Tag Archives: guilt

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💗🙏🙌💯⚓️

Raise A Hallelujah- Kick Depression To The Curb

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

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

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

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

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

One of my favorite verses is Romans 5:8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praise precedes the victory my friends!

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

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

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

Worship pulls down Heaven to earth.

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

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

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

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

Confessions From Joyce Meyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 28. I have compassion and understanding for all people.

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

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

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

 32. I have a teachable spirit.

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

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

 35. I am a teacher of the Word.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 43. I am a believer not a doubter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 51. I don’t speak negative things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 60. I am an intercessor.

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

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

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

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

 65. I do not hate or walk in unforgiveness.

 66. I do not fear. I am not guilty.

Sword Of The Spirit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💖

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

My Hallelujah- Bryan and Katie Torwalt

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

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

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💗

 

Jesus! Name Above All Names

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name..” Philippians 2:9

Jesus! Name above ALL names!

There is POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS. Your problems MUST bow to the name of JESUS!

Whatever is troubling your heart, whatever trial….if it has a name my friend then it must bow to the name of Jesus!

Cancer must bow to the name of Jesus.

Alcoholism, drug addiction must bow to the name of Jesus.

Poverty must bow to the name of Jesus.

Guilt and shame must bow to the name of Jesus.

Sickness and disease must bow to the name of Jesus

Fear must bow to the name of Jesus.

If you are sick, pray and declare “by His stripes you are healed.” Sickness must go in the name of Jesus. Declare the cleansing, healing blood of Jesus is flowing through your body right now. Declare that your body come in alignment with Gods word. You may not see it or feel…yet….but keep speaking it out loud every single day and believe in your heart that it is done.

If you have a loved one with an addiction….keep praying for them every day! Speak the word over them. Declare they are FREE and they have the mind of Christ. We have to keep in mind with something like this, yes, there is free will but your prayers are POWERFUL, you are speaking into the atmosphere life and freedom for someone. The angels can’t help but move into action on this persons behalf. Pray for divine connections and that God would place the perfect laborers in their path, people that they can hear and relate too. Keep praying that God would open their eyes and heart to what He has for them.

This one falls inline with the above one as well. If you have a loved one who continues to make bad decisions, the best thing you can do is STOP ENABLING THEM. When we rescue people from the consequences of their choices and behavior….YOU ARE NOT HELPING THEM. You are only prolonging the problem. They need to feel the consequences of their actions. They need to figure out how to fix their own problems and situations they’ve created.

How else can they grow up when you’re doing everything for them?

AND YES, it’s painful and yes it’s hard but if you truly love them then let them face themselves and their problems. Allow God to do what only He can do.

Just a few of the Names Of Jesus:

Almighty One  “…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev. 1:8

Alpha and Omega  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Rev. 22:13

Advocate – “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1

Author and Perfecter of Our Faith “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2

Authority  “Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matt. 28:18

Deliverer – “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thess.1:10

Good Shepherd  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

Great High Priest  “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Heb. 4:14

I Am  “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58

Immanuel  “…She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’” Is. 7:14

King of Kings  “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Rev. 17:14

Lamb of God – “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

Light of the World  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Lion of the Tribe of Judah  “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Rev. 5:5

Messiah  “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” John 1:41

Mighty One  “Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Is. 60:16

One Who Sets Free  “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:36

Our Hope  “…Christ Jesus our hope.” 1 Tim. 1:1

Peace  “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Eph. 2:14

Redeemer  “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25

Rock  “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. 10:4

Savior  “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Son of Man  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

Resurrection and the Life  “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25

The Way  “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Victorious One  “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Rev. 3:21

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Is. 9:6

All this…and soooo much more!

Whatever your going through, whatever trials….Jesus is BIGGER my friend!

Be anxious for nothing….“Anxiety is a signal alerting you that it’s time to pray.” Craig Groeschel

When I say Jesus, the very mention shatters the darkness and calms my soul. When I say Jesus even a whisper breaks through my doubting till all my fear is gone.” Life.Church Worship

Have a blessed day!

