Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole
I had $0.06 in my bank account and $5 in coins in my purse. As I sat in the car, the reality of this season of my life just hit me……homeless. I am homeless.
I looked at myself in the mirror and the conversation in my mind began. “It’s all your fault. You did this to me. You. YOU failed us. You are 46 years old and you have nothing. You are stuck. You are yet again in “starting over” mode. You are not all here, you are functioning broken.
How do you go from having a job with benefits, having your own business as a travel agent, having almost paid off all your debt and making plans for the next season of your life, to sitting in the front seat of a car with $0.06 in the bank and $5 in your purse, your items in a borrowed storage unit, your clothes in a travel garment bag, a job paying $8.50 per hour working 15-25 hours per week and you have two college degrees?
How the hell did this happen to us Michele….please tell me….I would like to know”.
AMAZON BOOK REVIEW
Stripped for Greater is a non-fiction thematic autobiography that chronicles the tough experiences of Michele Nicole in her homeless experience on the streets of Atlanta, GA. Michele depicts her experience as a religious rite of passage that was designed to elevate her on a higher spiritual level. Michele brings a personal, introspective lens on the challenging and sometimes mundane day to day activities of living out her car, bathing in public restrooms and having breakfast at various continental servings at local hotels. In her time surviving as a homeless woman, Michele journeys through various self-revelatory lessons that she would learn about herself and her relationship with God.
The theme that Michele announces through various points of her journey is that being homeless was God stripping her of her dependence on everything so that He could teach her how to depend on him. In additional, the greater represents the place that God would take her into after her time being homeless. Although the theme is present in the story, I’d like to see the story lead to “greater works” as depicted by scripture for the Christian walk. Though we share with Christ in his sufferings, we also shall reign with Him as well, according to Christian doctrine. I think Stripped for Greater would deliver a much stronger purpose if the “Greater” was tied to a much more powerful destination. Perhaps to achieve this, more recounts of Michele’s life after being homeless should be added to the story.
Michele delivers Stripped for Greater in a causal and sometimes comedic voice that allows the reader to understand her persona. You feel as if the story is being told to you over a casual lunch with a friend. The story does well with offering descriptive wording to assist with the experiences Michele faced from day to day while being homeless.
BOOK CLUB REVIEW
“Truly an easy, inspirational page turner. As I was reading, I laughed and reflected on God’s amazing grace. The author is truly gifted. I look forward to sharing and reviewing this book with my book club”. – Ms. Karese M
It was time for some truth. It was the type of truth that needed to be said out loud. Would I offend God if I told Him what I was wrestling with? Would it insult Him after all He had done for me? Would it bring shame to me if I admitted out loud what I was struggling with internally? Would He separate Himself from me? After all He has done, I should have a different perspective, right? I believe the time has come to tell Him out loud what I already knew internally. Look, let’s cut the nonsense. He Is God, and since He is God, there is no such thing as “breaking news” to Him. The fact is, He already knows, and He is waiting on me to be honest with MYSELF. He is waiting for me to admit it out loud, so my ears can hear it. But when I do, what happens next? Well I guess that is what I would find out because I was not going to hold it in and pretend any longer.
Well, I opened my mouth and said, “God, I believe but help the part of me that has un-belief. I don’t trust you anymore and my faith is wavering. I am frustrated belonging to you. You are silent when I need you to speak. You are elusive when I need you to be near. Belonging to you always requires sacrifice but I am tired of sacrificing for your name’s sake. I am sick of being yours. I can’t stand it anymore! I want to walk away but then where am I going to go? Will I go to the enemy? Don’t I have a say in what I choose for me? I have been raised in the church but church ain’t working for me anymore. Something is shifting in me that require more. I am sick of this. I just don’t… I can’t…it’s just…you know what… I’ve had enough. Yeah, I know what you have done for me since I have been homeless, and I know how you have covered me and taken care of me all my life, but I want more.
This agitation in me is causing me to be angry and pissed off and…I can’t continue like this…I just can’t with you…I just can’t.”
I stopped walking. “Did I just say out loud what was really in my heart towards God? What the hell was I thinking?” I said.
( Continued… )
© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Michele Nicole. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
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Non-fiction > Transformation Self-Help > Christian Growth > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoir