To You Before I Knew You

I’m going to share my heart about the relationship I had. I get that 90% of other normal women don’t share these thoughts publicly and I am not seeking to gain attention. I share because maybe out there reading this there’s a woman (or man) who is in similar shoes as I am and they need to identify with someone.

I’ve been doing really well in these past few weeks. I’ve healed up from the physical pain of second degree burns on my arms and legs and my heart has not had the oozing blisters that matched my legs. In fact, I’ve never been better. I’m at peace,the light has reignited in my eyes,and I feel incredibly restful. Truly this has been my experience after thinking I could never get over the anger , hurt,and embarrassment of job loss. I couldn’t fathom that the tightness in my chest would ever truly leave me room to love again,whether romantically or I’m every day relationships. There was a small point where I even wondered if my legs would lose the sting that lingered long after the wounds had healed. As if like magic my life was restored to the real Nicci. The Nicci I truly am when I’m in the center of God’s will. The Nicci who isn’t laden with anxiety and fear of the future. The Nicci that loves to laugh,enjoys all things rainbows,and who leaves people happy not burdened. That’s who I am when I’m walking with the Lord. No, none of what I just listed is Spiritual or really conveys my relationship with the Lord but it does represent the joy that is in my heart. It’s like that kids song “I’ve got the joy,joy,joy,joy down in my heart!” Truly I had forgotten what not fretting about the future felt like.

Then today something slowly crept up and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. Out of the blue I had a strong nagging urge to write a letter to my future husband. WHAT? SERIOUSLY?!? Ok, let me stop right here and say it’s totally cool if that’s your thing but for me I’ve always thought it was really really bazaar. I dismissed the idea for a while but that same little voice that said “Nicci get your pen and paper and write to your (then) boyfriend. You have to be honest with him.” So I picked up my blue zebra pen and the closest homemade card and just started writing. *take deep breath* it was so very therapeutic. I didn’t really feel that I particularly needed it at the time. My prayer life isn’t “Lord give me a husband. Or Lord surly you could work something out with my exboyfriend and I!” In fact any time I have the slightest inclination I say “Lord take those thoughts from my heart! Father please sustain contentment in my life.” So when this almost relief type feeling washed over me as I poured out a small but lovely letter to my future husband I was shocked.

Well let’s fast forward a little bit. The day my now ex boyfriend messaged me for the first time I picked up a blank journal and wrote a prayer. Included in that prayer was “Lord take this from me if it is not your will. I don’t want to harm myself or this gentleman by causing us to not follow your will. I don’t know what you have for us but thank you for the opportunity.” I still maintain those thoughts.

Today I took my letter and went to place it in the journal that is no longer blank. It is filled with several journal entries/prayers….and the letter I wrote that day God told me that I must draw a line in the sand. My fellowship was more than where I sat on Sunday. I had made my choice.

I’ll tell you what. I could hardly look at it as that conversation started playing over and over in my head. For a split second I closed my eyes a wished I could turn back time. I could be planning a trip to be in his state. I could be loved by someone of the opposite sex. I would have the hope of having that wedding this fall and I could wear a dress made of the white eyelet that I bought on impulse. There was the desire to keep a home and please my husband. Yes,for a split second I could imagine I had made another choice. Even now as I type there is very present the yearning of lost hopes and strong desire. Something was awakened in my heart with that relationship that I had tailored away for so long because I didn’t think anyone could ever love me because of my past,my looks,or any other of those lies that Satan brings up. So I’ve loved and lost but I’ve also lived and gained!

Going through the moment of having to choose God’s will, which was my prayer from day one,and coming out the other side I know that the Lord is actively providing. Is it a husband? Well no not exactly but He’s given me a way out of the deep despair of lost hopes. He’s given that new(really an old one) prayer of contentment! I am thankful that when I pick up that journal to add a new letter,entry,or prayer yes, there might be a quick stab of what might have been but if I pick up those five pages front and back I’ll quickly be reminded why I made the choice that I did. No, not because there was anything wrong with the man I love or even myself but rather because God said “Do you trust me?” He even gave me the command to save that emotion fill letter even when I thought it was a bit extreme! He wanted me to have no doubt of His ability to provide. I have it as a reminder!

For now I rest in that provision. If it weren’t for the horrible burns I’d never would have made a choice. If it weren’t for that choice I would still be rotting in bitterness and anger! He has provided a way out of my sin! Oh what cause for joy. So dear one if you’re reading my rather dairy post of a blog know this. Whatever hard thing you’re going through you will be ok! It very well might be what God uses to move your life forward. I was blessed to have a relationship while the hard part of being fired took place.It gave me the comfort I needed and the support of prayers that carried me through the days I wasn’t sure how I’d go on. Likewise the absence of the relationship dug up and cleansed my filthiest parts and restored my soul to a place of acceptance and I gained my meness back as well! God is good! Don’t forget it it!

Much love,Pilgrim Nicci

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See That I’m a Follower of Christ by my Actions

This was written in 2016 but I just found it today.

I heard it said something like this. Don’t know I’m a Christian just because I post Bible verses that aren’t just John 3:16. See that I’m a follower of Christ by my actions.

Hopefully by my actions others can see that I’m following Christ. I get lost and take a longer way sometimes but when I catch up my Jesus is still there on the road of life. The worlds view of Christianity is that we are all striving for this euphoric place in the sky. No, the kingdom of God is within each of us. Once we accept our inheritance we then realized that kingdom living looks nothing like world living. Sure there is a Heavenly home that does await us but there is also a kingdom right here and right now! The peace that comes from knowing Jesus is right here within me. Having contentment because I am in constant communication with my God. Oh and don’t get me started on the love! Now I don’t want to paint a false picture here because I’m not perfect. The love you can have for others is overpowering! It’s true that I get so mad at people I want to punch them ( I know not a kingdom living thought) but Gods grace has countless times said to me ” Nicci you stop right now and step into their shoes.” Then you begin to love.

So friends don’t think I’m a “Christian” because I say so. Observe me ( or others claiming Christ) and see if it holds true.

Do you pray? I mean really pray? Are you constantly communicating with God? Not just at meal time or in a preset devotion. It should be as easy as if He as sitting right in front of you.

What is your language like? Do you cuss, scream, or have filthy thoughts come out of your mouth regularly?

Where do you put you glory? Do you give glory to God or do you try to bring glory to yourself? What value do you put on Money, beauty, status ?

How do you treat others? Are you willing to help someone even if it comprises yourself? Do you talk behind people’s backs? Do you even secretly hate them?

Are you submitting to your local church body or even to the laws of this country? Do you put your trust in the leadership at your church? Do you truly believe that God has placed them there?

Where does your money go? Do you think the beggar on the street is just out to get free booze? That single mom down the road from you, do you offer to bring her dinner? Or are you judging her and don’t want to condone “her sinful actions “? Do you spend your money on entertainment or fancy new gadgets but never on another?

Do you have a song in you heart?

Is the Risk Still Worth it?

Was it still worth the risk?

Rip open my chest Lord and just take the broken heart, you’ve already taken everything else that I had. Those are my current real thoughts. I’m done. I’m sick of the pain,the heartache,and the burden of the reality of my situation. I’m angry,I’m torn,I have nothing left in me to fight with. Somewhere along the way I became someone that loved too deeply and her heart got broken. I’m the girl that had contentment but took the risk to seek God’s will. Green light says go. It’s easy when the light is green and things are exciting but no one prepared me for the yellow light or the red light.

This was written and posted on my social media the other day.

