Bread and Wine

Recently I met my boyfriend for the first time. Say what? Yes you heard me right. I met my boyfriend for the first time when he stepped off of the airplane and into the Ohio humidity. Nervous jittery feelings were deeply imbedded into my person as the moment I had be waiting for and almost believing was not reality became reality.

Not more than 24 hours after we met in person for the first time we were thrown into a five day church conference complete with 2,000 people (exact number unknown). To say the pressure was on and the nerves were at an all time high is a vast understatement. I’ll pause here to say I wouldn’t have changed a single moment but it was far more overwhelming than I could have wrapped my head around.

This blog post isn’t about my Mark and I. Sorry to disappoint you but I sure do hope you’ll continue to read along as I share something very special to me.

Monday night at my churches conference we all go up on stage to sing. The singing comes after a special sermon directed at our young folks. Mark and I walked in to the song Would You be Poured Out Like Wine. The words gripped my heart as I heard it through his heart. For me it’s a fairly common song and I hear it a lot. For him it was the first time and I’m glad he had the thought to record it. As I reflected over our week together being surrounded by my fellowship I couldn’t help but have the light bulb moment of understanding that this fellowship had truly been poured out like wine and broken not only for each other but for Mark and I personally.

The week leading up to this unprecedented meeting I started getting texts of prayers and support. The day before a dear sister stopped by and as the Holy Spirit prompted took my hands and prayed for mark and I. All throughout the conference and even still phone calls,texts,and so very many prayers are being poured out like wine on our behalf. It’s not uncommon for me to value and be filled up with love by “my people”. In fact in every season I have had brothers and sisters walk along side me as consistent cheerleaders ready to support me however God leads. Poured..so much poured on my behalf.

Then there were the sermons prepared by God using willing men as humble vessels for His glory. Oh so incredibly rich were the moments sitting in fellowship ears attentive and hearts connecting. After each preaching service I was so in awe of all the people who came up and talked to Mark and I. They treated us like fellow citizens of the kingdom and not simply the next article of gossip in the newspaper. Ministers,friends,strangers,everywhere everyone was available to talk about the Lord. My friends from all spots in life shared meals with us. These selfless acts of making the person I care about feel welcome was not overlooked but in fact was noticed and brought tears to my eyes! My fellowship was broken like bread to feed the hungry! Oh we are hungry for your continued prayers over this relationship.

Next up was Tuesday council meeting which I honestly didn’t really know what to think about as we walked in. Soon I knew without a doubt that these men laboring for this little part of the body of Christ were communicating in love and I was glad Mark got to experience that. Before Tuesday’s council there was Sunday’s communion. It’s nothing for communion to be a moving time of pure worship. I personally felt overwhelmed by that point. Overwhelmed in a good way but there was a lot of pressure on us having just met and now everyone being so excited and ready for us to tie the knot in their minds. I sat at the table just sobbing realizing that there was no way that I could do this relationship on my own but rather I needed Jesus take the complete lead as we have desired from the beginning. No amount of well wishes or personal hopes could carry us, only the Holy Spirit has that capability. So after taking the wine and the bread I felt peace so much peace knowing no matter my tomorrows He has already paved the way. He has provided me with a loving fellowship that is the embodiment of the song we sang and the Jesus we serve.

I don’t know where you find yourself on this pilgrim journey. Maybe you’re not yet a pilgrim and find yourself just plum lost. That’s not how this life is supposed to be. The kingdom of God is a community made up of living people living in abundant joy serving their king Jesus. That manifests itself in many ways such as laying down your life for a brother or sister as my fellowship has done for me. If you haven’t yet started your pilgrimage I ask “why not”? Why haven’t you surrendered your will to the Lord? Are you going through life looking the part but living in the depths of depression or lukewarm living..or maybe you’re just spiritually dead? Know this one thing. We have all come short of the glory of God. We are rotten with sin and deserve to die. God doesn’t accept dead people into His spotless kingdom. You must take hold of what the Word says in John 3:16. For God so loved the world (you&me) that He gave His only begotten son so that whosoever shall parish will have everlasting life! He wants to take you from death into life,darkness into light! Then only then you can follow the Words of Jesus in taking your cross (His cause) and follow after Him as pilgrims and strangers in this foreign land.

