Tiptoe


Even when you’re going through it,

You’re not going through it;

You’re tiptoeing around,

Careful not to step on

Your own thoughts, your own feelings. 

You don’t really want to talk about it;

You don’t really want to write about it.

You only want to think about, write about 

Nothing at all.

The nothingness that stares you in the face,

The nothingness that will never be nothing again,

The life that will never be the same.

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It’s Not About Me

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I’m not the best singer. I have to work really hard to get my notes clean and to not tremble. I have to work really hard to make sure I don’t run out of breath and to not forget the words. Singing can look so effortless but it’s really not. There is so much technical stuff going on.

As a singer, I want to get it right. I strive for perfection. And when I get it right, I rejoice. Sometimes, maybe I rejoice in myself a little too much. Humble little me can sometimes be not so humble. When you don’t think you’re good enough, it’s easy to hide in the shadows and run from the limelight. But when everything is lining up the way you want it to, it’s easy to think of the next few lyrics and “hey, look at me” simultaneously. But guess what? It’s not about me.

Being on stage can be a dangerous catch 22. It’s a vulnerable place to be because you have all of these people looking at you, judging you… and yet you know your place is to serve God. You are not there for yourself or for their attention. You are there solely to lead and encourage them to forget you are even standing there so they can have a moment with Jesus.

My microphone is not a gateway to seek approval but to humbly worship and lead others to do the same. It’s to let them know it’s ok to forget about all of the troubles in the world and to just focus on Him. It’s an opportunity for the church to collectively thank Jesus together for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon us. And honestly, it’s not even about singing. Not really. The best worship experiences I have ever had were in those moments when I actually stopped singing and just started praising God with prayer in the middle of a song. We can get so caught up just singing words sometimes that we completely miss the point of allowing the thankfulness in our hearts to come to the surface and give it to God. 

When I’m worshiping, I really only have one goal and that is to meet Jesus myself. I want to spend time with Him, and I want others to have a safe place to do that as well. I know that the enemy will continue to try to interfere and prevent me from truly connecting because he doesn’t want people to know Jesus, but I can’t let him. There will always be technical stuff going on and yes, I want to be prepared as best as possible before hitting the stage but in the end, the outcome is really up to God. I lay it all at His feet… every word, every note, and every prayer to bring Him alone the glory.

 

Walking In Fear

Isn’t it funny how we often don’t want to do what God calls us to do. I think that’s the difference between those that do things because they want to rather than because He wants us to. He never makes it easy for us. So many times on my journey, He has asked me to do things that terrify me. Honestly, these things still terrify me but I know that He is still with me, still working on me and sometimes that is the only thing that gives me the courage to move from a stationary position. If it were up to me, if it were up to a lot of us, we would just stay where we are, all cozy in our fear. God has a plan that must be carried out, even when we don’t feel equipped to do the job. He will teach us all we need to know, all we need to get through. Trusting Him to hold our hand as we walk though our deepest fears is a challenge but the reward is a closer relationship with the one who loves us. He is our safety net, our comfort through all things.

Be Ye Steadfast

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This past weekend, my husband and I took some of the youth from our church to love on other kids at a church five hours away. They sacrificed sleep and an entire Saturday so that we could make the drive down south and come back the same night to be back at our church on Sunday. For our youth, I would say that it was more than just a sacrifice of time and energy though; they just lost their own youth pastor a few weeks ago and kept the commitment to do the event regardless. At a time in their lives when they have watched their friends leave the church in large numbers, they kept their hearts on fire for Him. At a time when they are questioning God’s plan, they went out of their way to minister to another group of youth that is in desperate need of answers and healing.

When we arrived at the other church, we learned that they have been trying to break ground and reach the youth in that community for the last two years, that the event we put on was the first in a series of events they plan on doing to help the kids. We learned that the church has suffered major losses in the last month, and that the devil continued to attack the staff personally up until the day of the event. As a matter of fact, the pastor that helped us coordinate the event had a family emergency and had to leave five minutes before the event was about to start. I am thankful that it was a false alarm, but we will still be praying for her mother.

