Let me introduce our guest blog today from one of my nearest and dearest, she is a mighty prayer partner and is precious to me in so many ways I could not list them all. Please give a big friendly welcome and say hello to Nicole.
Hello everyone, my name is Nicole. I should probably tell you a little about me before I jump in… I’m 33 years old, I live in Bangor, and I run a childcare provision for primary school-age children and Auntie to beautiful Katie. In my spare time, I love to get creative, making things, usually with a needle and thread. My favourite thing to do is go for a swim in the sea. I became a Christ Follower when I was 8, going along to Sunday School and Bible Class into my late teens, I had a few years in my 20’s when I walked away from God, but at 28 I recommitted myself to Him.
I’m going to be honest right off the bat and say – one of the areas where I could improve in my walk with God would be reading my Bible more, it’s partly a discipline issue and also a confidence issue. I feel like I don’t know enough of the Bible to be able just to open it up at a given verse and begin to study or even just receive, which is a vicious circle – I know.
A few months ago, I had, what we will call for this blog, a “date gone wrong”. I had been dating a guy for a couple of months. This date had ticked over nicely like the one before and the many before that, but unfortunately at the end of the date something was revealed to me that would change how I would see him moving forward. Ultimately this meant that the relationship was over. If I’m honest, it left me shaken, and I was very fortunate that I was able to call one of my closest friends on my drive home and, being the awesome woman of God that she is, she advised me to get home, open my Bible and listen to whatever God had to say to me. We chatted most of my way home (no shock at all to anyone who knows me) and when I got home I began to pray to God, asking him for guidance and insight on how to handle the emotions that were running through my mind; honestly, I felt that I should open my Bible and read…..but I didn’t.
I decided instead to do the little things in my room that needed to be done…anything but pick up a Bible or open the Bible app on my phone. I had a poem that I had heard once running through my mind, that has the lines, “the female of the species is much stronger than the male.” I had always thought it was empowering to women, so I looked it up. It is pretty awful and condemning to women, and I realised at that moment that this was the enemy screaming in my ear that this guy’s revelation was somehow my fault and something that I had brought upon myself. I thought, “I need to replace this with a truth from God”, so I searched “female Christian song” thinking, “oh this will just bring up every female Christian singer….” What I found was a song called, “I can just be me” by Laura Story, a song I had never heard before, but the words were beautiful.
It was in the moments that followed, as I battled within my heart telling me to open the Bible and just wait, that I realised it was the thought that I wouldn’t know where to look for guidance in the Bible. So I did something that I don’t do very often – not as often as I should – I got down onto my knees and prayed to God. Sobbing, I told him that I couldn’t open the Bible because, “I don’t know your word well enough, so I’m not going to find whatever it is you have for me, I just won’t find it”. In hindsight, what a wonderfully perfect lie for the enemy to have me believe. I told God, “I just don’t know your word well enough, and that’s why I’m not going to do it!” and what I got in return from him was simply this, “but I know you, I know all about you Nicole.” Well that was it, I was a blubbering mess again, I didn’t know what to do with that, I told him again (because in my head he had forgotten my limitations), “but I’ll just not find the right verse! Wherever it is, I just won’t find it”, and he told me again, “I know all about you”. So I thought if that’s what you are giving me God then that’s what I will look up. I opened the Bible app and searched “God knows me”. I have this rule that I don’t take the first search result ever, no matter what I’m looking up – I think that’s a “rookie error” – but the first result was Psalm 139:1 (TPT) Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. The heading for the chapter is You Know All About Me, I couldn’t believe what I was reading, truth after truth just bowled me over and verse 5, “You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness, you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me.” Those lies that I have picked up in my past, thinking that they were truths were no longer going to have a foothold in my life, they are to be replaced with blessings by His loving hand of grace.
That night I set myself the challenge to learn Psalm 139, because it is loaded with truths that I need to have in my mind, so as I can declare these incredible truths in moments when I am feeling shaken and need to be reminded of what my Father in Heaven has to say about who I am, and what he has in store for me.
Knowing this truth, and knowing that it’s mine, I won’t hesitate to open the Bible with the expectation that God will speak to me, I trust that he will show up when I start reading.
Do you reach for your Bible with anticipation of what God will say to you?
What lie could you be partnering with that’s stopping you?