Raise A Hallelujah- Kick Depression To The Curb

Good morning y’all! 🤗 Hope your week is off to a great start. Mine is super busy.
I thought we’d talk about depression today. Have you ever dealt with it? Sometimes I feel as Christians we don’t talk about it enough.
Yes! You can be a Christian and still have depression despite what some people think. And just because you struggle with it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. I think most people at some point their life have struggled with it.
No one is immune to it. It crosses all barriers and races.
There are many causes of depression.

  • Hormone imbalances….such as thyroid, adrenal, menopause, etc.
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Environmental factors.
  • Situational
  • Winter weather for some.
  • Insomnia/sleep deprivation
  • Struggling relationships
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Loss of a job

I’m sure there are other areas I haven’t mentioned.

First off let me just say if this is you….you are not alone.

I’ve struggled with depression too from time to time. Mostly mine has been hormonal but some situational as well. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

One of my favorite verses is Romans 5:8

My friend, God loves you at your darkest.
He loves you even when you feel unlovable.
He loves you in your guilt and shame.
He loves you in your addiction.
He loves you in the pit.
Even better if you invite Him, he will come down to the pit and raise you up out there, Amen!!
God just loves you the way you are, even in your broken mess.
You don’t have to get all cleaned up to come to Him. You simply come as you are sweet friend!

Praise and worship is so incredibly powerful and it is our weapon that can break chains that bind us, bring healing, deliverance, and restoration to our lives and loved ones. It can opens doors, and it can cause the enemy to scatter in Jesus name! Hallelujah 🙌🏻

The Word says  “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through to the pulling down of strong holds”– 2 Corinthians 10:4

So we have to fight in the invisible realm. Worship and prayer does just that!

I love my worship! Worship changes everything, including the atmosphere.

Man this song Even Louder is one of my new favorites. “The bigger depression hits, the louder my praise gets” Just that one line gets you fired up!

When your in the pits of despair, worship Even Louder.

Get your praise on! Talk back to the devil. Speak the Word.

Praise precedes the victory my friends!

PRAISE HIM IN ALL THINGS! https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/praise-him-in-all-things/amp/

You can’t wait till all your circumstances are better. No! You gotta praise Him right now…in the storm.

The devil will stop at nothing to destroy and defeat you but you and I already know how the story ends….HaHa! The devil IS DEFEATED AND he IS A LIAR!

Worship pulls down Heaven to earth.

Psalm 22:3 “God inhabits the praises of his people.”

When we learn to praise and worship God in the storm, breakthroughs come, strength comes, and JOY COMES!

We do not have to live defeated lives while we are here in earth. We can get up every morning and CHOOSE to live a victorious life. Let me just say that praise and worship is one of the most powerful weapon God has given us against the devil.

When we pray and worship the devil and all his demons tremble. Don’t you love that?!?! You have the power to make the devil tremble!

Confessions From Joyce Meyer

1. I love all people, and I am loved by all people. 

 2. I prosper in everything I put my hand to. I have prosperity in all areas of my life – spiritually, financially, mentally, and socially.

 3. My children have lots of Christian friends, and God has set aside a Christian wife or husband for each of them.

 4. All my household are blessed in their deeds: we’re blessed when we come in and when we go out.

 5. I take good care of my body. I eat right, I look good, I feel good, and I weigh what God wants me to weigh.

 6. I operate in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are tongues and interpretation of tongues, the working of miracles, discerning of spirits, the word of faith, the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, healings, and prophecy.

 7. I know God’s voice, and I always obey what He tells me.

 8. The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost.

 9. I do all my work excellently and with great prudence – making the most of all of my time.

 10. I am creative because the Holy Spirit lives in me.

 11. I love to pray. I love to praise and worship God.

 12. I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. I will speak forth the righteousness of God all the day long.

 13. I have humbled myself, and God has exalted me.

 14. I am a giver. It is more blessed to give than to receive. I love to give! I have plenty of money to give away all the time.

 15. I cast all my care on the Lord for He cares for me.

 16. I don’t give the devil a foothold in my life. I resist the devil, and he has to flee from me.

17. I don’t have a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.

18. I am not afraid of the faces of man. I am not afraid of the anger of man.

 19. I am a new creature in Christ: old things have passed away, behold, all things are new.

 20. I have died and have been raised with Christ and am now seated in heavenly places.

 21. I am dead to sin and alive unto righteousness.

 22. I am a doer of the Word. I meditate on the Word all the day long.

 23. I am not passive about anything, but I deal with all things in my life immediately.

 24. I do not judge my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus after the flesh. I am a spiritual man and am judged by no one.

