I am intently thankful for the Lord's saving love. My life looked calm on the outside, but on the inside, my heart was in terrible, relentless turmoil. The world was doing a pretty good job of reminding me at every juncture that it thought I didn't have much to offer. I quietly fought back by removing myself from the mix. My thought was that if nobody could see or hear me, then I would more or less disappear from being a target. I got to that point where I was severely isolated away, deep inside of myself, and spending longer and longer lengths of time laying still in a pitch black room was my normal. I was the girl in the glass house; only I wasn't throwing stones, I was looking at life from the outside instead of being an active member. I wasn't the person I knew anymore, but a shell of who I used to be and thought I was meant to be. I finally came to that place where I was done. DONE. I couldn't take it anymore; the self-loathing, the deep wounding, the hopelessness. The more I thought about the walls I had in my life, the more I came to realize that whatever the walls may be, they could either smother me into a silent, deathly prison, or give me the rocks to climb out of the darkness. I didn't exactly walk into my walls head on. I made them, despite all the good sense I knew I had.

So this Jesus - this Jesus I never really knew at anything more than face or hymn value from a spattering of random experiences growing up, came to visit me one night as I curled up at the base of my biggest wall. I felt the peace of His presence fill my bedroom and wrap a tangible love around me. I had never felt that kind of awareness of His awareness of me as I did that night. I don't say this lightly - I owe everything to this turning point that reshaped my will, and changed my course. It was Jesus, or it was death. I chose Jesus. And Jesus chose his death so that I could have life.

Fast forward about 20 years of walking this out, discovering passions that have been dormant and new ones I hadn't even considered before, here I am with all my shortcomings and wonderful strengths. But I'm in the land of the living and thriving, and I'm alive, at peace, and stirred to keep on keeping on.

If I can be of any use to the Kingdom, I say yes, and I will prayerfully go and do my very best. I don't strive to give a perfect song technically. I don't strive to paint the perfect picture. I don't pretend to know everything, but what I do know I desire to impart. What I don't know I want to learn so I can later pass it on, too. I ask for His hands and His mouth to work through everything I do. Even through my failings, at least I know I'm trying, God never leaves us nor forsakes us, and I can get back up again if I'm knocked down… over, and over, and over again. With Him. Always.

I'm grateful that you've found me. I pray that I've been a blessing to you in some way, and that His words have ministered to your spirit and left life, and hope.

God Bless, and I mean that.
~ Nicki

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