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗

Jesus, You Alone -Highlands Worship

Holy, all the earth singing
Holy, all the angels cry
Holy, Jesus, You alone
Worthy, all creation sings
Worthy, all the heavens
Exalt Thee, Jesus, You alone
Holy, all the earth singing
Holy, all the angels cry
Holy, Jesus, You alone
Can we lift our voices and sing?
Worthy, all creation sings
Worthy, all the heavens
Exalt Thee, Jesus, You alone

https://youtu.be/tejMgeDWIpg

Come To The Altar

Hey y’all! Hope everyone is doing great. I’m enjoying a day at home with my oldest daughter, it’s a NO SNOW😭 snow day. We’ve been watching When Calls The Heart and enjoyed some hot chocolate. Sure wish we were out playing in the snow but in Alabama this is what you get, LOL. Unplanned time together is the best even when you just chill! 💗

So how are you my friend? Is there anything you are you holding onto? Is there something weighing on your heart that you need to let go of?

Have you come to the altar today?

Journaling is a very healthy way to bring things out of the darkness and into the light. You may not be ready to share it with others and that’s ok but just writing it down and getting it out is so healthy. Even if you write it out, confess it to God and throw it away its just a healthy healing process. Remember Psalm 32:3 “When I keep silent about my sin, my bones began to weaken because of my groaning all day long.”

Are you feeling any of these?

Tired, broken, hurting, hopeless, happy, anxious, empty, lost, full of fear, full of love, joyful, sick, shame, hope, rejection, worried, searching to fill a void, blessed, happy, confused, etc

Today’s Challenge:

Are you ready to really dig in and get FREE?

To walk in the freedom God has planned for you? It’s time to lay it ALL on the altar, all your feelings, everything you’re holding onto, secret sin, bring who you are, what you’re not and what you want to be….bring it ALL precious one. It’s time to take off the mask. Come to the altar and lay it all at the foot of the Cross.

Living in the Word:

Romans 4:17 “…Call those things that be not as though they are.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.”

Isaiah 61:3 To grant consolation and joy to those who mourn in Zion—to give YOU an ornament of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garmet of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that YOU may be called Oaks of Righteousness…..

Renewing the Mind:

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation is in You.

What God says about you:

I love YOU just the way you are! YOU don’t have to get all fixed up to come to Me. YOU are My priceless treasure, My special masterpiece. YOU are NOT a mistake, no I created YOU on purpose. Bring your burdens to Me, there is NOTHING to big and NOTHING I can’t handle. Trust Me precious one, expect and believe and you will see just what I can do in your life. I have great and mighty plans for YOU! Ephesians 3:20

Song of the Week:

“O Come To The Altar” Elevation Worship

Perfect Love Cast Out Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The church is full of broken people.

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

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

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

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

You are a Trophy of Grace!

Love and hugs,

Nicole💗

Click link below for the song Fear is a Liar:

https://g.co/kgs/oSKz9N

His Mercies Are New Every Morning

I did something I wasn’t proud of not to long ago, but what got me was how quickly shame, guilt and condemnation came rushing in. I don’t know about you but when when I do something I’m not proud of or something happens I’m not happy about, I can replay it over and over and over, and even get stuck there for days, weeks or months. Think about it, talk about it, think about it, talk about it. But this time was different. See God’s grace is a gift to each of us if we choose to receive it, it’s His free, unmerited favor for you and me.

Receive means to be given or presented with, or paid something. But what I also noticed was the synonyms of the word “receive” is to award and redeem and I love that! So for me I knew that day was going to be different. I was going choose to receive God’s grace, to be awarded and redeemed from what I had done. I didn’t have to dwell there for weeks or months all I had to do was say God forgive me and literally it was wiped clean in an instant and I didn’t wallow in the I guilt, shame and condemnation. It was like it was erased from my mind and normally I would have reminded myself of what I did, how I failed, and replayed it over and over. “See Nicole you haven’t changed at all, you’re no good, God doesn’t love you.” But those are lies straight from the pit of hell!

The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness, his mercies are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:22-23

So my challenge to you is wherever you find yourself today, if you’re in that pit I found myself in that day you don’t have to stay there. You can choose grace today! You can choose to be redeemed from whatever it was you did or was done to you. Great is His faithfulness and His mercies are new every morning. So choose grace today and walk in it my friend.