 25. I take every thought captive unto the obedience of Jesus Christ, casting down every imagination, and every high and lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.

 26. I am a responsible person. I enjoy responsibility, and I rise to every responsibility in Jesus.

 27. I have been set free. I am free to love, to worship, to trust with no fear of rejection or of being hurt.

 28. I have compassion and understanding for all people.

 29. I catch the devil in all of his deceitful lies. I cast them down and choose rather to believe the Word of God.

 30. I am anointed of God for ministry. Hallelujah!

 31. Work is good. I enjoy work. Glory!

 32. I have a teachable spirit.

 33. I do not think more highly of myself than I ought to in the flesh.

 34. Pain cannot successfully come against my body because Jesus bore all my pain.

 35. I am a teacher of the Word.

 36. I lay hands on the sick, and they recover.

 37. I do what I say I will do, and I get where I am going on time.

 38. I don’t hurry and rush; I do one thing at a time.

 39. God opens my mouth, and no man can shut it. God shuts my mouth, and no man can open it.

 40. The law of kindness is in my tongue. Gentleness is in my touch. Mercy and compassion is in my hearing.

 41. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he; therefore, all of my thoughts are positive.

 42. I do not allow the devil to use my spirit as a garbage dump by meditating on negative things that he offers me.

 43. I am a believer not a doubter.

 44. No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper, but every tongue that rises against me in judgment, I shall show to be in the wrong.

45. I am slow to speak, quick to hear, and slow to anger.

 46. I cast out devils and demons; nothing deadly can hurt me.

 47. I never bind a sister or brother with the words of my mouth.

 48. I am always a positive encouragement. I edify and build up; I never tear down or destroy.

 49. I will cry to God Most High Who performs on my behalf and rewards me.

 50. My son (name) has a sweet personality, and he is not rebellious.

 51. I don’t speak negative things.

 52. My children love to pray and study the Word. They openly and boldly praise God.

53. My children make right choices according to the Word of God.

 54. I am an obedient wife, and no rebellion operates in me.

 55. My husband is wise. He is the king and priest of our home. He makes Godly decisions.

 56. I use my time wisely. All of my prayer and study time is wisely spent.

 57. I walk in the spirit all of the time.

 58. All that I own is paid for. I owe no man anything except to love him in Christ.

 59. I love to bless people and spread the Gospel.

 60. I am an intercessor.

 61. I receive speaking engagements in person, by phone, and/or by mail every day.

 62. My daughter (name) operates in Godly wisdom and discipline, and she is full of energy.

 63. I never get tired or grow weary when I study the Word, pray, minister, or praise God; but I am alert and full of energy. And as I study, I become more alert and more energized.

 64. I will study the Word of God. I will pray.

 65. I do not hate or walk in unforgiveness.

 66. I do not fear. I am not guilty.

Sword Of The Spirit:

Psalm 30:11 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,”

 Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

 Psalm 3:3 “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”

 Isaiah 40:31 “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

 John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

 Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

 John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 143:7-8 “Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

 Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Father right now we come against that spirit of depression. We declare you have no hold on us. We command you to leave and we send you back to the fiery pits of hell where you came from! You have NO place here! Gods Word says “he inhabits the praises of his people” and we are Your people. You are close to the brokenhearted. We can take comfort in knowing when we are lost, You have found us. When we feel alone and abandoned, Your Word says You will never leave us nor forsake us. When we feel desperate like we can’t go on one more minute, You give strength to weary. Increase our heart of praise and worship. Help us to worship You in the midst of the storm. Bring those along side of us to lift our arms when we can’t. Thank you for loving us, give us peace, comfort and strength to endure our trials in Jesus name, Amen!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💖

I’m including 2 of my favorite songs to help get you started. Just soak in the worship and the Word, when you do you calling all of Heaven to earth to fight on your behalf and break the chains of depression and bondage

My Hallelujah- Bryan and Katie Torwalt

Nothing can take my hallelujah
Shadows will fade, darkness will break
I’ll keep on singing Your praise
O, what can take away
My hallelujah
No darkness can contain
My hallelujah
Your cross has made the way
For my hallelujah
My hallelujah

Me, I give my all despite my downfalls
Where many see me fail, only You see me prevail
The bigger depression hits, the louder my praise gets
The bigger depression hits, the louder my praise gets, c’mon
Even if the drum stops beating
My soul will keep on singing
Even louder, even louder
Even when my eyes can’t see it
I will sing till I believe it
Even louder, even louder
Even if the drum stops beating
My soul will keep on singing
Even louder, even louder
Even when my eyes can’t see it
I will sing till I believe it
Even louder, even louder
When I lift my voice
Heaven comes to earth
When I sing this song
I feel You respond
When I lift my voice
Heaven comes to earth
When I sing this song
I feel You respond
I feel You respond

Glimpse At Our Weekend At LoveLife Conference

Y’all! I just have to brag on my sweet girls. This past Christmas my girls got me tickets to Joyce Meyer women’s conference but not only that they got them for all 4 of us!

Growing up I use to alternate taking them to her Women’s Conference in St. Louis but my dream was when they got older was for us all to go together….they made that little dream come true.

Notice that “Expenses Paid” part LOL. They blessed my socks off!😇😇😇

The conference was amazing! It was about “Unleash the Warrior within.”

We had fantastic seats as well.

This Is Amazing Grace- Phil Wickham

Mack Brock, Phil Wickham, and Bryan & Katie Torwalt -Do It Again

Snippet of Joyce praying before we start. POWERFUL!🙏🙌🔥

Snippet from Joyce preaching.

Photo Creds: Joyce Meyer Ministry’s

Snippet from Holly Wagner

Snippet from Dr. Henry Cloud.

We also got to sneak in a dinner with my Aunt and Uncle that lives there in Charleston.

It was such an awesome trip and incredible time in the Lord. You might be able to go back at the live-streams. It’s worth checking out, it will absolutely bless you and give you hope!

Hope y’all have a wonderful week! God bless you always!

Big hugs,

Nicole💖

Run Your Race

Good morning beautiful TOG readers! Hope you are doing well and having a great weekend.

Let’s talk about running our race for minute.

Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

In case you didn’t know, God has given each one of us special gifts and talents, and despite what you may think…..there IS a call on your life sweet friend.

God wants YOU to run your race with perseverance, determination and passion.

You may have had a bad start but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great ending.

I want to encourage you to finish STRONG what God has set before YOU!! He has given you everything you need, its all on the inside of you. It just needs to be watered with faith and action, so STEP OUT.

Be determined to do what God has called you to do, YOU are a MIGHTY WARRIOR, DESTINED FOR GREATNESS and He has GREAT plans for you! Now RUN after it with your WHOLE heart!! Amen!!

God bless you!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

How Can We Pray For You?

Prayer changes everything my friend!

So how can we pray for you today?

Have you been waiting on a miracle or a breakthrough?

“But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.Psalm 18:6 NLT

Let’s believe God together!

Let’s call Heaven to earth.

What to do while your waiting:

  • Remember how much God loves you.
  • Forgive others, including yourself.
  • Remember past victories.
  • Pray the Word.
  • Speak the Word out loud.
  • Worship

Have a blessed day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Waiting Here For You- Christy Nockels

You are everything You’ve promised
Your faithfulness is true
And we’re desperate for Your presence
All we need is You
Waiting here for You
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it’s You we adore
Singing Alleluia
Singing Alleluia
Alleluia, singing alleluia, alleluia

https://youtu.be/J3OEGnH5x8g

Addiction Is A Family Disease

You might be wondering, is that really true? I assure you it is.

See an addict can’t be an addict without help. There’s people in their lives that keep that merry go round going.

There’s the enabler, who wants to “Help” and “Fix” and they think if I was a good enough spouse, friend, sister, brother, etc. then they wouldn’t be like this. I NEED to help them get on track.

One of the first things I learned in Alanon (a meeting for people who have a loved one or friend with a drinking problem) is The 3 C’s.

I didn’t cause it

I can’t cure it,

I can’t control it.

Sweet one, maybe you need to hear that today!

An addiction doesn’t have to be just alcohol or drugs, there are many forms of addiction….food, sex, shopping, pornography, cutting, working, exercise, video games, TV, etc.

I love the example Henry Cloud uses in Changes That Heal, about a dad and his 2 sons. (I have paraphrased this story.) So the Dad is meeting with Henry and says “I need you to fix my son.” So Henry looks to the son sitting there and says “What’s going on, how can I help you?” The son says “No, it’s not me, it’s my brother.” He says “Well where is your brother?” “He’s not here” says the brother. Henry says “Well where is he? And what’s his problem?” The dad answers “He’s flunked out of 3 colleges and he smokes pot.” Henry is puzzled by this and asked “How do you even do that? I understand how you flunk out of one, but how do you get in the 2nd and 3rd one?”

The dad answers “Well, I’m on the board of multiple colleges. The first time he flunked out there was to much partying in the dorm so I bought him a condo, gave him enough money so he could just focus on studying and not work and he still flunked out.” Henry says “Darn those kids!” Love his humor🤣

I’m already chuckling at this point because I see where this is leading too…..

The dad is the great enabler!

Henry asked “Where is your son today?” Dad says, “He’s not here.” Henry says, “I know he’s not here but where might gps find him?”

The dad says “He’s in Vale…skiing.”

Now I ask you, does this sound like the kid who has any problems to you? Not to me.

At this point Henry says, “Sir I’m a psychologist and I help people. I don’t think I can help your son. He doesn’t have any problems. He’s got all the money he needs, a free place to live AND he’s on vacation. He doesn’t have any problems.” Now the dads is confused and getting miffed, saying “Oh yes he does!”

Henry says, “You on the other hand I can help.” The dad is like “I don’t have any problems.” Henry says “Yes you do, you have owned all your sons problems. But I can help you, help your son have some problems.”

I just love that! The dad was busy helping and enabling all his sons issues. The son has had no consequences and has absolutely no reason to change.

Do you have someone like this in your life?

How are you coping?

Are you owning all their mess?

Still trying to fix them?

Learning boundaries is the most amazing and absolutely FREEING thing I’ve ever done.

We all need them, addictions or not. You could have a family member with untreated mental illness. I can relate to this one on such a personal level. A certain family member of mine, has untreated mental illness and ever since I can remember I was always helping, fixing, and rescuing them. Until the last couple of years, I was so burn out. Exhausted! Stressed to the max!

Every time my phone rang I and I saw it was them calling….anxiety would set in quickly! I never had anxiety before. You never knew what was on the other end of the line. Crying hysterically, mad, complaining about their life or someone in it, or the high manic side where everything is beautiful, wonderful, and full of rainbows 🌈 and unicorns 🦄

This was simply ingenious, I gave them a certain ringtone so I would know it was them calling me and at that moment I could decide am I in a place where I can talk to this person? Or do I need to let it go to voicemail and talk later? That simple thing, was life changing for me.

See sweet friend, it’s not your job to fix someone else. You and I are not Holy Ghost Jr. they have a Savior just like you do and that’s his job to work in their lives and change what needs to be changed.

However, we do have a part to do too and that’s to stop 🛑 helping and rescuing them. Let that loved one feel the consequences of their own actions.

If you have a person in your life and they are not taking responsibility for themselves, they don’t have a job or keep losing jobs and now they want to move in with you again….you keep forking out money to “help” and “rescue” them. That’s not helping them be responsible.

They don’t have a car and they want to keep using yours.

You could be taking up the slack for someone with things they need to do but choose not too….but you say to yourself “Well someone has to do it” and so you do it. But now your full of bitterness and resentment when what you needed to do is let them figure it out and you do what your supposed to do.

Or maybe they don’t have groceries or gas because they spent their money on frivolous things and they can’t buy groceries or get gas for the car they’re borrowing from you….but they’ll play on your emotions and say “if you love me then you’d give me the money that I need.”

This sounds ridiculous but it happens every day my friend….you are not helping them.

Sure there is a time when everyone needs help but when you see it becomes a pattern and it keeps repeating itself over and over and over again, YOU are now contributing to the problem and staying on that merry go round. They have no desire to do any different because you continue to fix there issues.

If they are addicted to alcohol, don’t buy it for them. Simply say, “I love you but I’m no longer going to contribute to this, from now on you can buy your own alcohol.” This one, I had to do with someone.

When that person calls you with drama and chaos, things they want YOU to fix….simply 🛑 and say I’m sorry, I can’t do that for you. Tell them you love them and I’m praying for you but you need to figure out this for yourself.