When you try to do something for God, the enemy will attack. Everything that could go wrong that night did. We had everything from bad weather and low attendance to sound system issues and forgotten lyrics. Did this distract us from praying for revival? No. Did we give up and go home when it looked like we would fail? No. As a matter of fact, it allowed everyone to go after God even harder.

It may be sometime before we fully understand what was accomplished last night. It may be sometime before our youth fully understands the rewards for keeping the faith in such trying times. Still, I know hearts were moved last night. I know hearts were encouraged, including mine, to watch a generation put God first when everything around them is falling apart. I get chills just thinking about it, and revel in the knowledge that His love endures, that His goodness covers everything at all times, regardless of the rain that comes our way and the temptation to run when things get hard and confusing. Lord Jesus, thank you for your faithfulness and reminding us to be steadfast when doing the work of the Lord.

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

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Left On The Sidelines

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It feels like torture, this pain inside;
I just want to help her,
Make a difference
But I’m left on the sidelines.

There’s no reaching out
From this long, lost road;
I’m crying out but my tears are dead
To the miserable.

They have their own pain,
Their own cross to bear
So I’m left wondering…

Do they need me?
Am I good enough?

Use me Lord,
Don’t let my time go to waste;
I have no miracle
But my heart is yours to take.

It’s Not About Me

  I don’t remember feeling so sad on my birthday last year. I’ve already cried twice as I think of my mom whose life was cut too short. Today is not about me. I did nothing miraculous on this day when I was born. My mom sacrificed her well-being, peace, and comfort to bring me into this world, and I will ever be thankful for that. God bless the mothers who give tirelessly, without much reward. The Lord sees your sacrifice.

Miracle in the Making – Part 3

So, it turns out that I’m not going to make it in the radiologist business. I suppose that makes sense considering that I’ve never gone to school for such a thing and the only experience I’ve ever had doing such work was reading one set of ultrasound results. Oh, did I mention that they were my results? That’s right folks, I revealed in my last post that I crumbled under the weight of stress and impatience and tried to read my own ultrasound results so that  I could learn more about my fibroids. Thankfully, my recent trip to a gynecologist revealed more than just my unmentionables (sigh), and with that I can tell you that there is good news and bad news.

First, the bad news…

I do have fibroids but that’s not what has been causing me so much trouble these last few months. I can blame that on my actual reproductive system misbehaving instead of being the good girl I’ve always known her to be. I could go into details and give you all of the nitty gritty but out of respect for the gentleman reading this post, let’s just leave those specifics in the comments section ladies. BUT the good news is that there aren’t as many fibroids as I thought there were and they’re not as big (see, I told you I wouldn’t make a good radiologist). I was given medicine for the other issue the doctor found but it didn’t work so I guess I’ll be seeing him again. All in all, we’ve still got lots to dance about! **Intermission – let’s do the Carlton dance!** Okay, okay, I know you are probably breathing heavy like me right now after all of that dancing but let’s get back to the point…

I let fear get the best of me.

God was in control the whole time.

Fear is a funny thing that can drive you to do all kinds of things you wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. I let my fear make matters worse. Here I was, thinking that I needed surgery but God knew better. It took so long for me to relax about this situation because I was going through so many things and I admittedly was scared. Still, at least three weeks before my doctor’s appointment, I started hearing His whisper that I wouldn’t need surgery. I wanted to believe this so bad… but after such an ordeal, I didn’t know what to believe.

Trusting God is like climbing a ladder.

You have to look up lest you fall down.

I stayed on my fear ladder for quite some time, afraid to look up and afraid to fall down. God showed me that it was never a serious ordeal to begin with but I feel like I lost two months of my life while I stayed there in limbo. In the end, my faith recovered, but was it really worth stressing over? In hindsight, no. We will never have a complete picture in this life. We will always have to make decisions based on little information and big assumptions. That’s one of the reasons we need God on our side, to take some of the pressure off, and to help us see the miracles.

So wait, what is this miracle in the making then?

