Saturday, September 29, 2007

Called to "Prepare for More"

I stepped outside into the cool night air. The campus was dark and silent, and I felt a gentle stir in my soul; a prompting to simply walk and listen as the Lord would speak. I began to praise God in my heart as I walked back and forth leisurely on the sidewalk, recalling all that He had done for me; where He had brought me; where He had placed me. Tears began to pour down my face as my casual strolling became an intense pacing, and the words in my heart flowed seamlessly from my lips. I walked before the Lord and declared my unworthiness to be where I was, doing what I was doing. I was unworthy to be working for Him, to be serving Him. Working for this Man that had pulled me from a life of shame, a life of failure, a life of defeat and regret. As I traveled the sidewalk back and forth, weeping, such heaviness descended upon me. It was a pressing weight, with fervency and an urging, and I could not only hear the things that God was speaking to me, but I felt them strongly, like a fiery branding upon the heart. I felt God’s touch on my life. I felt the unmistakable finger pressing hard upon my heart;

“I’ve chosen you.

I’ve picked you out.

I set you apart.

I called you.”

The weight was so immense and there was no other inclination in me, but to accept it; to bear it completely; to yield to it and surrender. So many times before it has not been that way. I have heard the call. I have heard His voice speaking to me,

“Becky, I have called you”

But I’ve walked away from it, shaking my head.

“It’s ridiculous that God would call me.”

God has grabbed hold of me and held me down in the midst of it, but I have kicked and screamed.

“I want nothing to do with it!”

Others have stood before me, declaring their recognition of it on my life, and I have turned my eyes.

“It’s silly to believe He would desire me.”

I have chosen to run an impressive number of times, and it has always followed me; always hounded me. But tonight… tonight I didn’t just hear it, or see it, or have it pointed out to me. Tonight I felt it. I felt the weight of a calling resting itself upon me and all that I could do was accept and sob at my unworthiness. Tonight, the tasks that I perform for Him presently, that seem so enormous, became miniscule as God spoke so firmly to my heart.

“Give them everything you’ve got and get ready… more is coming.”

I hear it over and over, and I feel it press harder and harder…

“More is coming, more is coming, more is coming.”

I feel the urgency wrap around my shoulders like a heavy cloak, and more effort must be exerted to walk under it. I feel the burning sensation rising up, as one word goes over and over inside…

“You… you… you… It’s you…”

My mind does not gather what the call is, but I feel a powerful expectancy from God to rise up and prepare myself, for “more.” I weep, thinking about the ‘you’ He is calling. The ‘you’ is a 19-year-old girl and pretty rough around the edges. The ‘you’ is the epitome of lifetime failure. The ‘you’ hasn’t been living in victory for very long at all. The ‘you’ has been known to fall flat on her face, and frequently. The ‘you’ is Becky… Becky Nichols… and only God can fully understand the depth that the discredit goes. Still that pressing weight is there, and it rests itself upon shoulders that are undeserving. That call is placed on a life that is unqualified to fulfill even the smallest tasks that are set before it now. That life allows the weight to fall so heavily upon her and that life is ready to accept the challenge that God has given her, to “prepare for more.”

Becky Nichols, Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 12:46 AM

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Leave the Flowers for the Town

It was April 15th 2004, and I had finally finished all of my schoolwork. I put my final grades in the green leather scorebook and tossed it on Mom’s computer desk for her to send the last report the school. It was all over with, every last bit of it. Every quiz, every test, every assignment, every project, and every page of reading was done. No more textbooks, no more CD-ROM classes, and best of all, no more work books. I was done. With stiff legs, I slowly stood up from the floor where I had been sitting, and walked over to the kitchen window, and looked out. The sun shone brightly across our heart-shaped pond, and the dirt road above glistened from the melting snow. Early spring flowers had begun to come up, and the roads were lined in their soft and delicate beauty. I stepped outside onto the front steps and looked down the length of the road, and across the empty land. It was empty of life, business, and the ugliness of society, but full of wonder, peacefulness, and the revelation of God’s character. I had lived here for five years. I laugh sometimes because when someone finds out your from New York, they automatically think you’re from the city, but it’s not like any other part of New York. It’s special. When I first moved here, I hated it. I hated not being around the village kids. I hated being away from what civilization there was out here, and I hated the dirt road, but as I grew in the Lord, I came to love every square inch of it. Coming back to my senses, I watched as our little puppy ran out onto the melting ice across the pond, with his mother close behind to snatch him up, and bring him safely back to the dry ground. A breeze stirred the hair at the nape of my neck as I started to walk up our driveway, towards the country road, and I began to think about what I would do next with my life. Dad, having high hopes for his daughter, had subtly implied a secular college, while Mom never really suggested anything. Aunts in Ohio had asked me to come out and live with them, and I had an older sister who wanted me to become a live-in nanny for her kids. My big brothers, who had had farm jobs since they were 10 years old, said that work was the best option. Others said I should stay home and work in the church and there were a few that said I should stay home and get a job, save up for a couple of years and then go to college. Options lay innumerable before me, and each one had appealed to me in its own way, but in the back of my mind there was one more option, that I had suppressed for a long time. As I walked along the country road, absorbed in its beauty, the soft voice of an older and respectable woman whispered in the back of my mind, slowly surfacing to the front. I could vaguely see her standing behind the small wooden pulpit in our little church, standing before the large crowd of our annual camp meeting attendees, sharing her witnessing experiences. She talked of a tiny Bible school somewhere in Pennsylvania, and asked, “Is the Lord calling you to Bible School? Is He calling you?” I quickly pushed the words back and continued slowly walking down the road. I brought the flowers to the front of my mind, and closed out any thought of Bible school. I was too young, and I loved this place too much to leave it for a dorm room full of noisy girls, and three more years worth of tests. I couldn’t leave these flowers, and my fields. They’d brought me so close to God. I couldn’t leave my dirt road, or my woods and the little creek outback. The Lord and I had walked all over this land together. Walking out here was how I prayed! I tilted my head to the sky and whispered, “God, I’ll have no place to pray in Pennsylvania. They don’t have wild flowers filling their ditches, or the little creeks with the tiny waterfalls. They don’t have thick alfalfa fields to tromp through. There’s not peace and quiet where I can just listen to You, or solitude. I’ll never be able to hide from thirty-some girls. There will be nothing there but noise, God. God, I like my hills, and my land.” Casting another look at the flowers, I said again, “God, I can’t leave my flowers, just let me stay here. Let me stay in my New York.” But as I continued down the road, all that I could think of was people. People hurting, people crying, people with no hope. People wanting a Savior. People in foreign lands, children in hospitals, teenagers in jail, the depressed in Mental health clinics. Kicking stones as I walked, I said, “God, I don’t know how to reach them. Lord, just show me how to reach them.” Again, the little Bible school came to mind, and the words of an old English poem began echoing in my heart. It was a poem I had read in school at least a year before, and had long forgotten, but I just listened as the Holy Spirit whispered each word into my ear. “I said, ‘Let me walk in the fields.’ He said, ‘No, walk in the town.’ I said, ‘There are no flowers there’ He said, ‘No flowers but a crown.’ Word by word the Holy Spirit made it clearer and clearer to me that I was to leave this peaceful contentment, but I still fought. “God, I don’t want to live in a noisy dorm. I want to be alone, with You. There’s nothing there for me. There are souls here. You can teach me to reach souls here.” The soft, gentle words continued. “I said, ‘but the skies are black, There is nothing but noise and din’ He wept as He sent me back, “There is more,” He said, “There is sin” I said, “But the fog is thick, And fogs are veiling the sun” He answered, “Yet souls are sick, And souls in the dark undone.” In reply to the old poem, I sadly spoke out loud. “Oh but God, I’ll miss the sunshine. I’ll miss walking this road with You, and I’ll miss sitting under the trees with You. I’ve started things that I won’t be able to finish, and people say they will miss me. God I don’t want to leave the sunshine to be inside all day. “I shall miss the light, And my friends will miss me they say.” He answered, “Choose tonight, If I am to miss you, or they.” “God, can’t I stay home one more year? Just let me finish things up, and get certain things up and running, and then I’ll go. Let me get a little bit older God. I’m too young anyway. I promise God, I’ll go, just let me have one more year here.” I pleaded for time to be given, He said, “Is it hard to decide? It won’t seem hard in heaven, To have followed the steps of your guide.” “God, I’m so afraid. I’m afraid to go. I’ve never had to leave everything I’ve known, for a place I know nothing about. I’m afraid God.” I cast one look at the fields, Then set my face toward the town; He said, “My child, do you yield? Will you leave the flowers for a crown?” Then into His hand went mine, And into my heart came He, And I walk in a light divine, The path I had feared to see. (George MacDonald) I’ve been here at Free Gospel Bible Institute for seven months, and the school year is almost finished. I can truly say, as the Old English Poet wrote, that I walk in a light divine, the path I had feared to see, and everyday I learn about reaching the lost. I’ve discovered that I don’t need the fields, and I don’t need the woods to be with God. They were simply an aid that God used to bring me closer to Him in my early years as a Christian. When I need to be alone with God, a piece of paper works fine, and if I need to cry out to Him, I’m ten steps away from a sanctuary wherever I am. I no longer need to live in solitude, for there are no lost souls in solitude, nor can I obey the high calling of Jesus Christ, or fulfill the great commission in solitude. I had no reason to fear His call, for God knows exactly what He’s doing. I’ve learned that I don’t need to be in a certain place, or have certain surroundings in order to live for Jesus Christ. I am getting closer to God by obeying Him and His call, than I would be if I was still home enjoying His flowers. This was an English assignment that I wrote my freshmen year in Bible School. As I just reading through it I realized how just how much of my prayer for God to teach me how to reach people has been answered. I have learned so much about the ministry since I became a student at Free Gospel Bible Institute two years ago. I am now a senior and find it amazing how God always knows exactly what He is doing and what we need, and where we need to be to get it!