Look, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you this is easy to do because the truth is I have felt like my guts were being ripped out, nauseous to the point of throwing up. It’s hard as Hades and that’s NO JOKE! But it’s necessary for your own health and well-being.

God gave me this verse a few years ago and maybe it will help you too.

EXODUS‬ ‭18:17-18‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you [to bear]; you cannot do it alone.”

We were never meant to carry these burdens alone sweet friend.

‭‭Thoughts to ponder:

Who might you be enabling?

What are you carrying that doesn’t belong to you?

Have you been rescuing people?

What can you do let people in your life feel the consequences of their own actions?

How does that make you feel to even think about doing that?

Ohhhh, I’ll answer that for you, it will FEEL WRONG AND AWFUL! But just because it FEELS WRONG, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

You have to keep doing the next right thing and that “feeling” will catch up with you, eventually.

CHANGE IS HARD but it is a necessary part of life.

You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are.” Joyce Meyer

That’ll preach! That’s a word for someone.

So my friend just start setting small boundaries, those lead to big victories.

Pray about it, it may take you a while to do it and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve been there too. But you’ve got this, you can do it!

I pray God will give you the wisdom and courage to do what’s best for you and your family, setting those boundaries that brings peace to your heart and mind and FREEDOM to your life!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

To Forgive Or Not Forgive…That Is The Question

We all have situations in our lives when we have to choose to forgive. Take a minute and just think of a time where you were wronged or where someone hurt you, you got it? Now remember how it made you feel mentally, spiritually, and physically because it does all 3. It can run the gamut.

What happens when we don’t forgive?

Unforgiveness, pain, or stress can cause heartburn, high blood pressure, migraines, all kinds of sickness, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, and worsen pain. It can also cause us to put up walls, not trust others even when they were not the offender. It can cause us to live in fear, shame, and rejection. Puts distance between you and God, and other people and soooo much more.

Once that offense happens unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, anger, and more can all set in. I’m quite certain we’ve all experienced them at some point in our lives. It’s what we do with when it’s pops it’s ugly head out that matters most.

We can choose to let it makes angry, unhappy, grumpy, miserable, sick, basically it’s like drinking poison and expecting the one who harmed us to die. I’ve been there myself to often and my friend it’s not a fun place to be.

  • Unforgiveness steals your joy.
  • Unforgiveness actually can make your body sick.
  • Unforgiveness also opens the door for the enemy to work in your life.
  • Unforgiveness can hinder your prayer life, and keep your prayers from being answered.

So what’s our other choice? Because we do have another choice, it’s not easy by any means but it is the one that’s best for us and that’s….forgiveness!

I think we get confused, it doesn’t excuse the person or what they did that harmed you, it’s for yourself! It’s for your peace and your joy.

The wrongs that have been done to you can make you bitter or better, but not both. I’m choosing the latter. And yes it’s hard but it’s so worth it!

You may have to do it over and over and over again until one day it just is better and that person or situation no longer has power over you.

I found myself there the other day over a certain situation and I had the choice on what I would do. I’m happy to say after some shed tears, yes Lord 70*7 I choose to forgive, for myself and Lord as hard as it is to say, would You bless my enemies.

Matthew 18:21-22 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

What the enemy meant for harm and to destroy, You Lord will work for my good. It’s a promise!

Obviously, God has something so much better for us. Today I can even say thank you for the situation because it’s just given God more of an opportunity to shine in our lives. It’s all for His glory!

Ya know, I share some of my crazy Jerry Springer things or my brokenness and struggles not to air my dirty laundry or make you feel sorry for me but in hopes that maybe through my pain, my trials I can encourage and help someone else along the way! That’s my hearts desire. I never want my pain or tears to be wasted, and I want Him to receive all the glory. I’ve been through some stuff, just like you but I choose to let it make me better and you can too!

So today, I say choose forgiveness sweet friend, not for them but for yourself. God sees what’s going on in the lives of his precious children and don’t think He will not bring vindication and victory in your lives.

It takes time to restore and it may look different than what you think it should look like. But it’s durning those times of restoration that our faith and trust grows and we grow closer to God.

Never doubt God has a plan, He wasn’t caught off guard by what happened to you. His word says, “He will do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond all you could hope, ask or think.” Amen!! He loves you with an everlasting love and He will work it all out for your good.