Simply put, the miracle is the result of faith when we do put our trust in God. It’s not just reassurance in the end that we have to look forward to but also God’s blessings because we dared to believe in Him. No matter what is going on in our lives, He has always had an escape plan ready to execute when times get tough. We just have to be willing to turn those corners with our eyes closed and know that we will come out safely on the other side. We might get this faith thing right  9 out of 10 times and feel like a champ, but then fall down once and still get bruised. Thankfully, God knows that we are not perfect and that we will trip up sometimes.

There is always room for more faith in our lives.

Thankfully, there is always room for more miracles in our lives too.


This is the last segment in the “Miracle in the Making” blog series. We encourage you to continue your own faith journey and challenge yourself to turn to God more than you do fear. For more information about Kristeen Nicole Gillooly, her music and her ministry, please visit http://www.kngmusicministry.com. You can also visit her artist website at http://www.kristeennicolegillooly.com. 

Laying Down Your Life

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When you first get saved, the furthest thing from your mind is serving God. It just doesn’t occur to you because you are so wrapped up in His love. But over time, this love causes you to evaluate your life and the choices you have been making. You start to wonder if you should do things differently, and work harder so that you can keep your newfound relationship. One by one, you let go of those things that are holding you back from having a truly loving relationship. You learn the art of surrender, the pain of loss, and the wonder of faith all at the same time. Whereas before you went to church because you felt like it was your responsibility, now you go because you can’t wait to be with Him. He is your everything and you will do anything for Him. And so, you start to lay your life down. Just as you sacrifice for the lives of your children, you lose your life to love Him, to honor Him, to glorify Him…. and by this point you honestly don’t even feel like you are missing anything.

There are no more sleepless nights stressing over how you are going to pay the bills or feeling so depressed that you don’t want to get out of bed. You know that God is doing the worrying for you. You feel joy and privileged to serve Him, to do little things for Him that make Him happy like talking to the atheist about your faith, sharing your testimony with your friend at work, and even buying lunch for the homeless guy on the corner. Personally, you would never run into a burning building willingly but if God asked you to, then you would be obedient because you know He would never ask you to do something that wasn’t important. He continuously challenges you and it allows you to test and strengthen your faith, giving more of yourself to Him. Prayer isn’t just some bedtime routine but another way to surrender your life to Him, to let Jesus work in your life because only He truly knows the plans He has for you. There may be a lot of waiting on His plan until it is revealed but your days are spent loving others so you don’t really feel like your wasting your time.

Life is beautiful with Jesus as your Savior. I pray that everyone has the opportunity to feel His love and serve Him in their short time here on earth. I pray that hearts are changed and willing to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us.

 


For more information about Kristeen Nicole Gillooly, her music, and her ministry, please visit http://www.kngmusicministry.com. You can also visit her artist website at http://www.kristeennicolegillooly.com. 

Being Vulnerable

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I am one of those kinds of people that is not only sensitive but empathic. I shy away from anger and frustration when displayed by others because it is too much stress for my body. My shields at keeping other’s feelings out of my psyche are very poor so I have a hard time with strong feelings. On the other end of the spectrum, I react with love when someone opens their heart wide open for others to see. I am moved by vulnerability and want to bring broken souls to safety. My heart is compassionate, but even with this sometimes I can be easily overwhelmed with too much emotion. It’s the reason that catching up with current events is on the bottom of my list of things to do. Still, despite all of my compassion, I cannot claim it as mine alone. I know that it is Jesus working through me.

We can be angry with God when things don’t go our way. I remember being like that in my early twenties when my mom first stopped talking to me. I gave God ultimatums and told Him to show Himself to me. I was demanding, angry, and closed off from wanting to have a loving relationship with Him. I just wanted my mom back and if He was all powerful, then I would do what I had to do to get her to come back. Little did I know that I was going about it the wrong way.

