Last Wednesday I sat among some of the best ministry partners I’ve ever been so blessed to have. He’s one:
We sat around a table I familiarly knew over hours of planning, praying, laughing, worshipping, growing, and CPC-ing. This Wednesday, I hugged the students we once held as children. I smiled over greatness that developed from goodness….and I. am. home.
Humility has it’s own way of standing strong- of bringing with it a solidarity of faith, an affirmation if you will, that can’t help but bring a sense of pride in the fulfillment of God’s call, His great and perfect will for us and for them.
So here I am. So proud.
So proud to be at this perfect place in my reentrance to ministry to taste fruit I’ve never tasted… It’s sweet. It’s a song that plays on repeat singing, “this is what it feels like to raise pride.”
Look at them. #neverbeenmoreproudtocallthem
minehis She’s going to be a life changing missionary (oh wait- she already is. Oh Abs! You.make.me.a.humble.heart.having.raised.pride.) and you Ryan- that smile and those hugs, your wisdom… YOUR WISDOM and your words… do you remember sending me off with these (ps. I had to share!):
…you have shown me amazing faith and love. I know that the decision for you to leave was a very hard one for you as it was not really even your decision [big man up-stairs;)] and while i will miss not seeing you i am behind you 100%. Your compassion for missionary work, love for others, and devotion to God has shown me what it truly means to be a Christian.
in case you guys didn’t know… I freakin’ love you.
And can I introduce you to him?
His name is Peter– or as I like to call him, Peettttaaar! (Whom I’ve watched grow into a strapping young and beautiful man of God.) Some kids tug a little extra hard on your heart. They start off small- a jab here another one there as they speak a little Truth to you during small group, a little nod during your message, a hug that says “thanks for being there for me” and you see them get it. The tugs become stronger…But as you raise pride, that tug no longer is from their hands, but from His. And He opens your eyes through words like these…five years later:
“Nicole, I’m starting to look at my faith as a spiderweb. I see things in His plans that are intertwined to bring me here, to this moment in time…”
<wiping precious tears from my eyes> …because he gets it. This man is a warrior fighting to know God’s heart a little deeper. I’ve watched him grow- known his struggles, witnessed his triumphs, and I humbly raised this pride.
Peettttaaar! I so proud of you. SO PROUD. Because this fierce heart of yours cries mercy and grace.. it teaches love and a worshipful adoration. This summer, I’ve watched you raise your own pride. And oh how I long for the day when you too will taste the fruit…
But it doesn’t stop there…
There’s Annie. <sighs pride, has raised more pride>. Annie and Peter were both some of the sweetest eighth grade students I started with at CPC. Welcoming and kind. Annie I hope you don’t mind when I share these words you wrote to me in an email my first week at CPC…
Thank you…I think I really needed to write [that] down to somebody who really cares. It helped a lot. Thank you so much!
btw- I have this notebook, I’ve titled it the “sometimes, Nic, you just need some encouragement” binder. There’s many more emails like Annie’s in here. But what I love about this particular one is the post-it on top of her message that reads “This is why you’re in it…”
We went from that, this sweet and innocent 8th grader with nothing but love for me to this beautiful woman with a heart that draws in the intense love of others… like these sweet, sweet boys.
One minute I was chaperoning her… and the next, she got to know this whole “raising pride” thing that God gifts and entrusts to us. …and a most beautiful soul in her He embraces. So do they, our boys.
Life fast-forwards too quickly. A blink from this…
And in most cases I’d say- stop! STOP growing up…but in hers… I can’t. Because she was made to raise pride too.
So she does…. and I keep doing it too.
We move our feet to this sweet song that humbly watches a fruit that few are so lucky to taste… We’ll blink and then their feet will sway to the same beat…
It’s a song so sweet—