Unbridled Spirit

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If you’ve ever traveled to Kentucky, you cannot miss the bright blue sign welcoming you to the state. There is a picture of a horse and the slogan underneath says, “Unbridled Spirit”. Yes, Kentucky is known for the Derby, but I wonder if they want you to look past the horses and see the true freedom the state can bring. As my eyes are being redirected to the blue grass state, I am actually getting excited. I am excited for the the next leg of this race and what doors God is going to open.

I feel like an unbridled spirit. I have reached a place of freedom that I never knew existed or could exist. I am no longer confined by a specific career, where I should live (Nashville/Chicago). My successes are no longer dependent by these things….hallelujah! Some may say that I am going backwards, but I KNOW that I am moving forward. As I sit in Church and listen to the lyrics of Moving Forward, I feel as if I am going to burst out of my skin. I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead with Christ.

I simply cannot express this freedom any other way, but to borrow the lyrics from the artist Free Chapel.

What a moment You have brought me
to such a freedom I have found in You.
You’re the healer Who makes all things new
Yeah yeah
I’m not going back I’m moving ahead
Here to declare to you My past is over in You
All things are made new
Surrendered my life to Christ
I’m moving moving forward
You have risen
With all power in Your hands
You have given me a second chance
Hallelujah hallelujah Yeah, yeah, yeah
You make all things new
Yes You make all things new
And I will follow You Forward
Matthew 6:26 says,”If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God.” If I had a sign to display, it would simply say, “Moving Forward.” I’m not looking back; are you?

Love in Christ,
Nichole
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A Life of Complacency

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I will say that I am diligent when it comes to studying and seeking God’s word. In fact last night (which was a Friday night), I left perfectly good patio time with friends to come home and study. I have spent the last nine months listening to Joyce Meyer teaching Cd’s. I don’t have that big of a collection so I usually listen to them over and over. Right now, I am back on “God’s Timing” and today for some reason I chose the disc”Let God be God”. I have to admit it is still something I am not 100% comfortable with. If I was, then the chaos would no longer exist and the virtual roller coaster (my life) would stop.

As I was listening, I was reflecting back to that dreadful March day at school. It was the great fall of Nichole Cornelius. I’m sure God let out a big gasp just as everyone else that heard the humiliating story! God spoke to me and said, “You know, I knew this was going to happen. I knew you would reach your breaking point and the flesh would overpower your spirit. I had to take you there otherwise you would have been complacent right where you were at. You would have no desire to go to the next level because your dreams had been fulfilled. You would have continued on living right outside your Promised Land. You cannot live a life of complacency until you are where I want you to be.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” I have to be thankful that His dreams for me outshine, outweigh any of those I have ever conceived in my head. For all that I have been through, there has to be a greater purpose for my life and believing is the ticket to get me to the other side.

Love in Christ,
Nichole

The Verge

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Have you ever been on the brink, the verge of some internal disaster? You recognize that things are wrong and are out of your control. You feel very chaotic and nothing seems to satisfy; no song on the radio, no person’s voice, and not even your favorite cheese quesadilla from your favorite Mexican restaurant. Well, this is where I am and have been for the past few weeks. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am single and could continue to be and my job is over. I am so ready to put all this behind me and I’m wondering how much more can I endure.


1 Peter 4: 12-13 says, “When life gets really difficult, don’t jump to conclusions that God is not on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner!” I know I simply must believe and let God be God. My spirit is winning this battle one inch (not step) at a time, because the melt down and pity party is few and far between. If you find yourself in the midst of the muck, take heart and know that help is on its way!

Love in Christ,
Nichole

The Universal Healer

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So, sometime this weekend I was watching an interview with Rascal Flatts on GAC (Great American Country). They were talking about their new song (Here Comes Goodbye) and how the message is so universal. You can apply the words to whatever your circumstances are. I don’t think I truly understand what the song really means and what they are trying to convey, but it has its own special meaning for me. I love it and cannot wait for it to be played on the radio. Of course, I can download it on Itunes, but I think that takes away the excitement of it all. Hearing the song played is something I look forward to…something I anticipate!

As you are reading, you must be thinking of how random I can be. I think it is fantastic! It is so freeing to not be consumed by other’s opinions of you. It is so amazing to be able to love this kind and that kind of music, this person and that person, this type of food and that type of food with no boundaries getting in the way. I think of God in this way. He is a Universal Healer. His word can be applied to any wound no matter the color, experience, situation, or background. He is random (please note that I am not trying to insult Him in any way). He is spontaneous and cannot be confined to any ‘box’. His blessings are endless and show up when you least expect them. With Him, ALL things are possible!!!

