Lady in Waiting for Her King

 

This article was originally published in Daughters of Promise Magazine” www.daughters-of-promise.org.

Often you the word expectant refers to someone about to have a child or perhaps get married. In a culture of young women moving to the next chapter of life what does the single woman have to look forward to? Is her existence summed up as a lady in waiting or is there something hidden, something to be doing? Perhaps the life of a single woman is also a place of expecting the next thing: expecting an opportunity to serve, give, pray, live, or even explore. We can be women of action as we anticipate what the Holy Spirt desires of us.

There is something inherent in wanting to be loved, to have a purpose, and to give life. When a woman in our culture gets to a certain age but hasn’t walked down the aisle, made up her home, and had a child, all hope can seem as if it has slipped through the fingers of time. Forever the tickticktick of expectation is looming around the corner. Is there a reason the desire remains but time has seemingly passed?

Love is needed by all and given freely by our Heavenly Father and He guarantees that not a day will go by without affection greater than we can imagine. 

This indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what should propel a woman into action instead of being a foreverspinster, waiting in self-pity. A single woman who has received love from the Fatheris able to go forth and share love in a multitude of ways. She can begin right in her home, in her local fellowship, in her community.There are people needing love and compassion in so many different ways. The homeless need shelter and an opportunity to better themselves. The widow needs a friend to walk alongside them. A person that is seeking truth might need a safe place to ask the hard questions of life. Do not underestimate the power of Jesus’s love within you. His love was so great that He died for His people. 

Purpose may look different in different situations. What unites each daughter of the King is being guided by the One who knows them more than any other. Who better to design a plan for your life than the very one who gave that life in the first place? Who are we to scoff when God’s plan doesn’t line up with ours? Do we really think so highly of ourselves that we try to boss around God? Even in moments of desperation, we might even have stood so low as to bribe or manipulate God into our feeble plan. Rest assured the Holy Spirit will never lead you into something that was not created for you. That should be enough to have us experience expectantexcitement in whatever we are called to. From the school teacher, to the barista, to the nanny, and even the travel nurses, your purpose is one of the Kingdom. Your marital status has nothing to do with it. The Holy Spirit will not cause you to wait too long before He moves you in the direction He wants you to follow. After all there is a lot of work to be done!

Giving life can seem difficult when the womb is empty, but life comes in so many forms and should not be written off as a gift given only to those that have entered marriage. We, as followers of Christ, have an obligation to bring true life, Jesus Christ, to each and every person that we meet. Do we have to go to Uganda? Certainly not, however if that’s where the Holy Spirit has led then go do it! If you are called to a more local mission, your life-giving power may come in tutoring the neighbor’s child. That consistent interaction may be the only Jesus they will encounter. Life can come forward in the joyful countenance you share withthose you connect with day to day. When you serve others in bringing food to the shut ins, singing to the elderly, having company, doing laundry for a new mother, praying over your community, and so much more you are living a life that produces life.

 A single woman has a rare opportunity in adult life that others do not – our prayer life is wide open in a way our married sisters may not have, with the busyness of their family life. It doesn’t mean we single gals aren’t busy, but that we have extra time to pray for those around us. Remember that clock of expectation? Let those ticks be a reminder for the calling of this season of life: tickNeighbortickpersecuted Churchtickschool children….tick sisters in Christtick 
Give life to prayer and there is where you will find contentment. 

 

In your time of expectation, you will go through periods of time of wondering what if? I propose that when you replace the what if I was married question with what if I lived my life for Christ, you will not have any time to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. As daughters of the King we must remember the high calling that comes with that and act accordingly. Kingdom life has no room for laziness. There are lives to be won and joy to spread. As you move forward, go with your head held high in the confidence that you are right where God has placed you. There is no worthier place to be! 

