What is it about time that makes it seem fleeting when really good things are happening, but when the stuff we don’t like is happening, we can’t WAIT for the clock to wind down?
I have walked out some very long seasons in my life. Some were hard, full of sacrifice and pain, while others were good, overflowing with fellowship, love, and sisterhood.
When I think about some of those hard ones, though, one in particular stands out.
I was stuck like quicksand in a position I didn’t want to be in at work. No matter what I did, I could not get released from that position (this actually was not the first time this had happened.) But what I learned from that experience is that usually, when the season does not change, we do. Click To Tweet
As I sat in that cubicle for years, being bored out of my mind, I was changing. My character was changing. I was proving myself to be faithful in the mundane. I was proving myself to be trustworthy.
The thing is, when you are in those types of seasons, you may have NO CLUE when or if they will end. Even still, I believe there are signs.
When looking back on that “stuck in cube-land” season, one of the most significant signs I can see was that I started to become content.
Anyone who knows me knows your girl is a go-getter. A mover and a shaker. A firecracker. I need consistent challenges that stimulate me intellectually. So the best way to stretch me is to have me sitting on my butt all day, being under-challenged.
But guess what starts to happen in that boredom? I look for other stuff to do.
I started reading and writing blogs when I was in that specific season of waiting. I wrote one blog called “How To Overcome Heartbreak: Recovering From Misguided Love,” which became my first book. I literally wrote the entire book at work. I actually rarely share that little fact publicly because I know that people can take that some kind of way.
Nicole, these people were paying you to do their work, and you up here writing a book? Yep. I was. But it wasn’t because I had foregone the company’s work for me. It was 100 percent because there wasn’t enough work to be done! (Also, I was led by Holy Spirit. Please only do this if you are LED.)
I had always wrestled with this fact until I read the intro from a prominent spiritual author’s book where he said he wrote his book at work. Wow! I knew his book was anointed and impactful, so I took that as confirmation that, yes, God moves like that sometimes.
And then, more recently, I shared this occurrence with a friend, and she marveled, saying, “Nicole, you got paid to write your book!” Look at God. I had never seen it that way.
So often, we need the Father’s eyes to see our situation from a higher perspective. Look at your situation and say, “Father, help me see this from a higher perspective. Help me see this from Your vantage point.”
So, in that very long, stubborn season that refused to change, I was changing. In fact, I was becoming a healthier, more mature version of myself so that I could steward well the next season of my life. But again, when we are in those spaces, we have NO IDEA when that will happen.
Every day just felt like the same, with no end in sight.
I remember looking out the window, nearing the end of my work day. Only a few were in the building because I worked later than most people. I was at peace. I was thinking, “Lord, I am good. I am content.” And I was. I fully expected the next day to be the same as today and as all the days for the last 3 years. But it didn’t matter. Because I was at peace.
But you know what happened shortly after that “window revelation”? I got laid off. (The company had been crumbling and hundreds of employees were laid off that day. I was just one of them.)
I came to work that morning, fully expecting to sit at my PC, complete my minimum work tasks, and write. But instead, I was met with HR at my cubicle, ready to escort me to the exit. I was told I would be able to collect my things that weekend when everyone would be gone. After 8 ½ years at this company, I was blindsided and tossed out like a trash bag. But you know what? Instead of being upset, I was relieved. I was relieved because I knew what others saw as a difficult experience was the Father moving me into a new season.
And just like that, my season changed.
What I’ve learned from that experience is that even very long seasons end.
I am in a season right now that has lasted way longer than I wanted it to. It wasn’t until recently, reading my first book to a dear friend, that I realized it’s been 18 years since that initial experience of heartbreak. 18 years. I was overwhelmed with that fact. I started asking the Father, “WHY?” Why did I go through that and everything after, and I’m still here? With no reward. With no testimony.
I’ve learned from my past that we need to ask God, “Why?”
We are often taught not to do this in religious circles, but to have peace, we need understanding. God wants us to have peace. He wants us to have understanding.
He wants us to ask, “Why?”
In my asking this pertinent question, the answers began to unfold. I was reminded of a book where the author shares that our life cycles occur in 9 phases. The number 9 means completion. I can look back on my journey and see that this teaching was accurate in my life. I published HTOHB1 9 years after my breakup, which symbolized the closing of a chapter in my life. Now, here I am, completing another 9 years since publishing my first book.
After receiving that revelation, more came, which revealed the times and seasons of how God worked in my life. Holy Spirit was giving me understanding just as I had prayed, and with that understanding came peace and encouragement.
Do you know how God is moving in your life? Can you look back and see patterns of hardships or patterns of blessings? Ask the Father for understanding so you can be in sync with His flow and be positioned to enter your next season.
I am now, by faith, positioning myself for my next season. I am writing my testimony from the standpoint of His promise already happening, even though it has not yet happened. This is something I am led to do as a demonstration of my faith. The 7th life phase in the book was “demonstration.” The 8th phase was “manifestation.” I believe this demonstration of my faith will precede its manifestation.
In what ways can you demonstrate your faith? In what ways do you want to see the manifestation? Write them down so that you can look back and see your testimony.
I have been in a difficult place emotionally the last few years and have been so hesitant to even approach God in this way. The pain from life blindsided me. As they say, “life be lifin’.” But I know that the fact that I am even in a space to be intimate with Him at this level and revisit those promises of old shows me that I am changing. My circumstances are the same, but I am changing. And I truly believe I am entering a new season. I truly believe that by this time next year, my season will have changed.
Will you agree with me?
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!