Sometimes God speaks very clearly. He says “Nicci have you anything you have not surrendered to me?” I knew instantly what it was. For so long I’ve been trying to figure out how I could leave my fellowship to be in his. Somehow God surly would give me the green light. Today as I listened to a sermon God spoke in a way I could no longer argue with. Not because my fellowship is better or his is less..both are the bride of Christ but hold different functions. God said “Nicci you pitched your tent 7 years ago with my people in this part of the body. This is where I have placed you. If you make this choice it WILL have lasting effects. The most loving thing you could do is let Mark do as I’ve called him to do and you must rise up to what I’ve called you to do.” With tears in my eyes I said “Lord I give Mark to you! You are my king.” He said “Now you are in the center of my will. I will do the work in both of your lives. I’m the one in control not you! I will provide and you WILL BE OK.”

So although it stings and I am standing at the door crying out to my Lord “Why Lord why? I was content single and you brought me a friend. One who is a solid believer and yet over a denomination you are asking me to walk away?” Then I remember the blog post I wrote not long ago…who created me and Mark? It was my Father and He get to call the shots not I. So although the tears may come from time to time, I lift my head and I straighten my crown and I go forward knowing to whom I belong to,king Jesus. I value every opportunity that was given to Mark and I. He’s a lovely man of God. He’s no longer mine but I rest in the fact that he belongs to king Jesus as well!

So I laid everything out there. Surly the man I loved and I could figure SOMETHING out? What do you do when two people are perfectly suited for each other but what each of us are hearing is God saying “Stay in your church fellowship. This is my place for you”? Do you ignore God and follow love’s path or do you honor God? Always always honor God! Though my opening words are my honest and raw feelings in this present moment, I realize that earlier today I wrote:

There’s a distinct point in the suffering and pain that you say “Yes, I feel like my whole life is falling apart but I think instead of letting the remnant pieces of my life rot away I’m going to scoop up what’s left and see what I can build.” So maybe I’m in too much pain to get dressed in my normal clothes but I can pick my very best pajamas. I can’t really leave the house but I can wash and brush my hair. I’m sitting anyway so instead of crying and trying to dissect every sermon to see if God can give me a sign, I’m going to put on music and write letters to brighten other people’s day. I may not be in a relationship anymore but I had a life of contentment before and I can continue to have a life of contentment now. I get to choose and the choices I make shape my tomorrow! Do I run from my giants or do I face them head on? I want to be the kind of woman that faces them head on..even if the pain hasn’t gone away. Having faith means going into battle knowing who you’re fighting for. As for me, I fight for the kingdom of God. I can do do kingdom work single or dating,home bound or in town,but not self centered and and looking to something other than my God. Victory is ours!

So in this season I cry out GOD I CANNOT STAND ON MY OWN I know the victory is ours. The question gets asked again then. Was it still worth the risk now that I know the outcome? In my fleshy moments of deepest sorrow I say absolutely not. Love straight up sucks! However in my heart of hearts I know that is a lie. Yes, I is worth the risk. Yes, the pain(I hope) will be worth it and God WILL provide…but this season of life is not easy.

If you think to take a moment to pause and pray for Mark and I, I would appreciate it.

Much love, Pilgrim Nicci

Diary post:A Day Worth Waiting For

This was originally written to share with some Christian singles but I think it’s better suited for here. It’s a bit of a diary post.

I’ve been thinking about the bride of Christ today. I want to share something with you, a thought I had oh probably three years ago or so. I was at our love feast and the minister was preaching as he was breaking bread or finishing up either with the bread or the wine. I can’t remember exactly but what I do remember is how I felt as he spoke about the bride of Christ. Right then and there I burst into tears of JOY. I thought “Oh Lord! I may never get to be loved here on earth and get to wear a white dress with my groom waiting in anticipation for me at the end of the aisle. Lord but you are waiting for me and you love me and as long as I live THAT will satisfy me. Your love is enough! Who am I to desire anything more than your affection for me! Lord let me be a pure bride as I wait our wedding day along with my brothers and sisters!” Right then and there I knew without a single doubt that I had value. So much value to my king Jesus. His wedding was the one I could fix my gaze on as a single. I could rejoice with those around me that had an earthly love without feeling jealous or less. It was no longer a Competition or a matter of me being damaged goods. I WAS wanted and desired.