 

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At Odds:The Victory is Yours

Folks let’s talk about Spiritual battle real quick. It is something raging all of the time. The Spirits are at war EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s not that all of a sudden they switch their attention to the unsuspecting Christian. There is sin,temptation , doubt, and fear around EVERY CORNER! Jesus didn’t say “Let’s go on a jolly good walk in the park to find the gold at end of the rainbow.” He said take up your cross(cause/mission) and follow me”. He says follow and we follow. That can be follow me into a sweet time of fellowship with likeminded believer or it could also mean follow me into battle against the false teachers disguised as brothers and sisters in Christ. Then He can lead us into obvious blessings that overflow and then right into blessings that don’t always immediately feel like blessings. He’s GOD and has the right to lead us,call us,and command us into whatever season He needs us in to put us in the best position for battle against the adversary! He allows the shots of fiery lies to be shot our way by Satan to strengthen us and to prove His strength. It hurts! Ouch oh it hurts! It hurts so bad that it is downright tempting to walk off the battlefield hands thrown up in surrender to the wrong king. I think there is the misguided assumption that when you become a Christian that it means a warm fuzzy life carefree from pain and suffering. Like some how Jesus acts like a bandaid from all our sorrows. WRONG! He IS our healer but healing spiritually isn’t really anything like being healed naturally. It’s far grater but so are the wounds that the healing must be delt with.

As this spiritual battle continues on and the lies of Satan are being shot with cannons at lightning speed there are some things that you can do to to bring victory in the name of Jesus Christ.

1)Make sure that you’re in the Word. Cliche as this sounds it’s really your only basis to go into battle. Without it you’re useless and might as well give up the fight. You’ll be a sitting duck and very little help to the kingdom. In fact you can bring great damage to the fight at hand.

2)Let others know that you’re facing this war. Partner in prayer with as many as you can. A war is never won alone. It takes a mighty army of people all laboring together with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

3)Confront every single lie head on. Is Satan telling you something about a thought someone has about you? Go ask them directly if what he is telling you is true. They’ll appreciate you coming to them. Is Satan discrediting your value? Read the Word and see what the Lord has to say about you. Are the attacks coming in the form of past sins being brought up? Recall the moment you laid them at the foot of the cross. Read what Jesus has done for you and when the Holy Spirit entered you!

4)Get sleep. This one really isn’t spiritual at all but Satan does attack when we are weak. If you’re weary and worn out physically it can be prime time for lies,nightmares,and imaginations to swell up.

Be of good cheer dear ones as we as brothers and sisters unite against the one who fell! If a Christian family member comes to you battle weary, walk along side them to lift them up to continue the good fight. Soon they will be the one to lift you when you have been wounded and the positions of battle have been changed. Go forward with the mighty armor of God knowing what Ephesians 6:12 says “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” You have the power of Jesus Christ walk in all confidence as given the example in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 “thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” We can be pleasing to the Lord by our faithful battle not with others but with Satan alone. He WILL GO DOWN!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=nlpSl3yadO4

Take the Risk

Hi I’m Nicci and I’m in a relationship with a man I’ve never met. Is that a risk, sure. Is it worth it,100% yes!

This is a post that honestly should of been written in my diary..unfortunately I don’t have a diary so you get to read it instead.

Here’s the deal folks I’m someone who processes things by talking it out. I just want to “talk out” something. I was very happy single. In fact it took a bit for me to even wrap my mind around what God was doing in my life. I know that this thing of being in a relationship in such a unique way seems odd to my family and friends. Hey I’ll give that to you all. However thank you for those that have supported this new experience in my life. I never in a million years would of expected to A. Be in a relationship. Or B. Have it come about so radically different than the norm. I can say 100% that this has been a God thing. I have no clue what my tomorrows may hold but in this season of life I am so incredibly happy to see where the relationship that God has stitched together is with Mark and I is at. I truly am getting to experience what it is to be treated with respect,love,and kindness.

I’m all for being absolutely content where God has placed you. However don’t be afraid to take the risk of the unknown…it very well may be God answering those prayers you had laid at the foot of the cross years ago. I know if my tomorrow finds this to be all gone from me that this was worth knowing that there are good godly men out there who aren’t afraid to go for what they want. It would be sad and heartbreak would take time to get over but not because the pain wasn’t worth it. Rather because the blessing is so rich! Something I also want to encourage women of all ages is to first view your man as your brother in Christ. This will make your relationship that much more rich. Take time to get ask those hard questions and be willing to answer them yourself honestly. Get into the Word together and don’t shy away from praying for each other together and separately. It’s not a cheesy suggestion but rather something that can bloom organically as you seek the will of the Lord. Something I wouldn’t trade for the world is the fact that all Mark and I can do is communicate. This special time of just getting to know each other is more than going to get coffee or dinner. It’s an act of intentionality that has helped us get to know each other in a purposeful way.

Get yourself a Mark..just not mine.

