The Foundation

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As I sit here watching my kids take their final elementary school achievement test, I cannot help but wonder what exactly did they achieve during our journey together? I still don’t understand why my time at this school / school district was cut so short, but I pray and hope that my impact far outlast the days I was their teacher. Will they remember everything I taught them? Will they go on to pursue their dreams of being the next great rapper, an Olympian, artist/designer for the next great hip hop label, and an Academy Award winning actress in Hollywood? I hope they can muster through all the blows that life brings to them and become the people I believe they can.

I hate to let them go, but I know that it is time. One verse in the latest Rascal Flatts song says, “Here comes goodbye, here comes the last time. The first of every tear I’m gonna cry. Here comes the pain.” It is going to be tough to say goodbye, but it is time to go. Time to look forward and follow where God is leading me. I thank God for these children as they have brought me back to life. They have shown me that everyone has obstacles, hurdles in life, but we all just want to be loved. Thank you God for this time with them as it has left a footprint on my heart that cannot be washed away. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 says, “According to the grace of God, which was given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another builds on it.” The foundation has been laid and now I await to see what masterpiece will be created.

Love in Christ,

Nichole

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The Reflection

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A mirror reflects the image that we see of ourselves. It is so easy to see great qualities in other people that we cannot see in ourselves. We paint a distorted picture because of our personal experiences and how society says that we should measure up. The good news is that God is the real painter and displays the real masterpiece within us. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him.” So if we were created in His image, why do we have a poor self reflection?

In two different days and in two different ways this past weekend, God gave me the same message. He said, “It is done!” He does not see me in the eyes of abuse and abandonment. It is time for me to see the true reflection of a King’s daughter. Only through my writings have I been able to totally grasp my Father’s words. In reflecting on my experiences, I see more of my heavenly Father, who I adore and love, and cannot help but falling in love with myself in this process. Thank you Jesus for this awesome revelation! When you look into the mirror, what do you see? God’s truth or a false misrepresentation by society.

Love in Christ,
Nichole

Left Hanging in the Balance

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The more I study Joseph’s story, the more I feel connected with him. He was falsely imprisoned, but the Lord was with him. His imprisonment was a training period for God’s future plan for him. I feel like I am in prison, only I am able to leave. I leave everyday, but I know I must return. Reality knows that I need a paycheck to pay my mortgage, but this is way beyond a few bills each month. It is about finding the courage to walk in the doors of the school, knowing that I have been falsely accused, and still honoring my commitment to the kids that I have grown to love. I sacrifice myself for them.

During Joseph’s stay, he did not let the situation get the best of him. That is where the difference lies. I feel like my current situation is getting the best of me. One minute I am full of zeal and the very next second I am down in the pit desperately trying to claw my way out. Thank God for my dear friend “Sandpaper”. Every morning she sends me love and gives me a pep talk to face the day’s journey. She keeps me grounded when all I want to do is cave in and give up! We were talking about how our roles in this relationship continually change. When she has nothing but joy, I am down and vice versus. I feel like we are riding a virtual see saw and we can never find a place of rest…a place of balance. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” Oh Father how I pray that with your strength, the ride will be over! We can STAND with both feet on the ground with true visibility of what lies ahead.

Love in Christ,

Nichole

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