Remember YOU are a trophy of God’s grace and He loves you with an everlasting love and NOTHING you can do will ever change that or separate you from His love.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

That Girl Was Me….

The story I’m about to share with you is about a girl I once knew. This girl was young and was full of shame for things another person had done to her when she was younger. She didn’t know it wasn’t her fault, she thought she deserved it. She had fear of rejection. She was raised in alcoholism. She felt she could never measure up. She was the perfect enabler and always sought approval from others. That girl was ME! There was a time in my life, a very dark time where I struggled with severe depression. The enemy would whisper in my ear and I believed the lies he said;

“Your not good enough.”

“No one will ever want you.”

“No one would miss me if I was gone.”

See at the time I was young and the things going on around me seemed unbearable and never ending. I was full of shame. I felt unloved, unwanted, that I could never measure up to what people wanted, and I felt not good enough. I was tired and just didn’t know what to do or how to handle it any more.

I was hanging with people that weren’t a good influence on me and not making good choices. I was staying with a friend, she was pregnant, unmarried, and we were just “having fun.” I was having problems with my boyfriend who by the way was awful to me but not having a stable father figure in my life I didn’t know any better.

I was also dealing with issues from my moms marriage, feeling overwhelmed to fix things that I couldn’t fix. Her husband would tell me awful things you should never say to anyone. Things like;

“You’re a slut.”

“You’ll never amount to anything.”

“No one would will ever want you.”

I loved him and I know in his own way he loved me but he was emotionally abusive and was an alcoholic. No one knew what was going on behind closed doors. We often put on the air that everything is perfect in our lives when in reality we are dying on the inside.

Let me just say that the devil is a liar!! He came to steal, kill, and destroy! He wants you to believe nothing will ever change, you’re to far gone, that you’ll never be able to measure up and that your better off dead. But thats not the case precious one. LIES! LIES! LIES! Do not be deceived by the whispers in your ear. God has great and mighty plan for your life, a hope and future but no one was speaking this over me or in my life.

One night I was all alone in my friends apartment, I felt as if my whole world was caving in on me. I felt unloved, full of shame, unwanted and not good enough. I was just tired. Not sure I truly wanted to die, all I knew was I couldn’t live this way anymore. I just wanted the pain to stop! I was listening to the lies being whispered in my ear and that night as I drank a couple of wine coolers I decided I would end the pain by taking a bottle of pills, and so I did. The pain would stop and I would be free.

Shorty after I took them I knew I had made a terrible mistake and I called my friend and told her what I had done and thankfully as God would have it she wasn’t far from home. She came and rushed me to the emergency room. They had to call my mom and she came as well. I never thought of the pain I would have caused her I just wanted my pain to stop.

I’m so thankful to God for that day! That was the day God pulled me out of the miry pit I was in. He said “NO, precious daughter! Not today! My life didn’t turn around dramatically but He set me on the course I was to be on. I still had not turned my life fully over to God, He was my Savior but I was still in the drivers seat. Now I was in the hospital getting the counseling I so deeply needed, I felt like I was there forever but it truly changed my life and the course it would take.

Not to long after that I met Sean and we got married and had 3 beautiful daughters. My life wasn’t perfect but I was now letting go and letting God.

I want to fast forward a bit to a night a few years ago when I was a girls high school youth leader. The night seemed like any other night but it wasn’t going to be. This would be where God takes our mess and He gives us a message. That night a young girl showed up and come to find out she had taken an overdose of medication and me and another leader rushed her to the hospital.

I hadn’t thought about what I had done in so many years and now all those thoughts and feelings came flooding back and I knew exactly where this beautiful young girl was at. I didn’t know her and yet I did. Just as God said to me in the darkest time of my life “Not today precious one.” He said the same thing to her. It wasn’t her time.

God so perfectly orchestrated the whole thing, for her to come there and for me to be there.

We waited and waited for what seemed like forever, I couldn’t leave and go home though. I had to talk to her and hug her. I had to share my experience, strength and hope with her.

See what the devil meant to harm and destroy in my life God worked for good and hers on that very night. God made our paths cross on purpose. He had a plan and it was a perfect plan.

