Tag Archives: Freedom

Fasting and Eating Disorders

The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. Isaiah 58:6-8

I’ve learned so much as I walk out and get free from ED (eating disorder) 21 days of fasting and prayer have always been one of my favorite times of the year but also a time that caused me great pain and confusion. Over the last year though I’ve learned why.

Fasting can be very triggering for someone who suffers from an eating disorder.

This one word….Fasting….can cause my world to fall apart completely.

We study the life of Christ and his spiritual disciplines and we learn how important fasting and prayer are and how they can break the chains that bind us.

Prayer changes everything.

However, when one has an eating disorder fasting can destroy any and all progress you have made.

Restricting is NEVER GOOD under any circumstances.

Restricting TRIGGERS even done under the best of intentions.

Most people that do 21 days of prayer in January they might do the Daniel Fast, food altogether, sugar, 1- 2 meals a day, etc. But in my brain, that simple suggestion to skip or restrict a meal can flip a switch that cannot be easily turned off and send me spiraling.

I can remember over the years when I started realizing I was struggling in this area I just didn’t know why or how or what to do to help myself. 21 days of prayer and fasting would roll around and I decide to do Daniel fast and fail miserable. Enter shame and guilt.

Then I’d decided to fast sugar, same thing, I’d fail miserably. Enter more shame and guilt. I’d ask myself time and time again “Why can’t I do this?”

I know people mean well but there are some people that will shame you for not fasting what they’re fasting. That happened to me countless times. Let me just say I don’t need someone else heaping more shame and guilt on me I’ve done enough of that myself. You should NEVER shame anyone for doing something differently or not doing something you are doing because you have no idea what they are going through.

I read somewhere, “In many cases, asking a recovering eating disordered individual to fast for a single meal would be like inviting a recovering alcoholic to drink a beer: It is absolutely disastrous.” Let me just say it’s VERY TRUE!

I’m so thankful in so many ways for 2020. I believe I’ve grown more in my eating disorder which is mind blowing because during a pandemic eating disorders as well as other addictions and disorders were skyrocketing. Not to say, I didn’t have my challenges but I praise God He was moving and working in me and through me to gain more freedom instead of losing freedom.

So as we start this season of 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, FOOD IS NOT AN OPTION FOR ME and even though it’s taken me a really long time to believe this….It’s ok!

I know we are called to Fast and Pray it’s all over the Bible. It was through 21 days of Fasting and Prayer when God finally said “Nicole, now is the time to deal with this secret problem you have.” He told me to throw out my diuretics and laxatives that I had been abusing for sooooo many years and I was set free right there! Haven’t touched another laxative or diuretic since. So I KNOW fasting and prayer work. It’s just mine and maybe yours needs to look differently and ITS OK.

We have to protect our own recovery. I have worked soooo incredibly hard to get to where I’m at and I have such a long way to go but you best believe I’m protective of myself.

Fasting is simply laying aside SELF. Who couldn’t benefit from that, right?

Fasting is clearing out the clutter that we’ve let in and allowing God in those places. I’m sure there are many areas we can come up with to give up or Fast from that don’t involve food.

Fasting is about growing closer to God.

More of Him and less of me.

Fasting is NOT a diet and some people use it to lose weight at the beginning of the year but don’t work on the drawing closer to Him part.

Ideas of things you can FAST:

Social Media

Gossip

TV

Video Games

Online Shopping 😱🙈 my hubby would prolly like me to do this one LOL😜

Secular Music

Negative Self Talk

Don’t Eat Out

There’s so many things you could Fast instead of food. It’s not about what your giving up it’s that you are dying to self so that Christ can be glorified through us.

Maybe, just maybe, me walking in my recovery, following my meal plan for someone with ED….maybe MY FAST. See now I’m learning self care and how to nourish myself….that’s a sacrifice and takes a lot of time and prayer.

So yes, I’m excited about 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer! But I WILL NOT be fasting food in any way. My ED recovery is to precious to me and I’ve come to far for that. I look forward to seeing what our Mighty God will do during this season.

I’m believing and expecting great things for you and for me. God bless you and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

I still believe You’re moving. I still believe You’re speaking God, I believe You’re working All things for good. I fix my eyes on Heaven God, I receive Your vision God, I believe You’re working All things for good. We sing come alive in the name of Jesus. Come alive in the name of Jesus. This is a house of miracles. We bring everything to the feet of Jesus. Everything in the name of Jesus. This is a house of miracles💗🙏🙌💯⚓️

That Girl Was Me….

That Girl Was Me….

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

September is National Suicide Prevention month so I thought I’d reshare you story. I hope it will bless and encourage someone.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗🙏

My Passion And My Struggle

Hey y’all !! What’s up? What’s up? I haven’t been here in a while, lots going on in our neck of the woods. How about y’all?

My hubby is STILL working from home y’all! Prolly no plans to go back in the office till the first of the year.

Imma lose my mind y’all 🤣🤣🤣🤣

My Daddy is in the process of moving here so we are trying to find him a place and get him settled.

Had some close family members with some serious health and my grandmother past away about a month or so ago. No one was able to be with her and she died all alone and I think that just made it more difficult. There are some other things but I can’t share them. Just a difficult season here, which I know it is for many of you.

Had a lot on my mind as we’ve being going through all these different things. Add in my health issues and school, no alone time, being stuck at home 🤪 and the Rona I’ve found myself frozen at times, maybe you can relate to that.

Some of you know I’ve been in school to become a Holistic Health and Wellness practitioner which I’m so excited about this journey the Lord has had me on. It’s just taken me a little longer than I thought it would but it’s ok Imma get there. It’s ALL in Gods timing.

Extending grace to myself is so much harder than it is to do for someone else. I’ve had a lot going on around me and IN me. Some of you know I’ve struggled with ED…….eating disorder. Sometimes ED screams so loud and other days I feel victorious and it’s so quite. I’m in counseling with a nutritionist who is awesome but imma just say it’s hard work and it’s an every day battle.

A battle to NOT weigh myself everyday.

A battle to eat lunch or not eat lunch.

A battle to not restrict food.

A battle to not eat a bunch of cookies or a big cup of Cheeseballs.

It’s just a battle.

I know the battle belongs to the Lord but sometimes we’ve done things for so long they become ingrained in us and they become a habit and it is a process of overcoming.

So where am I at today? And this sooooo soooo important to recall these things.

I’m not where I wanna be but I’m not where I use to be either.

Well….I’m no longer abusing laxatives or diuretics. I haven’t done that in 2 years or more. That’s a big ole W!!! 🎉

There were days I would wake up and decide I’m not going to eat today and I wouldn’t. Now I’ve come to realize that restricting food was a form of punishment to myself. I can tell you that thought hasn’t crossed my mind in months, PRAISE THE LORD!! 🙏🙌🎉

I’m not weighing myself everyday. Y’all literally don’t even know what an amazing accomplishment this is. I would weigh myself everyday, sometimes 2-3 times a day. In order to do this though I had to remove the scale from the bathroom and outta my sight. The first week was so hard I almost got up in the middle of the night to weigh myself, I know it sounds crazy. But that’s ED for ya! I did really well for about 2 or 3 months and not even sure what happened but I decided to go to it’s deep dark hiding place and pulled that evil scale out and stepped on it. THAT WAS A BAD MISTAKE FOR ME! It set me over the top because I had actually gained a little weight. I got in all kinds of fear and old patterns started showing up. Imma do this, Imma do that. I’m not gonna eat this or that. Imma exercise for X amount. That’s ED behavior and it’s what I’m trying to overcome.

But here’s the thing, I’m finally allowing my body and metabolism to heal from all the dieting and self destructive behavior I’ve done to my body so that’s going to happen before it gets better. You can’t put your body through hell for years and years and expect it to perform a peak condition in just a few months. NO it took me a lifetime to get here. It’s a healing process kinda like how our hearts have to heal after being broken. I could just choose something quick and fast because so often quick and fast works, we see results but its temporary and we find ourselves right back in the same place 6 months or 2 years from now at least that’s been my experience. At this place in my life I’m choosing healing and finally getting to the root and freedom even if it takes me a lifetime.

So my whole purpose when the Lord lead me to my counselor, Hope who lead me to the nutritionist, Amie. I said to her I don’t want to lose weight…..well I mean the flesh part of me does but the inner man of me wants freedom and healing and to finally have a healthy relationship with food AND the scale AND love my body AND not curse it.

Far to long I’ve gained my worth and value over what I saw in the mirror and what number I saw on the scale. You may not be able to relate to that particularly. For you it might be how your house looks, the clothes your wear, your job or title, car you drive, your kids, neighborhood you live in, etc. At some point most of us at have tried to find our value in other things. I’m hear to tell you it will LEAVE YOU EMPTY and searching for more my friend!!

Only Jesus can feel that hole that we try so desperately to fill with other things.

Another BIG W 🎉 is I’m eating lunch almost every single day. I haven’t done that in yeeeaaaarrrssss y’all! That’s incredible! But let me tell you how scary that is. To add in eating lunch….a meal I haven’t ate in years AND NOT WEIGHING MYSELF. That’s straight up dope right there!! Lol 😂 But also sooo scary.

I’ve felt for so many years the Lord pull me to Health and Wellness Coaching and Holistic things because I’ve been through so much health wise and it’s always fascinated me.

It’s been my passion AND MY STRUGGLE.

Only GOD can turn, a MESS into a MESSAGE, a TEST into a TESTIMONY, a TRIAL into a TRIUMPH, a VICTIM into a VICTORY.

Let me ask you, do you know what your passionate about?

What causes you pain?

What has been your struggle?

Have you been suffering alone?

Let me just say that’s exactly what the enemy wants you to do is isolate yourself and make you feel all alone when in reality there are many others with the same struggles you have. You just need to find someone you can be vulnerable with, that’s why small groups are so important. Gotta get that plug in lol. We are better together!

This is what I can tell you, it may not make sense but what you’ve struggled with, what has caused you agonizing pain, what’s caused you to isolate is more than likely also something your passionate about and I’ll go even further to say that it could even be YOUR CALLING! Of course, only you know that. But very often that’s the case.

For me sometimes the voice of doubt and insecurity is so loud in my ears….Did God really tell you to do this Nicole? People want somebody who has it all together and knows their stuff. That’s what I tell myself but truth in my heart says, I want someone who’s been in the pit themselves and who knows exactly where I’ve been or where I’m at. I’m willing to bet that’s what you want too.

I read something today that so spoke to me because there are so many days as I go through this process that I feel unqualified and I feel like why on earth would someone ever listen to me I’m STILL STRUGGLING and quite honestly it may always be the “throne in my flesh” but I WILL continue on my journey of wholeness and freedom.

This was the devotion blog. “Currently, I’m in a season where anorexia is trying to win again. Let me share some truth with you. What ever battle you’re facing today, whether it’s comparison, doubt, pride, lust, self harm, fill in the blank ____. This does not define you! My eating disorder does not define me. It’s apart of my story and my story is still being written, Your story is still being written!”

This is as real as it gets right here folks. She’s STILL struggling and she’s STILL helping and encouraging people. I LOVE THAT SO MUCH! “It’s part of her story,” just like it’s part of MY STORY AND YOUR STORY. We don’t have to have it all together to help someone we just need to be willing and available.

What I hope and pray people see is the real me, the one who will sit down with you and take the mask off and say “Hey, this is my struggle too and precious friend you’re not alone.” This is me in my brokenness….my passion and my struggles!

I AM A TROPHY OF GRACE AND SO ARE YOU SWEET FRIEND!

