Category Archives: Authentic

Letting Go Of Excess Baggage And Speaking Life To Your Dry Bones

Hey y’all! Hope all my TOG readers are doing great! Another beautiful hot day here in Bama.

So much has been going on in my heart lately, dealing with things and issues from my childhood, past, and present. Things that have made me who I am today. But I realize those things don’t have to keep me broken and stuck in the past. They may have had a hand in who I am but they DO NOT DEFINE ME!

In a counseling session this week, as we were going over my life timeline, and wow that’s a job let me just say. As she would repeat back to me my timeline and the things that have happened to me, I could hear it but it was hard to feel some of it. I don’t know if that makes sense or not? I’d think “Wow, yea that really did happen to me” “Oh and that too, and that too” but I’ve tried so hard in my life to shove things down and not feel the pain or emotions of life, maybe you can relate?

For me, if something happened you couldn’t talk about it….it may hurt a family member or make them angry….forget that it hurt you. That was the message I heard.

Then if you did, your feelings were wrong and not relative. So what does one do especially when you’re a child? Well, you quickly learn what’s acceptable and what’s not and then you learn to SHOVE DOWN EVERYTHING ELSE!

For me an eating disorder developed, it was something I could control, or so I thought.

I carried shame and guilt for things that had been done to me, and later things I had done. But it wasn’t mine to carry, neither is it yours sweet friend.

I have felt alone, numb, unworthy, unloved, unwanted, wrong, insecure, the list can go on and on. Maybe you feel those thing right now. You are not alone precious one, you are in good company. God is with you and He loves you at your darkest! He isn’t scared off by your brokenness, He is just waiting for you to invite Him in.

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/i-loved-you-at-your-darkest/

ARE YOU CARRYING THINGS IN YOUR LIFE THAT DON’T BELONG TO YOU?

  • Guilt.
  • Shame
  • Regret
  • Resentment/Unforgiveness
  • Habits/Addictions
  • Anger
  • Past Relationships
  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Fear

“And He caused me to pass round about among them, and behold , there were VERY many (human bones) in the open valley or plain, and behold, they were very dry. He said to me, Son of Man can these bones lives? And I answered O Lord God, You know!! Again He said to me, Prophesy to these dry bones and SAY to them, O you dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD. Ezekiel 37:2-4

As I’m on this journey of restoration with God, I’ve realized some things.

One, I’m not alone in this.

Two, I have to let go of the things (or people) I cannot change…I am powerless to fix it but My God is NOT! My God is BIGGER!

And three, the things that need changing, the dry places in my soul….I have to Let Go and Let God.

There’s No Way Around Pain…Feel It And Move Through It

Today, I can say I’m doing a new thing! I don’t always get it right, but thank God I’m not where I use to be.

Those dry places in my soul and in my life, I’m choosing to feel them, be more vulnerable, and speak life to them. You can do the same thing my friend.

If you need something in your life to change, let me remind you when you let God in ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Healing and restoration are possible and I’ll even go as far to say it’s inevitable. Because where God is, there is LIFE and there is FREEDOM!

There is life and death in the power of your tongue! Speak LIFE!

The same power that raised Christ from the dead, lives IN YOU!!

Speak God’s word out of your mouth every day and call those things that be not as though they are!! Get in agreement with God’s promises!! Your life and circumstances WILL CHANGE!!

Prophesy to those dry bones!! And keep prophesying till what is dead comes to life. Don’t you dare give up!!

God bless you! I’m praying for y’all and I’d love to hear from you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Perfect Love Cast Out Fear

Have you struggled with fear in some way in your life? I think we all do at times. I know for me I struggled with it for the better part of my life. Fear of failure, fear of rejection that’s was a HUGE one for me. Fear of not being good enough, low self esteem, yea I could go on. And you may find yourself there today. But I’m here to tell you that His perfect love kicks fear to the curb!!! Fear is a LIAR!

We all have a past, we all have deep seeded wounds, but Jesus came to heal you every where you hurt. I was thinking we get dressed every day, for the ladies we put our cute clothes on, we doll ourselves up with hair and makeup, smelly lotions and perfumes. You men y’all are so lucky, you take like a minute to get ready lol. Shower, shave, slap some gel in your hairs, and spray some cologne and your good to go lol. But once we are all done often there is one more thing we all put on before we leave….our mask. Our mask that says “Everything is fine.” “Everything is perfect in my life.” And honestly from the outside it could very well seem that way.

When someone says “Hey, how are you?” And your response is “I’m great! Couldn’t be better!” When really you’re dying and broken on the inside. We answer that way because we don’t want people to think less of us or what would they think if they knew what we were really going through???

First off let me just say YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I have been there myself. I put the mask on for many years not wanting people to know what my struggles were or what was going on in my life.

But if you can dig deep and find the courage to talk and share with someone I promise you, you will find out that you are not alone and that others are going through the same thing as you, or they have been there or they are going through something else equally as hard or harder.

