Tag Archives: shame

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

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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💗

Most of the lost sheep are still in the field….

In Luke 15

“Jesus demonstrates the greatness of his love in going after that one lost sheep. He knew he had to leave the 99 to find that one, but it was supremely important to him to find that one and he would do anything that he could to get a hold of that one heart.”

Are you the lost sheep? Are you confused and broken? Do you have shame and regret as deep as the ocean? I have good news for you, just like God found me, He will find you precious one. One of my favorite verses is Romans 5:8

“He loved me at my darkest”.

God met me at my lowest, most darkest place and brought me out of the pits of hell and despair. God will do whatever it takes to pursue you, to pursue that one lost sheep. Never give up hope!

These are some of my favorite lyrics and they hit me to the core:

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

Good news!!! He’s coming after you and He’s coming after me!

So the question is if you aren’t lost, how then are you seeking the lost? There’s so many lost sheep in the field still. This is one of the ways we serve the Lord. Who in your church “flock” is missing? One of your friends/family who’s gone astray? Who haven’t you seen or reached out to in a while? I think sometimes in this day and age we get so wrapped up in our own lives and or own problems we’re like leave them alone, their ok they’ll come back eventually. But sometimes it’s what YOU have, your gifting, your word of encouragement, or your hug that they need. I’m preaching to myself as well.

People need to feel loved, cared for, missed or important. Often that is what will keep someone going when they are going through dark times in their life. When those things are missing sadly the sheep will wander either to a good place or bad place.

God has given us a job to do my friend. Build the Kingdom and help find the lost sheep. Bring that one lost sheep home.

For we rejoice when the blind eyes are open and when the captive is set free. We rejoice when the deaf hear and when the lost are found.

Most of the lost sheep are still in the field, we need to get about our Father’s business.

You are NOT some mistake, YOU are precious in His sight, YOU are His Masterpiece, created in His image. YOU are a Trophy of God’s grace!

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💗