God bless you and know that I am praying for you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

The Body Of Christ Needs You & Your Gifts

Hey y’all!! How’s it going in your neck of the woods? I’ve been spring cleaning…UGH! Washing drapes, cleaning walls, floors, linens…it really needed to be done. I really need help with all this though, now my back is a mess as I sit on my heating pad and write this lol.

I was just wonder if you truly know how special you are?

Do you know that you have gifts and talents that someone else needs?

Sweet friend YOU have been anointed for such a time as this. God has a great plan and purpose for you, a plan that only you can fulfill.

Someone out there needs the gifts and talents that only you have, they need you to step out into your destiny so they can be changed and set free!

The Church….the body of Christ needs YOU.

There’s so many areas you could serve in and we will talk about some of them. Some you may have never thought about and others maybe you don’t have in your church yet but maybe you could start them.

It’s great to go to church but it’s a whole other level when you are serving in your church in the capacity you are called too. You become part of a family, a team, and you grow spiritually. You have ownership of your church, it’s kinda hard for me to describe. It’s just different then just going to service and rushing out. I LOVE MY CHURCH! I’m pretty sure it’s the best church on the planet💗

Areas To Serve In At Church:

1. Kids or Nursery- This may well be your calling to work with children or babies, what a blessing that is if that’s you. It’s so needed. Me however, you would find out real quick that was not my gifting LOL🤣🙈

2. Leading a small group. That’s what makes a big church small. It’s the life of a church. It’s where relationships are made. Masks are taken off, you can become the real you with a group of people, heal from past hurts and get freedom.

I love small groups and I love leading ladies small groups. I’ve led ladies small groups for abt 10 years or more I guess. For the last 2 semesters I stepped out and been a Small Group Coach and loved it. It’s been challenging but an amazing experience. My passion and my heart is definitely with ladies small groups.

3. Greeters. Maybe that’s you! You like smiling and welcoming everyone. That’s me, I love being a greeter too! I love people and I love hugging 🤗

Some of my greeter peeps at Christmas!

4. Helps Team. Maybe you prefer to work behind the scenes. You enjoy helping to clean, plan events, organize, or do parking team.

5. Worship, singing, sound and technology. Those are all also a amazing gifts but singing yeah that’s not mine, LOL. I love singing so much but you don’t want to hear it LOL. But hey it’s a joyful noise though, right?🤣

6. Prison ministry. What a blessing that is and such a need.

7. Visiting the elderly and shut ins. Such a great ministry. They love to have visitors or people to come sing to them or even do a craft with them.

8. Ushers. These guys are great, they are responsible for seating guests and maintaining order in the service.

9. Church Security. Are you a cop or security officer then what better way to serve at your church then helping to protect those around you.

10. Prayer. Maybe praying is your strength and interceding for others is your gift. That’s incredible. We need you! Prayer Warriors Needed!!

11. Lawn Care. You might be great at yard work so this is right up your alley. You can help spruce things up around the church. Pressure wash, cut the grass, plant flowers, weed eat, edge, lay pine straw, etc.

12. Sign Language Interpreters. Let me just say what a beautiful blessing this is and how it is so needed. Our oldest daughter is hearing impaired and wears hearing aids. She does wonderful but having an interpreter is such an added blessing.

13. Special Needs Children. This too is such a big need. You have many parents that aren’t even able to come to church because they have a special needs child and the church doesn’t offer anything for them. I’m so thankful our church has a wonderful program.

14. Dream Center Volunteer. It’s an outreach ministry center where they are changing and transforming lives. Dive in, I’m sure you can find something here you could do.

15. Celebrate Recovery. Maybe you’ve struggled with and addiction or life issue in the past and you’ve found freedom. With CR you can lead and come along side others who are struggling and help them find freedom too.

There’s many other things you can do, this is just to name a few to get you started thinking.

We need all these areas and many more to function as the body of Christ. I don’t look at one being better being than the other and I hope you’d not either. See God has placed certain gifts in you and without you doing your part, the body of Christ just isn’t quite right without you.

