Archive | January 2017

Lessons In The Dry Season

Its an interesting thing when your relationship with God changes. Well maybe interesting isnt the most accurate word to describe it. At least not for me. As is my normal this transition/change in season was pretty traumatic/dramatic. I did not understand the silence and the still small voice. I did not understand how after nearly 15 years of the very loud voice could God switch to a whisper? How could it be that for so long we spoke face to face then all of a sudden it seemed He hid His face from me? But I came across an old journal entry that confirmed what I already knew.

This was a “dry season”.
‭‭Amos‬ ‭8:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.”

I never even knew that scripture existed (except for the fact that I found it in an old journal) but it so captures this season for me. I feel He has been diligent to send His word indirectly to me through circumstances and people but not directly.  This has been weird since there has been nothing indirect about my relationship with God since I surrendered to Him as a teenager.

Over and over I have struggled with believing in His presence when I cannot feel His presence. How can He be here if I do not feel Him? I kept wondering. And then this morning while listening to a favorite minister the Word of the Lord came (as it has so often) through him. He shared that when we think God is not there simply because we do not hear Him our thinking is rooted in pride. Ouch.  He said that God’s response to this thinking was similar to when He responded to Job…

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”

I realized my struggle comes down to a false belief of knowing. So often our gift can also be a weakness. Because He has chosen to operate with me in “knowing” so often I have mistaken that to mean He has told me “all” when in fact it has only been some. We see in part and we know in part.

The dry season is not a “fun” season. It doesn’t have the emotional high of intimacy that I’m used to. It doesn’t have the spiritual songs birthed out of those quiet times or the prophetic dreams telling of things to come.  But what it does have is the power to develop me mentally and make me more stable emotionally.  And for that I am grateful.

In my journal 12 years ago I wrote that the dry season is a good season because things catch on fire when they are dry.

I look forward to being on fire…

In other news, if you’re struggling with communication in relationships and would like some tips check out my latest YouTube!

AND if you or someone you know is dealing with heartbreak I am now offering Skype calls! And the first 30 minutes are free! Simply email me for details…


SHALOM

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A Few Misunderstandings

Remember that game telephone? Where there is a group of people and the first person whispers a phrase or word in the next person’s ear? They pass it on and then they pass it on and the last person says the word or phrase? Except the word or phrase has changed dramatically because of the thing that happens when people who are different in perception and nature interpret something. So the word starts off as “kite” but ends up as “bus” and everyone is looking at each other side-eyed trying to figure out where the breakdown happened. I mean how do you get bus from kite? They don’t even have a similar vowel. Anyways I bring this up because it seems like my life is lot like this game these days. Only it’s a lot more annoying to be misunderstood or misheard or misperceived in real life. Because in real life misunderstandings cause broken relationships, career hindrances and a lot of other more serious consequences.


One of the benefits of being in a community of people who have known you for some time (or even know you by the spirit for a short time) is that they know you. That means they know your sense of humor, they know your intentions, they know your character. But if someone doesn’t know you then one unassuming sentence can be mistaken as an insult or an attitude. And that can be pretty hurtful if that is not your personality. I think misperceptions of others can happen so easily and they probably happen all the time with strangers. We judge and watch and go about our way having an opinion on someone who didn’t chastise their screaming child in public who was throwing a tantrum (or maybe this is just me?) or a couple who is making out in public with no shame. We sum up people as a whole based on one incident or a few short interactions and think we have them down but our judgment is based on past experience of others who may look like them, sound like them or think like them, not necessarily on them. We live off stereotypes and repeat the distorted truth of those stereotypes in the secrecy of our thoughts or the boldness of our lips.

I was frustrated that I was misunderstood. I was hurt and I was angry. Thankfully I received peace when someone who knew me (a few someone’s actually) was able to say, “Nicole, that’s not you”. These people knew my character, they knew my ways, and they knew my intent. I was blessed when my friend was able to read what I had written the way I intended it to be read. It is an affirming thing for a writer when the reader gets what the writer is saying. But I was reminded that even when those who do know me, who I do love and who I do look up to, misunderstood my intent, well I was reminded that they too are fallen. They too are human. They too miss the mark.

But there is One who knows me through and through. He knows my ways and He knows my heart. He knows my intentions and He knows my thoughts. 