To the pilgrim that’s just journeying on. Don’t be disheartened in well doing. Your labor is not in vain. Like the fellowship that I’ve been placed in, be an blessing and an encouragement to those that you meet. I once was lost sinking in sin but if it weren’t for pilgrims willing to step out in faith along the way to walk along side me at a slower pace, I may never have found real healing and surrender! Chin up dear ones! You’re doing a good work! Continue to be Poured out like wine and broken like bread in the name of of sweet Jesus Christ!

Much love, Pilgrim Nicci

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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

Diary Post:God Loves You Even When You Can’t See Clearly

Do you pray for the lost in the world?

Today as I was driving home from the school I was feeling really restless. The powerful feeling of needing to talk to my Father was apparent but I didn’t really have anything to say. Maybe from reading other posts of mine you might get the impression that I never have anything to say to my Father. That is the furthest thing from the truth. In reality I am in a continual conversation with Him throughout the day. It’s the times that I’m wrestling with something and it’s no different than going to your earthly dad and asking for advice. Sometimes you just don’t know how to start the conversation.

As I was trying to start my conversation ( which in reality is silly because He already knows my heart) I was rethinking the phone call I got back from an anabaptist organization in China. That conversation kept the light in my Spirit fueled and added hope to my that maybe just maybe God could use me in China. But I found myself asking how? It’s just not even possible! I don’t have money or bravery. Humph!

So there I was driving along looking for my voice and it came! Oh how I was pouring my heart to my Father. Something in my Spirit kept saying “Nicci you need to repent for getting ahead of God”. What seriously? How have I done that? I’ve tried to follow His will. I’ve tried to accept situations that I don’t understand and reconcile the sadness I feel for lost opportunity. Now you want me to repent for something I’m not even sure I did?

With shaky voice I said “Lord I don’t know what I did wrong. My heart is here for you to lead. That’s all I ever wanted. I never meant to go ahead of your will for my life. However Father I repent of my sinful human nature. I take responsibility Father for anything I did to get in the way of your plan for my life or others. You know what is best in every situation. I do not and I have no place to desire anything that you have not first authorized. Lord God draw me closer to you so I might know your will. Help me see it crystal clear. Don’t let me muddy the picture with myself. Create in me an honest person. Take away myself and my pride or whatever stand in the way of clear vision.

In the middle of my prayer I got a phone call from a person that is a friend but is totally on a different social stage than me. It’s always a little shocking getting a call from them because I think “Why in the world would they want to talk to me? They have tons of friends.” I know that those feelings are wrong and this person is human and probably has those same feelings too. Anyway the call was literally just to ask me how I was doing and if I was excited for the upcoming school year. I thought wow how sweet of this person to call to ask that! Then they went on to say something like “Now I don’t mean this in anyway but encouraging but I keep wondering if you getting into RAD is God’s way of providing you children because you may never have any”. Then the person went on to share a heartwarming story about an ant and a contact lens that absolutely touched my soul!

The phone call ended and I sang praises to the Lord for Him providing a diverse group of friends. They may not be all best friends but friends all the same!

When I got home I checked my Facebook (surprise)and I saw I had a message from someone. Hmm who is this? Oh I know! It was the lady I sat next to at church yesterday. I had felt so awkward because I sat too far up and was literally sitting with all ministers wives. Now of course it really wasn’t a big deal I didn’t do it on purpose and I REALLY didn’t want to sit in the back with the young folks so I had a choice to make..and I made it. Anyway she was a dear! I greatly enjoyed chatting with her after church. In the message she sent on Facebook it said “Remember that you don’t have to do anything to be loved by God…He already loves you because you’re you.

I’ll tell you what! That reached deep into my heart and gave it a squeeze ! Here on the way home I was feeling like a failure because I don’t see God’s plan clearly right now. Then I got a call from a friend that I don’t feel like measure up to socially but it turned out so encouraging. I had to repent for feeling less. Then this message came to assure me of the Father’s love! You just never know the impact of a simple phone call or message will have on someone’s life. I went downstairs to tell the lady I live with and I could hardly stop crying happy tears to tell her my joy! This is the point you probably also think I sit around and cry all of the time. Well not all of the time but I am an incredibly emotional person and I feel ALL of the feels in life. So yes I do cry a lot…and I’m ok with that.