Now after several years of laying down my strong desire to be loved here on earth I’m getting even a small taste of what it is to be loved by my Jesus but here on earth. No,I’m not deserving and I cannot figure out why I am the one who gets to feel a thousand happy butterflies in my stomach each morning or wonder if this pounding my chest will ever end. I have been given something so very special. But even in all of this joy in this adventure of sharing this love together it is incomparable to what it will be like when we are in the presence of king Jesus! How much more will my heart beat? Will it explode from my chest? Will the butterflies escape and encircle us as we are presented to our Father as blameless and perfect?

I admit that after several years of not allowing myself to even consider what an earthly wedding could be like I have allowed myself to slip into this fun dream world where I get to be the earthly bride and my earthly groom is there with love waiting for me. Yet today as I was day dreaming I burst into tears just as I did on that night so many years ago. How rich is it when we as Christ bride prepare for OUR day? Not only in our minds but in our hearts and in our actions? Oh I have a long way to go before I find myself worthy of getting my crown. Honestly I could never be good enough and neither could you! That’s where loving grace comes in. That doesn’t mean we should stop striving for a closer walk with our Lord. Just like my relationship with my Mark, I cannot fully experience it because the miles separate us but it doesn’t make it less real or our love less. How much more should we be in preparation for our king Jesus to become godly men and women as we wait that day of being united together?

Lord I cry out for each person that is waiting for that day! We long oh Lord to see your face. We turn our faces to the sky the only thing bright enough..vast enough to let our imaginations wander of how BIG and bright you are! Oh Lord help us to be prepared as ready. Let us be a pure bride without wrinkles or stains. Lord God guide us as your vessels of use to the lost and dying world. Call the lost and let us walk beside them as a constant support in this pilgrim journey. Loosen our grips from anything here on earth but let our love hold tightly in the name of Jesus Christ our life blood! We lock our eyes on you Lord and we occupy until you come.

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.

Snippets: Hebrews 9:28

Today Hebrews 9:28 popped out at me as I was looking for some way to start this first day of February.

It says: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Guys and gals what a beautiful promise! I need to go back and read the rest of the chapter because it could be that I’m taking this out of context. If that’s the case I still feel so closely connected to these words. Am I earnestly looking for my king? I feel like I am but a human that I am threatens to cause my eyes to wander to our own desires. Could it be the glory received of helping someone in need? Does the pride of a job well done take root? Does the flesh crave to be desired here on earth? Who do I wake up and cloth myself in modesty and cover my head for? Lastly although my list of distractions could continue for a while yet, are the post I put out there on social media edifying or just another way to gain attention?

I’ve shared these pictures before and I feel a prompting to share them again. They came out of a magazine that I find to be a blessing. My home isn’t Pinterest perfect as I cut and sticky tack these photos as a reminder to me. I hope they can cause you to pause and consider the thought I heard a few years ago “Bride behold your groom”.

Ladies and gents this month can threaten your contentment,your perceived value,or even your focus on the Lord. For myself February marks the month I would fall surrendered to my king Jesus. It wasn’t the church organization,community,or clothes that brought me to my knees. Only the Holy Spirit on February 2014 a year and four months after I had tried so hard to follow a pattern,the wrong pattern, that I knew what taking my cross and following after the Way was. Let us (myself included) learn and desire the “hard and Holy” things in life.

Happy February first. My prayer for you is if you are not fully surrendered that you might be broken and restored to oneness with our Lord. Brothers and sisters I would desire for you to wake from your slumber and lackadaisical go with the flow of the world,church association,or even Satan and start the kingdom supported race. Put on the whole armor of the Lord as your uniform of choice. This life is for keeps,souls are in jeopardy.