Tag Archive | transformation

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

 

When Dreams Change

10 years ago I was a college grad who wanted to travel the world, spread the gospel and when I was “old” (around age 40), I would settle down, marry and have kids. I thought I had it all figured out. Before then I was caught up with my boo. I was all about him and his dream and supporting his calling. So initially I was all about my man and then I was all about me. Except I didn’t know it. I thought these were God-given dreams. I thought the best way for me to glorify my Maker was for me to spread the gospel to all nations. Instead, I had to learn to first spread it in my city. To my co-workers. I had to go through a lot of refining myself before I could even think about the harvest He had promised.

Fast forward 10 years later, there have been many afflictions and they have all worked for my good. I couldn’t have fathomed how the waiting and the testing and the BEING was going to transform me into His original intent. This transformation has been so evident to me that even as I am presented with one of my very biggest dreams that I held onto for so long, I do not choose it.

Because my dream has changed.

I am in awe. How can something I wanted so intensely and for so long change?? The opportunity to relocate, the chance to work in my preferred area. How could I say “no”? But I did. Because I am different now. I am learning in this season my purpose is not attached to a job position. It is attached to the will of God and God’s will looks different depending on the season.

We need to know our season.

10 years ago I was unemployed and my mom’s coworker said I needed to look for work b/c “a man who doesn’t work doesn’t eat”. He even used scripture to support his logic. But God had told me not to work during this time.

People will not understand your journey and your choices as you follow Him. But will you still follow Him?

I marvel at my Father’s hand on my life. I marvel at the path I have walked thus far. This path of surrender that has led me to die a plethora of deaths; each one seeming more fatal than the one before. And still, I have not yet “resisted unto blood shed” as He did. The deaths I have experienced have been His mercy and grace to remove the carnal, selfish, immature girl who started this journey with Him as a 19 year old. He has developed her into a less selfish, more mature and more eternally-focused person. I am still growing, still learning, and awakening everyday. But O’ it is so nice to get to this point and stand in awe, and worship Him! And marvel at His work! He has made me into a testimony of His hand.

And I’m just getting started.

Just today I received a card my friend had us address to ourselves this summer during her b day party. The purpose is to encourage your future self. I must say this card arrived right on time as I am celebrating the latest spiritual accomplishments God has done in my life!


 I also listened to a very timely sermon this morning, which confirmed so much of my season. I hope you are blessed with this message as well.

Below are pics from time with my sisters earlier this week:

  
  
SHALOM