I’m curious,how has God shown Himself to you today?

Yes, my God loves imperfect me!

Why I Deserve to Go to Hell but I Won’t

Are people generally good? Do people do the best that they can? I believe if you were to ask random people on the street they would say yes. I say no. Here is why. Genesis 3:6-13 depicts the fall of man and his response. Those of us that label ourselves affectionately Christians know the story like the back our hand. I’m not saying humans are not generally good because Adam and Eve fell,all though that is part of it. I would argue that it’s because of their response to that fall. Let’s take a slightly deeper look. They ate of the tree off knowledge of good and evil and their eyes were opened to their nakedness. Now here was their opportunity to fall before God and beg of His mercy but that’s not the choice they made. Instead in attempt to hide themselves they sewed fig leaves together. When God confronted them yet again there was the perfect opportunity to throw their hands up and confess their sins. Did they? No, Adam turned the blame from himself to not only Eve but God who created Eve. Oh dear Adam would you have played your cards differently if you would have known the ramifications of your actions? In my heart I would like to think so but I know better.

How do I know what Adam and Eve would of done if they knew the consequences? Simply put, I’ve been Adam and Eve before. I know the tragedy of realizing my sin even though I may have not known that I was sinning. I know the reality of choosing to sin willingly. I even know the pit in the stomach feeling of trying to cover up my sin. I know all to well that humans, specifically Nicci is not good.

Let me share a little bit of the reality of my sin with you. Now if you ask my mom or maybe even people that have known me fa while they may not know my inner heart or the depth of my sinful nature. I am not sharing this to make myself look bad or to bring glory to the person that I once was. I desperately want to call sin what it is and to share that there is redemption available. So let’s pick up when I was thirteen going on fourteen and then the early months of fifteen. I’d say I was the average middle school student. I was pretty innocent and I loved my parents. I was really excited to be going to a new school and moving to a new area,one close to my then best friend! The only thing not so normal about me was that my family was essentially homeless. We lived in a motel and would off and on for a long time. In some ways it was like an adventure and others it was drove me to try to fit in or to be as “good” as my peers.

Soon enough school was in full swing and I was making more friends. One day I got a note from my best friend that was from the guy we dubbed “the curly headed kid”. I didn’t know him but my friend and I would watch him and his mass amount of curly hair get on and off of the school bus each day. In this note was an invitation of sorts to our school dance. To say I was elated would be an understatement. I remember that night as if it happened yesterday. It was so fun and was nearly movie perfect. I could almost imagine the cast of high school musical break out in song at any moment. Yes, it is a fun and thrilling memory. Needless to say as time went on our relationship grew (as much as it can at age 13/14. I mean come on.) and we didn’t remain pure. Despite the fact him and his mom attended Church every Sunday and my mom would drop me off too. I had a desire to follow Jesus but had no clue how to do that. We were fairly active at that little local Methodist church. Unfortunately because of our impure relationship we often times were lying to our parents and that made me feel worse than the after effects of the sexual relationship did. I’d walk home knowing what I was engaging in was wrong. Slowly my time spent with this guy turned from fun or at the very least what I thought was normal to heartache and despair. We’d go to the local Dollar General and he’d steal stuff and I knew it. He’d get more rough with me and I’d start finding bruises on my body that happened while he was “teasing”. All these too big of emotions coupled with my teenaged hormones being out of wack caused me to cut…well what ever you call using a sharpened stick to harm yourself. I had no real desire to hurt myself but I knew tons of other girls did it and I read in my teen books of the angsty characters did it,so why shouldn’t I try? I felt sad and my boyfriend was no longer hurting me in private but now in public too! It all came crashing down one day when he kicked me into the other seat as I was getting off the bus. I retaliated and punched him back and called him a filthy name. The cops were called and of course I was the one to get reprimanded. The bus driver didn’t see what he had done only the punch I threw. Unfortunately I had deleted all of his possessive and hate texts because I was terrified of my mom seeing them. My whole life was one big mess and not a lot of people knew about it. I was dressing the part of a over sexualized teenager during the week and going to church on Sunday. My sin was monstrous and I deserved to go to hell.