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The Parable of the Dying Fish

As Abuelo Martinez pulled on his long, brown, rubber fishing boots, Juan Cuelos reached high on the shelf for his fishing pole. It wasn’t much- somewhat tarnished and spattered with dirt. Abuelo stood from the rough wooden chair, and quickly pulled a rusty tackle box from the counter and hurried out the door. “Come now Juan, we mustn’t dawdle.” Juan dropped the old fishing rod and looked over his shoulder. He bent down quickly, picked it up and ran to catch up with his grandfather. Finally catching up to Abuelo, who was already far down the dusty dirt lane, Juan could hardly keep pace. Abuelo walked so briskly that Juan had to run every few steps just to keep up. He would walk and then fall behind a little bit, and have to run three or four steps. Between gasps for breath, Juan uttered as best as he could, “Abuelo…Must we go so fast? …Abuelo… slow down, that we might enjoy the walk! It’s such a nice sunny day. We have the whole day to spend at the water and to fish Abuelo, slow down!” Abuelo was quick to answer. “Juan, we have no time… It is running out quickly and we must hurry.” Upon arrival of their destination, Juan could not believe his eyes. He stopped dead in his tracks as Grandfather rushed on. Pain pierced the innermost of his heart, as he now saw why Abuelo had been so urgent. How could he have been so silly as to have wanted to enjoy the pleasurable weather, when such a need was existent? This wasn’t the peaceful lake as he had imagined. Birds weren’t chirping their merry melodies. The sun wasn’t shining here. Darkness loomed over the black water and a chilling breeze caused him to shiver. A swarm of bugs flogged him, screeching in his ears. The stench was unbearable and the air reeking of death. Juan stared out, quickly realizing that this was nothing less than a swamp. It wasn’t an ordinary swamp though. There was definitely something different about this one. Juan walked towards the water. What he saw caused his stomach to churn. Decaying animals and water life floated on thick, dark liquid that seemed to whisper “Death… Death… I am the trap that has ensnared these, …and I am their Death.” Juan shuddered at the raspy undertone. Abuelo stood way out in the middle of this damp, dark swamp, and caught his eye. “Juan, hurry! Come help these!” Juan hesitantly stepped out into the water. He could feel the muck and mire beneath his feet. “Juan, Come!” Juan drew in a breath of courage and ran towards his grandfather in the center. When he reached them, he could feel the hundreds of fish swimming between his legs and around his feet, and in horror yelled over all the noise. “Abuelo, What must I do? …Must I cast a far line? “No Juan, there is no time for anything fancy! Just reach in and grab them… Hurry!” There were so many fish swimming around them that Juan did not know what to do. He stood there inertly casting his eyes over the scene. People were scattered everywhere. All kinds of people- there were black, white, and Hispanic like himself. It was easy to see that most of these were the Christians of the community. Some were in boats in the water, casting nets. They seemed to be catching a few fish, but not many. Others were standing on the shoreline, casting out a line and pulling in one at a time, definitely catching a lot less than those in the boat. But Juan looked once again at his grandfather, standing there in waist deep water with only a few others, pulling them in by the handfuls. “Juan, hurry!” Abuelos voice pierced his trance. Juan quickly took Abuelo’s example and pulled out fish after fish, speedily rescuing them from their fatal quagmire. Juan reached in and pulled out a handful of fish and tossed them into a bucket. The buckets were passed as hastily to the shore as possible, but it wasn’t fast enough. Juan pulled out more fish, and with no where to put them he shouted, “Abuelo! There’s no place for these! Should I throw them back in?” “No Juan! They’ll die! Get them to the shore- whatever it takes!” Juan tossed each grimy fish to shore, as quickly as his small hands could do so. “Catch!” he yelled to those standing safely. Those on shore backed away and refused to catch them. “They’re dirty! Stop throwing them at us! They’re dirty!” “They’ll die!” Cried Juan. Every time a fish was denied on shore, several other fish in the water would float up dead to the surface. “Catch them! They’ll die!” Cried Juan, over and over, tears streaming down his face. He couldn’t get these to understand the loss they were making themselves responsible for. The day seemed to go on forever. They toiled for hours upon hours, catching these fish. Those on shore were never able to save as many of the endangered fish as those who were willing to get right into the filth of the swamp were. Sadly, they remained unproductive to the cause. Because of their fears and unwillingness, many fish’s lives, that had a chance to survive, never made it to the safety of the shore, and remained in a sea of death, hopelessness, and decay. God has called us to be fishers of men and though we would like to go fishing in the nice, clean, perspective area of safety that surrounds the church, I believe that God is calling us to the swamp. I believe that God wants us to get into the community and grab the souls by the handfuls. God is saying, “Get off the shore and stop worrying about getting dirty.” Those that are in need… They’re dirty. …And so were you. But Jesus took you in your filth, before he gave you that robe of righteousness that you wear today. Think about where you were at one time. Jesus came right down into your filth in order to pull you out. Can we reach souls from the safety of the fold? Can we reach them from the church house? A few, maybe… but I believe that God is saying that we need to go to where they are at. In order to save them from their pit, we have to get into the pit ourselves. In the pit is where we find the abundance of wounded and dying souls that will receive the message of our Lord, and will cause the angels in heaven to rejoice. When time becomes an issue, quantity becomes a superior issue. Where will we find the most in the little time that we have left? Look on the swamp- for, “Juan, we have no time… It is running out quickly, and we must hurry.” -Becky Nichols