It would take me another 15 years before I was ready to know God and have a loving relationship with Him. Coincidently, I also didn’t have a loving relationship with my mom during this time. We both made our mistakes, and I have learned a lot now that I am a parent. I approached my mom just as I did God with anger, and she did the same with me. We weren’t vulnerable with each other, opening our hearts and apologizing for the miscommunication and misunderstandings. I didn’t trust that she had my best interests in mind or that she wasn’t trying to hurt me. I’m sure she assumed that I didn’t care about her as well and that she meant nothing to me. Like my mom, I didn’t think God cared about me. I felt like He had left me out of His kingdom. I didn’t trust Him when it came to my misunderstandings and so He became just a nobody in my life. I had to learn how to live life without my mom and accept that she was never going to be part of my life. It was a lot easier for me to accept not having God in my life.

It wasn’t until I was vulnerable that I allowed Jesus to come into my heart. Over the 15 years, I had become a broken form of myself, still smiling but still carrying a hole in my heart. Standing on a street corner on the day I had finally committed to go to church after 10-12 years, I finally understood the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. When I made it to church that day, I allowed myself to be vulnerable and just feel, caring nothing for the rest of the world. The tears that escaped me were years and years of pain flowing out of me so that God could replace it with peace. I surrendered for the first time in my life.

I can’t say that my mom magically came back into my life all of a sudden and my life was perfect but opening a door for Jesus to come in my life opened a window for my mom as well. It would take several months and a lot of surrendering. It took having no more expectations about what God’s plan was and saying more than I was sorry. It took a sincere understanding of what it means to be a mother, and the sacrifices one has to make for their children. It took realizing all of the times she loved me unconditionally. Perhaps we should all come to Jesus this way.

Below is the letter I wrote to my mom one year ago today. Perhaps, we all have written a letter like this to Jesus in our hearts. If you haven’t, and you need Jesus in your life, I pray that you will let down your guard and ask for His healing, and accept His unfailing love for you. It’s not too late. It’s never too late…

I failed you. In multiple ways. I lied. I didn’t listen. I didn’t even pay attention. I promised things that I didn’t follow through on. I consistently let you down regardless of the sacrifices you made for me. I put my own needs and feelings first. I simply did not understand.

I am playing stepmom now to a 2-year old and a 13-year old. These are not fun years. If anything, they repeatedly make me stop and think about what you went through with me. These kids don’t listen. They look me in the eye when I tell them not to do something, and they do it anyway. Spitefully. Eagerly. Lord, I pray I wasn’t this terrible. The teenager, Junior, lied to me about doing his homework. He stole my phone to find information about his girlfriend’s mom. He lost my trust instantly. The day he took my phone was the day I was to throw him a surprise birthday party at the skating rink that was going to cost me $200. I didn’t want to do it. I was so angry. We went through with it anyway because his father, Nicholas, didn’t want to let the other kids down. Two days later, Junior told us that the only fun he ever had is at his mom’s house. Talk about feeling rejected and disrespected. This kid is not grateful about anything. I automatically felt like giving up. I don’t want to do anything for this child. How am I supposed to keep forgiving him and keep loving him? How many times did you feel this way about me? How many times did you want to give up on me before you actually did?

I am quick to look at the fact that you are not in my life and want nothing to do with me because it hurts. But I never stopped to think how many times you forgave me, how many times you put on your suit of armor just to get through the day and try to keep loving me despite everything. I get it now, I really do.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all of the grief that I caused you. I am sorry for not appreciating you enough, for not understanding how I consistently failed you so many times, in so many situations.

The Lord has taken over my heart, and shown me the error of my ways. I see why I have not been forgiven, and I don’t know that I ever will be. That’s not the point. I don’t know that I have the right to ask you for forgiveness. God will take care of me, and I pray that He will continue to humble me and allow me to make up for those I have let down through service of some kind. I love you, I always have, but I know now that I was not a blessing to my parents as the Bible says I should have been.

I am not perfect. I don’t know if God can turn me into a daughter that would be a blessing to you. I ask nothing of you. I don’t even know if you will read this letter. All I can do right now is repent for the pain I have caused, and hope that God can help you heal from the pain. I am truly sorry.

Sincerely,

Kristeen

 


For more information about Kristeen Nicole Gillooly, her music, and her ministry, please visit http://www.kngmusicministry.com. You can also visit her artist website at http://www.kristeennicolegillooly.com.