“Sexy” expressions are what is displayed on nearly all of my pictures from that time

What we wear does change our actions

I’ve never typed that nor have I shared all the details of that time in my life. I suppose my mother knows more than most and I’m glad through it all she stood by my side.

So how does a filthy beaten down sinner escape hell? How does a person even begin to wash their dirty laundry in their past baggage? How do they lay their baggage down and walk away from it forever? Simply put,YOU don’t. Magnificently though God does! So although you,me,and lots of other nasty sinners have rotting past and there is no escape there is a savior! John 3:16 says For God so love the world (you/me) that He sent His only begotten son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish ( go to hell) but have everlasting life! Isn’t that absolutely amazing news? Doesn’t that make you want to leap for joy? It does me. So Jesus in His time here in earth detailed how a person can inherit eternal life through His life,death,and resurrection. His overarching message was that the kingdom of God is at hand. He showed us very clearly that being in a relationship with Him was so much more than get out of hell free card. It had some requirements and some duties that we must fulfill. You know because after all we are not naturally good. We desperately needed Him to spell things out for us. You see once Jesus’s blood cleans a person all up and the Holy Spirit comes to make it’s abode in us the requirements of kingdom life really are not a burden. They are in fact a joy to carry out. Now I’m not going to lie and say they are easy because sometimes simple stuff like loving my neighbor is hard. That’s where His grace comes in. We won’t ever be perfect and we will have a free will and Jesus knows that. Through our repentance and patterning our lives after His, we will become His disciple. Day by day the gap between you and your past will grow so vast that it’s not possible to cross it to the person that you once were. That in my opinion is where the assurance of salvation is apparent. You no longer see yourself how Satan wanted you to be but rather how God see you! Trust me when I say that Satan will tell you that you are worthless and trash. That you will never be far away from the label of your sin. I’m here to tell you that yes sin is absolutely unacceptable in the eyes of God. It does make you wrenched and nasty. However the relationship you enter into as a baby Christian and journey through into disciple is a purifying process and NO ONE can stake their claim to your life except Jesus Christ!

This is the real me. The me that has JOY!

No,people are not good;but Jesus Christ is!

Much love,

Pilgrim Nicci

Passport Prayer

Most of you know by now that my summer took a slight turn and I ended up back in Ohio. After spending one week in Canada learning,growing,laughing,and praying I got a call saying that due to something out of our control I was no longer needed as a therapeutic respite nanny. Instantly I understood and had peace that this was the right decision even though it sent a sharp jab into my heart and if I’m being real honest,my pride. The next two days were filled with a little bit of a pity party ( which fit right in with what the RAD that was in the house was already doing) and trying to soak up every last moment of learning and time with Miss Karen.

When I arrived home yesterday I felt so restless. My apartment was empty because my roommate recently moved out and the bottom of the house was starkly quite due to Harold and Nancy being in Africa. I spent most of my evening trying to convince myself that I wasn’t going to rot on the couch all summer and that God did have a plan. You see, it’s so easy to say that you know but it’s hard to believe when things don’t go your way. I searched for jobs or fun classes to take. Coming up empty handed I started looking for a Mandarin teacher that I knew I wouldn’t find. I went to bed feeling like a lazy bum. Never mind the fact that I’m not lazy and I have a job but I felt like my opportunity to go to China was over,summer boredom was around the corner,and I didn’t understand why my answer to prayer was feeling like no more than an Indian gift from God. So I laid in bed praying I wouldn’t wake up too early because I didn’t have anything to fill my time.

Let’s rewind a bit and talk about Canada and Miss Karen. I believe when God stitched together this part of His story in my life, He knew Karen and I would hit it off. Sloths,rubber ducks,and Jesus are just a few of the things we have in common. Conversation was effortless and her go with the flow teaching style was perfect for my personality. She cooked,I did the dishes,and we both laughed so much that I’m sure her neighbors thought we had gone mad! Being in Canada was stretching and stressful for sure but it was perfect and enjoyable as well. It’s nothing like I imagined and everything that was needed to confirm that God has a work for me and in order to do it I HAVE to stop being so afraid of new pop ups. I must be willing to roll within he punches ( or plates being thrown). I was the recipient of impeccable hospitality not only in Karen’s home but also in her parents home as well. I pray a blessing on both homes that they would seek truth in every season of life and to allow the hospitality that they give be given in Jesus’s name.