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Just you

Lost sinners, by nature, don’t seek after God. Just as Mephibosheth knew he wasn’t worthy of the love and kindness of the King, sinners know deep in their hearts that they aren’t worthy of the love God shows towards us. As one of those dirty, filthy sinners, I find it amazing that God sought me out. I knew I was defiled. I knew I was marred by sin. My lame and sin struck body was worthless to Him. He had no reason to want me and I had no reason to believe that he ever would, yet he looked down from heaven one day and sought me. “…Becky?” I heard the voice, but my shame caused me to run and my guilt forced me to hide. “…Becky? I’m searching for you.” He wanted me personally. He wanted all of me. My short-comings, my failures, my weaknesses, all of it. “…Becky, I want you… My child, won’t you come?” A sinner can never forget the day that the servant of the King comes in the form of Holy Ghost conviction to give the glorious message. Something you never anticipated in your wildest dreams. Something you never expected. “The King wants you…” Why would he want me? “…Won’t you come?” He didn’t send for me so he could pronounce my judgment, though that’s every bit of what I deserved. No… he sent to extend his hand of mercy and offered to pour out His abundant supply of love and compassion. “Come and feast at the Kings table… He bids you come…” Why? Why does He want me? I haven’t done anything to deserve to eat at the kings table. I don’t deserve the grace God pours around me on a daily basis. I’m just Becky… just Becky. …and you’re just Jack. You’re just Tim. You’re just Cindy, or Carrie, or Sam… You’re just Mephibosheth… …But the King is calling you. Won’t you come? Tags: , , ,