Have a blessed and wonderful weekend! God bless you!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

The Misguided SELF- Life With ED And Overcoming My Broken Past

Hey y’all! Hope you guys are having a great week so far. The weather is so pleasant, I think I will be able to pull out my boots pretty soon🙌🏻 Fall and Winter are my favorite months.

I love the holidays. I’ve had my Fall stuff out for at least a month but I’m ready to decorate for Christmas, LOL.

Anywho, last couple of weeks some great things have happened with my blog and ladies small group. As some of you know, I’ve struggled with ED….eating disorder. I stopped abusing diuretics and laxatives a year or so ago when God put his finger on it and said “Now is the time to deal with this Nicole!” So I sought out help and have been in counseling since. Even though I gave up the diuretics and laxatives I was still struggling with not eating or binging…..But I recently had an epiphany.

As I said, something great had happened and God was all in it and when it was over I had a “small binge.” For the life of me I couldn’t understand why. It was so good, there was no need too. I guess for so long I thought it was only in the stressful times or bad times I would deprive myself or binge. Not realizing, I was doing it in the good times as well. I love the misguided self who thinks she can control this ED.

As I talked about what had happened with someone, I realized it went back to my childhood.

There were happy memories associated with food, maybe you already get that but I sure didn’t. Christmas time when the family got together, there was amazing food….well except for my grandmothers oyster dressing 🤢 She always thought I loved it, LOL. It was nothing but a nasty blob of mush.

Family reunions with lots of food and fun.

Birthdays full of fun, presents, and sometimes I would have 3-4 cakes different cakes. I was an only child in a divorced family, so I got to celebrate with a lot of different family members.

I can remember sitting around the table, the yummy smells, eating chocolate peanut butter balls, laughing, telling stories. Those are just some precious memories with my family.

Then as I got older, there were the times my mom and I would go out on the weekends, her in her pink foam rollers and terry cloth jumpers 🙈 We would have lunch and shopped till we dropped. I’m pretty sure that’s where my love of shopping developed, LOL🤣

More memorable, were the times when I was young, scared and afraid, hiding under a table.

Watching my drunk grandfather cuss out and beat up my moms 2nd husband.

Or the time when my grandfather was drunk again and threatened to shoot us. I remember begging my grandmother to call the police and she wouldn’t do it. She didn’t want him to be put away. He needed to be put a away, he needed help. But instead I was locked in a room.

I still remember that bedroom upstairs on the right, it had twin beds. Moma had hand stitched pictures on the walls, so beautiful. But there I was huddled on the floor behind the bed, the smell of moth balls filled the air. Popa’s sister, Aunt Sarah was there with me, I can still feel her arms around me, comforting me, and praying for us. To me her prayers were so powerful. I loved her dearly.

Then there were all the different men my mom dated, loved or married, all having major brokenness in their own life and passing that onto me. I know now she was hurt and wanted to be loved and was willing to do or be anything to get it.

Being raised in alcoholism, is chaotic enough, then there’s all the instability. You never know what to expect. So you learn to not rock the boat.

One step dad was OCD, nothing was ever good enough and he had such an awful temper. I knew he loved me and would buy me whatever I wanted….because that means love right? He scared me. There were times I would seek refuge and hide under the kitchen table in a ball to try and feel safe, and yet it escaped me time and again.

Wondering why this was allowed to go on?

Why didn’t my mom do something about it?

Why did I have to go through this hell?

Then another stepdad was an severe alcoholic. I loved him very much and he was there during some important years of my life. But his pain and brokenness just oozed out on everyone in his life. He didn’t know how to love well. I remember him saying things like;

“I’m a piece of shit!”

“I’m a slut, a whore!”

“No one will ever want you!”

“You will never amount to anything?”

Not only was he verbally abusive but he hit me as well.

Back then I wondered, what did I do wrong? Did I do something to deserve this? Was he told these things as a child? Why did he do those things to me? Why wasn’t I good enough? Why didn’t God stop it? More importantly, why did my mom allow those things to go on? Why didn’t she protect me?

This is when my eating disorder began to show its ugly head. At the time it was my comfort, it was a shelter for me in my storm….until it wasn’t. Then I couldn’t stop it and it took over my life.

I was so hurt and broken at this time, dealing with the shame and guilt of the past. Having been being molested at a young age as well, all I wanted was a way out.

I wanted my pain to stop.

