An Empty Vessel

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So, I was sitting at one of the sessions of the Joyce Meyer Convention and she prayed that God would fill empty vessels. Her words struck a chord with me because at that particular moment I felt like an empty vessel. I had experienced one of the longest emotional hangovers (completely full one moment and then depleted the next) that I had ever experienced. It got me thinking about if I was really an empty vessel or was I more like a half empty/half full glass kind of girl. For the majority of my life, I have always considered my glass to be half empty. I tend to focus on the negative and play the role of victim more than I should.

When it all comes down to it, my glass is really half full. I am a believer, I have God’s truth as the foundation, I have an amazing support system (great family and friends), I have my health, home, and education. Just because I am still single and not working at the moment, my focus should not be on those elements. I should not be dwelling on the things I have no control over. Matthew 6: 30-33 says, “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers, most of which are never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, and do His best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

I pray everyday for God’s favor and the favor of man. I pray that my “cup” continuously runs over if it only appears to be half full.

Love in Christ,

Nichole

Like a Rock

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I am three days shy of hitting 3 months of unemployment or what I refer to as faux retirement. I am about to lose my mind. I feel like I’m in solitary confinement. It appears that my social skills need sharpening as well. My friends have been inviting me over for dinner (more than normal) and it takes me awhile to get in the groove of things. I feel like I’ve been in a deep sleep and everything is foggy. I cannot communicate clearly and my vocabulary is diminishing at this very second. When I’m at their house, I jump at any chance of manual labor. I will wash dishes, mop, dog sit, or baby sit just so that I feel like I am an active member of society and that my brain is still receiving a stimulating workout. This is only half the battle. Since I’m not generating any money, things are getting down to the wire. There are days when I feel like a complete failure. I apply for numerous jobs everyday and cannot land an interview. The other day JC Penney advised me that I am not capable of replenishing shelves at their store. Seriously??? I managed a Kroger store at the age of 22. Now, I’m not qualified to work in a department store as a clerk? What on earth is going on here?

Today, I was reading some of my favorite scriptures and came across this…”No moment from my God is a rock of burden. Its just a rock waiting to be broken apart into stepping stones.” I don’t know what direction I’m heading towards next, but I hope and pray that these stepping stones will support me and keep me afloat until His glory is revealed. Joyce Meyer once said, “There are times when God leaves huge question marks as tools in our lives to stretch our faith.” Man have I been stretched and I have the marks to prove it!! 2 Peter 3:8-9 says this, “But do not forget this on thing dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.”

As I continue on this journey (trying my very best to stop looking behind me), I wonder do I have what it takes to be a rock…to be unweathered, unscathed by life’s storms. Can I hold on firmly to God’s truth and His promises for me or will I forgo the weathering and erosion process and be reduced to merely sand and silt? Hopefully I will be like the rock that Bob Segar has described below.

Love in Christ,
Nichole

Stood there boldly
Sweatin’ in the sun
Felt like a million
Felt like number one
The height of summer
I’d never felt that strong
Like a rock

I was lean and Solid everywhere
Like a rock
My hands were steady
My eyes were clear and bright
My walk had purpose
My steps were quick and light
And I held firmly
To what I felt was right
Like a rock

Like a rock,
I was strong as I could be
Like a rock, nothin’ ever got to me
Like a rock, I was something to see
Like a rock

The Long Stretch of the Road

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It seems my current workout regime (walking/running in my neighborhood) has become rather monoteous and I need a change. Today I went for a walk in Crockett park. Its a delightful path covered in trees tucked away and hidden in the heart of Brentwood. The path is filled with runners, people walking their dogs, people roller blading, and children riding their bikes. There are about 5 different trails to choose from and they range from 2.4 miles to 8 miles. Today I decided to walk the red trail (2.4). With any workout it seems as if in the beginning I’m all pumped up and ready to go and eager to outdo myself. As the workout goes on and my body begins to tire, that is when I start to mentally check out and my determination starts to dwindle. Even though it was hot, I was tired, and my ipod died, I made the decision to continue on and accomplish the goal I set out for myself.

My views on working out are like my views on my work situation. At the end of school, I just could not wait to enjoy my summer vacation and felt confident that all would work out and I would be gainfully employed by the time the break was over. WRONG! It seems as if my agenda and God’s agenda are not matching up. I am now starting to mentally check out and my hopeful, positive attitude is giving way to stress and worry. My friends continue to tell me to keep my chin up and that the perfect job will come, but it seems as if my resume has landed in some black hole and is not coming up for air anytime soon.

It seems that during this long stretch of the road, I am going to have to fully rely on my principals, faith, and God’s truth. The future seems grim, but I know that God has a plan for me. Jeremiah 29:11 confirms that for me! Even though I have not seen, heard, or felt God’s presence in quite some time, I know He is right here with me. Isaiah 41:10 says, “You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you. Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” I am so thankful for studying God’s word and for knowing the truth. For without this truth, I would not have the strength to continue on this journey.

Love in Christ,
Nichole