A Trial By Choice

I stood outside the entrance and looked through the caged windows. For miles upon miles all that could be seen was the dark hallway. It stretched far beyond what the eye could see and the walls seeped with sour water the whole way down. I knew when I went in it was going to take awhile. I knew it was going to be dark and cold. I knew I would find no comfort there and no one would be able to come to my side. Doors would line the walls all the way through. Here and there I would find them and I had the keys to each one, jingling them in my pocket. I knew I could go through anyone of them and somehow find my way out of the dark tunnel if I desired to. I could step out and see the light if I wanted to, and I wouldn’t have to go back in- but I knew the sunshine that each door promised would only be for a season, and before long, the painful reminder of finishing the task would grip me. Darkness would soon loom and I would once again be forced back into the hallway. The sunshine wasn’t real anyway. It was temporary and false, made to deceive me and get my eyes off the journey. There would be no true brightness at all, but I knew I had to go through. Inside of my heart there was a glittering of what might rest on the other side. There was a twinkling of light underneath everything else that was going through my mind, pushing me through, whispering “It’s on the other side.” I had to do it. I had to get there and obtain true light. I had to lay hold on the glorious promise at the very end. I must go. It was a trial by choice. I stepped through the doorway. Here I was. I could turn around right then, but the glimmer of hope pushed me on. I had to get there. The journey could take months, years, decades… there was no telling how long I would be in there, but a voice pushed me forward. “Walk…” I took three slow steps and gathered my surroundings. No end to the tunnel could be seen, and the walls were narrow, seemingly smaller in some places than others. It was going to be hard. People would say I had no right to be in there. They didn’t know what was on the other side. They couldn’t see, but I knew. I saw it in my heart. The voices from the outside cry out loudly, “Turn back!” and a soft whisper nudges me on, “Keep walking.” The damp floors reeked of malodorous water, must, and mildew. I was separated from a peaceable life in here. I could not see my Saviors face. So many times, it was seeing His face in the trial that got me through, but not this one. I saw it nowhere; still I held the remembrance of Him safely inside, refusing to let it go. I knew one day the tears would end. One day the turmoil and confusion of this life was going to cease and I would stand in a land of victory. More voices rang out to me through the echoing hallway from the outside. I couldn’t see them, and they couldn’t see me, yet they knew exactly what to say. “It’s not worth it” they cry, and the soft whispers come once again. “Don’t forget”. I hung my head and it spoke once more, “Keep walking.” Things arise here and there along the way. The tunnel is one trial I have to go through all the way. It’s not my journey home, but a trial on my way to a victory here on earth. God has a promise here. As long as I’m going through the hardness, other trials come and accompany it and I’m just listening for the voice. “Keep walking”. The calling and vision of God for my life waits in splendor on the other side. Friends and family will leave me, enemies will persecute me, people will experience hurt, turmoil will arise, and it’s going to be long, cold, dark, and lonely, yet I know the voice of one who promised me, and it speaks daily. “Keep walking… Just keep going Becky.” And I am again assured that it’ll all be worth it.Tags: , , -Becky Nichols

Making it

Life hurts. Plain and simple. There are so many things that we must face from day to day, and each day we feel their sharp sting. There’ve been so many nights that I’ve cried myself to sleep, just wanting the pain to end. There have been so many tears that have fallen unseen and hours of loneliness where my only prayer was for God to take me away. I could give up. I could throw in the towel and walk away. I could throw up my hands and cry “That’s it! God, I can’t take any more of this!” But I can’t. Something pushes me on. I hear His soft whisper “Becky, keep going.” I must go on because I love Him. I must go on because others need to know His love. With so many others out there, crouched in lonely corners with there broken hearts and wounded spirits, I must go on. I can’t give it up. I have to make it through. There are so many others that need hope. How will they ever make it if they can’t see any hope tucked away in us? We can give nothing if we have nothing to offer. I don’t want that to be my story. I want to live a life of hope. I want others to look and see the promise of Jesus tucked inside of me and rooted deep within. I want them to know the Savior can take them through. I’m His child. If I don’t make it how do I show them the way? Yeah, life hurts. I know. But I’m encouraged by the promise that He’ll never take me through more than I can endure, and I’m determined for the rest of them, so… I will go on.Tags: , , -Becky Nichols