“Cause you are sweet and I am chunky “

Snippet:Don’t Be Content With Darkness

There is light and there is darkness. Contrary to popular belief you won’t find a middle ground between the two. It doesn’t matter if you went into the water and came out sopping wet. This thing called church membership and community living has absolutely no value without the Holy Spirit causing the old man to be laid off and new life to spring forward.

Which side do you find yourself on? Do you sit in darkness but look nice on the outside,content to look nice and catch a few of the church life benefits? Or rather do you live a fulfilled life in the kingdom reflecting the light,life,and love of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Do not be pleased to be hypocrites. The world will call the pretender’s bluff and rightfully so. The truth will be found and judgment will come when the bridegroom comes for His perfect bride spotless without blemish or wrinkle. He will not be content with an unlit soul insiders a dead body.

Time Well Traveled

Here we find ourselves at the end of another year. With God’s abundant grace we have will be given a new year with multiple opportunities. I know for myself this year has been a year of change,growth,and exciting new doors that have opened and some that have closed. I’m not unique in reflecting on the year that has passed. Many blog posts and conversations will be focused on this passage of time. I’d like join in and reflect on the awesomeness of my God in His love and care for me in this past year.

Moody Clouds!

January: I found myself preparing for my newest roommate to move in. Having the privilege to live and work along side Roxy was a joy and blessing.

February: I discovered that although for many many years I valued St. Patrick’s Day as my favorite holiday it actually turns out to be Valentines Day. I wear pink,bought a heart shaped pizza,and my parents sent me beautiful flowers. What more could a woman ask for?!? Alongside my new found favorite holiday, I celebrate in my heart the day I fully came into submission and surrender to my Lord! It fills me with all sorts of large feelings I will never be able to put into words. My life removed from God is worth nothing. That is cause enough to praise His name! https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/they-call-me-a-fool-he-calls-me-his-bride/

March: This month was filled with birthday type stuff. I turned 27 and started a new year of life.

April: I boarded a small six passenger airline and headed with a team to Florida to serve at a family healing camp. My heart grew like the Grinches heart grew while I spent time with children and families effected by RAD(Reactivate Attachment Disorder). I would never of called myself a “kid person” sure I love teaching and such but something changed in seeing parents literally fighting for the lives of their children. We are called to care for the widows and children and I can do that by supporting these awesome families that are growing little hearts that have been hurt.

May: The end of a challenging school year ended and honestly I was so thankful! A much needed break was in the horizon. https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/seek-ye-first-the-kingdom-of-god-not-the-amish-romance/

June: Annual meeting was a delight because I got to connect with many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a vision that takes place in my mind when we are gathered around the communion table seeking to do the will of God. We are each humbly waiting for that day that we are one in the consummation of the marriage with Christ!

After annual meeting I packed my bags for a week of Training/working in Canada with a raddlet (kid with RAD). Whew no amount of time would allow me to tell all of the stories. Fear,excitement,drama,smells,and friendship blooming we’re all words I’d use. Originally I was planning on heading to Georgia for about a month but the child needed different care so I headed home with a switch of plans.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/passport-prayer/

July: This was the most boring,lonely,horrible month ever. On the tail of the disappointment of lost opportunity I was in the house completely alone for a good portion with absolutely nothing to do and no motivation to find something to fill my time. I’m not proud of July but God uses it to draw me closer to Him. I had a lot of one on one talks with Him and my Bible was opened on my lap more than it wasn’t. I found comfort in bringing my Bible to bed with me each night as if a security blanket.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/diary-post-a-few-thoughts-on-boredom/

August: I went to Kansas for a weekend that I can honestly say was one of the best weekends of my life! I felt so loved by my friends Lana and Monica as they had carefully planned a to do list of fun for us. We did so much but beyond that we grew a little closer as friends. https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/find-me-in-the-woods-among-the-trees/

School started and instantly I could “feel” that it was going to be a good year. I have yet to be disappointed in how the cookies have crumbled.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/a-fresh-start-with-a-rainbow-of-opportunities/

Yes, I was terrified but it was worth it!

