March 19, 2018

Hardship

Posted in Inspirational, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:43 am by Broken & Brave

Have you ever tried to wash your hands with only soap and no water? You can’t do it. It becomes a sticky mess.

I went and got a manicure yesterday afternoon and after the salon employee trimmed and filed my nails she told me to go wash my hands, “water only”.
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See, it’s possible to wash your hands with water only. The rinsing away of debris and even some dirt can happen with water alone-especially if the water is warm and we spend some time under it. But soap alone…not even close to the same.

This is how it is when we wash ourselves in the Word of God. It reaches in and strips us of impurities and washes away every ounce of pain, shame, regret, loneliness, abandonment, unforgiveness and resentment, sickness and disease. The Word loosens what is holding onto our heart, mind, body and soul–but its the Holy Spirit’s job to act like Healing and Cleansing Waters and wash it away completely, residue free purity.

Hardship has a way of knocking off our rough edges. Hardship has a unique way-when guided by the Lord-to purify, build, strengthen and infuse our hearts with deeper hope, deeper faith, deeper wisdom, deeper sense of purpose and resolve. The Holy Spirit activates what the Word of God has planted. Hardship also gives us experiential knowledge we can get no other way. It gives us Authority over Principalities. It gives us Spiritual Territory. Experience yields insight like nothing else.

My entire life I have been a student of human behavior. I am a watcher, a noticed, a silent observer. All my life I’ve been taking pictures with my mind, taking notes. I’ve gleaned from those I’d like to learn from. My Mom always called it my “Book of Life”. She’d say, when something good was going to come out of her mouth, “put this one in your Book of Life.” But some things were added to the book all on my own. I learned a lot, from a very, very young age what I didn’t want to do, by observation as well. But hardship…hardship yields an experience like none other.

I’ve been through more hardship in the past two decades than I could possible recount here with my little pen. I haven’t got the time or energy. I heard someone say yesterday they had a trial a decade ago and they are in a trial again now. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was like to have a break between trials? For mine have been deep and vast and have all overlapped with no break or relief in between. I have at times struggled to understand why God had allowed so many bad things to happen to me?
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But here’s what I know.
He has spread an enormous Canopy of Grace over my head and face and my life is guarded faithfully. I see Him bless my kids hands over fist and their spiritual maturity is vast beyond their young years. I feel the kiss of God on my face and I spend enormous amounts of time just lingering in his embrace. And for me, it has spoiled and ruined me for any other form of love-it is all lesser than His. I hear the Holy Spirit speak and his voice gets stronger and louder and more clear as each day passes. He guides me, protects me, warns me, gives me words of knowledge and thwarts the enemy as he has indeed watched my back.

I have always felt the favor of Heaven, even when I didn’t know what it was. But it was my hardship that drew me in and I learned to wear his love like a glove and I allowed his spirit to wash over my life and I have taken his experiential knowledge-wrapped in a cloak of hardship-and applied it like healing ointment to a very wounded and weary Bride.

Every time something of enormous difficulty and pain would hit me I’d ask God why, and every time I’d hear with crystal clarity, “Because I want to use your voice.” And I have been told for many years now that my voice has an Anointing for comfort on it. His Peace is attached to the words and prayers he gives me. He honors the prayers I pray for others and they receive healing-like a “Midas Touch” from heaven.

God may not bring hardship, but he certainly allows it and he is such an Economizer he will use it. He is a potter and we are his clay.

God wants His Church to rise. It is time for her to wake up.
Arise, Sleeping Giant, arise.
Your Groom awaits.
Allow Him to wrap you in love, tenderness, mercy and grace and heal you with His Word, Cleanse you with the Holy Spirit, and anchor you with His Atoning Blood.

Your hardships have not been in vain…for by it, you can spread a wider and deeper net of hope and catch those who are sinking in oceans of adversity deep.

You are a fisher of men.

Hardship is a gift, when we allow God to use it. We can only get through it with Him.

~Nicole

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December 4, 2017

Inspired Life

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:53 am by Broken & Brave

Everyone who knows me knows my passion for health, fitness and nutrition and their impact on quality of life. I know it was God who stirred this passion and purpose in me. I didn’t play a lot of sports growing up. I wasn’t on a bunch of teams. No cheesy photos of me in a uniform. I cheered throughout high school and swam one year on swim team to stay in shape. But this deep desire was in me to be well, eat well, do well. I had no outside influence for this. My family does not share my passion for health and fitness. Not a coach, mentor or teacher telling me of my potential. I was almost always picked last or next to last for everything. My drive was all God, all spoken internal. I was 13 years old and was already thinking about lifelong wellness and disease prevention. Only God can do that. What 13 year old thinks of such things on their own? I never had mentors to pull me under their wing. In fact, most of my entire life I had the opposite. I was told I didn’t measure up, I wasn’t good enough, smart enough or didn’t do it right. For a long time I believed it.

I love to sprint for cardiovascular fitness and to stay lean. Almost year round I will squeeze in a quick 10 minute sprint routine at the start of my day. Most days I now use the track at my kids school. The grounds keepers at the school have a little girl who is sometimes there waiting for her parents before being taken to school. My first encounters with her she was bashful and hid away when she saw me. But over time she popped herself out to be seen, but still, very far away. But little by little she would come watch me run.

One morning I got to the track to feast my eyes on a little 8 year old girl, who isn’t in the best of shape or weight, out on the track running her sprints.

Every sprint I’ve ever run, every bit of effort to encourage another I’ve ever given, was in that moment completely worth it. I had prayed just that morning if God would please use me that day to inspire another life higher. I specifically prayed for that little girl and that she would be inspired by me. God is so good, so faithful, so kind. I still pray for that little one, she talks my ear off now. I pray that she would find her drive and live her life to its fullest. Blessings for a glorious day. Your life an Inspired Asset of Heaven.

As we run, we pray and God makes the way.
-Nicole

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

Heb. 12:1

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