Ok back to real time:

While I was food prepping I decided to listen to a VOM podcast because the quiet in the house was really starting to get to me. What I didn’t know was that I was avoiding talking to God. Well the first line of the podcast was something like “Without a passport you aren’t going anywhere. Once you have one go to the Lord and say “Here I am Lord send me.” Right there my heart felt the feeling you just can’t describe. I was busy cooking so I ignored it. The podcast went on to share some good information that I enjoyed listening to. Cooking was completed and I went to make my plate and my appetite was gone! If you know me then you know that doesn’t happen often. There was that heart feeling again. “Ugh I’ve got to pray.” That was my real thought as sad as it is to admit. I covered my head and I grabbed my passport and my Bible. Honestly I didn’t really know what to say. I started by praying for others because that’s easy. Then words started flowing and my heart opened up to my Father. If you haven’t experienced the comfort of going to Father God then the only real way to translate it into your understanding is it’s like when your earth dad tells you he is proud of you for something of value vs. the “oh you did a good job” compliment given vainly sometimes. The look in his eyes is one of respect and love. The hug that follows is of utter acceptance and comfort of being in your daddy’s arms. That is how this type of praying feels and this was no different. My Heavenly Father understood I was wrestling with a plethora of emotions and had no real reason to feel them. He understood the joy I felt in Canada learning about brokenness but also having a new friend. He just “got it”. I have no clue why I was surprised. It’s not like don’t communicate with Him everyday. It’s not like I’m a lost soul aimlessly going through life without a cause. Yet there I sat on my blue couch clasping my Bible and passport being hugged by my Father.

I shared with Karen the thought about praying over my passport it wasn’t something I ever considered. Which is ridiculous that I didn’t. After all I am claiming to be a pilgrim and stranger following after Jesus. Karen said something like “These kids are not ours. They are God’s children and what is to happen happens. We aren’t in control. That’s how all of life is. “It’s a God thing.” I got to thinking that’s right. Likewise me going to China is in God’s hands. I have no idea why mid plan God dropped Germany in my lap and wiped away was the financial opportunity to go to China. That was something I had to give to God. In the last two days I’ve been forcing myself to be happy over going to Germany to be with my brother and sister in Christ. I knew i was supposed feel happy yet I was grieving China. Doesn’t my brother and sister deserve better than a half hearted communion with someone that only signed up if her other plans could happen too? Yes,they do! They are the bride of Christ and I will be overjoyed to be in their company. After all maybe God doesn’t call us to be in one location. Perhaps our calling is to be where the need is.

Lord my passport is yours. I will only go where you pave my path to go. If that’s my brothers and sisters in Christ that need fellowship, then I’ll go bring companionship to them in your name . If it’s the lost then I’ll go find them for you so your name will be proclaimed. If it’s the sick then I’ll heal them in your name. If it’s the hungry I’ll provide food for them in your name. Wherever you send I will go…even you only send me to my blue couch in Ohio with my Bible and passport in my hand. I’ll pray in your name.

Much love,

Pilgrim Nicci

P.S. In this blog post I decided not to share about RAD. Please note I wasn’t taking this opportunity as a means to an end. I very much feel called to work with children and families dealing with RAD. I hope that doesn’t get lost in this post.

Diary Post: Tortured for Christ

My heart is weeping this morning. I’ve listened to podcasts about my brothers and sisters and the persecution they face. I have also read books,articles,and newsletters. Each time my heart is touched and I cry out to the Lord to strengthen His people and let my family stand strong. However even having two copies of Tortured for Christ I just hadn’t picked them up to fully read. I went ahead and bought the audio book because I knew that it wouldn’t sit in the shelf waiting for the “right time”. There is something about hearing a human voice speaking about the horrors of Satan and his ability to place this type of hate into someone, that makes the very core of who I am say “Who am I? I would never be worthy to suffer and rise victoriously for my love which is Christ. I have no strength. In fact could I be a be a person driven to anger that I’d stop seeing humans as created beings? I don’t know how I’d react under that type of pain and torture.”.

