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.
Driving home tonight my Spirit is heavy with grief for those that refuse to acknowledge the Lord as king of their lives. The sky on the way home had so much depth and feeling to it. I don’t think the Lord has to labor in His marvelous works but something in this sky told me He added some extra care. There was something He wanted me to grasp. The beauty began to fade as I continued on my trek home. With each mile putting distance between me and my job the sky grew darker and darker. The hopeful colors disappeared and in their stead was a new type of depth and as if God was crying in the distance I felt the fullness of the message He was presenting to me. “Nicci WAKE UP WAKE UP MY PEOPLE ARE DYING! This beauty is more than a sky picture and a sign of my love! Precious Nicci my people will never see what I have done for them,how I love them,and what awaits them in eternity! Daughter don’t you care? Daughter cry with me for them to turn from their wicked selfishness. Help them know truth!”.
So I tried making a video to urge those of you that are lost, deceived,or whom have hard hearts. I pushed delete and realized that my words are just words that’ll come across your screen tonight. What truly has power is prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. I don’t know where each of you stand before the throne of God. I am not the author of the Lamb’s Book of Life but I do know it’s author and the author of your life. I’m crying out on your behalf whoever you may be that you will have opened ears to hear the call of my Father! You too can have joy and peace. Not the false thrill of what the world offers but true wholeness that comes from a submitted soul and the protection of obedience to the one who loved you enough to create you and to die for your sins and rise victorious over Satan’s hold on the world. You don’t have to remain broken and hopeless. You have a lifesaving creator waiting for your answer on the final adoption. Come now dear one!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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/
A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words. What if a thousand words could create a picture? Tonight I don’t present you with a thousand words or a thousand pictures but perhaps my words and pictures will share something with you. These are the three major thoughts I had over my recent trip. I have posted them on my social media accounts and simply don’t feel finished with them yet. I believe each thought,picture,and the words that accompany them are about “moments”. So take a moment and relive my moments with me and think on them a bit. As always thank you for taking a precious moment to read my blog. Blessings and much love, Pilgrim Nicci
Shoulder to shoulder with strangers all taking in a moment. For some it was the color of the sky while others it was fishing with a buddy. For one man it was spending time with his son about 7 years old. I saw that he had a tattoo that said SAVED. I couldn’t help but ask him “Who saved you?” And “When were you saved?” Both questions he gladly answered. How odd it is that the bride of Christ all looks so different? We stand sometimes shoulder to shoulder but don’t recognize our alikeness because we are so distracted by our differences. Yet the people that look identical to us are not always in the bride of Christ at all yet it’s all too easy to see just what we desire to see.
My hope is for the bride to connect even if it takes going the distance to bridge a gap of our own making. Then go into our own cultures and be the missionaries we need to be right in the benches of our own fellowships. This weekend I learned that some that look like me have no assurance of salvation and some that look nothing like me have all of the assurance available. What a topsy turvy thought!
This thing called time is a burden heavy on my heart. How does one make the right choice for the time they have been given? We only have this moment and some how it needs to be enough. Should I be in a car with a young lady that’s time here on earth isn’t guaranteed? Should I have taken the desperate plea of a mom for respite so she could go to a conference? Should I be right where I’m at even when it doesn’t always feel right? When is it time to bloom where you are planted vs. being transplanted so you might thrive? Each moment so precious in its treasure of opportunity yet is there a clear direction to guide us? Tick….tick…do I hear the opportunity slipping away? Tick…tick….is the furthering of the kingdom the hand that propels me into each new minute?
My prayer (among many) this summer has been “Lord don’t let me be a lazy teacher”. I’d like to add to that prayer “Lord let me discern my time and be bold to use it how you prompt,even when it is counter culture or doesn’t make sense. If in my gut I know what I’m supposed to do don’t let me be ashamed to move forward”. Tick…tick…the time has come for Nicci to know the time even if tomorrow never comes.
Wrapped warm in the blanket of beauty tonight. Like a quilt artfully stitched together the water and the sky meet to wrap me in a moment. A painting on an endless canvas it is an honor to know its creator. Like a mirror to look into its depths you can only see the surface but not the rhythm…the heart beat, if you will. This is a warm fuzzy wrapped in a blanket kind of a moment, tucked in by an awesome God.