Whatever lies the devil has whispered to you, I want you to know first off….the devil is a liar. And secondly YOU ARE LOVED! God loves you so much, his love for you is never ending but right now you may feel like I did when I was 18 or like the young girl who came that night…..you just can’t see beyond the pain. If no one else will, let me be the one to speak life over you and tell you what God is saying to you:

My beloved son or daughter,

Wherever you are you are NOT alone. I am with you always, in the good times and bad. Call on My name, I will never leave you nor forsake you. I created you on purpose and I have great and mighty plans for your life, ones you can’t even imagine or dream. What the enemy meant to harm and destroy I WILL WORK FOR YOUR GOOD. You may not see it right away but if you trust Me, it will come to pass. I am for you not against you, and My Word cannot return void. I am no respecter of persons, what I do for one I will do for another. I know it feels like it but your pain won’t last forever. You are a child of the Most high God. I call you beloved, chosen, beautiful, holy, set free, redeemed, overcomer, vicTOR not a victim. You are the apple of my eye, my wonderful masterpiece. That’s who I say you are! Don’t listen to the whispers of the enemy.

This pain, this guilt or shame you carry was not meant for you. The load is to heavy precious one, give it all to Me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I want to heal you every where you hurt. I know your searching and thirsty but search and thirst no more, because if you believe in Me rivers of living water flow over you.

I have seen your heartache and pain, it didn’t escape Me, I caught each tear you’ve cried in a bottle. Give me your broken heart and just see what I can do. Let Me redeem what the enemy has stolen from you. Let Me bring healing and restoration to the broken places of your life. I know you think it’s impossible but NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME! Trust and believe in Me, and expect Me to show up and show out. For I have loved you with everlasting love💗

Sincerely,

God

I know what it’s like to feel hopeless and alone, that’s why I think God has been helping me to be more vulnerable with the trials I’ve been threw. I never want my pain to be wasted, if I can just help 1 person than that makes it worth it all. Find someone you can share with and help you walk it out. What the enemy wants is for you to feel like you are all alone and no one knows where your coming from but I say that’s a lie straight from the pit of hell! You are NOT alone and as you find the strength to share your pain you’ll find others just like you. Now what was once hidden in the dark is now in the light and doesn’t have the same power as it once did.

Never give up precious one. God is with you always. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Keep pressing in trusting God to do a mighty work in your life. That pain you feel, that loss, that tragic thing that happened to you….God will use it for good in your life and you’ll be able to help someone else. You are a trophy of grace!

Be blessed and big hugs,

Nicole 💗

If you have thoughts of suicide call a friend, a pastor, a teacher, a doctor, find someone to talk to or call:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Brokenness-We Are Better Together

Brokenness- We are Better together

Lately, I’ve been thinking, ya know things aren’t always as they seem. We look at people and think just by what they look like or what they have determines the life they have. Rich or poor or somewhere in the middle we all have issues and broken places in our lives….you’re not exempt to brokenness and the trials of life. You can try and fix it up and disguise it but it’s still there and yet we look at Sally and think man she’s got it going on. She dresses so cute, perfect skin, perfect weight, perfect hair, great family, car, job, etc. but you have no idea what’s she’s struggling with. Maybe she’s dealing with a loss, financial need, health issues, an eating disorder, some sort of addiction in her family or loved one. Maybe she’s waiting and longing for God to give her the baby they’ve fervently prayed for for so long. Maybe just maybe she’s carrying around guilt and shame from something that happened to her in her childhood, and she’s doing everything she can to just get up every day and keep going. But we think just because she looks good on the outside and looks so put together it must be nice to be her. Perfect life, no problems but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You never know what someone’s going through.

On the other hand, you have Lucy over here and she’s struggling but to the point that it’s visible to those around her. She looks worn down and broken. She looks depressed and defeated. The struggle of yet another day is here. How am I going to make it through? We can overlook her too because we don’t know what to say or do, or maybe we can’t relate. Or maybe we just don’t want to take the time because we’re to busy. We can even be deceived in thinking she needs more prayer and love than the one who smiles and looks all put together. I think both of these are incorrect, we all have a story, we all have things we are dealing with, it just may look different on the outside.