As I continue to read “The Message”, I come to the understanding that my God can adapt to any situation. He can make His presence known in any shape or form. Even though His word never changes, He can always bring a fresh approach, insight, to whatever our currents needs are. Psalm 45:1 says, “My heart bursts it banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words.” Don’t lose sight on what He is trying to tell or show you as He is with on this journey every step of the way!

Love in Christ,

Nichole

The Patchwork Quilt

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My paternal Grandmother, Marie, was the strongest woman ever lived (in my eyes of course!). She taught me how to drive, how to cook pancakes, how to work for everything you need. She survived breast cancer, buried her young husband, and was left to raise four hellish boys. She worked herself to the bone. She was a nurse’s aid, cared for the elderly, and picked tobacco until the Lord took her at the ripe age of 82. Every Saturday, we would spend countless hours playing cards (War, Rummy, & Black Jack) and wrapping it up with an episode of Hee-Haw. Ah, how I miss those days! The one thing I regret is that I did not spend enough time with her when she was quilting. Man, she could turn eye sore fabrics into a beautiful masterpiece all with her own hands. In her will, she left me two of the quilts (one is on my bed as we speak) and all the scraps. To this day, the scraps remain, and no quilt has been produced.

As the days go on and my writing increases, I cannot help but worry if my writing will run dry. Just when I think I have produced my best piece yet and there is no more, the Lord speaks and brings something new to the table. For instance, the Lord spoke today and said that my life is the making of one great patchwork quilt. Let me see if I can explain this. I have spent endless hours and tears praying for one particular man. I am now seeing the fruits of my labor, however someone else is reaping the benefits. I’m not going to lie, it flat out hurts! God spoke and said it is ok to hurt, but it’s a sacrifice I must make to bless the life of another. This is one of the patches on my quilt. The tears and determination of prayer are the stitches, the intricate details of the quilt. Through every experience, every heartbreak, and loss, another patch is being laid. Pretty soon, my masterpiece will be revealed before my very own eyes.

Matthew 6:1-4 (The Message) in a nutshell says, “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” I know I must quietly go on making my quilt. In due time, my Father will reveal it to its entirety and His glory will be revealed!

Love in Christ,
Nichole

Simplest Form

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Luke 9:23-25 says, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and is himself destroyed or lost?” Toby Mac sings of this very thing. One line in the song says, “I don’t’ want to gain the whole world and lose my soul.” Very profound! I’ve spent countless hours, even weeks, teaching my kids how to add, subtract, and multiply fractions. In the end, they have to put the answer in simplest form. That is how I can evaluate if they have mastered the entire process. This is the hardest concept for them to grasp. I keep telling them to keep dividing in half until you cannot go any further. What is it about being broken down that scares us the most? You may wonder where I am going with this, but stay with me until the end. The message will reveal itself.


The United States was founded on the principles of freedom and the land of opportunity. I think some of us have taken it a bit too far. We are extremist in every sense of the word. We cannot be happy with just one car; we need 5. We cannot settle for a 1,200 sq ft home; we need 5,000. We cannot spend within our means, so we drive up credit cards to satisfy our immediate needs/wants. With all this excess, we lose sight of what really matters. Will it really matter how fat my bank account was, the house that I lived in, or the kind of car that I drove? What happened to finding happiness in God’s blessings? Full of favor from God and man, rich in relationships, having unconditional love for others, and leaving a lasting impression on the world that will change history. This is what I am striving for today! As my flesh continues to be divided in half, my soul emerges complete, restored, and led to a peace far greater than my little mind can comprehend. I pray that you will find the simplest form that life can bring; for we know that less is more!

Love in Christ,
Nichole

The Alter of Sacrifice

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Genesis 22:1-2 says, “Some time later, God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham! Here I am!’ Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” If you’ve followed Abraham’s story, you know that Isaac had been born to him in his old age. There probably was not another opportunity to have another one. To test Abraham, God told him to sacrifice his son, the one he loved very much.

God spoke to me briefly and said that I too am being tested at this time. It took time after time, failure after failure, to finally land my dream job, teaching. The road has been paved with blood, sweat, and many, many tears, but I finally reached my destination. Now, God is asking me to give this up. I know this because all the doors surrounding me are closing one by one. The space I occupy is so small that there is only room for God and me.

“What is this great test Lord?” I ask. “Haven’t I passed many? I’m still on this Earth, I have survived child abuse, a broken home, failure, and disappointment many times over. Isn’t this enough?” I keep hearing my Father say, “No. There is something else you must prove to me. You must go home and make peace. Restore the place where you were the most broken. Repair the relationship with your mother and grandmother. Stop running away from your past. ” Isaiah 61:4 says, “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated by generations.”

I don’t know where I will land or when I will get there, but the road keeps pointing me home. Maybe this is the last leg of the journey. The final pit stop before I finally and truly find rest in the Promise Land.

Love in Christ,

Nichole