September: We (at school) really started to feel our routine set in and the normal school days began to flourish. I am very fortunate to get the opportunity to work among fellow followers of Jesus Christ as we labor for the kingdom of God! I started doing therapeutic respite in my home and I have been enjoying the process so much! It’s a unique challenge and requires me to be on my A game 100% but oh so worth giving these wonderful parents a small break from having to be the superhero for a few days. I pray that God gives me many more opportunities to support these awesome parents! https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/its-a-sloths-life-pajamaspity-partiesand-pee-peevpants/

October: My teeny tiny nephew came into the world with many prayers and much love. His arrival has been a highlight of the year for sure! Each new babe is a special miracle from God. Let’s hold our children a little closer this year as we realize some children never get to feel the love that yours does. Let’s pause to pray for the hearts of the neglected and abused children. Oh Lord you do care and hear their cries!

Sweet child

I got on an airplane for the third time this year for an adventure of a lifetime! Myself along with my brothers and sisters in Christ went to Germany to meet up with more of our family in Christ to support and have a love feast in their neck of the woods! Oh what a joy filled experience unmatched by anything I’ve ever been a part of before. This was the moment I got what I really was a part of. My fellowship is my everything here on earth to me.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/spaghetti-loving-people-in-germany/

Brother and sister in Germany

November:This month was a fun one! Myself and three other women rented a cabin in the woods in Holmes County to find some R&R. We did all the usual things that you do there with the addition of spending a day doing fun crafty things! Somewhere along the way in the summer I took up painting. It’s a skill I hope to expand to bless others as I write letters that will bring encouragement to those that get them.

https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/handwritten-letter-a-lost-art-or-not-needed-anymore/

December: December=eventful!

My friend Lana came out for the weekend so we could…well let’s just say check your mailbox in the next week. We had more laughs than I knew could happen! Friends sure make life fun!

I had the opportunity to be perused by a godly man in another fellowship. It was a fun opportunity that turned out to not bring peace even though it was fun while it lasted. Who doesn’t want to be valued by someone here on earth? It was a growing experience bringing me to face my vision for my life and how God has continued to call me to be faithful in all things.

I am traveling home now after a week in Missouri and Kansas. Things like Christmas,sickness,Cheesecake Factory,bonding,and large sloths are the words used for this trip.

Now we find ourselves back at January where I began a year ago. I can’t tell you what the next year will hold but my prayer is go a steadfast commitment to my Lord and Savior as I continue on my pilgrimage in the kingdom of God. I hope I meet many new friends and strengthen relationships with the ones I already have. This year has brought many Mountain View moments and yes, a few moments where I stood at the bottom of the mountain wondering why I had to start again. I can say without any stretching of the truth that the climb was worth it!

The sun rose and set every day of this past year and I got to enjoy most of them as I did life. Oh the gift that is a new day! Let us each wake to look for the gift God has given us then let us fall before Him in praise!

I love you all! Much love dear ones. If you haven’t found yourself at the foot of the cross casting your sins away, I urge you to cry out to our sovereign Lord to help you to do so! This life here on earth will vanish and we will each face eternity. I want you each to face it looking at the face of Jesus at the wedding of His people with Him to never be separated. If I can help you by answering questions or praying along side of you please let me know. We are not promised another day on this earth. Make your choice now. https://pilgrimnicci.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/why-i-deserve-to-go-to-hell-but-i-wont/

Pilgrim Nicci

365 Opportunities

What will the new year hold? I think all too often we ask that in a way that really is selfish. “What will I gain from a new year?” Is the burning question we have tucked into our hearts. We are wondering if this will be the year I’ll be noticed by that cute guy. Things like job promotions and pay raises cross our minds. Let me ask you this. Are you already planning your next vacation for 2019? You see, we really are so self focused when we begin to wonder about the upcoming year. I’m not saying it’s all bad to have those thoughts but as I evaluate the direction of my life it becomes apparent the question I want to be on my heart. Hmm maybe it’s not actually the question at all but rather the answer.

With a whole new year fast approaching the answer to the question is there are 365 opportunities. As a follower of Jesus Christ I feel that every single day counts for the kingdom of God. I want to use all 365 days as days to share the truth of God’s love and the gravity of our sin situation. We get only one life here on earth and the choices we make have eternal impact not only for ourselves but for those we meet everyday.

I believe when Jesus gave the parable about the widow that gave her everything that He literally meant that we do the same. All too often I can get wrapped up in the “I’m a single school teacher” excuse of why my money is free to go out to eat or buy that extra coffee. Frequently I can even say I’m too “poor” to help that person in need. The blazing reality is that I’m so very rich! I’m rich in finances and emotional/spiritual wealth. I really lack for nothing. That becomes apparent when I get my act together and begin to give. Isn’t that funny how somehow someway I always have an increase when I choose to walk in faith and give of myself?