I’m in a box inside of a box, inside of a box, inside of box, inside of a box, and for all I know, inside of another box. At the beginning of my little journey, I thought it was just one box. I hated the box. I hated the dreary blank walls and being consumed with the claustrophobia that they produced. Why did I have to be in a box anyway? There was a great open world of freedom out there beyond the four walls and others were experiencing it. Why couldn’t I? It took me awhile, but I realized that I had created the box myself. It wasn’t that I wanted to live in a succession of boxes- I just wanted a little bit of the safety and protection they produced to shield me from the world. One big hurt sent me running through the first door, and after that it was all downhill. Another hurt sent me through another door and then another and still another. I got scared. Felt rejected. I was ashamed and overridden with guilt, so I went and hid. People would infiltrate my walls and I’d have to build more. Taller and thicker. They’d find there way in somehow and then once again they would hurt me, and so once again I built. I’ve been building my whole life… in the wrong direction.
I sat there in the corner of this box. It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s lonely, and I’m desperate to be free from it. The box had one small door in the very front of it. My way out. My only way out. I just knew that on the other side of that door was a great open outdoors for me. A world of joy and happiness. A world of people that would be standing there with open arms. There would be freedom past that door. I just knew it. I knew it would be hard. Going through that door would be one of the most difficult things that I had ever done in my life, but I knew it was worth it. I stood up, and crept my way to the door and stopped in front of it. I tapped it lightly with the tips of my knuckles, waiting apprehensively for any form of noise to startle me away, and send me back to the corner of my box to shrivel in fear. Nothing. I tap again, this time with a little more courage and boldness. Nothing. Once more I rap my knuckles on the hard wooden door. Still nothing. Stepping back with a measure of confusion, I cock my head to the side and reach for the knob. Surely it can’t be this easy, I think. But could it be? Could it be that my fresh outdoors lies peacefully waiting for me on the other side? Had I blown it all out of proportion? I think I have… Forgetting my fears I muster all the courage my little spirit can handle and turn the knob, yanking the door towards myself. I can’t see. Where were the birds and the sunshine? Surely this isn’t right… That door was my way out… My eyes adjusted to the light and I began to see a terrifying sight. My hopes of rainbows and running barefoot carelessly through the lush pastures vanished as my world became another box. Another box… It was bigger this time… but with more daunting doors and an array of beastly obstacles standing in front of them. Now what? What was I to do? TRY each of those doors? I had no idea what lay behind any of them. And how on earth was I to get to them? Colossal objects blockaded each door and chaos seemed to rule as all these itty bitty critters scampered about the room. God, why have you done this to me? I think. Empty promises for a wider assortment of troubles and problems? Why are you doing this, God? I set to work moving objects to get to doors and gather bravery for the fight, while I perform the task. I’m afraid of every door… There’s no telling what I’ll have to wrestle against- but I just know with everything that is within me, that behind one of those scary little doors, is my freedom. One of those doors will be my escape and I will be free from the wretched, terrible box. Each door has its battle and I finally come to the last one. Here it is, I think to myself. Here is the door that will set me free. With a burst of excitement I swing the door wide open on it’s hinges and jump…. outside? This isn’t the outside either! It’s the SAME box. This one had twice as many doors as the last one and compared to this box, the chaos from the other was minimal. There was screeching and noise and trouble beyond comprehension. What was going on??? The lighting was dim and creepy black rodents filled the space of the floor, crawling one on top of the other. The space was bigger and the doors were further away. The battles behind every door were harder than the previous and it began to appear that there would never be freedom for me. There would never be the wide openness and fresh air. Every door was a disappointment. A wider scope of problems that had been invisible to me before, and every door revealed a greater depth to all the little quirks from the first box. Every door I had hoped would lead to freedom, yet every door became my dread. I no longer desired to open doors and go through them- for fear of disappointment. For fear of facing the scarier side of things that I had not yet been introduced to. I conquered all that needed to be conquered and went through the final door, and you guessed it… it lead to yet another room, all things worse than the previous box. This time I conquered all and left the doors alone. After all the battles were conquered in this box and the questions answered, I walked past the door that led out, and sat down in the far corner of the room. I began to think about the boxes and how I always thought that there was only one last thing to do to get out of the box. I thought about how every time I thought that I would find freedom from it all, I found a more toilsome extention. I thought about how hopeless things were seeming to become, and how I would never see anything again but dark, dreary boxes with scary beasts for problems and deafening voices of protest for the rest of my life.
As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, I reached to brush a tear from my cheek before it met my chin, and I felt a part of me brush up against the wall. How odd, I thought to myself. My shoulders are too far away from the walls right now to be touching them. I looked behind me and stared in disbelief at two small wings that had begun to sprout on my back. Wings? Just what I need… Another reason for people to claim my insanity. What on earth did I need wings for?? I stood up and examined them, touching their soft little feathers and feeling the little bones. What was I going to do with a pair of wings?? A skeptical curiosity arose in me as I stood and made my way to the final door of that box. I opened it up with an inquisitive suspicion just wondering… could it be. I walked through… and…THERE IT WAS! The outdoors… I had waited so long… No… it was another box. It was a bigger box, with a plethora of doors, additional chaos, complex problems, accompanying obstacles, menacing battles, and far deeper issues.
Was I disappointed? At first, a little but I think I realized something after walking through that special door. I realized that God knew what He was doing all along. God had a master plan that I couldn’t fully see, and still don’t at times. You see, my boxes were never meant to be my dread, and opening doors wasn’t the cause of the “new” problems. The problems were there all along, but God knew I wasn’t ready for them yet. I must work in levels. The boxes aren’t meant to be a cage, but rather walls of protection from what we aren’t ready for. Protection from the things that God sees that we don’t.
What were the wings for? Well, God knew what He was doing there too. Every door that I pass through and every box that I work my way out of made those little wings sprout just a little further. They grew and grew and they’re still growing to this day… I am still in the boxes, after all… Someday, I know that there will be a door that leads to a freedom of life full of happiness and joy beyond all measure, but it’s more than what I ever wanted it to be. God knew that to. I was looking forward to a life filled with rainbows, running through pastures, splashing in the creeks and the like, but God has something so much greater. He has a whole sky for me. An entire sky free for me to soar and fly high above the clouds and storm. A sky to experience the joys of ultimate liberty in. Hence, wings. Had that very first door that I mentioned been the door that led to the free outdoors, I would have gotten so excited that I would have run full speed ahead to experience the greatness of it all. I never would have realized that I was on a mountaintop with treacherous cliffs and ravines below. I would have fallen flat on my face, but God was merciful and he led me through a process that would form me wings to fly with. What a gracious God that we serve…
Yeah, I’m still in the boxes, but I’ve got two miniature wings sprouting out of my back. They grow with every box. I know the boxes are progress and not detrimental. I get excited with each passing victory that is won, for I feel my wings stretching. Am I disappointed because I won’t see the sky for a while? No… I know that one day I will see it, and I can tell you right now that these little wings definitely aren’t enough to hold this girl up… no way. So, I’ll let patience have her perfect work, while I perform mine, as I thank God everyday for the boxes.