I took an overdose of pills. I wanted to be free.

All I wanted was to feel safe, loved, accepted, treasured….ENOUGH.

Can anyone relate these feelings?

(That Girl Was Me…. Click below)

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/that-girl-was-me/

What happened after that was life altering. There I was revived, broken, and a sassy hotmess! My mom had made the decision to have me put in the hospital in hopes it would save me. Because of that one decision, my life was changed forever. I got the help I so desperately needed and for the first time in my life I felt hope….not freedom but hope that my life can change and be better.

I needed hope but I needed freedom more, but it would come later for me.

Not long after that I met my husband and we got married and my mom divorced and married again.

As a young mom and wife, full of fear, stress, and still looking for that love and acceptance I so desperately wanted….I had to keep up that appearance of having it all together. See you gotta look the part and play the part. Perfection! Plastic People. People will love you IF you’re perfect enough and IF you don’t rock the boat.

How misguided I was.

In the early years of my ED, it was just fun binging here and there with friends, but after I got married and started having kids, all the stress that surrounded that and not having family near to help or a healthy support system, I needed to control more. So, I had to kick up up a notch. One night in my shame and guilt I drank a hefty dose of ipecac syrup after my binge…..y’all! It. Was. The. Worst. Night. Ever!! I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown up so much. I quickly realized I didn’t like that experience lol and set out to find a better way.

Little did I know that my sin would take me further than I wanted to go, keep me longer than I wanted to stay, and cost me more than I wanted to pay. Unknown

I learned that laxatives and diuretics were easier than throwing up. My power was temporarily restored and I felt I had more control, at least in my distorted mind and that went on for 20 more plus years.

I could dress it up like the best of them. I had perfected my mask, so much that I didn’t know how to take it off. I knew I needed help but I didn’t know how.

During a “21 Days Of Prayer” God stuck His finger on it and said “It’s time, Nicole!” That was where my journey to freedom began. As I said before, I threw out all my laxatives and diuretics and haven’t taken them again!

Praise God for opening my heart and eyes. He sets us free sometimes little by little, from glory to glory. I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I use to be either. Hallelujah!

So I kinda felt a little stuck until I had this epiphany. But I see it so clearly now.

I couldn’t get free because I was holding onto things I needed to let go of. I don’t believe it was ever simply the eating disorder, it was about all the things that happened before that I was holding onto. Things I was shoving down, so far down to the point I couldn’t feel it. I was numb. But once I made that decision to let the Lord in those dark places of my heart I can actually say I’m getting FREE! Freedom is up ahead!

I’m walking it out now, I’m not free from the eating disorder YET, but I will be!!!

All those painful things from my past, the hurts, the brokenness, the trauma, the things the devil meant to harm and destroy me, MY GOD is working for my good!!

I won’t waste my pain, what I’ve been through has created the woman I am today, it doesn’t define me but I have experience, strength and hope now that I can share with whoever the Lord puts in my path.

I’m dealing with a lot of difficult things right now, feeling the pain, the brokenness, but now I know it’s ok to not be ok. I’m on my way. I don’t have to be perfect. All I need to be is who God created me to be. I’m learning to set boundaries with people in my life that once controlled me and healthy ways to handle situations.

I’m learning I have a voice and my feelings matter. They don’t have to be shoved down because someone might get angry, they need to be felt and dealt with and NOT shoved deep.

Now the pain draws me closer to God instead of driving me further away. See the enemy wanted me to be alone and isolated but God created us for relationship. I’m so blessed with family and friends that will hold my arms up when I’m to weak. They will be there for me as soon as I say the word….it may take me a while to say I need help, LOL but I’m getting better at it.

We all need a Titus.

Titus, was one of Paul’s converts and huge help to him in his ministry. Titus was the encourager in his life. When conflict came Paul’s way, Titus would be there in those difficult times or situations.

Life is painful!

Life is hard!

Unfortunately, crappy and unfair things can happen to us but with God on your side and a Titus in your corner, my friend you can’t fail!

That’s why church, small groups, support groups, and counseling are so vital to our lives. We weren’t meant to carry all these heavy burdens alone. We were built for relationships, we were meant to come along side one another in our pain and brokenness so it could bring healing and restoration to our hearts and souls. Who is your Titus?

I’m a Trophy Of Grace and you are too sweet friend!

I hope you have a wonderful week. God bless you!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