It NEEDS YOU!

It needs YOU to function in proper order. Whether you’re a greeter, a worship leader, nursery person, small group leader, coach, or someone who cleans things up, hear me…YOU ARE VALUABLE and you do what God has called you to do. No shame or pride, do it unto the Lord sweet friend!

SWORD OF THE SPIRIT:

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13

And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:40

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”
Isaiah 58:10

for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” Ephesians 4:12

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10

Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. 1 Corinthians 7:17

It’s time for YOU to rise up precious one, you are called and anointed for such a time as this. If you don’t know what your called to do, that’s ok no worries, just step out and find out. Try different areas until you find the right spot.

Your destiny awaits you!

God bless you and happy Saturday!!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Divorcing ED- Life With An Eating Disorder

Hey y’all! Hope you guys are doing well. Things have been hopping here. Hubby working from home also means home projects right. I swear that man can’t sit still for a second, then he sucks me in lol🤣

I thought I’d let you in on a secret…..lean in real close. I’M DIVORCING ED! There I said it!

Secrets out now.

No! ED is not my husband’s name. ED is someone who has been with me for too many years to count.

ED is the eating disorder I have struggled with for what seems like a lifetime but I’ve decided we are breaking up for good and getting a divorce! He doesn’t serve me well anymore, well he never really did, he was just how I coped.

Do you know ED too?

ED…..I.e. sin….took me further than I ever thought I’d go and kept me longer than I ever thought I’d stay.

I have been in counseling with a nutritionist who deals with eating disorders and Imma tell you how wonderful, hard and challenging it’s been.

My first experience with a nutritionist when I was finally ready to deal with ED didn’t go well. She would say things like “You need to only eat this or that.” or “If you drink that Dr. Pepper your only hurting yourself” Even better was the time I didn’t like one of the supplements she gave me, it was like horrible mud like substance you drank with a hint of mint🤣🤢🤮 she said “I guess you just don’t want to get well.” Are you kidding me?? Lady, I guilt myself enough I don’t need more guilt and condemnation or rules and regulations from you, that’s what got me here to start with. So needless to say that didn’t last long. I knew she wasn’t good for me. She was setting me up to fail. Inevitably I was gonna fail or make a mistake but failing wasn’t a bad thing nor did failing make me a failure….she was not teaching me that though. It’s all part of the process. Plus, she was not celebrating the small victories I was making.

This time Amie, my nutritionist now she is amazing! What a gift she is. She challenges me but also celebrates the small victories with me. The truth is if I eat 3 meals 1 day that’s amazing considering for many years I haven’t done that.

If I wake up and tell myself I’m not gonna eat today but then go through the process of talking to myself and on purpose choose to make the decision to eat regardless of what my feelings are saying, that’s another victory!

If I go 2 days and don’t weigh myself that’s another victory. I’ve gone 5 so far, 5 DAYS OF NOT WEIGHING MYSELF. That is nothing short of miracle to me.

I’m learning though if slip up it’s not the end of the world, just get back up and start all over. Being perfect is so overrated. Not that I ever was but it was something so engrained me and I learned to try not to rock the boat, be as perfect as you possibly can they will love and accept you THEN. How misguided I was.

What I look like, how I dress, the car I drive, the house I live in, or the job I have…none of that matters or has eternal purpose. Having a relationship with MY JESUS is what matters. That is what’s life changing and as I walk this out and I feel like I can’t do it anymore I cry out to Him one more time, and one more time, and one more time. He’s there waiting to pick me up, and sweet friend He’s there waiting for you. You have access to the King.

I mentioned to someone the other day I was seeing a nutritionist for my eating disorder and the first thing they asked was “Wow! How much weight have you lost?” I just thought to myself “Oh my word! What’s wrong with people?” That’s the whole problem. Weight, food, exercise, not eating, binging, the scale, all of it turned into idols. I’m not trying to lose weight, of course I’d like too I’m a woman lol but my main goal is to have a healthy relationship with food.

