Tag Archives: Anxiety

Enduring And Abiding

Hey y’all! Hope this find you doing well. So many things going on in our world today, right?

When life gets hard, things happen that are out of our control. Stock market, Coronavirus, stay home, no close contact with others, work from home if possible. Life is changing. I’m a hugger and I miss hugging everyone 😭 I love time with my church, small groups and family and friends. I love shopping. Literally, as I’m writing this I got a call from my Immunologist for my appointment next week, they are changing it to phone appointment so I don’t go to UAB. Crazy, right? I mean I apologize it and all but life as we know it changing before our eyes. At least I won’t have to weigh myself, lol 🤣🤦🏼‍♀️ Gotta look for the positives right?🤷🏼‍♀️

When all this is over I’m gonna be a hugging machine🤗

Endure. What exactly does that mean? Endure to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; to bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate.

Boy, do we ever need patience right now. Patience with people buying up everything and all the toilet paper. Patience with waiting in the long lines at the store but also observing the 6 ft suggestion. Personally, I like some grocery pick up and delivery.

People are on more edge now. Offer a smile when you have to go out. Pay a compliment to the cashier or whoever it is. People need to be encouraged at the this time. People need to see Jesus in you. Even if you had to wait a long time in line, just tell the cashier you appreciate them. You understand how stressful it is for them and you know how hard their working and God bless them. They need it. Love God, love people!

Ok off my soapbox now.

Abide. What does abide mean? To bear patiently : tolerate. To wait for. To remain stable or fixed in a state. To continue in a place. Stay connected. Dependent on.

Now more than ever we need to stay connected to the Vine, we need remain stable in the storm. People are watching you. They want to see how Christians will respond in this storm. How are you responding? With fear, distrust? Only worrying about yourself? Are you checking on others? A simple phone call, text. I know we can’t always be together physically but we can still support and love each other in other ways. We might have to be more creative.

So how can we endure like Jesus did and abide in Him at the same time? During times of enduring, we MUST abide in Him. We must remain stable IN Him and fix our eyes on Jesus.

Like 2 chronicles 20:12 it says “….For we are powerless against this great multitude which is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

Stay in the Word. Read and study God’s word. Read devotions.

Praise music ushers in the presence of God.

Pray. Pray. Pray.

Fast something for a time. It helps you draw closer to God. It doesn’t have to be food, it can be anything.

Listen to Podcasts or YouTube sermons, lots of sermons and Live streams on Facebook right now. It will really lift you up instead of just listening to the news of doom and gloom 24/7. I know we need to stay informed but to much of it causes us fear and anxiety.

Journaling, writing out your feelings is so helpful.

Enjoy your family. Watch Hallmark they are gonna be playing Christmas movies…Yaaassss! They know how to get me lol. If this goes on to long I may decorate my house😜 Play games together. Binge watch Netflix. Color. Do a puzzle. Play with your doggos. You know there are some happy happy doggos right now🤣 Cook a meal, bake a cake or some cookies. Just enjoy each other.

Honestly, taking care of yourself is so important right. If you don’t do that, you can’t help others and do what God wants and needs for you to do. Drink lots of water, Dr. Pepper when needed 😉 just not 8 a day lol. Eat healthy, fruits veggies, and proteins….less junk and bad carbs. Your immune system will thank you later. Take your multivitamins, supplement with vitamin C and other things that that are important to you and your health needs. I use essential oils and tons of supplements. I also think digestive enzymes are great as well as probiotics. Exercise. You can still get out and walk. With YouTube goodness you can find any exercise you want on there. Yoga, HIIT training, etc. All this stuff matters especially right now. Sorry another soapbox 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

Fix your eyes of Jesus.

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [a]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

Endure like Jesus did precious one, That’s what being in the Word and daily devotions can do for you. Stay in the word sweet friends. ENDURE, be patient, this to shall pass, keep on keeping on, and don’t give up! Abide, in Him. Don’t separate from the branch. Remain stable through the trials.

The cross had 2 sides the crucifixion side and the resurrection side. Jesus had to endure one side to get to the other….You know that’s exactly what we have to do too. Sometimes we have to go through struggles and trials of life, things beyond our control, just like Jesus we have sometimes have to endure bad or really tough things to get to the other side.

But hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus, for the joy of obtaining the prize of the cross, the resurrection, endured the pain. I love Joyce Meyer definition of endure is to outlast he devil!! To be steadfast long enough to let the trial do whatever it’s going to do in our lives and get from one side of the cross to the other!! AMEN!!

You have resurrection power life on the inside of you to endure whatever it is your going through by abiding IN HIM, you stay connected to Him, stay dependent on Him.

Keep on keeping on, press on, and don’t give up!!

Endure like Jesus. My heart will be steadfast because I KNOW that You are good💗

Sword of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

James 5:11 We count those blessed who endured You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

2 Timothy 2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;

2 Timothy 2:10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Praying for you sweet Trophy of Grace readers. Gods got you right on the palm of His hand, no weapon formed against you will prosper!!

If you have specific prayer request, I’d be happy to pray for you. God bless you!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Get your worship on💗🙌🏻

The Lord Is Near….Be Anxious For Nothing

Coronavirus…it’s on everyone’s mind. Whether you say it is or not, all the lines, shopping, hoarding, and empty shelves at the stores shows it. I still don’t get the toilet paper selling out🤷🏼‍♀️🤣

Here’s what I’ve noticed, some have gone from one extreme to the other. It’s crazy. Some are like “Its just a cold. Why are you acting so ridiculous?” Then others are screaming “It’s the end of the world!”

If we listen to what the doctors say and follow what YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS are, meaning whether you’re a healthy individual or if your elderly or immunocompromised that kinda tells you which direction you should go. It’s not a guarantee you won’t get it, it’s a guideline for you.

Personally, I fall in that immunocompromised category and I have several friends that do as well. I have CVID, so I do have to use wisdom and caution with what I do. You may decide to go to movies, church, small groups, etc. and that may be right for you but for others like myself that is not a good idea. What bothers me is when I hear people say “Well your living in fear when you stop going to places.” No, on the contrary I’m not living in fear at all, I’m living in wisdom and doing what’s best for me.

We shouldn’t judge other people’s decisions when we don’t know what they deal with. So many people have health issues or they have loved ones with health issues and all that needs to be taken into consideration when making a decision on what you will do or where you will go. It’s based on you and your family….not based on what someone else thinks. But that’s just my opinion 🤷🏼‍♀️

I just want to remind you that during all this chaos, the Lord is near.

When fear of the unknown threatens to bog you down, and steal your peace and joy and you find yourself scared and anxious, your not crazy, it’s normal in times like this.

We are human.

Fear of the unknown does that.

The difference is you don’t want to LIVE in fear. We have to choose faith over fear but also use wisdom for your own circumstances.

The Lord is near.

We all face fear and anxiety from time to time but just let me encourage you today sweet friend that God never gave us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and of sound mind. He didn’t cause this but I can assure you, He will work things out for your good.

The Lord is near.

For some, jobs are uncertain.

I know with the economy fluctuating like it is, it’s scary and unsettling.

But the Lord is near.

Some moms and dads just found out schools out K-12 for almost 3 weeks and your thinking “Y’all gonna make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here.” 🤣🤣

But the Lord is near.

Like Joseph, God can cause you to prosper during a famine. Put your trust in God and get in the Word. God will bless you to be a blessing.

Pray! Pray! And pray some more my friends.

Check on your neighbors or elderly family or friends.

Pray for our healthcare workers.

Pray for our government officials, all branches whether you like them or not. Pray they have wisdom.

Put on the whole armor of God.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Sword of the Spirit:

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” Psalm 56:3

God will “instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” Psalm 32:8

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

I pray you start to see the goodness of God and His supernatural provision in your life and family.

Prayer:

God answers prayers sweet friends and it says in James, The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. So Lord we come before You with praise and thanksgiving. We worship You for who you are and thank you for loving us and saving us. Father there are so many people sick and in need of healing, help them regain their strength. Refresh and restore them. Bring healing from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet. Bring supernatural healing to every cell, every organ, repair dna, and we declare it must come in alignment with Your perfect Word.

