Hindsight is 20/20

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Let me start off by saying that it feels so good to be sitting behind my laptop in the comfort of my own home.  I never realized how much I truly enjoyed blogging, reading other blogs, and participating in online book clubs until my laptop was stolen.  It is true that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  He tried to take the one thing that brings me joy as well as my means of communicating to an online world and helping those in need.



As I was in Best Buy today shopping for a new laptop, the sales guy suggested that I purchase a product to ensure that if my laptop is stolen again, there is a means to have it recovered (90% recovery rate).  That would have been useful for my prior computer.  A valuable lesson learned which leads me to my next point. 



Wikepeida describes the coined phrase “Hindsight is 20/20” to be a “perfect understanding of an event after it has happened; – a term usually used with sarcasm in response to criticism of one’s decision, implying that the critic is unfairly judging the wisdom of the decision in light of information that was not available when the decision was made.”



Hmm….don’t I know this to be true!! 



So where was that helpful sales guy when I bought my other computer?  It would have been nice to have this software so it could be doing its job as we speak!  This has me thinking of what other failures could have been prevented if we had all the needed information upfront?



In looking back, it seems as if some lessons are not to be prevented.  In my own belief, sometimes God allows us to experience things and get a taste of what it is like to experience loss, heartache, and failure so we are more equipped to help other hurting people.  Those experiences remove the blinders and give us a clearer picture of what the world really has to offer. 



C.S. Lewis once said, “Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.”  I am learning, again and again, that life is full of dips and valleys.  But those valleys prepare us for a place where we can excel into something even higher.  They bring us closer to God who is truly good and gives us a better understanding that His word is unfailing. 


So to keep up with my theme of “hindsight is 20/20”, I leave you with this provoking yet profound thought.  “Looking back…I have learned that the wilderness is part of the landscape of faith, and every bit as essential as the mountaintop. On the mountaintop, we are overwhelmed by God’s presence. In the wilderness, we are overwhelmed by His absence…. Both places should bring us to our knees; the one, in utter awe; the other, in utter dependence.” (Dave Dravecky)


Love in Christ,
Nichole

Time of Adversity

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Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16:9, “A wide door has been opened to me and with it are many adversaries.”  Adversaries are the opportunities, vessels, and weapons that the devil uses to destroy us.  With those new levels, comes new devils! The Bible says that, “the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy.”  And boy do I know that first hand! 

During the past two years, the devil has used a lot of tactics to get me down.  Last week, I came home to find that my home was broken into.  Talk about feeling violated!  The very idea of someone going through your things and then taking items that were precious to you can leave you feeling uneasy and fearful.  Although the police and other people in my life have done their best to reassure me that the robbers are not coming back, I still find my mind slipping to that place of the initial breakin. 

Just recently as any insecure woman would do, I’ve been wondering if I am doing my best.  Am I passionate for Christ and living the way He intends for me too?  Well, as I have always said, He comes through with an answer.  I have heard this many times over, “If the devil is not messing with you, then you are not messing with him!”  Clearly, I am wreaking havock on his dark kingdom and he is not liking that at all!

Isaiah 54:17 says, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”  Those weapons (loss of a job, illness, breakin, car theft, personal theft) cannot keep me down.  They cannot rob me of my joy and peace!  I have so much to be thankful for and throughout all this, I do consider myself to be blessed. 

So if you keep finding yourself in a time of adversity, keep fighting the fight of faith, love, and righteouness.  Take back those things that the enemy stole from you.  God is forever good and He will honor you!  He will promote you to new levels of victory and give you a life of abundancy!

Love in Christ,
Nichole

The Validation Point

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The word valid implies being supported by objective truth or generally accepted authority.  In life, especially women, we spend most of our time trying to be validated.  In our professions, we need to know that the job was done well.  Personally, we want to feel attractive, valued, and wanted.  We seek the approval of other people instead of being satisfied with what we’ve been given. 


I’ve recently joined a gym and greatly increased the amount of time I work out in the day.  I’ve noticed results in my favor and have had a desire for others to recognize it as well.  I simply need to be validated.  That desire to be validated often goes unfilled, resulting in me soaking in unnecessary hurt feelings.  This question remains.   Why do I need others to validate me?  Why isn’t enough for me to feel better about myself and get myself healthy?


God never fails to show up when I need Him, especially when I pose questions such as those above.  While on my way to the gym, I heard a song (Addison Road’s All That Matters) that I never heard before. 
Here is a tidbit of the lyrics. 


My life comes from the One Who made the stars and brought the sun.  He loves me more than these.  So I don’t need another identity. I may never be the one that gets a second glance.  I may never be the one they call the prettiest.  But that’s alright with me. And maybe I don’t follow every crazy passion.  Spend all my time trying to get a good reaction.  But that’s ok with me. 


In order to have that same attitude (that’s alright with me), I just have to keep walking it out and walking it out.  Confessing my insecurities to Him.  When it’s all said and done, I just want to be a good and faithful servant and keep walking out His plan for me.   The only validation I need is from Him and I want that to be ok with me.


So I leave you with some words to chew on.  I’m not sure if they even pertain to my blog, but they offered comfort in my time of need. 


2 Corinthians 6: 2-10 says, “Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.”


Love in Christ,
Nichole

No Eye Has Seen

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In looking back on my previous blogs, it appears that the majority of them are about the trials in my life. I seldom write to express the gratitude that spills over from my heart. For instance, I never really write about the man in my life. I seem to keep that part of my life hidden. Maybe I’m afraid that if I shed light on that subject, it will suddenly go away. I still walk in fear on some days; the key word being “walk” as I am still moving, thank God.

Jim Elliot said it best when he said that “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.” I finally am in a relationship that amazes and astounds me everyday! God promised me that He would surprise me with a love far more wonderful than any I could dream of.  He promised and He fulfilled.  My past relationships were like tiny stepping stones the formulated the path that I am currently traveling. And the strange thing is, he is tiny parts of the others all wrapped up in something wonderful. So as you see, there are no regrets of my past; only thanks for what those relationships did for me. They set the standard of what I can live with and what I can live without.

So today, I write to say “thanks” to the God who loves me and gave me His very best. My God heard my cries and listened to all the intricate details of the qualities that I was looking for and dreaming for in my partner. He brought me a man (in His perfect timing) who believes in God first and foremost, one who makes me laugh and tells me that I am beautiful, one who is driven yet compassionate, one who uplifts yet challenges me in the same breath.  I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones

So no matter what your desires are, what promises from God that you are waiting on, remember this: “No eye has seen, no ear has perceived, no mind has conceived for what God has prepared for those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4. Someday someone will come into your life and you will realize why it did not work out with the others.

Love in Christ,
Nichole