Being vulnerable is hard but once you take that first step you open the door for healing to come in and new friendships to blossom and for the Lord to do a mighty work in your life.

You don’t have to get all fixed up to come to Jesus, church, or small group. Jesus loves you just they way you are, and just where your at!

The church is full of broken people.

People suffering from shame, guilt, drugs, alcoholism, pornography, rejection, infertility, abortions, divorce, rape, molestation, depression/other mental illnesses, and the list goes on and on. God uses the weak and the broken. His Word is full of stories of how He used broken and sinful people to do great and mighty things and He wants to do the same for you precious one.

God is in the restoration business. He will take your broken pieces and put you back together better than you can imagine. He will take your pain and suffering and use it for His glory and purposes and help others in the process. He will take your mess and give you a message.

I look back at 10-15 years ago I wore a mask often and that smile you saw back then was often a sad, fake smile. BUT GOD and I love that he gives us joy for mourning, beauty for our ashes! The smile you see today is real, it’s the joy of the Lord. (I like smiling, smiling my favorite…a little Elf humor LOL)

It’s not a perfect life but it’s a life not lead by fear any more. God is so good and He brings restoration and He will do it for you to my friend!💗

You are a Trophy of Grace!

Love and hugs,

Nicole💗

Click link below for the song Fear is a Liar:

https://g.co/kgs/oSKz9N

How are you…..REALLY? 


So Today was the first day of a new Bible study that we started. It’s about building friendships, being authentic and being real. It’s so easy to put a mask on and act as if everything is OK. But it’s been my experience we can dress it up, lose the weight, get the newest car, get the promotion you always wanted, buy the house of your dreams but it doesn’t change what’s going on under the surface. It’s just an illusion…..perfect plastic people.

We can have our hair perfect, make up on point, dressed to the nine and give the illusion that “We have it all together” but it couldn’t be further from the truth. All that doesn’t change what’s going on on the inside. So whether I’m on point so to speak or no make up, yoga pants and T-shirt doesn’t change the inside, it just gives us false illusions. And BTW I do enjoy both😊💁🏼 So today I on purpose wore yoga pants, T-shirt and no make up, I did brush my teeth and my hairs lol 😂 but that would not be my typical attire when leading a Bible study. But God has been really dealing with me about being the real me and being authentic. I am not perfect and yet I expect perfection from myself and then when I fail, and of course I do, I beat myself up. Why do we do that to ourselves? There was no perfect person but Jesus. It doesn’t matter how dressed up we get, we all have issues and problems we are dealing with, some may be more apparent than others but nonetheless we all have struggles and to go through life with our perfect little mask on is doing a disservice to ourselves and those around us. Now I’m not saying spill everything your going thru to everyone you come in contact with but what I am saying is JUST. BE. YOU. The REAL YOU! Folks we have to go deeper in life and in our relationships to be a who God made us to be and be a better YOU and ME.

You can live in the best of neighborhoods, have the best job, best schools, clothes, best whatever but when there is so much anxiety, sadness, depression, addictions, sickness, and grief in your 4 little walls you are only fooling yourself by putting that mask on every day and acting like “I’m fine.”
We were built for relationships and not act as if everything is perfect in our life. The struggles are real. The trials are real. The pain is real. I’ve seen it firsthand myself the beauty that takes place when we are real with one another. When I make a decision to be open with my pain and struggles, being vulnerable with another friend often I find out they to have struggles, maybe even the same ones. But had I not been real or taken a risk I wouldn’t have discovered the beauty and healing that could come from being so vulnerable.

When we dress up every day and go out we interact with people, we have a choice, who will you really be? God instilled in you and me certain gifts and traits to help other people, and the same is true for someone else, they have something you need.
This one question just spoke volumes to me and we say it every day “How are you? Or how are you doing today?” You hear it alllll the time and 9 times out of 10 we respond “I’m fine.” We’ll there ya go, that’s it, end of discussion and we move on, “You have a good day!” I’m guilty of it too. My husbands favorite phrase is “I’m living the dream!” With his best sarcasm😂

But I propose the question to you “How are you REALLY?” What’s going on in your life? Haven’t seen you at church or work, every thing ok? Or “I saw or heard you had been sick.” “I heard what happened, that’s terrible.” It could be a number of different things. But I think we find ourselves so busy in life we barely stop to breathe much less take the time build a true friendship. And even if we do, it’s with only “certain” people and we don’t allow others into our circle. But I’m hear to say we all have something someone else needs, if you know you me very well you’ve heard me say that many times before but it’s true. Open the circle my friends.

My challenge to you (and me) is to open your circle. Talk to someone you might not normally talk to, encourage them. You don’t know what other people are going through by just looking at them. Smile at someone. Give someone a hug. Buy the car behind you at Starbucks a coffee. Write a note, send a text someone who you know is struggling. Just try and brighten someone’s day. Share from your heart. Think about “Do I look approachable? Do I appear available, or always busy?

My friends I say take the mask off and open your circle and just see what God does in your life and the lives of others around you.
Hugs,
Nicole💗