We all have problems and we all have a need for a Savior and we ALL have needs that ONLY JESUS CAN MEET, it doesn’t matter how you dress it up.

Brokenness is brokenness!

A new car, new house, another pill, another drink, a new Lilly Pulitzer dress, Coach purse, etc it doesn’t make the pain or brokenness go away. Don’t get me wrong I myself am a purse junkie and I love to shop. But it won’t fix the empty void that’s on the inside us. We can dress it up or down all you want. It’s. Still. There. The way I see it, we need to take the mask off and just be you and I’ll be me. Be who God created you to be. Allow Him into those broken places to bring healing in your life, in turn you can help someone else. We need each other. We were built for relationships. The struggles I have had or have, I can more easily see in someone else who might be going through the same thing. We are better together.

When we bring our brokenness to Jesus He’s able to do something with it. He gives Beauty for ashes. It seems that the pain or the breaking is what we fear and try to avoid at all cost. But there’s blessings in the brokenness. There’s wholeness and healing in the broken parts of our life when we give them to Jesus. “He heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds.”

My prayer for you today that in your brokenness you realize you are not struggling alone. There’s a Savior waiting for you, waiting for you to give him your pain and brokenness. He’s longing to give you beauty for ashes. We all have struggles, mine may be different than yours but nonetheless it’s brokenness and when we can be real and take the mask off, we realize we are not alone.

We are better together.

May you feel his presence and love in a way you’ve never felt before. May He strengthen your inner man and give you peace and joy and heal you every where you hurt precious one. Amen 🙏🏻

Much love and big hugs,

Nicole💗

Living A Life With (HOPE) & Chronic Pain, Autoimmune Disease Or Any Other Invisible Disease…

imageLiving a life with (HOPE) and chronic pain, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or any other invisible disease means you have to learn to make adjustments because things change. It’s not as obvious to others because you can’t see the illness physically but boy do YOU feel it and eventually people will notice the change as it begins to wreck havoc in your world and then they will tell you “You don’t look sick” which adds more to your frustrations. See in the beginning you don’t realize you’ve got to do this whole “adjustment” thing in you life, you think “I’ve got this.” A little Tylenol, quick power nap, keep truckin…..HAA! D-E-N-I-A-L, we can be good at that, can’t we?

It’s only natural because we don’t want to accept what happening and make any changes and so you try and keep doing what you’ve always done, sometimes even to the point that it’s harmful to youself. Its hard facing you are not able to do what you were able to do before the pain came or the disease set in. So you say “yes” to things and sometimes you are not able to follow through with them and sometimes you are, it really just depends on the day which can be confusing to those around you.

Then other times you say yes out of guilt and do it anyways knowing you will pay for it later but it’s something you really want to do because now you’re learning to live with chronic pain/autoimmune disease and with that you’ve also learned there’s a cost. I’ve figured it out now, years later I have to make choices. I can do this, this or this but I can’t do it all. I don’t like that! Actually I HATE IT! Making those choices makes me angry and often it comes with guilt because I want to do it all but I’m learning I just can’t! Maybe you’re learning that too. Learning to listen my body is a must but hasn’t always been my strong suit.

THE WORD:
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?

At this point ours bodies have had enough and that realization kicks in and it says NOW will you listen???? Some people take the hint, still others are bullheaded. Some have falling into the people pleasing category which is a dangerous place especially for someone who has chronic health issues. The last thing you want to do is disappoint your family, your friends, your church, or your work place. You’ve tried to keep up the same pace, you keep trying to do the same thing as usual, mom, wife, the house, the kids, homework, your job, your spouse, let’s be honest just get out of bed.

You try to keep family and friends thinking everything is still the same but on the inside you know you can’t keep doing it but you’ve done it for so long. How does it stop? It MUST stop! You’ve had to be so strong…..for everyone but now you’re physically exhausted and the disease, the pain, well it has overtaken but you’ve continued with your smile and hiding your physical and/or emotional pain. Because emotional pain also comes along for the ride.

