last week i met up with my very dear friend nate. nate and his wife candace (who is equally dear to my heart) have been a part of my life for the past 6 years and they have seen me through the good, the bad, and the cringing ugliness. as a young twenty something i embarked upon a seemingly never ending journey of healing; a pursuit of wholeness over a consuming eating disorder and the end of my first love, which left me with a demolished heart. the ministry that walked me through my struggle with body image was in partnership with the ministry nate and candace entrench their lives with. so, from the very beginning of my own wilderness voyage, these two faithful followers of christ have been with me.
nate was catching me up on what it has been like being a new father, the dynamic shift a child brings to marriage, and the direction of his ministry. i volleyed the conversation with an update on my own life learnings of what it has been like living in california, embracing the god-graced holistic healing (both in my eating struggle and the shattered pieces of a broken heart), and the anticipation i hold for what is next in my life. during a very brief pause in our gab session, nate affirmingly pronounces; "brianna, you have not only survived - you've flourished!" tears immediately swelled the pockets of my eyes and trickled down my smiling cheeks.
in the quietness of my soul i am undeniably certain of the transformation that has take place in my life due to the 3 year season of solitude christ has had me in. and in this certainty i held the secret desire for my former minnesotan community to take notice and to celebrate with me. so to hear the words "you've flourished!" flow from the mouth of a close friend was the most intoxicating dose of affirmation christ could have ever gifted me with. nate's observation is how i know (not that i didn't before - but the extra encouragement only solidifies the fact!) that the maturity and changes are true; the changes that arise only when we are willing to sit before the cross, to obey, and to follow christ wherever he takes us no matter the length of the journey.
i may not transform from an 18-wheeler into a planet saving, beefy and handsome robot (sorry, i still can't help myself); but through the power of the holy spirit, prayer, and solitude i can be taken from my young immaturity and develop into the strong and bold bride of christ.