To not be afraid to eat this or that.

To not be afraid to eat 3 meals a day or a snack.

To eat lunch and not be afraid.

To not weigh myself everyday….I’ve been a slave to the scale for as long as I can remember.

Anyone relate to that? 🤣🤣🤣

That’s our culture though. We think if we lose enough weight or if we are the perfect size we will be happy and all of life will fall into place and we’ll have no problems. That’s simply not true. But if you watch the Jenny Craig commercials they’ll have you believe “Because of Jenny Craig, I’m a happier person, a happier mom, a happier wife. I’m more confident.” Well I was a size six and it didn’t change what was going on on the inside. Until the root is addressed you will repeat the cycle and that’s true for anything. I just hate the media plays on our emotions especially women, you are just not quite good enough….YET! Try this and maybe you will be. I’m tired of listening to the lies! THE devil IS A LIAR!

How about you try some Jesus instead of all the worldly things it has to offer. Sorry for my soapbox. Finding our worth and value from the mirror or the scale will never fulfill you.

But having a relationship with Jesus will.

Back on topic, lol, for me most days I would eat a small breakfast, never lunch, and eat dinner. Some days I wouldn’t eat at all, I would consciously make a decision to not eat today. Punish myself for the shame and guilt I carried of living with this secret, and other secrets and trauma from my childhood. I was also fearful of lots of foods that in moderation are actually healthy for you.

One of the things I’ve been working on is incorporating lunch into my schedule. I know, sounds simple but for someone with ED, not so simple. But I’ve done pretty well, not every day yet but 4-5 out of 7 I’d say. That’s HUGE! Even if it’s something small.

Progress not perfection.

Forward motion.

My nutritionist asked me how I felt about not weighing myself everyday and did I think that was something I could start to work on. Immediately, tears streamed down my face and I said “ Yes, I will do it.” The scale and I have had a meeting together every morning for yeeaaarrs, sometimes weighing myself more than once a day. Despite how unhappy it made me, I still have always been drawn to it even though I knew it wasn’t helpful to me. So last week I hid it in the closet so I won’t see everyday lol. The first couple of days were really hard and I almost got up in the middle of the night to weigh myself. Crazy I know. But that’s the bond ED and I have. His clutches run deep. Have you ever experienced anything like this? It’s powerful, BUT MY GOD IS BIGGER.

I’m divorcing ED to have a relationship with me, to get to know me and a deeper relationship with my Savior. To get my voice back instead of shoving things further down. I’m overcoming the misguided self. To heal the proper way from past hurts and trauma. It’s hard work and it may take a long time and it may be painful but I’m up for the job. I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me and so can you sweet friend.

Your struggle may not be ED, it may be drugs, alcohol, shopping, pornography, or something else, we all have something. I urge you to give it completely over to the Lord. Press in and contend for your freedom. He will set your shackles free. FREEDOM IS THERE FOR THE TAKING. You are a new creation IN CHRIST. What the enemy meant to harm and destroy God will work for your good.

NOTHING AND I MEAN NOTHING IS TOO BIG FOR HIM!!

I have worked on this blog for 2-3 days and was set to release today but after I watched our church service this morning I was simply blown away again by my God. How he loves me (you) so much, and how he confirms what he’s placed on my heart to share. I’m even more certain of what He wants for me.

I will tell of the mercy of the Lord and proclaim the great things He has done for me and continues to do.

The Misguided Self- Life With ED and My Broken Past (click below)

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/ive-had-an-epiphany/

Sword the Spirit:

Psalm 139:14 I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.

Song of Solomon 4:7 My darling, everything about you is beautiful, and there is nothing at all wrong with you.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:1 Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.

Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near all who call out to Him, all who call out to Him with integrity.Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

1 Corinthians 10:13 The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it.

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Zephaniah 3:17 For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Psalm 29:11 The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

How I Need You- Highlands Worship

You fashioned me, formed my heart,
Searched my soul, and know every thought
Love so great, but never too far
Through the storm, You’re the calm, every war, You’ve already won
Life’s secure in Your loving armsJesus, Jesus, oh, how I need You
You stay the same, You are good in Your ways
Jesus, Jesus, oh, how I need You
You are enough, all my trust is in You, LordYou are powerful, God above it all
I believe in You, I believe in You
You do miracles, the impossible
I believe in You, Jesus

See I’m contending for my freedom from ED every day and renewing my mind. What are you contending for? Would love to hear from you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Are You Stuck At The Point Of Your Pain?

Hey y’all! Hope you had a great week last week. Ours was busy but in a good way. I had lots of homework, test, small group stuff, house to clean which is somehow a mess again🙈😐 We met our new foster grands. They are simply precious, just melt your heart💗💙

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how often our brokenness can keep us stuck at the place of our pain. The place where our pain first began. I’m only speaking for myself but I personally have struggled with this at times. Maybe you have too?

I’m so thankful at how God has brought me through so many dark places in my life and I’m seeing victory and freedom and then there are still some areas where I’m not there….YET. It’s that thorn of the flesh so to speak. But, it continues to draw me closer to God and that is a great thing.

I may not be there YET and you might not be there YET….but we are not where we use to be and that’s news worth shouting! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 Freedom is there for the taking we just have to continue to walk it out, walk through some things…..let go of some things, to get to what’s already been placed INSIDE OF US. He’s already placed everything we need on the inside of us. Isn’t that awesome?!?!

For me, the brokenness I’m referring to in my life is from someone who hurt me years ago but sometimes the wound can still be so fresh. Different sounds, smells, situations can bring that memory flooding back to me and each time I have choose to forgive. See forgiveness isn’t a feeling, because if I’m honest in the past I’ve been like “Lord get em, drop large boulder and some hot coals on them, make them suffer like they’ve hurt me.” Now I know that’s not Christian like but that’s the hurt and human side of me and it’s just me being real. But my God says to forgive and forgiveness is a choice and one we have to continue to make over and over again. I’ve found eventually over time, and it might take a long time but our feelings will catch up and that person, that event, or situation won’t feel the same anymore.

Circling back to the getting stuck at the point of our pain I spoke of at the beginning. See I’ve been there and it’s a dark place. But sometimes when your stuck there you need someone to come to where your at, sit with you, hold you, and cry with you. There’s healing in those tears. There’s healing when a friend or loved one comes to that dark place your at and their willing to be with you and lift you up. It might even be the person that made you get stuck at the point of your pain. What a beautiful thing I think that is but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s a friend/loved one you’ve confided in or its Jesus….our Savior. He comes to our rescue if you call on Him.

He loved me at my darkest. He came to the pit I was in and called me out. He took off my grave clothes and He gave me a new name. He’ll do the same for you too.

See when I felt unworthy and unlovable, He told me He loved me with an everlasting love.

When I felt ugly and unwanted, He called me cherished, beautiful and accepted.

When I felt shame and guilt for what had been done to me, He told me I have been redeemed and set free. I am a new creature in Christ. I am chosen, holy and blameless before God. I am Gods masterpiece, the apple of His eye.

Maybe you need to hear that today. You are beautiful, treasured, cherished, fearfully and wonderfully made, precious in His sight. You are loved with an everlasting love and nothing you can do can separate you from the love of God. YOU….precious one are chosen, holy, and dearly loved! THAT IS WHO YOU ARE! Make no mistake.

God bless you! Have a blessed and wonderful week. If I can pray for somehow please let me know, I’d be honored to do so.

I Won’t Move Life.Church Worship

When my eyes cannot see it’s your voice that’s leading me, out of darkness into light. It’s your love breaking through the night I won’t move until you soeak….You Break the walls apart. You heal the wounded heart, I won’t move until you speak. You calm the raging sea. You crush the enemy. I won’t move until you speak💗

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Healing….My Word Of The Year

Hey y’all! How is your year going so far? We are in the middle of 21 days of prayer. It’s Ahhhmazzing! Believing God for many things this year.