Realizing the mask isn’t so great or so pretty any more and it seems much heavier and it gets much harder and harder to put on. See I think one of the things that happens is we get caught up in other people’s expectations of how we “should be”, or maybe how “we use to be” or how “they want you to be” or even things “they” want to do or not to do. This is misplaced expectation and causes us more stress, frustration and added pain and suffering.

Over the last few years one of the greatest and most freeing things I think I’ve learned is that despite what I thought “I’m NOT a mind reader!!” So if you don’t tell me how you feel or what you’re thinking I don’t know and vice versa. I use to think because I had these problems my husband should KNOW I was struggling and he should know how to take care of me and what to do.

The truth is I had gotten so good at hiding that I’m hurting, that if I really do show it or if I ever cried then ITS REALLY BAD, so how is anyone to know what to do to help unless you tell them??? God is the only mind reader I know. I don’t always get this right but I’m better than I use to be.

Recently we went down to an Auburn football game, which of course is a big deal in our family because we go early so we can see our daughter, she’s a majorette there. We love to do all tailgating, pep rally, Tiger walk, Spirit March, Four corners, march in, before the game, add in the drive down and that makes for a really really long day. Its so much fun don’t get me wrong and I love it but it’s also really tough on me. I don’t say this to get pity so please don’t think that.

Anyways back to my story Auburn football and all the pre fun stuff involves quite a bit of walking/driving and it can be a bit much when you have back trouble, pudendal nerve probs, bursitis in both hips, and a torn hip labrum BUT to “watch me” (watch me whip, watch me name nae😂) most of the time you’d never know, on the inside I might be crying but on the outside… I’m rock solid baby!! I always try my hardest to keep up with the fam lol🏃🏼🏃🏼 but sometimes the hubs can be a little impatient and he was the other day. SOOO that’s when he got “The Look” 👀 See it’s times like these unless you’ve been there you have no idea what it’s like, and it was a really high pain day. If you have never had back pack, knee pain, neck or hip pain, or been sick with flu or anything else then you are blessed!! But if you have, now think abt that hip pain, back pain, myofacial pain, Fibro, whatever it is imagine it NEVER LEAVING! That’s chronic pain, that’s autoimmune disease. So yea, being just a little more thoughtful, caring and considerate, or in this case PATIENT would have gone a long way with me.

Another example, I was going some where with someone but quite honestly I was dreading it because I was in pain already and I knew it was going to cause a great deal more pain and this person snapped at me and said “Well I’m sorry you have to do such and such!!” Insert “The Look” 👀 again!! Lol😂 Yea see again that’s not the right response here. Unless you’ve been there you don’t know what it’s like, I’m trying to do the best I can but your words are heaping judgement on me now. Now we are back to me not meeting your expectations again. See how it all intertwines? We gotta break free from some stuff!!

APPLICATION:
Breaking free from people pleasing and overcoming unreasonable expectations people place on you or even your own. This is where a lot of self care comes in. We have to learn to express our feelings in a healthy way, journaling is great way to get started. Setting boundaries is very good, if you are not good at this there is an excellent book by Dr Henry Cloud called “Boundaries”….GET IT!

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To enjoy a healthy you and healthy relationships we have to remove the mask. The mask hinders our intimacy with God and others. Being vulnerable is something I’m really trying to work on. I think it’s natural to try and hide our weaknesses or pretend they are not there. “Most of the time I’m rock solid!” As we admit our limitations and where our capabilities end we can trust God.

His word says is 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Next is to learn the “The Look” 👀 just kidding, we all need some humor. If you’re a woman you already know it. If your a man…..You’ve seen, lol.

As if someone’s expectations, and our guilt wasn’t enough now our thoughts have come crashing in and now we wonder will our lives ever be normal again?

Will I ever be able to just get up and go?

Will I have to take medicine forever?

Will I have to have surgery again?

Will I have to ice, use INF unit, use foam roller, heat, oils, therapy exercises just to move every day?

Will I be able to sit in the floor and play with my grandchildren?

How will I feel 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now?

Am I disappointing my husband?

Does he still find me attractive?

Did I disappoint the kids?

Or disappoint my family because I haven’t been to visit?

I’m sure you see where this is going and if you’re not careful it can lead to depression and it does often. I think it’s good to grieve the loss of what you were as long as you don’t get stuck there. Don’t pitch your tent there! This maybe where you are today BUT we serve a God of SUDDENLIES and things can change in an instant. We have to be renewing our mind always because with daily pain and sickness that is extremely hard on a person in every way. While we may “feel” at the time “things have been this way 2 months or 5 yrs, 10 yrs” or ” I’ve had this pain and sickness now for 20 yrs, it’s never gonna get better.” The mind is the battlefield!! All these feelings I’ve just shared, I’ve felt at some point or feel but if all we do is go by how we “feel” that will be a crazzzzy roller coaster of life.

So why not try something different….. BE EXPECTANT for God to move and bring healing and restoration to your life! Be actively, expectantly pressing into God waiting for him to answer you. Have FAITH and HOPE that Breakthrough is coming, healing is coming!!!

We all have those days, those moments things look dark, they look like they aren’t going to change, I totally understand that. So you can put your little tent up for a little bit but you sure don’t want to pitch in the “PIT” and camp there forever and live in a constant negative state always saying “things will never change” “I’m never going to get any better”. NO!!! You were made for more precious one!

At some point we have to learn to be kind to ourselves, cut ourselves some slack. You would do it for someone else if they were sick but we expect so much from ourselves. Constant pain and sickness can be overwhelming, it can make you sad, angry, feel hopeless, and stuck. But you are not your pain and your pain does not define you. We have to learn to separate the two. The flares or storms of life come and go but we need to remember “Weeping my endure for the night but joy comes in the morning.” You are an OVERCOMER!

Now it’s crucial for you to begin taking care of yourselves, there is only one YOU!! You may not know it but you do have purpose and God has a plan for your life. Beside having a positive attitude there are many things we can do to make our situation better. Some of these diseases are aggravated by the foods you eat so if your eating a lot of processed junk, try eating a healthier. More lean proteins, fruits and veggies. Some people have food allergies or sensitivities, if you think that might be you get yourself tested and find out, it makes an incredible difference. I have Celiacs and going gluten free made an amazing difference in my life.

Most people in the US are not eating a balanced diet which can lead to vitamin deficiencies of some kind, so supplementing is a great idea. Interesting tidbit…..For every molecule of sugar we eat our bodies use 54 molecules of magnesium to be able to process it. Therefore consuming sugar-laden soda depletes our body of this necessary nutrient. There are approximately 39 grams of sugar in one 12 ounce can of sweetened cola. I love Dr. Pepper too but I bring up this point because if you already have healthy issues, supplementing might be of more importance to you. Fibro patients tend to benefit from magnesium.

Sleep is so important because it helps in the restoration and repair process of our bodies. A large number of chronic pain/autoimmune patients suffer from insomnia which plays a role in your emotional state, immune system, can raise your blood pressure, and worsen chronic pain. So yea we’ve gotta really work to figure that one out too.

EXERCISE!!!! Yep the dreaded word!! You gotta keep moving as much as you can. Find something you like, I know it’s hard but explore there is a lot of new fun things you could try. I love water areobics, it’s really does help with pain. You should give it a try, added benefit is you will burn twice as many calories in the water than on land becus of resistance. Score!🙌🏻

In closing I believe in God and His healing power, sometimes I think he allows us to go through difficult things to show us our need for Him, to draw us closer to Him or even to help bring a refining to us or in us. Whatever the reason His Word assures me that what the devil meant for harm He will work for my good, ALL THINGS NOT some but ALL work for my good and that He loves me and He is with me and will never leave me. That’s for you to my friend, wherever you find yourself as your reading this. Maybe your dealing with the same thing as me, or maybe a family member, or maybe something totally different all together but the good news is that NO MATTER WHAT God is still with you and HE LOVES YOU!! So I guess by sharing all this my hope is that you will maybe grow in understanding and awareness and if this is your struggle, accept where your at, accept yourself along this journey, even accept the limitations but don’t let it define you. Remember don’t pitch your tent there. You were made for more, so don’t give up and don’t stop believing! Breakthrough and healing is coming.

Jeremiah 31:3 I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love❤️image

Much love and blessings,
Nicole💗