July 19, 2018

Live Victoriously..

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 1:37 am by Broken & Brave

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“Use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal. 5:13-14

Loving people is an act of service and of the will. There are a few people over the years that God has placed in our lives to nurture, mentor, love. Some had very abusive childhoods and much residual emotional and mental “stuntedness” because of the trauma they endured.

Sometimes loving someone healthy takes a risk.

A few years ago—-I guess it’s been quite a few years ago now…there was one such person we had been nurturing since they were a teen, now in maybe their late thirties. We poured into and sacrificed for this person for more than a decade. There was much progress made, but always resisidual and persistent evidence of their pain and struggle with shame and blame.

This person became very narcissistic and craved power. Our relationship with him shifted after one evening when he literally asked for my husband to command God to transfer his “anointing” to him. You can see right off the bat the trouble with that. Who commands God?

John replied that he could not, but if he could…of course such a thing passes from Father to son. After this, the young person became irrational and completely pulled away from us. He began fabricating stories about our family, slandering us to intentionally “get back at us”.

All manifestations of his pain. What was merely being explained to him in love, through the filter of his painful past was received as rejection and unworthiness.

I did not find out about this, the double minded behavior and slander until almost a year later. I reached out to him, in love, for love is the only way to heal a person with such pain…to no avail. Despite his hurtful words I gave him no response. I operated in grace. I hoped one day he’d come around and the foundation I had laid would ease his disgrace with love and acceptance— two things he never had in his childhood.

It’s an unfortunate truth that I suspect we still experience residual sting from the things said about my family, but in the end it really didn’t do anything to us. God remained amazing. My kids still healthy and growing in God’s grace and their giftings blossoming and flourishing. I still abide in heavens beautiful garden of love feasting to my hearts delight.
I did learn a lot through that situation about guarding my heart. I was able to compare and contrast the difference between a guarded heart and Fort Knox (nothing getting in good or bad).

Sometimes you have to walk through added trials and heartache to love someone who is sick in soul…but it doesn’t mean you quit. It doesn’t mean you stop loving. It doesn’t mean you stop caring. Just as our heavenly Father waits for us to walk and decide how much of His love we will accept, so we must be a type and shadow of such unconditional love.

You may wonder, “why in the world would you even care to do this?”

Well, my friends, the answer is clear—
A tender heart toward God and all the Compassion He gave to me as He waited patiently for me to overcome my own heart to accept His. I do it for Him because I love Him. If He loves the broken hearted and just plain broken, then so do I.

I have Hope and optimism that this example will one day have a happy ending.
Sometimes you can only love others best, by releasing them into their own mess. When they are ready for God’s steady hand—they will reach out and grab it—knowing full well it never ever left it’s span.

Friends, we must die to our own will, our own wants, our own ambition every day and be what we are called to….a life lived to serve others. The Lord is coming for a Pure and Spotless Bride, one without blemish or defect.

WE are not capable, but with surrender of soul we become all He has designed us to be.

Live Victoriously..

-Nicole

January 30, 2018

Invested

Posted in true story tagged , , , , , , at 7:06 am by Broken & Brave

Sometimes God will bring people into our life to teach us how to never give up on anyone without a fight.

People all over are in the fight of their lives. Some are weary, worn and homeless. While others are weary, worn, forlorn and living a five star life. There is a steep contrast between the two types of individuals I just described, but deep inside each one is thankful for the blessing of each breath that keeps them alive-but even in a high powered world-when hopelessness sets in nothing will leave a soul more disturbed.

My city has some of the most lucrative and influential people living in it. I could name a few, but would like to protect their privacy. My city also has some of the most impoverished and down right dejected and poor individuals in my state.

I was driving down a main thoroughfare of my town yesterday, taking one son to practice, another to a class and I was headed to workout a stellar group of ambitious and tenacious ladies who have found a passion for fitness. But on my way, I passed under an overpass that holds train tracks. These tracks are state property, so the tiny crevices of sidewalk upon the bridge are state land as well. This makes it a great attraction to the homeless population. Because the local authorities cannot do anything to kick them out or shoo them away. So they get to stay all month before Th state police come in and clean the place out, kick them out…then they clean it up and the homeless return again, but to a clean “house”.

Last night I noticed one of the little tents was on fire! As I drove by I felt so helpless. I hoped the person got out and was safe. Why did the fire start? It wasn’t a raging fire, but clearly some of their blankets to make their tent had burned. Were they smoking? Making a fire to stay warm? The nights skies has been beautiful but cold of late with temps in the 30 degree range.

Why are we so quick to give up on people? All people, not just the homeless? Why do we write people off or make major decisions about them without ever really even speaking to them or getting to know them? How come a person can see a straggly dog on the sidewalk and practically crash their car to get to that animal so they can tend it, love it and find it a new home, sometimes their own home? Why do people see a beat up couch or chair on the side of a road or in a second hand store and think to themselves, “I could make something of that item. I can see its potential”?

Why is it so hard for the human race to see potential in people?

I have my opinions, but I’m sure the reasons and answers are as unique as each human life. But ultimately-it costs more to see potential in people and love others “up”. It costs time, it costs resources, it costs convenience because helping others is always inconvenient. But mostly it requires an emotional investment I wonder if modern day America is really even equipped to provide anymore? We live in such a throw away society. Let’s reassess and address our need to love others a little harder, a little stronger and with a little more purpose, effort and zeal. People matter. Christ died just to communicate that every life, every soul mattered.

You matter.
Wrap your soul around that one. Someone was willing to die for you.

August 3, 2017

Joy is Loves Measuring Stick

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 7:28 am by Broken & Brave

“Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.” Is.60:5

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What does it mean to have joy? To love is to have one’s heart set afire with joy. Exuberant joy reaches through the narrow crevices of soul, entangling the senses and provoking the mind to delicate things…things that stir us…things that move us. Joy exudes out of us through the soul. In the words of Mother Theresa, “Joy is the net of love by which you can catch souls.”

Joy, I believe, is so different from happiness. Joy comes with the deep satisfaction of loving others through serving them. We can serve people in so many ways. Someone once told me that “love is in the details”. That resonates with me. The possibilities to love through the details are endless. How beautiful. Spend sometime today purposing your heart to love and serve God first, then sacrifice yourself to love others more and place yourself last. For truly, the least become greatest in the kingdom of God even when they don’t desire such a seat of honor. ~Nicole