There is no misunderstanding with Him. When you say “kite” He hears “kite”. And when you say “bus” He hears “bus”. And that truth gave me great comfort when I felt disheartened from being misunderstood.

Psalm 139…

Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.

SHALOM

Peer -to-Peer Ministry


Lore Ferguson, Stephanie Ike and Heather Lindsey. These are just a FEW of the women I observe quietly. Either through their blog or their Twitter or their Youtube. I watch and ponder and digest the deposit of food God baked inside of them. They are my peers, yes, but so much more. I get fed often and it is through this unique blessing of the internet. Only 10 years ago we were starting to socially benefit from this technology. But even then we could not have perceived the value it would bring in forming relationships and building ministries. Sometimes we build ministries and do not even know it.

At the onset of this year I received 2 messages, one on Facebook and the other on Instagram. The fb message said that a friend of a friend had been “following my work” and wanted to introduce me to someone who was willing to pay for my assistance. The IG message was from an old college friend who-unbeknownst to me-had purchased my book and was immensely blessed by it. We hadn’t spoken in years and I was overwhemed with encouragement.

There is a beautiful thing happening in this generation that has never been able to happen before because of the advancement of technology. We are able to encourage, comfort and minister to one another with the stroke of a key on a keyboard. Or the touch of a keypad on a phone. Im using my iPhone to type this very post!😊 Yes sometimes its used to bully and tear down but in the right hands connections are made that build the kingdom, restoration occurs in relationships, and acquaintances become friends.  Maybe even lovers.

I gleam so much from others who are vulnerable enough to go there. We are all walking out life and no one has it figured out entirely, but when we put our parts together I think we can glimpse the whole picture of what God is trying to show us: His Face. His Love. His intention when He created man.

We only need eyes to see.

And maybe a Youtube or a Blog to record it.

SHALOM

Someone Has To Be First

Its easy to take for granted the open doors in your life or the privileges you’ve been given when you never once worked for them. When you never faced the opposing forces behind those doors trying to keep you out or the closed handed fist holding tightly to those privileges which have the ability to unlock your dreams. Every once in a while after using a public water fountain and seeing a Caucasian person use it after me I’ll think about how 50+ years ago that would have been unheard of.  But there are so many times I’ll use that water fountain and never think about the history behind that privilege. Never think about the blood, sweat and tears that spilled on the ground just so I could take a sip after my workout at the gym. We all forget at times because we didn’t have to go through it ourselves. 

Its easy to forget.

I went to see “Hidden Figures” this weekend with friends; some older, some younger, but all impacted just the same. I marveled that the story told the lives of REAL women who took such a stand in their gifts and identity that the following generations could not help but be affected by their bravery and sacrifices. I marveled that these women all looked like me.


Often I grow weary in this spiritual journey. There seems to be so much opposition in these same areas, over and over again. I’ll compare my story to others who seem to have it together and get frustrated that it is so much easier for them. Then I was reminded after comparing: “You are first”.  

I am the first to yield and surrender and submit in these areas whereas my counterparts had generations before them as models. What God used their parents and families to do for them He did directly for me. He literally became a Dad and what my family couldn’t model His Spirit set out to teach me. But even with the gift of His Spirit there is extra opposition. There are opposing forces–both internally and externally that do not want to see these generational curses broken. They do not want to see the pattern of sin reversed. They do not want to see wholeness and sonship and the power of the Almighty displayed in earth as it is in heaven.

Seeing those 3 women doing the impossible in their day was awe-inspiring. But what if they had not persevered? What if they had not pushed   through the barriers that threatened to keep them boxed in with labels of being lesser than? Possibly I would not be a published author, or have an MBA in Accounting, or marry an incredible man who loves God and is faithful to his family and loved ones (just wait, its coming). That’s how powerful our choices are. We affect  the people around us and generations to come.

So remember when the road gets rocky and you keep finding yourself facing closed doors or closed fists or high walls that seem too tall to get over…”Someone has to be first”. Its not that you can’t do it. Its just that because you’re first its going to take more effort and grit than the ones coming behind you. And thats ok because the  ones who came before you are still with you cheering you on. And even though at times you may feel you are–you are never really alone.

My grandmother and I at my college graduation…


In other news if you’re in the area don’t miss this!!!


SHALOM