Archive | January 2016

3 Months In

It will be 3 months this week since I got “the news”.  I found myself today thinking about my dwindling time period of locking something in so that I don’t have a gap in pay.  I found myself driving to Panera so that I could use the internet and apply for more jobs. I’m sitting at Panera now.  Right by the fire with a cup of Hazel Nut coffee and Taylor Swift in my ear buds.  But after about 2 applications I gave in to what my heart really wanted to do: I started writing.

In my writing I verbalized what the Spirit of the Lord was stirring in my heart: I don’t need to look for a job, it will come to me.

It will come to me the way it always has in my career.  The door will open by a supernatural hand the way it has always opened.  The real work isn’t in getting my degrees or work experience or applying (though I have done all those things).  The real work is my obedience.  I wrestled with my frustration with this path of waiting.

“Why can’t I just have a smooth transition Jesus?!” I thought.  “Why can’t I just be BLESSED?”.  But I am blessed, that’s the thing.  The truth is I was wrestling with the desire to be blessed the WAY I wanted to be blessed.

I was wrestling with control.

While writing I understood that the Father has me on this path because He is teaching me to walk by the spirit.  He does not want me to get comfortable in this life.  He does not want me to go about a natural way of functioning like others do.  It is because of my calling to break the strongholds and release this generation from darkness.  But first I myself must walk out of the darkness.

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking on my book.  I stood at the podium in front of 30+ woman sharing on my story and how God met me and how I overcame.  I encouraged them that they too can overcome.  I did not “feel” the words I said.  I did not “feel” Him in the way I have so many times, but I spoke those words by faith.  I knew that they were true and I’m learning to not let my feelings lead me.

So even though I’m “waiting” for an open door, there are other open doors that I am walking through.  Doors that were not on my radar.

But they were on His.

 To check out my speech click here.

SHALOM!

God Will Hook You Up!

Psalms‬ ‭139:1-3‬ ‭NKJV
O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.”‬‬

God is acquainted with all of your ways. Do you know what that means? That means He knows stuff about you, you don’t even know! He knows your inner workings. He knows your mindset, your tendencies, personality and desires of your heart. And He loves you in a way He doesn’t love anyone else because He tailor made you in your uniqueness to be loved in that way.  He fashioned and formed you so that only you bear a certain aspect of His image and His heart. Only you can demonstrate the heart of God in your community, family, work environment, school and place of residence in just that way that you do.

God is into you.

He’s into you like no one else could possibly be into you.

My mom is super into me. I’m an only child so I think she’s into me more than even other moms for that reason alone. But even her love for me fails in comparison to the Father’s love. I’ve seen this love. I’ve felt it. I’ve been overcome by His adoration and passion and intimacy. But I also fight the lie that tells me He’s distant. The voice that says He’s this pie in the sky dream, Someone not intimately involved with His kids. But that voice opposes my experience. When I remember my experience I remember His promise to me:

“I am going to hook you up Nicole!!”

He said this through a friend. He said this in my spirit. He said this through divine sets of circumstances.  He spoke in my language because my language is apart of me and He is apart of me and I am apart of Him.

I’m grateful we have a God who is not distant or aloof or uninvolved with every aspect of our lives. Instead He is ALWAYS working thing on our behalf to reveal our identity in Him. He is always fighting for us to remove the false and unveil the true. He is a good Dad with good things in store. He is just waiting to hook us up with His BEST.

SHALOM

Good times with my sister from Haiti 😊❤️  

At the Car Wash

Yesterday. I waited 40 minutes to get my car washed. 40 minutes. But it seriously was not that big of a deal to me. I have waited much longer for greater desires of my heart. 40 minutes is a drop in the bucket!  In the midst of my wait I posted my status on social media and a friend informed me there was another available car wash close by. This one was automatic and would be faster than the hand wash I was waiting for. I debated. Should I leave and go to the other spot? I’ll be honest and say the biggest reason I chose to stay where I was at was because I simply HATE changing my plans! Once I’m in motion with plan A please do not bring plan B to the table! It causes me anxiety thinking about something different happening. Thankfully God has brought good people in my life who are “plan B” people. They are perfectly fine with switching up life at any given moment and have caused me to be far more flexible then I normally would be. But anyways, I digress…

So I decide to stay where I’m at because I dont like changing plans (even if the new plan is better) and also because, as I told my friend online, “waiting is good for me”. I have become accustomed to waiting. Working in Customer Service has helped with that. I understand the business side of things when it comes to servicing customers and I understand businesses are doing their best (usually) when providing that service. Its not the car wash’s fault everybody and their momma showed up at 4:15pm on Monday afternoon for a wash.  While waiting I realized one of the reasons the Lord has had me wait so much in this journey is to show me that, are you ready for this???

