January 1, 2013

Are You Glowing?

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:48 pm by Broken & Brave

Several years ago I had a most fascinating experience. It was a season of life when many things were changing for my family and for me. It was an exciting time. It was a stressful time. It was a meaningful and purposeful time. It was the hardest time of my life. It was, to that point, the most rewarding and exhilerating time in my life. I mentioned in a recent blog titled, “A Man Without A Home”, about my homeless friend, Tim, and how he impacted my life. It was right around this same season, when I was growing in grace for the homeless, that my current tale occurred…

There are many things about me that most people do not know. I have my whole life been a quiet person. I’m a very friendly person, but a quiet person. I don’t really like to stand out in the crowd. I’d rather encourage someone else who is in front. I prefer a “support staff” sort of role in life. Never craved center stage…at all. Even in personal conversation at parties or events, the small talk you make, I would much rather talk to you about you than talk of myself. That’s just how I am wired. I share this because it is a main reason why many of my stories have yet to be told. I have a lot of very unique and bazaar stories. These stories are the experiences that have shaped my faith to be one that is willing to attempt to walk on water. I have always believed the cliché that “experience is the best teacher”. I grew up in church and knew in my heart I Believed, but it was so surface for me, just something you do. I hadn’t had an encounter with God. As a young adult God grabbed my attention in a very unexpected way…. another story for another day. Once my attention He had, I was never the same in my focus and purpose. I was hinged with curiosity about the God of the Bible and this tantalizing encounter I had experienced. It lead me to many seasons of discovery of the depths of my own soul and how there was a God who longed to fill it and possess it with a burning fire of complete fullness of Peace, Liberty, Freedom, Faith and Joy. The deeper I went on this journey, the greater the risks I would take. The Bible calls it “walking by faith” or “obedience” to the Holy Spirit. The more I followed God’s leadership in my life, the greater the risks He asked me to take. He would literally coach and share with me IN DETAIL (just like I describe in my Red Fern blog) steps to take, things to say, places to go and what I should do. The Bible says that when God asks something of you He will equip you for what you are called to do. I know this is true because it is what I experienced. I am such a non-risk, rule follower, by nature. My Mom used to joke that I thought she had eyes in back of her head until I was a teen. I liked predictable and stable and a sure thing. Living by faith is anything but that!

So, here I was, in a season where I was learning to trust by faith and help people like Tim the homeless man at the Lords lead or whim. I learned to trust and ACT to such a level I could stop on a dime and change coarse should the Holy Spirit require. I cannot describe to anyone the beauty of the friendship with God that occurs at this level of obedience. It was the driving force behind every choice I made to go where He sent me. I longed for his love, approval, favor. He gave it abundantly and I loved it all!

At this time, John and I had recently sold our house ($150,000 BELOW market value…ON PURPOSE) when the market was at it’s peek. We gave most of that money away, as well as, most of our furniture and possessions. I am not going deep into that story, but just accept for now that it was the biggest step of faith I had ever done and I was scared out of my mind, but the Peace and Comfort of the Holy Spirit was without a doubt there in Abundance. God used countless experiences, people, strangers even, to confirm what he had prepared us to do for years in advance. I had known for three years prior to selling that we would indeed sell it and give the money away, but we would never place the house on the market. Someone would come knock on our door and ask to buy it…and that is exactly what happened… just as God told me. (Again, deeper details of that story in the book I am working on.)

You can imagine how God was doing a radical work in me, in my family and through us all. It was the best and worst time of my life.

It was a Saturday, we didn’t have a house anymore and had pretty much given everything away (as I said already). The girl (me) who hated the spotlight was  now center stage because many, many people freaked out at what we had done. Yet, there were many who had heard from the Lord themselves and knew we were in God’s will. So, I was in a perpetual state of living outside my comfort zone to say the least. I was tired and weary most of the time, but I had peace. A guest evangalist would speak frequently at my church and every time he did, I was at my weariest. He would come preach and say, “If you are in God’s will, you can walk through hell backward and still have peace.” He knew nothing about our circumstance. God was using him to comfort both John and I. It was that kind of a journey.

So, back to that Saturday afternoon, I will never forget it. Our family was actually staying with a family and we had next to no privacy. We tried our best to maintain independence and respect to those who hosted us, so we were out to Podesto’s (a local grocer in town) for a sandwich. I noticed a couple walking across the front of the grocery store on the sidewalk. They were a peculiar looking pair and they caught my attention as we pulled up to park. They kind of “looked” homeless, if homeless has a look. But they were pretty clean and hair groomed. The man walked a few feet behind the woman and was reading a newspaper as he walked. The woman scuffed along in front of him holding a soda in her hand. Both were looking down, he at the paper and she at the ground. We were unloading kids from the car and I was still kind of watching this couple, when they both stopped walking, abruptly, and just stood there. The man, his face in the paper, and the woman her face toward the ground. It was so odd. But what happened next quickened me to the bone. They both rose their eyes IN UNISON toward us and the woman pointed her finger and together, unified, they both declared very loudly,

“Chirstians!…Christians!….GO!”

Then they, very slowly and methodically both looked back down and walked away. I looked at my husband and said, “They were talking to us?” (Please note we were the only people besides them in the parking lot). I got so excited! I literally squealed with delight! I knew and no one can convince me otherwise, that indeed both of these people were demon possessed and it was the demons speaking to us through the people. I said over and over…”they recognize us! They recognize us!” When you have the Light of Christ living inside you, and you follow his lead, obey what the Christian life should reflect, not with perfection, but with purity of heart…the demons will know you and shudder.

If you are someone who has never heard of the Holy Spirit or following God’s lead, or you are thinking, “What? Demons?” Then, hopefully, even if I have aroused your doubts and speculation, I have also aroused your curiosity. We are all spiritual beings living in bodies and have a need to feed our spirit. If this weren’t true there wouldn’t be such a fascination in TV, movies, literature and our entire culture, moving toward themes about magic, potions, witches, power, etc. It just matters what you feed your spirit. God’s power supercedes any power of the world and comes with peace.

If you are a Christian and understand much of what I shared, even if it kind of seems creepy to you, I hope to arouse your senses as well. Ask yourself probing questions about your own spirituality. What is the current state of your friendship with God? Are you on speaking terms? Are you doing all the talking or are you listening as well? What are you hearing? Are you doubting? Are you fretting? Why are you always trying to figure it out and make sense of it in your head? God delights to do the impossible through man’s foolishness. It shows the world His Majesty. If a demon possessed person crossed your path, unprovoked, would their eyes hurt from the light your spirit emits?

If I can do the extreme steps of faith God asks of me, then you can do what he asks of you. It is him doing it through you, after all. The miracles never come until we take the first step of action toward what is in our heart….then the rest unfolds in the most delightful way.

Releasing all my material things was harder than hard. God won’t ask it of everyone, but he asked it of me. In it’s place he gave me a house more than twice the size on a 2 acre plot of land…another miracle story for another day. But when I stepped out in faith and did was was asked, I didn’t know he was going to give me all of that. I just knew I was crazy in Love with the God of Heaven and I wanted His attention!

God truly is Love and He wants our light to shine before man. He wants others drawn to us by the Power of His Love Glowing through us. You can do it. I know you can. God loves you with an unfathomable love. If it is my purpose to help you know your value, strength, ability and worthiness to be loved, then I have succeeded when you realize this. Know my heart, my writing is never about me. I am only encouraging you through my experiences. Think to yourself, “If little, meek, soft spoken Nicole can do it (trust the Lord, walk by faith), I can, too!”

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

 

The Lord bless you and keep you, raise you up, do mighty miracles through you as you enter in to this grand new year of 2013. Be the joy for others to glean from. Long to touch the hearts of others as I long to touch yours. Blessings ~Nicole

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1 Comment »

  1. ninalarie said,

    Inspiring


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