It’s not just being willing to give of ourselves in a monitory way. Although let’s pause and recognize that we MUST be doing that too! I’m not talking 10% bare minimum to gain us our check mark. I’m talking let’s allow it to be a sacrifice of total surrendered love. Not only our money but our time is to be laid at the foot of the cross as well. Once again each time I find myself willing to move as the spirit prompts, I am given an increase! Shouldn’t our lives be laced with the gospel truth? Oh you’ll be amazed how open people are with talking openly. Sure the goal or hope is to impact the lives of the lost but God in between those interactions gives us other mighty believers to sharpen and encourage our journey! It’s truly powerful!

So maybe the concept of using our 365 days as opportunity for the kingdom of God is a foreign concept. That’s ok! We all have to start somewhere and I’m not at 100% either. In so many ways this message is for me as well. I sat this morning in a puddle of tears crying out to God wondering how I could be so selfish! Please know you’re not alone! I began to search my heart and mind for how does 365 days of kingdom living look on practical terms. I came up with a list and it’s by no means exhaustive and I certainly don’t meet all of my own criteria. I hope it can be used to strengthen you and me to be honest with ourselves where we fail and can grow. I’d love to hear what you do to further the gospel and to be the hands and feet of Jesus all year long!

-First of all have daily devotions. We must be in the Word to share the Word. I might be radical in saying a sermon or intense prayer time can be coupled with this too.

-The grocery store is a unique opportunity to chat with people in a casual way. I’ve had some of the best kingdom conversations waiting at the meat counter of Kroger. Don’t be afraid of starting a conversation!

-Go over and talk to that person sitting alone at the restaurant. Yeah sure like 5% the person wants to be left alone but that 95% is well worth the shot.

-Serve at a soup kitchen. Not only do you get to have a challenge of cooking but also interacting with your neighbors.

-Get to know your neighbors. Don’t be afraid to ask them over for a meal. Be in prayer for them as you get to know them.

Invite people to your church. It can be incredibly frightening especially in my situation because my church has a visible culture and that can terrify people. Yet I’ve had some complete strangers come to church and I was so thankful for their willingness to come!

-Get in the mind set that your money and possessions are not your own. Loosen your grip on the things of this world and you’ll learn to give more freely.

-Be in prayer about giving opportunities. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to situations where you can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

-This one might seem silly but wash those dinner dishes after Sunday company. The hostess will appreciate the help even if at first she refuses the help.

-Pay the bill for the person in front of you at the grocery store. Typically they ask “why” and you can direct them to the Lord.

-Keep am extra quarter for trips to Aldi.

-Fix a meal for someone and drop it off unexpectedly. We forget that sometimes life gets busy for a young family and dinner may not be planned yet!

-Gofundme is an example of people from every walk of life coming together to support those in need.

-Well of Hope supports widows and children in Africa. You can sponsor a child through them.

-Invite a single or widow to dinner for “just because”.

-Buy someone that wouldn’t be expecting it flowers.

-Give hugs freely!

-Go visit a nursing home. Ask the residents about their lives.

-Babysit for free.

-Stop and give that person on the side of the road a ride.

-Buy a meal for a homeless person.

-Pray with someone right where you are. Don’t wait until later.

-Pray verbally when at a restaurant.

My list is short but it’s just a few things I’ve found to show God’s love in my everyday life. How do you serve those around you?

Snippets:Timing is Everything

For six years I have driven past this spot. For six years I’ve wanted to stop my car and roll down the window and take a picture. For six years as I I went past this spot I have been talking to God and listening to Him.

I wonder if just like it took six years of being in the same spot waiting for an opportunity if that same faithfulness is what God desires of my life. How often do we pray over and over finding ourselves growing restless, almost tempted to just go ahead and do things our way. Sure I had made attempts before at getting this picture but a car always came by or it turned out fuzzy. Something always prevented me from capturing the beauty of this location. Today was my day. I’m no photographer but I’m mighty pleased with this shot. Lord let me be faithful to wait on your timing. All too often I catch your vision but I want to move forward without your consent. Does my Jesus come down and claim His bride before you have blessed it? Who am I to think I am higher than my king? Oh for shame that I would run ahead. Lord let me remember this picture perfect moment that you crafted for me. It took six years but perhaps six years is what I needed to truly appreciate the view. Thank you Father!