What are you believing God for this year?

Healing is my word for this year. Do you have one? If so what is it? I’d love to hear from you.

Joy was my word last year. So funny how God knows exactly what we need when we need it. Last year was an extremely difficult year for me. God knew JOY was what I would. He knew the things I was going to go through were going to be difficult and I would need strength in order to persevere. I needed to find JOY amidst the trials.

The JOY of the Lord is our strength.

I needed JOY to keep going and get through every day.

As I said, healing is my word this year for several reasons. Some I’ll share and some are private.

One is, I need physical healing in my body from multiple things.

But I also need healing from this eating disorder I’ve struggled with for so many years. I’ve been set free from using the diuretics and laxatives everyday, praise God! That is a miracle in itself 🙏🏻🙌🏻 But I still have my daily struggles. He’s not done with me yet and he’s not done with you either sweet friend. He’s been delivering me from glory to glory but I’m ready to be COMPLETELY FREE! COMPLETELY HEALED! Maybe that’s you too!

There are relationships in my life that need healing…Ones that I can’t do anything about.

Loved ones who need Jesus.

Loved ones who are sick and need healing.

Loved ones who are making wrong choices.

Loved ones who are heartbroken.

Loved ones who just need a miracle.

Relationships that need restoration.

Ones that only God can fix it.

One thing I know though is that nothing is to big for my God and nothing is impossible for Him!

He’s the God of the IMPOSSIBLE.

He’s the WAYMAKER!

Verse of the Year:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5

God bless you sweet friends and if you need prayer, I would be honored to pray for you. Have a blessed and wonderful day.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Song of the Year:

Waymaker- Leeland

Even when I don’t see it, You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working
Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness, my God
That is who You are
Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness, my God
That is who You are

https://youtu.be/iJCV_2H9xD0

God of Miracles

I want to encourage you sweet friend to hold onto hope…the hope that only comes from Jesus.

Don’t stop believing. 🕺💃 🎶 Now you’ve got that song stuck in your head, lol. But seriously, don’t stop believing that God is on your side and He’s got you right in the palm of His hand.

Don’t stop praying for that loved one to come back to God.

Don’t stop praying for that relationship to be healed and restored.

Don’t stop praying for your health to be restored or for the problem there hasn’t been answer too. God knows what to do and where to send you to so you get your answers.

Don’t give up even when it seems there’s no one on your side and people are saying it’s not possible. Sweet one, with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

Surround yourself with friends that come along side you. The ones who will lift up your arms when you don’t have the strength to keep going. But also be that one for them when they can’t go on….you pray and lift them up when their to weak to go on.

As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

YESSSS! BE THAT FRIEND!

When things don’t seem to change or things are getting worse….you keep praying and believing for God to move that mountain! Don’t you dare give up!

He’s all powerful…all mighty! A mountain moving, water parting, earth shaking, battle fighting, and unstoppable kinda GOD!

He’s The Waymaker!

So keep praying and believing that God is fighting for you. He is behind the scenes working ALL things out for your good!

Trust Him!

Trust that he’s heard your heartfelt prayers. Just because you don’t receive an answer this moment it doesn’t mean he hasn’t heard you or that he isn’t answering you, it simply means his timing is different than ours. He sees the beginning from the end and His ways are higher than ours.

But let me encourage you that He hasn’t forgotten you….no He always has a perfect plan for us. So keep hanging in there. Keep praying and don’t give up. Keep on leaning into Jesus.

He is the God of miracles!

The Waymaker!

“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples” (Psalm 77:14).

“If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain taker. If you feel lost, He’s a way maker. If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior. If you’ve got chains, He’s a chain breaker.”

God bless you and have a wonderful week!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

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💗