I’M.

NOT.

IN.

CONTROL.

There. I said it. Now you know my deep dark secret. I’m a planner and as a planner I like to control things. That is actually a gift. But a while back Jesus told me, “Nicole, there are some things I have delegated for you to plan. There are others that are in My realm of control“. Jobs, living arrangements, relationships, these are all “Jesus-control-items”.  The small details of life, those are up to me.

At one point while trying to decide if I should visit another car wash I wondered if I was making myself wait unnecessarily longer than what was needed. But I simply did not have the gusto to get out of line and try to find this other random car wash I had never been to.  

Instead I felt more comfortable waiting. 
Who would have thought I would ever choose waiting?

SHALOM

Transitioning

Only a few months ago I was in the thick of the routine.  I had found a way to carve out interest in the mundane and apparently that was my ticket to change.  Often I felt like Joseph, sitting in that jail cell, weighed down by circumstances.  Now it feels like the chief butler has told Pharaoh about Joseph but Joseph doesn’t know it yet.  There is a word sent forth for his change in season, but the next assignment has not been given just yet.  There is still a process Joseph is going through.  He is still walking by faith.  He actually must prophesy and use his gifts to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.  There is a role he plays in his own deliverance.  Faith without works is dead.

I sit here now at a desk with a computer awaiting clients.  No longer am I at my cubicle of 8 years but I’m at a desk I’ve only known for a week.  Well, we did get slightly acquainted last tax season but it was brief and part time so we didn’t have the luxury of getting too familiar with one another.  Now I am opening the store after only one week of training; leadership always seems to find me.

But I’m still in transition.

The King has sent forth a word concerning me, but I must prophesy about my future.  I must agree with the Word.  I am warring for that word to be manifested.

In the mean time, as I wait for the assignment, there are other assignments.  There are speaking engagements, and selling books, and preparing taxes.  There are times of worship and times of building my faith and letting God develop me in those weakness that I didn’t know were there.  That’s the thing about the routine, sometimes we get comfortable and we think just because its been that way for SO long, and we have been that way for so long, it will stay.  We will stay.  But we are always evolving.  We are always changing into the idea Elohim thought up before the world began.

It’s been a rough week.  The war.  The battle.  But I have chosen to live and not die.  And His Spirit has delivered me once again from the hand of the enemy.

SHALOM

 

Give God One More Day

When this new season started I thought I had this faith thing in the bag. I thought “I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve passed my share of tests. I’ve seen God’s faithfulness so many times. Too many times. But there is never a point of arrival. This season has backed me up against the wall. In mere days I have fought simply not to lose my mind and even my faith. 

I’m still fighting. 

The one thing that has kept me is remembering my testimony and His promises for my future. This present battle cannot be my end. But when will it end?

I was encouraged by Elijah’s story that even after such a great victory he lost courage. Yet God took His time wooing him back to faith. 40 days in fact.

One morning I woke up in the midst of the battle and Jesus reminded me of the man who was blind and the Lord brought back his sight in stages. At first the man saw men as trees which some believe were really angels. And then his natural sight was fully restored. Not to mention there was this unorthodox way God had of healing him, a concoction of saliva and dirt. The point is God moves however He wants to move and sometimes He moves in stages. Sometimes He doesn’t move in the way He did in the past. That can be difficult when I want things done overnight. I want healing overnight. Deliverance overnight. But sometimes it takes 40 days. 

Or longer.

What I’m learning in this process is to just give Him one more day. Maybe today was a battle but maybe the next day won’t  be. Maybe my deliverance is coming in stages.

This mindset is one of resilience. I didn’t have this understanding before this season. I didn’t need it because I had His presence and assurance and awareness of His love. I was very dependent on my feelings and awareness of God. But when feelings are gone what do you have? You are left with your testimony. You are left with all the ways He moved in the past in your life. You are left with His word that doesn’t change. 

