Loss Versus Gain

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One man’s loss is another man’s gain. A saying so simple, but can be profound at the same time! Someone may pass on an opportunity, a job, or a relationship with another which allows someone else to truly benefit. I relate it to the current relationship I’m in. The guy I’m dating has told me that he has often found himself in the “friend zone” when it comes to dating. I am so very grateful that they passed on this opportunity to spend time with an amazing man. Their loss was my gain!!


However, what happens when WE lose something so very important to us? How can we attribute it to gain?


What happens if our health deteriorates right before our very own eyes and there is no cure available? I follow Gitzengirl’s blog and am deeply moved every time I read it. She has a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Basically, she has an autoimmune disease that attacks her joints. The goal of the disease it to attack the joints and build scar tissue causing pain and stiffness. Eventually her joints will be fused together. I simply feel defeated just reading about it. Yet, she goes on trusting that God has a plan for her…just as He said He did!! Her loss, physical impairment, is His gain! She is at peace and believes, trusts, accepts life as it is. She is fulfilling who God wants her to be. I call that amazing!!


Philippians 3:8 says, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”


I have truly experienced loss compacted in 34 small years, but truly can understand that this loss was my gain. I lost my childhood only to find an adulthood that will be used to touch and impact the lives I encounter. I lost my teaching job, my source of income and fulfillment, only to reach out and trust a God that will meet all my needs according to His riches and glory. I lost my credibility (of my profession) in the eyes of others only to find out who I truly am…who I am in Christ! I will believe 100% in myself even when I make mistakes. I’ve had my car stolen, my appendix removed, my women’s ministry taken from me quickly, my heart broken by friends and loved ones, yet my soul prospers!


Everyone has a story whether it be abuse, abandonment, betrayal, failure, or illness. We all suffer things and will continue to suffer. If we don’t accept our loss with a good attitude and heart, we will miss the blessings He brings. Psalm 73:6 says, “No doubt about it! God is good-good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing His goodness. I was looking the other way, looking up to the people at the top, envying the wicked who have it made; who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.”


Too many times, we miss the blessings because we are focused on the situation/circumstances. It’s all about the negative! What are you focused on today? Can you see what you have gained and be grateful for it, or does loss consume you and bring you down?


I leave you with a few words from Mercy Me’s “Bring the Rain”….
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there’ll be days
when this life brings me pain
but if that’s what it takes to praise you,
Jesus, bring the rain!


Love in Christ,
Nichole

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The Influence

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The saying goes, “One bad apple can spoil the bunch.” The text was created to simply mean that a single bad influence can ruin what would have otherwise been good. I did a little research and according to an article on google, one bad apple really can ruin the whole batch. One apple past its prime lets off ethylene gases, causing all the fruits to rot. Sorry for the visual!! Have you ever let one incident completely ruin the whole experience? Has life served you with a few rotten apples?
Why is it that we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive? We make one mistake and we are done! One negative word paints an ugly picture of our credibility and we simply let go of our dreams thinking we can never get past this hurdle!


Life is extremely hard and sometimes we get knocked down, but we have to find the strength to get back up. We have to find a way to see the forest through the trees (thanks Brad for never letting me forget that)!! It’s so hard to filter through a mass of detail to see the bigger picture. That mass of detail (the betrayal, heartache, disappointment, failure) keeps us bogged down, keeps us in pain so heavy we cannot move forward…forward to the future He has promised. Isaiah 43: 18-19 says, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”





Today, I received some extremely gratifying news that I will be able to pursue an opportunity that I once thought was forever taken from me. For the past 8 months, I have let “one bad apple” determine the path that I was taking. I kept going over the “old history” so to speak and kept serving myself the “bad apple”. A few weeks ago, I received possibly the best advice I could for my situation. My wise friend said, “We all have days we are not at our best. I’m the “KING” of not my best. If not for the day of not my best your journey may not be on the right path now and the lives you touch and influence would not be as significant as they are. God has a plan for you and spending it in that particular class room was not the ultimate plan but just one small part of it. Or was it small? It is time to move on and help so many others with the truth.”



The truth is my season of pain was also my season of exponential growth. I fell in love with God and He transformed a superficial relationship into a real one….a tangible one! I put all my trust, my fears, my feelings in Him. He was my rock, my anchor, the source for all my needs. Now, I am able to pick myself back up and continue on the journey before me.


So what is life serving you? Are you satisfied with the bad apple or are you hungry for more?


Love in Christ,


Nichole

The Residual Effect

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Residual- According to Wikipeia and in general, it is what is left over. When I think of residual, I instantly think of income. Of course I think of this, because I am not technically generating some at this time…sigh 😦 In all seriousness, residual income is what is left over after all the bills are paid. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and the very thought of having any residuals leftover, would be the answer to our ongoing prayers!


Sometimes, however, residuals are not always the best thing for us. Those residuals can infect you leaving you in bad place. I relate it to my surgery. Everyone kept saying how easy an appendectomy was and I would bounce back quickly! WRONG!! The doctor left some of my ruptured appendix (residuals) behind and then the nightmare began unbeknownst to me! Months of sickness, severe dehydration, and the greatest battle of my mind and body to fight to stay alive.


In order to go more in depth with my message, I pose a few general, but profound questions.


What happens when the inner child in us still longs for the love of the absent father? Residuals


What happens when we lose our dream job (the one we’ve worked so hard to get) and in order to get by we scrub toilets, mop floors, and assist those very people we use to work side by side with? Residuals


What happens when the man we said ’till death due us part’ has an affair with our best friend? Residuals


Residuals, often unseen, at times can be provoked and come out roaring their ugly head!! Residuals leave us insecure and longing for restitution of our past! Residuals prevent us from moving forward, trusting and loving people, and deplinish our faith. They keep us looking back…waiting….longing for vindication. Genesis 19:26 (New International Version) says, “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Lot’s wife relates to my message because she was lost and her mind was not on God, but herself and her past. She diminished, not the residuals.


If we set our mind on God and trust Him with every fiber of our being, He will eliminate the residuals and restore our past. He will give double for our trouble!! It is written, so it is true! Isaiah 61:7 confirms this by saying, “For your shame you shall have double and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore, in their land they shall possess the double. Everlasting joy shall be unto them.”


I leave you with borrowed words from Gitzen girl (a new blog God placed before me), “I really think, in this life, we find what we are meant to do when we stop focusing on what we are kept from doing. I have to remind myself of that sometimes, but the more I acknowledge that silver lining, the less I notice the gold that’s out of reach.”
When are focus is on the past (the lost job, relationship, etc), we miss what is right before our very own eyes. The gift of a new day awaits us. Restoration, peace, and joy are waiting with open arms to join us on the rest of this journey.
Will you accept them or cling to the residuals…the leftovers?
Love in Christ,
Nichole