Brighter Than The Sun

June 23, 2024

By Nicole

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On Monday I got to meet him for coffee. It was such a pleasant surprise. The day before was Father’s Day and I offered to swing by with a steaming cup of Starbucks, thinking that would be my Thank You for his role in my life. He declined since he already had had his fill but suggested we meet the next day. I was delighted. I couldn’t remember the last time we had that kind of alone time. It didn’t dawn on me until afterward: part of that is on me. 

Throughout the last two decades, he has been the one consistent male figure in close proximity. The only one who exuded healthy fatherhood which ministered to, warred for, and encouraged my true identity to come forth. There were times my biological dad would shred me with his tongue but this man would pick up the pieces via a much-needed listening ear. It’s a shame we can’t clone him, stuff him in every household, and bless every Black child with a good dad. How much more further along in our healing journey from generational trauma would our race then be? I know he’s not perfect but he’s been able to demonstrate the Father’s perfect love, gifting me with a visual of its physical representation on earth. 

Recently, I was watching a worship service where the woman honored her spiritual father. She said she realized her future husband’s habits mirrored her spiritual dad’s. She realized that “daughters truly pick their fathers,” when marrying. I wondered, Would it be the same for me? Would my husband demonstrate these supreme qualities of hard work, steadiness, commitment, servanthood, reliability, and tenderness to the Father’s heart? Only time will tell…

This man has his own set of children and a plethora of others who draw from his fatherhood, yet there has always been space for me. I’ve been nurtured and healed through our conversations similar to our time on Monday. But now that I’m older it’s my turn. 

I am the nurturer for the next generation. 

Sometimes I miss that part because my lifestyle mimics that of young adults, toting the line of responsibility and self-focus. It’s of a mature someone who is still hidden from typical cultural milemarkers. I have to create my own milemarkers. 

I have to carve out my own reasons to celebrate.

I was talking to a friend recently who’s in a similar state of adulthood; one that doesn’t require sporting the hats of motherhood or wifedom. I asked if she felt like she was still as young as she used to be. Children are a great marker for the time passing and as a result, in some ways, it feels like no time has passed at all. But my friend’s journey is different. Though she can relate to not having an immediate family, her extended family swarms her. They are a tight-knit bunch and so her day-to-day is laced with interactions and responsibilities. She knows the call of loneliness but simultaneously balances it with sometimes unrequited family obligations. 

Sometimes my life feels overflowing with love and relationships, but others, it is acutely lonely. It is those moments that weigh me down like I a double portion of loneliness. I have been lugging this weight for decades.

Years ago my friend had a baby. It was a girl. That baby girl and I bonded and though I didn’t birth her she became mine. She was an intelligent being, straight out the womb, feisty and firey, just how I like ‘em. She was an independent, natural leader. I saw so much of me in her. Still, she carried a wisdom and maturity I had never witnessed in a child, and I knew God had given it to her because of what she would go through. Now at 16, she has been through more than most adults. I’ve watched from the wings of her life, waiting, knowing that one day she would be with me. I prayed and mentored as much as I could from the sidelines but the environment she experienced always seemed to eclipse the sliver of time I could offer. Still, our love is solid, and not even the tough seasons of teenagehood can separate us. Now we are entering a new stage of our journey that I’m hoping will make its intended impact. One that is more in your face.

While talking to my spiritual father, we discussed the generations. For him, there is no separation but for me, I think each generation has qualities that define them in this unfolding of time and it’s the job of the elders to instill the kingdom to the younger ones. I think our differences are to bring us together and not divide. Though I don’t have the stereotypical story of adulthood marked by family and parenting I have looked for other ways to do this work. My goddaughter is one of those ways. 

It’s a little weird being on this side as I’m having so many flashbacks of being her age. I see the people God brought to save me back then. Everything was darker. Many of the people looked dim except for that one woman I called Gramma who shone brighter than the sun. 

I got saved through her shine. Through her light. Through her love. I got saved from generational curses, self-sabotage, and my own lack of value. I’m praying the same for my goddaughter. 

I pray I shine like the sun.

But even as I gear up for her arrival (I have cleaned and made my lists and prayed my prayers) I realize that it is not just she who needs me, but I who need her.

And that is the way it has always been. 

God will fill the lack.

My Loves…

 

And just in case this post was a little weepy, look how amazing I look in this dress (smile):

In other news…Did you know that I just dropped my debut novel When Love Wins? You can check out more here! This time around there is an audiobook in addition to the eBook and paperback versions. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to catch special offers, discounts, insider information, and more!

Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out. I have a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube Channel.

And, lastly, if you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here. I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).

As always, thank you for your support!

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