And that has been enough for me to just keep giving Him one more day.

In other news, here is a selfie from this morning😉:

  
  
SHALOM

The Key To Life

Several years ago I received a prophetic word that “I will run on an excellent path”. I thought those were high praises from God. But what exactly did it mean? The definition of excellent is: “extremely good or outstanding”. I have always valued excellence. I have always wanted to be the best. Even as a child I beat myself up for not getting A’s on my report card. I was always very hard on myself. Now that I’m maturing in my faith I’m learning that my understanding of excellence is not always the Father’s understanding of excellence.

As I prayed this morning He showed me that this path is tailor made for my success. It has felt so challenging to me at times because it has exposed my weaknesses and required more perseverance and strength than I could ever possibly display. Of course that is the intent. I could not run an excellent path without the Holy Spirit. I could not keep the faith, persevere or overcome. The problem is I want to. I default to self reliance. I default to being too hard on myself. But this morning I was told this path is made in my favor. 

Dare I say yours is too? 

When I have struggled, God has given me TIME to recoup. He has not required me to have it all together and to even pass the test right away. Similar to Elijah when he faced fear God did not condemn him. Instead He met Him with a still, small voice and then set out to restore him. He gave him time.

Lately I have felt like knowing Christ is the key to life. The Holy Spirit leads you and guides you on the path that will yield the best possible outcome for you. The trick is that it can seem like He is playing you or you are losing out (especially when you compare your path to others). But thats only when we lean to our own understanding. We do not see the whole picture. We do not see the final outcome.

But He does. 

What better way to be guaranteed success at life then by being led by the One who designed it?

My life is proof that following Him leads to success.

SHALOM 

I Prayed for Movement

I prayed for movement because my friend hasn’t had a date in 7 years. My beautiful friend who is smart and funny and loves Jesus.  She overcame a brokenheart 10 years ago just like me.  Chose to let Christ lead her on this journey of faith just like I did. Has seen Him answer prayers and move on her behalf in so many areas of life but this one. There has been no movement for her. She has just been waiting. She says that she is hidden. She knows she is hidden and if God is hiding her then He is protecting her. He is storing up some good stuff for her. But 7 years is 7 years. That is her sacrifice for the call.

“I know God is investing in me”, I shared with her. I know He has taken great lengths with my journey and been so intentional with me because He is expecting to get a return on His investment. I know my life is attached to a harvest and there needs to be an annointing to receive that harvest. The anointing comes through the process“.

Neither of us knew what that process would look like 10 years ago. We didn’t know it would mean 7 years with no movement. Or in my case movement after 9 years only to sacrifice it all over again. God doesn’t tell you stuff like that. 

He just says “follow me”.

He just says “come and die”.

Before we ended our call I prayed for both of us. I prayed we would be the women He intended. I thanked Him for all He has done. I reminded Him He is faithful. And I prayed for movement in 2016 for both of us. I did this because when I pray for movement, He moves.  SHALOM

Breaking Strongholds

Sometimes things happen and we don’t understand why they are happening. Sometimes we just want the bad things to go away and for everything to be good again. I wanted everything to be good again. But that is not this life. Sometimes, many times, we need to FIGHT.  From day one of my faith journey I was awakened to the spiritual warfare we as believers are in at all times. Time went on and I was more “balanced” out in these experiences however my call did not change, the attacks themselves only became more covert. 

These last 2 months have been so difficult because  of a stronghold of fear in my mind. The definition of stronghold: a place where a particular belief is strongly upheld. Even though I loved Jesus I had a lot of false beliefs about Him. I was carrying a lot of fear in our relationship. No matter how I tried I could not shake this fear. All of a sudden my back was against the wall and I was forced to fight or else I would lose my mind. 

Christ is a deliverer. He restores our minds. He heals mental illness. He removes the strongholds. Let Him deliver you this day from false ways, false thinking and false beliefs. 

He has given you a SOUND mind.