No,I’m not some sadistic person with hate but I could see if someone was brainwashing,beating,raping, and starving me that it would be difficult to stand strong and to still love them. I mean come on, I get frustrated with such small things in the brotherhood. It builds up to the point there is a wedge between me and my fellowship. Then I breakdown the wall I’ve built and go on as normal but that wedge shouldn’t ever get there.

I wonder if the comfortable church really can grasp what goes on in the majority of the world. I’m not even sure I can considering I have not been to the rest of the world. I hear their stories and my heart is touched but all too soon I’m focused on myself. They are people. They have families. They need our prayers. Who am I to “slip” in my devotion to them? I’d want my family to be praying and working diligently for the kingdom if the roles were reversed.

Who am I? I am of the highest rank of nobility ( taken from a quote somewhere but I can’t remember where). I have a responsibility to my family (the church), my groom( Jesus),and my Father. Who am I? I am the reason Jesus was tortured. I was the reason He came. I was the one who should of taken the blame. Who am I? I am why He battled with Satan. I am who He rose on the third day for! I am who He’s preparing a place. Who am I? I am His love the one He is going to come claim.

Who am I? I am the daughter of the king. I am here to fulfill the duty to which this title expects. I am a prayer warrior,servant(in training it seems),pilgrim and stranger in this awful world. I will be thankful for what each day brings and will praise His name!

This is really a rambling post and I don’t really care that it doesn’t make much sense. Basically read Tortured for Christ. Pray for our family. Allow no hate in your life. Keep on growing.

I have two copies of Tortured for Christ that I’m giving away to the first two people willing to partner with me everyday to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. You must subscribe to my blogs.

Diary post: weird dreams 


A bit of a warning: I know this really isn’t anything earthshaking and really doesn’t need shared. This is very much for me vs. for my readers. I choose to post diary post because if anyone struggles with what I do or is on a similar journey I want to connect,share,or encourage them that we are not so different. So yes this may be ridiculous but thanks for reading anyway.

I had a dream last night where I was at a church council meeting at annual meeting feeling rather annoyed because there wasn’t very many people present. Just older people and some Children and a few parents. The children were dolled up and at the front with a microphone singing to us. Feeling a little lost I decided to walk around the room (which was more set up like a communion service). I saw merchandise for sale. Cutesy signs and fun water bottle like you might find in the inspirational section of a Christian bookstore. As I walked past I saw a bright yellow sign that said KEEP READING AND GO TO CHINA..they need you. I stopped and thought “Hey that’s weird that this is at Annual meeting”. 

 I get back to my seat and I’m eating plain tortilla chips when a former minister and his wife in my fellowship comes up to me. I find this incredibly off considering I’ve had very little interaction with Ruben Huffman and his wife but he leans in and she looks at me with a big cheesy grin he said “I heard you have a dream of keeping bees. We heard of an opportunity for you to do that you need to talk to so and so! We love working with them!” He gave me a hug and left. I then woke up.
I’m not someone who thinks every dream means something. I don’t claim to be a modern day Joseph. Considering I dream most nights I normally dismiss 98% of them but for some reason I’m sitting on the couch over analyzing this one. Am I supposed to be a beekeeper in China? What does keep reading mean? Read the Bible or study about the Chinese people? Are the people I was going to put bees on their property but backed out secretly mad at me? Should I leave my church fellowship and follow the Huffman’s( note I have no clue what they do)? Maybe a minister is going to go to China with me! Maybe I’m going to be responsible for caring for people in China as I would care for bees? Maybe I’m just crazy( rather likely). Question after question and thought after thought is raging through my brain as I try to figure out this dream and my next step in the future.

Then I stop and say “Lord I don’t have to know and I don’t truly want to know. Because if I knew I’d probably treat this journey of life as a checklist of things to do. Please take my over active imagination and redirect it close to you! Great God let me be diligent in my prayers for others. Let me be focused on the here and now. I am content where I’m at and I’m thankful for that. I don’t need to go stir things up. When/if you want something of me you will speak directly to me in a way that isn’t muddied. Perhaps this dream is symbolic but until you show me what those symbols mean, I will trust in you. Amen 
Much love,Pilgrim Nicci