We come against that spirit of fear that is so evident in our world today. We declare you have NO place here. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind. When fear, worry and doubt come against me, I’m reminded how big my God is. How he holds my future in his hands. He has a great and mighty plan for my future.

Lord bring provision where provision has been lost. You are Jehovah jireh, my Provider. Give divine wisdom, ideas and creativity to your sons and daughters. Bless us in the famine and open up the windows of heaven Lord.

Help us to point others to You. To show love to others and be a light in the darkness. Thank you Lord for what your doing and that through all this You will get the glory. We give You all the glory and honor, in Jesus name, Amen!🙏🏻

Here As In Heaven

A miracle can happen now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here
A miracle can happen now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here

“Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident…For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock.”

He’s got you precious one!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Put on a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness….

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💗

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💗

 

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💗

Reckless Love Of God

Sometimes it feels that we are going through life alone but let me encourage you God is right there with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s coming after you.

In the last few months going through all this sickness and crazy stuff, it’s been one thing after another. I have felt scared and I have felt alone but I have to say it’s been in those moments of pressing in God has been more real to me and I have felt closer to Him. He has shown me his goodness and kindness. He’s helping me to trust Him more and depend less on my feelings and what I see going on around me. He has even sent precious new friends to lift me up.

So what do you do when fear comes at you?

Do you bow to fear?

Do you isolate?

Do you lash out?

Do you let it take over?

If I’m honest, I’ve done it all, maybe your there now too. Don’t be ashamed it’s ok but now is the time to rise up precious one. It’s time to change your confession.

Lately God has shown me that I have to fight back with His word, the sword of the Spirit more so than ever before. It’s part of our armor we need to put on every day like getting dressed. But it’s our choice, we have to choose to pick up God’s word. We have to choose to fight against fear, anxiety, sickness, addictions or whatever it is your going through. His Word is alive, active and sharper than any 2 edged sword and so powerful that it cannot return void.

Your circumstances may look dark and you may not see a way out but God has a way of lighting up the darkness or kicking down walls that are hurting or hindering you. He’s coming after you, He’s coming to your rescue.

We have the power within us, we just have to choose to use it. The power of life and death is in the tongue, so CHOOSE LIFE! SPEAK LIFE!

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Remember YOU are a trophy of grace and God loves you and has a perfect plan for your life! You have a destiny to fulfill!

Blessings,

Nicole💗

Enjoy the video Reckless Love, clock the link below.

“There’s no shadow You won’t light up. Mountain You won’t climb up, Coming after me.There’s no wall You won’t kick down. Lie You won’t tear down. Coming after me.”

He’s in the Waiting

So thankful for this gentle reminder today.

“Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting.”

I have been enduring lots of waiting the last few months. Have you found yourself waiting too?

I’ve struggled with sphenoid sinus infections and occipital migraines for a few years and I had sinus surgery in March. Well it’s literally been one trial after another since then. Shortly after I found out I had staph and something else they cultured.

It has wrecked havoc on my body and I have gotten into lots of anxiety and fear.

Do you have any anxiety or fear over something going on in your life?

Are you waiting for a breakthrough or healing?

Just as I was encouraged today, I want to encourage you, He’s there with you in the waiting. Stay strong and steadfast precious one.

Tell God what’s bothering you and then turn every fear and all your anxiety over to him and make it your prayer list. Keep praying till your breakthrough comes.

Phil 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

There’s 2 ways we can wait; we can wait passively or expectantly. If we wait passively, we just sit around waiting to see what will happen. Not really sure God will come through for us and not expecting anything good so we just give up.

But an expectant person is full of hope. They believe God is at work on their behalf. They believe and have there full trust in Him and that He will work all things out for their good. They believe in SUDDENLIES of God.

Wherever you find yourself today, don’t give up my friend. Don’t stop believing. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay full of hope and expectation. God’s got you! He has you right in the palm of His hand and nothing is to big for him and He wasn’t surprised by your situation.

Stand firm and steadfast! Keep pressing in and never give up!

Take courage my friend and you will rise in His victory.

Enjoy this song by Bethel.

https://youtu.be/r49V9QcYheQ

Love and hugs,

Nicole💗