SHALOM

Walking By Faith

I submitted two job applications this morning and that made me feel productive. At least I can say I’m trying. The interview I had Monday went really well. I felt the Lord was encouraging me that He is with me, regardless of the outcome. I’m still waiting to hear from the job I have been aiming for. It seems there is always waiting. I turn over and over the events of the past in my mind, remembering the path. Reminding myself how many times I have been here, and that every time the Lord was with me, and had a plan. My good friend reminds me of the same thing. He has never failed me. Truth be told this time of “rest” would be more enjoyable had I not had my own inner demons to fight. Fear, anxiety, doubt. They all surfaced their ugly heads and once again ruined my attempts at perfectionism. How I dread imperfections! But I do appreciate humility. It’s easy to start thinking your faith is so strong because there is something particularly special about you. At least, it was easy for me to feel that way. As others were unsteady and wayward, my heart overflowed with His goodness and presence. I found out these last couple of months, it was only His grace that I had faith during times of turmoil.  And even in the very mundane.

What has helped me the most when facing doubt is looking back. There have been so many supernatural experiences in my life and so many manifestations of His presence, how could I believe anything different? And the fact that I could just shows me how intense this spiritual battle is that we are in. It is a battle for our MINDS. Our beliefs will lead to what our hearts feel. Our feelings can easily mislead us if we have false beliefs.

I have learned I must cling to His word. His character is demonstrated in His word. No matter what it looks like in the natural, no matter what I feel, His word is true. My experience confirms His word.

Many wonder how we can believe in what we cannot see. Faith is the evidence of things unseen. There is evidence. I told my former boss this a while ago when he unexpectedly brought up faith. I told him I hear God in so many ways. I see Him in so many ways. Just because it doesn’t happen in the natural, does not mean there is not evidence. I have so much evidence in my life.

As I’ve struggled with doubt I’ve learned what it is that has brought me to living a lifestyle of faith. It is my experience. My experience confirms His word. His word says that if we seek Him we shall find Him. Anyone looking will have the eyes of their hearts opened and they will see Him. It is the eyes of our hearts that must be opened to see what is real and true.

I’m grateful the Father has opened my eyes. He has led me on a journey of demonstrating my faith by living the life He intended. He has given me grace to count the cost and choose to believe in the eternal over what is natural.

I hope He is doing the same for you.

In other news, please check out an article I had the blessing to be apart of writing for Shattered Magazine.  I interviewed Sherri Burgess regarding her upcoming book Bronner.  She writes about losing her 2 year old son and how God manifested Himself in such a way her loss is now a platform for His glory.

SHALOM

The Gift of Time

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending 48 hours with my goddaughter. Man that was a serious wake up call! I just want to say up front that I am HARDLY around children AND I’m an only child. You can imagine how unprepared I was to go from single with no children to being a full time mom! Sure I have had her and her siblings from time to time. I have taken them on outings and just took them tobagging last week but this little visit was something I had never before experienced. The following are a few insights I gained these last 48 hours:

1. You rarely have alone time. Everytime I was coming out of the restroom she was there.

2. Children are NEEDY. Every few minutes she needed something from me. She was simply not independent. Even if she wasn’t physically needy she was emotionally needy.

3. Sleep is a luxery. I was woken up this morning out of my sleep because she needed me.

4. Nothing goes by plan with kids. From the breakfast I slaved over to the bath she took, nothing went by plan.

My life is full of downtime and naps and rest. It is all about me. I dont have to wait for anyone or consider anyone but with a child that is all I was thinking about. I was always thinking about making sure she was ok. Making sure she was fed, bathed, entertained. And I even got a break when her dad came to pick her up yesterday! But still, I was tired. And that was just one child who is out of diapers! God’s grace and strength to all parents out there, ESPECIALLY to the single parents!

The one thing that stood out to me is the Father’s care for us. All the while I was caring for my goddaughter I kept being reminded that this is how the Lord is with us. I was convinced that all parents should never doubt the Lord’s provision and love. Just as they are so concerned to take care of their child they can rest assured the Father is the same way!

There were of course some rewarding moments and I love this little girl like my own. I pray for her and encourge her. I want her to know I am cheering her on every step of the way! Still I did not miss the message of this weekend and that is when you are single you have more time to focus on the Lord:  So I am going to bide my time in this season, continue enjoying my naps and rest and me time. Until God says otherwise I’ll enjoy the gift of time!  

 SHALOM