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 Is Well

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It is well. It is well with my soul.

All that I have been through, all that I will endure. It’s okay with me. I didn’t understand before the true meaning of the words “it is well,” even after hearing the story behind the song. It was such a foreign concept that seemed beyond me. For some reason last night, out of the blue, it all made sense as I delve deep into worship with You. My life and the depth of faith made sense. It is well indeed.

I am no longer running. I am no longer running from the trials You put in front of me. Firm, I will stand with Your resolve, and endure with Your strength. No matter the trials I have to bear, You are here with me. You never leave, and You never will. Everything that I am, every hurdle I overcome, I overcome them because of You.

It is well, Lord. All of it… the sickness, the struggles, the uncertainty.

It is well with my soul.

 

I am the Parent and the 3-Year-Old

Do you ever just feel like your life is out of control? You think that you have all of the answers, and with this nonsense, try charging fast right into a brick wall? You don’t even realize that you’re about to do it because you’re so stuck on your perception of the world and how things work. Before you know it, the only thing left between you and that brick wall is God. In the beginning He whispers to you, “Don’t do it.” And as you continue on your course, the voice gets louder and louder until He’s screaming at you to stop. At what point do you start listening? Maybe you hear Him the whole time and pretend that you don’t, thinking, “I got this, I don’t need you. I can do whatever I want, and you’re not going to stop me.” Ladies and Gentleman, I am the 3-year-old.

Do you ever feel at your wits end? You’ve done everything in your power to get your toddler to stop running so fast in the wrong direction. How do you get them to listen to you? As you stand there, pleading with them to stop, you realize that free will has intervened and there is nothing you can do to stop them short of reaching out and removing them from the situation. Should you exercise that option? How close to danger should you let them get before you just can’t watch anymore? Ladies and Gentleman, I am the Parent.

We all have taken on these roles. More often than not, we operate from both at the same time. As the 3-year-old, we choose to ignore the call to servitude. We pretend not to hear God when He calls on us or we quickly dismiss His request as stupid, unnecessary, or even downright crazy. As the parent, we realize that we don’t have as much power as we would like to over the lives of our children. We learn that their love for us does not equate to obedience. We experience heartache, frustration, and sometimes even a loss of confidence in our abilities.

Why can’t we see what we are doing? Why can’t the right hand learn from the left? Lord, I ask that you teach me. Lord, I seek resilient faith so that I can always trust you with my life. I need to train my ears to pick up on what you are saying, and the strength to follow blindly until I understand your plan. Jesus, I need you to teach me how to be a better parent. I want to learn from you and understand how you remain patient when your children disobey. I want to know the secret to keep your heart from breaking when they turn their back on you. And lastly Lord, please allow me to connect the dots between the struggle of a child and their parent, between independence and patience, love and obedience. Lord, I ask these things not for myself but so that I can raise up leaders for your Kingdom, so that I can release my independence and die to your will for my life. I know that I cannot do this alone, and so I humbly seek your loving grace and guidance. I pray for myself, my family, and others around the world that are in the middle of this struggle. You are our Savior, our hope, our teacher. Let us be closer to you today.

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. 

The Island of Compassion

Sometimes, I feel like I’m on an island and sometimes others can make me feel like I’m on one. Being an emotional person shouldn’t automatically put a person by themselves but oftentimes it does. I never thought that being compassionate would land me there too.

While I love my mother dearly, I rarely felt compassion from her. Same with my Dad and siblings. I’ve never dated someone that had the gift (including my husband). Is the world too consumed by other things? For my husband, he’s just more analytical. I don’t know what to make of others because while I understand we all have special gifts, sometimes mine feels more like a curse.

Being human, we have certain expectations. Yes, I know we shouldn’t but it’s natural. We want people to treat us the same say we treat them. So if I’m compassionate toward others, I expect that others will be compassionate toward me but more often than not, that just doesn’t happen in my circle. Am I alone?

