A Cross to Bear

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They say to truly be able to serve and complete the work of Jesus, you have to have a story. You have to go through trials, devastation, disappointment, heartbreak, and even loss. How can you effectively minister to people if you cannot feel the depths of their pain? True compassion and empathy comes from understanding; both mental and physical. Today, God closed a mighty big door which has left me completely breathless. I am more confused than ever and I am left wondering what will come out of this? Nothing soothes my broken heart, but I know I must keep praying for peace beyond understanding. This is not the first time I have been in this place, nor will it be the last. This is just one of the many miles of my race; my journey to reach my God given destination.

I feel that with each step of this journey, I am one step closer to touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. I become more like Him everyday. I am getting closer because I choose to stay with Him, to press in, to ride the storm out so to speak. I am one step closer to completely understanding His pain because I have lived it. I can feel, taste the rawness of His wounds. I touch His bleeding side and my heart breaks. It is not through text that I understand and comprehend, it is through tears. I will never be able to truly comprehend the anguish He went through when He gave His life for me, but I can understand the sacrifice. There is a desire inside me that knows there are greater things on the other side and so much will be lost, if I give up now. I cannot speak for Jesus, but He must have felt the same thing.

2 Corinthians 4:8 says, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down, but not destroyed.” I have always held on to this scripture, but now it will be one that I savor! If you find your self in the midst of darkness and wonder which direction you should go, follow the light of your heart. Keep moving forward; pressing towards the mark. Don’t let the journey be a waste; stand strong through the storm awaiting the beauty on the other side!

Love in Christ,

Nichole

A Day of Resurrection

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As I reflect on Easter morning, I cannot help but think how much closer and deeper my relationship with God is today. I did not just wake up this way; I have been spending more time with God and studying His word. I finally understand the importance of spending time with Him in this way. As my title said, “Today is a day of Resurrection!” This is a day of new beginnings. A day for new resolutions as it symbolizes a bond with God. A bond that no one (not even ourself) can break. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!!!

Happy Easter!
Nichole

My First Step into the Promised Land

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Just like a proud mother patiently awaits for her child to take his/her first step, so does our Father in Heaven! I feel like a baby who has just taken my first step into freedom! Freedom from my old myself. I’m a bit shaky and wobbly, but I am completely relieved and excited to be here. Finally, I have crossed over!! It took years of heartache, betrayal, and disappointment to shape me into the woman I am today. I don’t want to go back to that victim mentality and to a girl who always let life defeat her.

In borrowing words from Beth Moore (Believing God), our Promised Land is a place of possession. She went on to say that we are called to possess Christ’s words, to have answered prayers, and the joy of Jesus. Overflowing blessings come to those who are obedient and have reached the Promise Land. We will abide in God’s love, have continuous victory over our enemies, and will receive harvest after harvest. To get to the Promised Land, we must first reach Gilgal. Gilgal was the place that God brought the Israelites full circle. They were different because they had a new covenant (relationship) with God. God removed any signs of their unbelief and began to release His promises.

How do you know if you have reached Gilgal? Beth said that a wounding often precedes our full reception of God’s promises. If you have been following my story, then you know I have been deeply wounded. The kind of wound that leaves you with nothing but God! I can honestly say that I am grateful and thankful for the experience for as I know that I have arrived. Don’t let me fool you, I am still a girl and will continue to act like one. I will have ups and downs and moments of disappointments. But that is just it, they will only be moments and will not last. Psalm 81:10 says, “I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and fill it.” I’m ready…are you??

Love in Christ,

Nichole

A Man I Can Trust

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A few months ago a “friend” said to me, “You need a man you can trust”. I knew he was implying that I could not trust him and needed to seek someone else. I really did not pay much to what he was saying because he tends to say things out of fear. I never gave too much thought to his words until now. The idea of trusting someone is what God has been dealing with me lately. It’s not that I need a man (here on earth) to trust; I need to trust God totally and completely. Trusting someone other than myself is something I choose not to do. It’s out of fear and the fact that I need to be in control.

Tomorrow, I return to work. My anxieties are starting to build. This shows you right there that I am not trusting God. I am not trusting that He will vindicate me, protect me, and give me the strength to fight the last days of my battle. 1 Peter 2:23 says, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate: when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, he entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” If I’m ever going to see the other side of the mountain, I am going to have to trust that God knows exactly what He is doing and I am going to be more than fine. Everyday, I am going to have to take the step to trust. It will be a battle that I have to win!

Love in Christ,
Nichole

Washed by the Water

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Picture this: I am standing at the edge of the ocean, my feet are buried in the sand, my ipod is playing, and I am in complete aw. I am standing in complete freedom. The wind is brushing across my face and the waves are crashing at my feet…what could be better? The music I am listening to completely strips me to the core. Its just me…my thoughts and emotions. I pay no attention to what is around me. I feel completely safe and tucked away in my own little world where God is the center. Sometimes I’m quiet, sometimes I pray, but no matter what, I am spending time with God. I love it! I want the feeling to last a lifetime!

As the song “Washed by the Water” by Need to Breathe plays, I cannot help but be overpowered by the words. One of the verses says, “Even when the rain falls; even when the flood starts rising; even when the storm comes; I am washed by the water”. How awesome and refreshing is it to be washed by the water right in the midst of a storm?! Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” I can truly say that I understand what this verse says and I believe it! Thank you God for allowing me the chance to have this experience. One that is tangible and I can completely get my arms around! The chance to feel Your presence and be touched by Your grace!

Love in Christ,
Nichole

The End of the Chapter

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As I pack my things and get ready to say goodbye to the beach one last time, I can’t help but wonder if this feeling (peace/freedom) will accompany me on the journey home. Will it last? I wish there was a way to bottle it all up so I could capture its essence anytime I need it!

I have learned a lot on this journey. I have learned that I let circumstances consume me. There is no equal balance in my mind, body, and spirit. Other aspects of my life do not have a fighting chance! Whatever I’m going through (heartache, betrayal, disappointment) is simply what I feel and focus on 100%. I cannot see a glimpse of the sun poking its head out of the clouds, so to speak. I simply focus on the rain that has yet to come. I honestly do not know what will become of my current situation. Will I get my job back? Will my credibility be restored?

Today sitting at this table, drinking coffee and eating cold pizza (yes, you heard me correctly), I can honestly say that I really don’t care! I’m not being “ugly” when I say this, but those worries are gone. They have been tossed out and into the ocean and I don’t want the waves to bring them back. If this is what true freedom from worry feels like, then bring it on! Drown me in it please!! I’m ready to live without all this bondage and barriers. I want to know what it is like to truly be free! I want to be free to drink hazelnut coffee, eat cold pizza for breakfast, and say, “No thanks worry, I don’t need you today. Your days are over and this chapter is closed.”

Matthew 6:33-34 says, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” What is it that has you bogged down with worry? What chapters are left open that should be closed?

Love in Christ,
Nichole