Becky Nichols, February 25, 2006

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Prodigal Daughter

Precious Savior, Lord of all Back to You on knees I crawl. Humbled as I find my way, and at your feet my soul I lay. I traveled far without a care; and the devil took me at unawares. He carried me to the depths of hell, amd the love of Christ, in me he quelled. But Jesus now my soul I bring, that finally my heart can sing, of open arms and tears of joy, and that precious love in which we rejoice. I've made my way back to You, and to the love that I once knew. To arms not crossed, but open wide, I climbed and on Your shoulder cried. I have nothing that I can give, I've spent it all with the life I've lived. I went out to the world to have some fun, refusing, neglecting, rejecting Your Son. With one small act, I could have lost it all, Lost the anointing, the promise and call. I ran out of status and to the hogpen I fled, Not really caring about the blood that You shed. I fed on the garbage they gave them each day, realizing finally, that Christ alone was my Way. So back to my Father with shame and reproach, I tread the long road, scared to approach. The anointing surely He's taken from me, But maybe He'll have something lesser for me. Afraid of His wrath and His sad frown, I approached Him and cried, "Lord, just forget the crown! I don't deserve it, so condemn me now." But Christ just smiled, "remember My vow?" "God it's annuled, I've failed you too much, I've lost Your hand and Your precious touch. It's no use to use me again, Look what I've done and see where I've been." "Child, I love you and My promises I keep, I cannot lie to My dear sheep. I promised I'd use you and now I can, You've returned to the fold to fulfill my plan." So precious Savior, once again, I accept the love towards me You send. I'll take on the cross and bear it with Thee, for the blood that you poured out so lovingly. Becky Nichols (2004)