHALOM