The Holy Decreating One

 

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2

Before there was anything there was Him, He hovered over our formless Earth and Spoke it into existence, He called every living thing into existence, He made us in His image, to guard, to govern, to protect, and to create just like Him. He fellowshipped with man, had face to face relationships even through our sin He stayed made clothes for us and loved us unconditionally through the flaws…

But then man forgot God, and the world turned away from Him, man became dutiful to his own desires and God became grieved at all man had done. Man had no time for the Creator, and starting creating his own agenda and putting Gods agenda off for his own. But God saw Noah, and knew that the answer was to start over again.

Noah built the Ark, Noah was mocked, it had never rained before, and what was a boat? A boat had never been made before, surely this man is crazy, hearing from God whom had been missing for quite some time now….But yet there was Noah forever obedient, forever building that fateful ark. And then Animals came, two by two, and some came with more as per Gods decree. And the families loaded onto the ship and waited as the water poured down, and it did for Forty days and forty nights.

One would like to think that maybe there was a place where Noah and his family watch the earth become decreated, where they watched God rip the Earth down to Genesis 1:2, where waters and only water covered the Earth. How sorrowful would they be, how fearful would that have been? God is God true but will He really restore things to how they were or will we die out here? I cannot help but to think what would be racing through the minds of those who sat in that destined ark for all those days of downpour.

It took God Six days to create the world and forty days and nights to decreate it, and then a year to recreate it again into what He needed it to be, He redesigned the Earth radically for His purpose and not man’s… How many times have we seen this in our own lives, how many times have we faced a storm and asked God what He was doing through all of this? The answer lies with Noah and the flood, He is decreating you…He is taking apart what man has put together inside of you, due to damage, ill-treatment, pride, anger, abuse, bitterness, unforgiveness (it’s your slot to fill what has been done).

There are times in every Christians life where God specifically unravels and decreates what has been created inside of our hearts, places that have not been yielded to Him, places that hurt or rage against others and Him, He uses life to flood those places and to forever change us, He takes us down until we (at times) do not even recognize who we are anymore, and he recreates us for His intended purpose.

Dear Reader, this is where I leave you, if you are in the thick of it, wondering why, this is why…He loves you, His eyes is upon you, He wants to forever change you to be more effective, a sharpened arrow that flies High and true, one that will hit the mark and go the distance…One that yielded itself to the Master’s Hand.

With Love,

Nichol

The Reality of You

 

“You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” ~Augustine

There is a Lover of your soul, and before you were so gently hidden within your mother’s womb, He had a design for you, a purpose solely for your life that was unique and unlike any other persons. I would like to believe that before He placed you in your mother’s womb He held you, He spoke to this tiny sliver of light (your spirit) and called you forth in a destiny unlike anybody else’s. He LOVES you, His eye is upon you! He made a way for you through your mother and your father to come into this world to fulfill your God given purpose and to bring glory to HIM.

Now there too is someone who desperately hates humanity, and every birth is a threat to him, he slithers along trying to foul up destinies, he hisses at the thought of our success, he would love nothing more than to see all of us as miserable as he is, rejected, cast down, unliked by God and men, willing to be dejected into the pit with him. He sets snares and traps before us hoping and praying we will fall in and better yet take others down too. He whispers so jealousy in our ears that one would think that Emperor Palpatine taught him a thing or two about dark Jedi mind tricks.

Thusly we are born into an unseen war, one side Holy, true, and good. The other spews venom and hate in our general direction for what they fear we COULD become. Our hidden potential is both DANGEROUS and GLORIOUS. We are both a THREAT and a GREAT JOY. Have you had a hard life? Have you ever wondered why? I’m hoping this may shed light in some areas, Ready….? Here we go!

In school, I had to write an essay on inhumane experiments that caused laws to be forever set in place to guide the way research is conducted. One such research was known as the Monster Study, it was done in 1939 to Twenty-two orphans in Iowa to see if they could get non-stutterers to start stuttering. The group was split into two a control group and an experimental group. If you were in the control group you were lucky for what was about to be unleashed on the experimental group left life altering effects on the victims of the study. The goal of the study was to see if negative reinforcement could get an individual to stutter, the lead lied to the children’s caretakers and teachers and told them that if they heard a child slip up in their reading or in their speech they were to draw attention to it point out their flaw (mishap) and lecture on them and told them to focus on their language before they spoke to make sure every word was perfect and flawless, in six months eight out of nine non-stutterers stuttered so badly they had stopped speaking almost completely and those who stuttered worsened and were emotionally shut down. At the end of the study the “scientist” collected their data and moved on to do other research but failed to reinstruct the teachers and the caretakers to stop correcting and lecturing the children; those poor 11 were left with lifelong emotional and psychological abuse done at the hands of those put in place to protect them.

Does any of this ring a bell yet? Let me further divulge truth.

The enemy of our souls has set up little bombs of Negative reinforcements in our lives, ones so specific to each of our callings; he has tried to count you out time and time again. He whispers those words so repetitiously in your ear hoping to you will catch on to his negative reinforced lies. You look in the mirror, and he whispers “I’m ugly. Look at those thin lips, too thin, look at those freckles and that nose, too bad my eyes aren’t blue.” We walk away wounded in that moment and don’t even realize the damage done and the foothold being established, we fall for his lie… HOOK, LINE, and SINKER… we let them permeate the essence of who we were created to be. He even uses our peers and the media to create these ravines so deep that we feel flawed within, and marred on the outside. We think we need to be thinner, tanner, blonder, more muscular, taller, drive better cars, and we are hooked, we spend our life in pursuit of a happiness but the happiness isn’t real, it’s like the perpetual carrot dangling over our heads and we fall for it, forever focused on what could be better and we forget HIM. The one who before He placed us on earth, held us and spoke destiny to us. We leave HIM behind in hopes of the sweetest biggest carrot we could try to catch. And sadly we start to resent HIM for making us so flawed, we turn away angry at what HE has done to us (and we don’t even know it), He who is perfect and only creates beauty. Our Negative reinforcements ensnare, and get us to forfeit what is rightfully ours for lies, and the walls become so high that we doubt all those that God has placed around us who call us beautiful and Handsome. We take it in and think if you only knew the real me, you wouldn’t……Go ahead finish it I know it’s there, or it has been in the past. And if it is there then you know that somewhere you fell hard into the assignment placed against you at birth. It’s time to see the grace you have forfeited, it’s time to see the assignment set against you and to start agreeing with HIM and not with him it’s time to tell the snake and his lies to go, fall out of agreement with them they are not you.

You are not who the world says you are, you are not who your co-workers say you are, you are not even who your pastor and church says you are. YOU are who HE says you are. Do you even know what HE says you are? Do you read it and believe it or is it for everyone else, a fairytale too good to be true? Let HIM pour into you, Let HIM speak destiny to your spirit once again, Let your eyes see once again that moment when HE held you in HIS throne room, so small, so bright, so eager to do, take it in your calling, your life’s work, all the joy, all the goodness of the Lord, let your little lights heart swell with the love of the Father, see yourself shining brighter for HIS GLORY, refocus your life, grab on to the grace that is so new every morning…and let the rest go, see it falling like a ton of bricks as you climb higher the mountain of God

Now dear reader this is where I leave you, with new understanding, Perspective, better equipping, sharper tools against the devices that ensnare and a bright shining destiny refocused before you, let HIM reign, believe that you are perfect, there is no flaw within the vessel He has made.

With love,

Nichol

FOOTNOTE:Dyer, J.(2001). Ethics and Orphans, the Monster Study.Mercury News, Stanford University.Retrieved: 3/23/14. From: http://www-psych.stanford.edu/~bigopp/stutter2.html

TRUE REPENTANCE

Its 1:15 am and I hear what I think is crying coming from my girls room, I go check on them and as I push open the door I am disappointed at what I find. Thankfully, my girls are not in distress, sadly though they are in disobedience, and the whole room has dolls, and scarves and bed sheets tied up and around it from the ceiling fan to the floor, they have been busy, but as creative as it was,  the reality is they have been disobedient.

Brenna my eldest starts to snicker and quickly grabs her lips and tries to mash them together to silence herself and to hide the smile she wears. I am saddened by her reaction, I call to them to get dressed and to come out to talk, and Brenna the whole time is fighting outright laughter. I asked them if they knew what time it was, they said no. I told them, and then I said, “Do you know that I put you to bed over four hours ago and by the looks of your room you’ve not been in bed at all.” I then asked them, “Do you know that you not only disobeyed me but you broke one of the Ten Commandments? The one that says Honor your Father and your Mother? And in doing so you have sinned and grieved Jesus. And do you know Jesus was grieved even before I had found out? And if I had never found out that HE would still know and be grieved and that you would have still sinned just in secret?” Then tears BIG tears began to well up in Brenna’s eyes, it was sinking in, I was getting through to her. “I told them that since they were so awake they were to take down all they put up and clean their room properly, and then I said, “while you are in there cleaning please think about what you did and make it right between you and Jesus, allow Him to talk to your heart, hear what He has to say about this and you, but more importantly apologize to your Lord for breaking His rules. Now go.”

Tears, thick heavy tears and repentance flowed from the place that laughter, haughtiness, and defiance once held firm. And, this got to me too, I began to think how ignorant we are when we grieve the Holy Spirit and break the heart of our Lord. How eager we are for our own agenda, how ready we are to say that WE KNOW the will of the Father for ourselves, and how reckless we are to say that God doesn’t really mind if we put our desire(s) before His own.

Out of her grief flowed my own, her heart broke, but mine poured out and a Spirit of Repentance was released upon our household in that moment, the Great I AM had shown up in all of His mightiness and forgave every trespass that we had made against Him willingly or unknowingly.

For the road of repentance leads to forgiveness, and forgiveness brings gratitude, and gratitude brings HIS Joy, and in HIS Joy we find strength (Neh. 8:10), the desire to choose righteousness and ultimately in this we are restored and HE is reigning within once again.

But, how quickly we are wounded and build up walls around our hearts when the Lord comes to correct, and instead of walking in a spirit of repentance we fortify our hearts to keep out the God that Loves and created us and we refuse to see the error of our ways (for fear) and then we refuse to hear the small nudging’s of love that He sends our way. We harden our hearts and we again in anger lash out at Him, blaming Him for feeling rejected as we reject His authority and put ourselves on the throne of our Hearts in mockery. How quickly sin gets in, how quickly that forbidden fruit tempts and ensnares our hearts, and then before we know it, WE are held hostage by our own rule, and poor judgments; we are reigning in our lives instead of HIM.

I’ve heard it said that revival begins with repentance and a turning of the heart towards the MAKER, the Bible even promises this, in 2 Chronicles 7:14 it states, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

If we are too busy to hear HIS heart then we are too busy for HIS agenda and we have forfeited the Holiness of God for an evoked counterfeit emotion, our own pride. But what if we for a season reject our own agenda, what if we pull down the things that we have (like my girls) adorned our own rooms with, in obedience to HIM and united together under one umbrella and vowed to yield to Him even in the hardest places of our hearts, to pull closer to His heart, and to learn to beat as one body.

We are so quick to play favorites, and to prefer others over some, But James 2:8-11 warns us not play favorites with one another and takes it further to state “when we break one commandment we break them all, and become lawless in a way.” The Reality is that we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and we all need to be forgiven, no sin is greater than the other they all cut us off from HIM and truthfully the choice is yours, to repent and make Peace with HIM, to be restored, for HE loves you, His eye is on you, be restored to Him, the things that we wrestle Him about, it’s time to lay them down, let HIM win, He won’t disappoint, let us cast off our own agenda and our need to be right, for HIS sovereignty.

Now my dear reader, this is where I leave you, with a glimmer of hope, and the call to true repentance placed firmly upon your mind and within your hearts, put HIM back on the throne, let HIM reign, let HIM undo you and then transform you, draw near to HIM and HE will so faithfully draw nearer to you.

With Love,

Nichol

O’ Night Divine

 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Isaiah has to be hands down my most favorite book in the entire Bible, There are so many prophecies found in that single book about Jesus than in any other in the entire canon; Heck, even Jesus quoted it and claimed it, and why not it was written about HIM by his Father. Isaiah is a love song sung out through the centuries. And here we are in this season, HIS Season. Celebrating HIS birth, celebrating HIS governmental increase; and through HIM there is no end….

A couple of weeks ago my family went with a friend of ours and her child to a reenactment of the whole entire village of Bethlehem and more importantly the live enactment of the Nativity. We bustled about with the girls from one station to another, letting them try all there was to try laughing and shivering through their  recreated streets, when a panicked man came through waving his arms frantically shouting, “PLEASE, my WIFE, she’s in labor… We NEED a place to stay…..”There were instantly hot tears pouring down my face. Everybody stopped and turned to watch this loud frantic man lead an aching, slumped over, hyperventilating woman atop a small gray donkey through the town shouting to every person, with desperation in his voice that you could not tune out….in that moment, you felt it, you owned it, it stirred up times in your life when that desperation was your own; and then he pushed on trying to find that fateful Inn and Manger we all know so well….The kids went about the task of making pinch pots that are guaranteed to break and eating foods I know they will spit out the minute it hits their lips, and my friend and my family pushed through the crowds letting the girls be well girls, dancing with costumed women in a circle doing a dance that was once celebrated but now forgotten in the quake of time, and then a loud blast of a trumpet and an announcement that our Christ was born, forgetting now what it was the Angelic hosts had said in that moment, I was again caught up in the moment glimpsing the joy that ALL of HEAVEN felt in that moment, I think for a second I got to see what heaven saw, a vision of all the Angelic hosts and the cloud of witnesses looking down from their clouds through the dark starry night with all of them honing in on a bellowing newborns cry and watching a man ever so tenderly wipe clean a crying babe, wrapping  him ever so tenderly in swaddling cloth, speaking to him with words of love so faint they could not be heard. They stood in timeless awe as they watched that man hand the tiny King of Kings  to the reclining mother fatigued from just giving life to the sweet heavenly child, so tiny, so vulnerable and weak. But yet so destined and divine. One would like to think that the child glowed a bit, in my mind He does because he was SO DIVINE. But reality was HE was just a BABE, with a great calling on his life. He was to be all of what Isaiah predicted and SO MUCH more than we could ever hope for. I’m sure all of creation and all of heaven held their breath for a second as they saw HIM their King in human form, I am sure in all their divinity there was such awe and wonder looking down on that little Babe with a lingering question…HOW? How will HE bring SALVATION to the world….I think about that Babe as we saw Him laying there in his mother’s arms of that little reenacted town and I think of how the shepherds and the Wise men felt the sense of Awe and Holiness looming in the air. Looking at the Babe I think of the three gifts and how prophetic they all were, Gold set before a King soon to Finance a hurried journey into Egypt in the Dead of Night, Frankincense for the High Priest to burn on our behalf to God for our proper atonement, and Myrrh for the great Sacrifice that will come unto Death and then new life again…His life but also ours….The Veil is torn my friends, this little Baby DID that so that we may enter into the Holy of Holies and see God face to face…….

Now in this season as we busy our lives with family, friends, food and festivities I invite you to not lose sight of that Babe. Pay close attention to the calls of a man demanding your attention for a moment seeking a room in your heart to give birth to something ancient and Holy, be attentive to HIS father’s call do not drown them out with the busyness of your life, to take time to hear the Harkening of the Angels (and the Holy Spirit) beckoning your Life to be forever changed and to bear witness and to be reconciled to Him, to the slumbering BABE, the great and magnificent King…. And to remember that this season truly is not about some guy in a red suit, with tiny little helpers, bells on a sleigh and the gifts he brings but rather it is about the greatest gift of all, the Birth of a tiny baby boy that established the Government of God here on Earth, whose life was seen by many but understood by few, His life that ended in great turmoil and sacrifice for our own personal benefit.

Now dear reader this is where I leave you with a blessing of the season.  May your Season be Rich and Full of the Message of the Manger, may you hear the Heavenly Hosts excitedly proclaim to all of creation, O holy night, O night DIVINE………

Merry Christmas

With love,

Nichol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prQnpbxEpfY

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!

O night divine, O night when Christ was born;

O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,

Here come the wise men from Orient land.

The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;

In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,

Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!

Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;

And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,

His power and glory evermore proclaim.

His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Credit goes to: O Holy Night rewritten by John Sullivan Dwight; original score by Adolphe Adam in 1847

Calling Me Known

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee Your Presence?”…. I cannot get away from YOU!!, or this verse…

ALRIGHT, GOD. I KNOW!!! I cannot run from YOU, YOU’RE THERE!!!! (insert exasperated cry here), Feeling frustrated and in want for a better word I would slam my Bible shut and NOT want to read it further. HE should know that I already know this.

But, I could not be farther from the truth, the reality was I thought I knew, but all I knew was textbook knowledge and HE was about to make it real to me in a deep personal way. You see HE knew what I did not, (amazing how that works, with Him being God and all) HE knew what I would go through in this year, He knew I would be broken and lost wondering who I was, wondering how I got into that infamous pit that many know all too well. When I was alone in that pit, the truth was I really wasn’t alone, He was there with me, shining HIS light on me so that I could be found.

In that pit God the Father was there all along, HE was speaking to me that dreaded Psalm, I sat in the mud and the wetness, with the cold jagged rocks beneath me pressing on wounds, their way of reminding me that this was reality and not a dream, but yet in the darkness was the quiet whisper of a King, so powerful that it spoke light and life into a war weary heart and soul of this child. Quietly, gently, calling from the deep, “I KNOW you, I have searched you, I see you, My hand is upon you.” This Psalm was not so dreaded now, in truth it was a great comfort to me in my distress and my brokenness. God was there in that pit with me, I was NOT alone.

Sitting up, in the mud, I saw my Steve and my HIM looking down at me, and all around me was the sound of whisperings, swirling around me in vapors that were faintly seen in the dark, faster and faster they swirled until their movement caused light particles to emanate from them, whispering to me ever so Quietly, “ For I created your inmost being, I knitted you together…I know you, [I love you, I love you, I love you], My eye is upon you, yes even now, even in that pit, even in your greatest failure, even in your hurt, pushing through your fears, pushing through your shame, HERE I am. I AM HERE.” His words, and the two years of constant repeat, foretold HIS knowing of this place, of my brokenness, Those two years knew of my fall down the rabbit hole, but EVEN better foretold of the RESTORATION that would take place….

HIS arms were holding me in HIS sweet embrace that we as believers so desperately long for. He reminded me, I could not out run HIM, I could not out pace Him, even better, He was there with me just like the Psalm speaks about, in the darkness, in the night, in the Depths. Assuredly we always know HE is there in the High times, those Heavenly mountain tops, but what a comfort to know that He holds us and SUSTAINS us during the dark times too… Steve was calling, HE was calling, and Holy Spirit was Ministering, working in the dark restoring, renewing, and repairing all on my behalf. HIS eye was on me, He had a plan, He knew about this moment and this day and HE was working to restore.

Bracing myself, I attempted to stand, my hands screamed, Heck, my whole body screamed, the mud was so slippery, it rallied against every attempt to rise to my feet. My hands were so raw from the Bites and they reminded me as I pushed on them to try to stand only to slip and fall back to the rocky ground adding insult to injury, frustrated I put my head to my knees and cried, “I cannot do this. I need help. Please come help me.” And then there was a hand in front of me, and a voice speaking to me over the whispering vapors of the Holy Spirit. Strong, soft, and soothing, “Here, let me help you.”  Looking through my tears I saw a bright light, squinting I shielded my face until my eyes adjusted to the glow and they focused on a hand reaching towards me.

As I looked at this hand I saw that it had a ugly scar that must have been a deep, deep wound that had once tore and ripped… for my sake, for all my faults, for all my ugliness, He BORE all my ugliness, and for that HE is beautiful to me. Wrongfully accused, He took the scars that should have been mine, and he bore a thorny crown, and an old rugged cross that was meant for me. But yet, here HE was standing before me arm stretched out asking the same questions He asked Two Thousand Years ago, “[Woman], do you want to get well?”, Here He was so genuine, so full of love so wanting to reach out, to help me rise to my feet once again, willing to guide me, willing to hold fast to me even through my sorrow and my grief. Even in the darkness of the pit, He was here, He was always here, whispering Psalms of Love, encompassing me creating a barrier around me protecting me against the darkness that so desperately wanted to claim me for its own, He was waiting for me to call to Him for help, and waiting for me to see Him once again in all His beauty and in all His majesty. As I reached for Him I could see my own hands that were once cut so deep by the Jabberwock, and the Bandersnatch had begun to heal, their destructive encounter was shifting from a painful interlude to something in-between hurt and healing. And as I reached for His hand, I realized that dreaded Psalm that haunted me endlessly was actually the loving Word of HIM spoken to a begrudged girl who thought she knew HIM, and His love…she truly was far from understanding it.

And now dear readers, this is where I leave you. Not with a complete understanding of who HE is and how much He loves us but rather with a knowing that we are genuinely pursued by His great love and we are deeply KNOWN.

With Love,

Nichol

Ps: Here is a song that He comforted me with in this time and my beloved Psalm. Enjoy!

Psalm 139

 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you. If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Please note all credit of Bible Passages or references thereof, go to Biblegateway.com

Looking Glass Girl, Are You Who You Thought You’d Be?

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun. The frumious Bandersnatch!”

~ Through the Looking Glass.

A year ago I was a different kind of me, I was a passionate, fierier, less fearful sort of me. In that season I had so many doors opening up, inviting me to walk through them, I was excited. However, I had no Idea that in a few weeks all of them would slam violently shut, leaving me in their winded shudder. A year ago, we were church planting with friends, and in addition I was invited to do a tour with a person who was ordained a prophet and was asked to speak alongside of them. I was seeing God move in such huge ways that only few ever get to see, and grateful for it. In one church setting the Pastor randomly stopped worship and stood up in front of the congregation and said, “If there is anyone here who has a testimony from the Lord let them share.” I stood up and began to speak what out what I felt God had said and done. As I spoke the Holy Spirit became so thick, and Steven (my husband, sitting next to me) was excitedly slapping my leg in absolute joy to see what was taking place. I stood there shaking (with nervousness) as the Word of the Lord fell from my mouth into the hearts of those around. When I had finished the Pastor stopped and said, “There are days that the Lord shows up and ruins our best laid plans, today is one such day, this girl just shared the Father’s heart with us, it is too great to be ignored.” and then there was silence in the room with a deep sense of something about to be released into our presence. The Pastor then gave an altar call, the congregation was 300 or more and everyone but 50 people came forward. I closed my eyes tight, the room whirled about me the presence of God had showed up, and all the plans for the night were forgotten in the presence of the King. I just sat down and took in the presence of God and was still before my Maker. Completely saturated, I hardly noticed the touch on my shoulder and a whisper in my ear, it was the pastor’s wife, “Young lady, I want you to open your eyes and see what devastation you brought upon the enemy in these hours, and to see what our Mighty God used you to do.” I opened my eyes, hours HAD passed! and as I surveyed I realized the whole congregation was still there soaking and that indeed a great battle had taken place, people were sprawled about on the floor, in the pews, on the stairs. As I looked I saw that there was the Pastor laid out on the floor in a star pattern waving his arm from time to time as if he had too much to drink and was waiving the bartender by to serve the next person. Next to him on the floor was the Prophetic Healer that was supposed to speak that night, the message was never given, rather it was forfeited for something far grander, it was dumped for the Holiness of God. That night forever changed my perspective of HIM.

But, for a split second, I flinched, and this flinch was about to be my undoing. My house of cards was about to come crashing down about me. The reflection of myself that I was accustomed to was going to be forever changed.  My relationship with and perspective of God deeply marred.

Beware, Beware, Beware….These famous last words, and hindsight, always leave you a bit sorer then when they first find you.

For, “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun. The frumious Bandersnatch!” (Lewis). Some students once asked Mr. Lewis what exactly was a Jabberwocky and a Bandersnatch. He replied thusly, “The Anglo-Saxon word ‘wocer’ or ‘wocor’ signifies ‘offspring’ or ‘fruit’. Taking ‘jabber’ in its ordinary acceptation of ‘excited and voluble discussion. In other words the fruit of jabber” and the Bandersnatch he described as a monster that hunted those who exhibited leadership qualities in a group and devoured them. And quickly devoured I was, a misunderstanding left a fracture, and when pressure came the fracture was left shattered and there I stood in front of the dreaded Jabberwocky, and the Bandersnatch.

Stripped of my right to pray for others by leadership for fear that, “You will pray in hopelessness and despair,” (from the fracture), I fell into the depths of despair…and anger…and resentment…I cried and cried and cried, I laid in bed or on the floor for weeks not functioning, not thriving, alienated and ashamed removed from all I knew. There was no more, there was only nothingness…I struggled with hate and became afraid, I was withdrawn a fractured image of who I was. The girl in the looking glass I couldn’t even recognize her anymore, my own reflection was scarier than I remembered. I couldn’t even open my Bible for fear that God too had a harsh word for me that would leave me more hurt than before. I spiraled downward into the depression the leaders were afraid I was in. I shut out my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, I even shut God out and resisted Him and all His small nudges of love I crushed and tore up in anger; too afraid to look at the wound, I knew I was bleeding to death.

I was offended, fractured, a wreck, nonfunctioning, counting the days till Steve would have enough of my lashing out and just leave, I prayed I would wake up from the horrible dream, I would go to gatherings hoping for a kind word or two, though there were a few,  most of my interactions were met with more silence, disturbed looks, shallow judgments said in “righteousness”, blank stares and tragically, an even more bruised heart.

It seemed that somewhere, somehow I fell down a rabbit hole and was met at the bottom by nothingness and darkness. I had stared down the Jabberwocky and the Bandersnatch, I flinched and lost. Broken and wounded I lay at the bottom of the Rabbit hole unable to move, unable to fight, my thoughts turned to HIM. I lay wondering if HE still cared, wondering if HE had planned a way for me out of this hole. I know I’m not the first saint thrown unfairly by others into a hole, I know I won’t be the last either. I sat feeling the dampness of the wet stone and mud beneath me seeing the nothingness around me, feeling the cold sting of betrayal that poisoned my eyes and the bites of the Jabberwocky and Bandersnatch that cut my skin so deeply and I cried, and lashed out into nothingness only to find that nothing echoed back. Worn, I fell asleep accepting my undeserved fate.

And then a stoic heavenly voice, a whispering in my sleep to speak love to my spirit when my soul refused to hear; they were sweet whisperings in the night and songs quietly lulling me to touch a deep DEEP wound, HE was calling me back to HIM, and then after a while I awoke and looked up and out of the darkness there was a brilliant night sky with dark clouds reflecting a great silver lining, and way beyond them were thousands of heavenly host beaming down at me in a twinkle reminding me of their own struggle against the darkness and of the radiant light that shines through them because of it.

With a little focus toward the narrow edges of the hole, I saw my HIM and my Steve calling to me through the nothingness inviting me up from the grave that so eagerly tried to swallow me whole.

“Tut, tut, child! Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it!” ~ The Duchess, Alice Through the Looking Glass.

And this is where I am now dear readers, not at the end of my story but at the end of myself. I do not know who I am anymore, I do not know where tomorrow will bring me, I do not know what greatness or despair it holds. But I do know this: “When I stare into the looking glass, it is not I whom I see, for when I stare into the glass something greater looks back at me. And when I focus upon the glass how much dimmer my own glory seems. For peering back at me through the infamous glass is my HIM, the Creator of all Eternity“ (Nichol Richardson, 2013)

With Love,

Nichol