Crying? You’re told to stop crying. Scared? You’re told to stop being scared. No matter how you’re feeling, you feel like you can’t get a break. You feel like no one understands you, and no one wants to. You feel like you have no support and you are always left alone to deal with this big, ugly and scary world. So what can you do?

Turn to Jesus. He was very compassionate and people didn’t understand Him either. He spent His days reaching out to those less fortunate, those that needed help. He was never hesitant to reach out the hand of compassion to help another. It’s the ultimate form of being a servant to God because it is the outward appearance of a selfless act of love.

We can also teach others how to be compassionate through our service. Just like Jesus received nothing in return from those He served, we have to remember that it can be a thankless job here on earth. Still, God sees your heart, He sees your struggles. He calls on us to use our gifts and those with the gift of compassion can’t seem to help using theirs. It can feel like a lonely island but we are never truly alone when we have Jesus in our life. Focus on Him in your time of need because man will fail you. Your spouse will fail you, your parents will fail you, your friends… everyone except Jesus.

You Don’t Have To Be Lost

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We always think we know where we are going in life. We plan ahead and think, “I’ll take this turn then that one…” We rarely get it right on our own and can become so lost that we feel helpless and all alone. Going through life without God, without trusting God, is like tackling a labyrinth on your own. It takes courage to have faith, to relinquish our power and thinking that we know what we are doing. It’s okay to admit that we haven’t a clue! God is always there for us, but it takes faith to let Him lead. Don’t be afraid to close your eyes and let Him lead you out of your current situation. Not only will He save you, He will introduce you to the most beautiful life you ever dreamed of for yourself when you get out of the maze. Trust in the One that made you to guide you to a new life. He truly does love you that much. 

In The Beginning, There Was Just Praise…

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I did not set out to lead others to Christ or to minister to others. Most people may not realize this. I had only been a Christian for two or three months when my first Christian video was put on YouTube last year. I was no authority on the Christian faith and was still learning what it meant to have faith in God. The video started as a simple project my future husband came up with. I had been fooling around with Garageband, recording myself singing different songs I had grown fond of. I couldn’t help it; Nick had just awakened my dormant love of singing when I met him. Then, I recorded myself singing my first Christian song and everything changed.

I had taken the K-Love challenge, and loved the music. The songs had such meaning, and all were trying to get my attention. The one song that held it the longest in the beginning was “Not For A Moment” by Meredith Andrews. I will never forget the first time I heard that song. Nick had it on his iPhone, and allowed me to play it over and over again in the car one day. I was lost in a dream world, a heaven all my own where I could connect with the One I was falling in love with. I went home and recorded myself singing it acapella. I guess Nick loved it because he later came to me with an idea to use it in a video. Now, you have to understand that I am shy; I don’t like being on camera or being the center of attention so this idea terrified me. But Nick was smart – he suggested that we use my photography instead of video, and just add my vocals. In a few days, the video was released on YouTube and shared among our friends and family. It may not have gotten many hits but they were asking when the next one was coming out. Nick and I looked at each other, confused. Without realizing what we were getting into, KNG Music had been born.

The good Lord has put both my husband and I through trials in the last year to teach us and to test us. We got married, then endured the death of my mother, and now I’m losing my job. I have complete faith that God will take care of us. As we have been going through our trials, my husband and I have been given the opportunity to talk to others who are struggling. It is a humbling thing to have a stranger’s heart placed in your hands, into your trust because of your faith. I am looked to as a role model, and the word ministry keeps getting tossed around. The same thing has been happening to Nick. I didn’t know when we started this that we would be called on to lead others. I didn’t know that we would be called on to encourage and mentor others. People seek us for prayer and guidance, and I’m still learning how to serve them as God intended. 

I continue to pray for guidance and strength to assist others, to use the right words, and to guide them back to Jesus. My ministry, as it’s being called, still needs a lot of work and support but I know that in time I will get to where God wants to take me. I’m grateful too… I get to take my husband along on the journey. 🙂