Climbing Out of the Pit…

Driving to pick one of my kids up today, I heard the radio announcer say something that hit me so hard I nearly drove off the road.

I don’t remember his exact words now, but the jest of his message was this: God loves us the way the painter loves his painting, because like the artist, He created something beautiful. 

I started thinking about what He was creating through me in our ministry, and wondered if I loved it. 

And I realized that I do, I absolutely, passionately, with every fiber of my being LOVE the classes, workshops, retreats, the writing, the blogging, the book, I just stinkin’ LOVE IT.  I absolutely LOVE training.  Whether it’s people, dogs, or horses, I just love it.  And I remembered that He made me this way, to create, just like He creates.

Okay, yeah, so He creates perfection and a whole lot more than I would ever even imagine. But He also wired me to create in a few areas.  And I’ll bet He wired you to create something too… 🙂

In the car, I asked my son (he creates music)  if he loved his songs.  If he loved creating them.  If the work to get the album finished was worth it.  He looked at me like only a 16 year old can (like I was completely nuts for even asking) and simply said, “Of course.  It’s everything.”  And I remembered him telling me one time that when he led worship, that was when he felt most connected to God, that it was just him, his guitar, and Jesus, worshiping in the Spirit…

Hmmm…

So as I’m struggling to climb my way out of this hole I am in… I’m paying attention to the details and the small clues.  This creation thing is a piece of it.  I know God created, through me, these things that change others’ lives – yesterday’s kind words from so many of you reminded me of that… and today, I learned that I DO LOVE (passionately, deeply, enthusiastically LOVE – and I didn’t know this til today!!) the classes, book, workshops, etc., the experiences and the outcomes… and the creating.  I LOVE writing the materials, facilitating the workshops, speaking… all of it.  I just love it.

And I remembered that He made me this way.

And I had a pinprick of comprehension of how greatly He must love His creations – us.  This was a little different than the recognition of His love that I’ve had in the past.  

I thought of a friend of mine, whose prodigal daughter brings her tons of grief, but she deeply loves the girl, and I remembered that He loves us even when we sin. 

I thought of the deep love I have for my own kids, and I remembered how much He loves me just because I’m his kid.

So I’ve printed off the reviews, and tomorrow, I’m going to do something with them.  They’re dramatically worse than any we’ve ever received before, and a good portion of the comments are mean-spirited because of a dynamic we didn’t know existed until it was too late, but for some strange reason, I’m looking forward to reading them again.

I know, right? 🙂

Must be the Spirit.  🙂

And I want to thank you.  Yesterday’s post was really hard for me.  I’ve been told at least 5 times by people with tons more ministry experience in their little fingers than I have in my whole body, that you can’t be transparent when it is hard.  That you’ll be a discouragement to others.   That if it’s so hard, then maybe I’ve misunderstood my calling… so I have had a tough time writing the last few months, because I’ve been confused and then afraid, of being where I’m really at with you. Afraid of admitting that I’m struggling.

And I realized that fear was rooted in lies.

And there were other lies that I believed along the way, but that’s for tomorrow’s blog. 🙂  I can’t wait to write it!  Amazing.  Praise God.  I’ve missed looking forward to this. 🙂

Yesterday,  I learned that transparency is still what He wants from me, and that sometimes, when you take a big personal risk and obey, sometimes those that know Him come around you to minister and be His Great Love.  Yesterday blessed me so much…  Your words, prayers, and cyber hugs (and real ones from a few local friends) were like water to a parched soul.  I’m not as dry and empty as I have been.  🙂

So I want to thank you for that. 🙂  THANK YOU.

And thank you for being on the journey with me.  I don’t feel so alone.  I feel encouraged.

And I feel something else… I’m wondering.  I’m wondering what He created YOU to create. 🙂 Dare you to share it here. 🙂 And do you love it?

Love to you,

~Nina

titus 2 women leadership

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22 thoughts on “Climbing Out of the Pit…

  1. sounds like pride, i have the same problem. I am an excellent mechanic, yet , at times, i fail to pick the problem out of a huge bunch of symptoms. It make me feel less of a person, and like im not living in God’s will. Even though im feeling like it is all good, as i fail, i feel a stronger drive to succeed when failures come.. Its almost like im not seeing im living out of HIS will, because the thing ME (as a person) am doing the Godly thing seems the right thing. But itsd not in HIS time, and HE is the truth and the one i should follow.. I struggle with tings like this alot to an extent that i am ready to stop fixing cars (like im a less competant person). But that is EXACTLY what the enemy wants you to believe. In response, thats exaclty how you react to it in a negative way, by doing everything in YOUR power to compensate.. When it fails, well, you know the outcome.

  2. Nina, Just want you to know,that for some of us, hearing that we aren’t the only strugglers is an encouragment. Not that I want others to struggle, I just need to not feel alone. God has been using several godly women to minister to me this year, you are one of those women. Thank you! Please continue to be transparent, I believe this is needed desperately in the body of Christ. You will always be in my prayers.
    Cyndi

  3. I woke up very discouraged this morning, and then read this email from The Christian Working Woman. It really touched my heart and I hope it will be an encouragement to you.

    “The Devil’s Best Tool.”

    “It was once announced that the devil was going out
    of business and would offer all his tools for sale, to
    whoever would pay his price.

    On the night of the sale they were all attractively
    displayed, and a bad looking lot they were. Malice,
    hatred, envy, jealousy, sensuality, and deceit, and
    all the other implements of evil were spread out,
    each marked with its own price.

    Apart from the rest lay a harmless looking wedge-
    shaped tool, much worn and priced higher than any
    of the others. Someone asked the devil what it was.
    ‘That’s discouragement,’ was the reply. ‘Well, why
    do you have it priced so high?’ ‘Because,’ replied the
    devil, ‘it is more useful to me than any of the others.
    I can pry open and get inside a person’s consciousness
    with that when I could not get near her or him with any
    of the others, and when once inside, I can use that
    person in whatever way suits me best. It is so much
    worn because I use it with nearly everybody, since
    few people yet know it belongs to me.’

    It hardly needs to be added that the devil’s price for discouragement was so high that it was never sold.
    He still owns it and is still using it.

    Is he using it on you? Do not be his next victim.
    Encourage yourself in the Lord.”

    I don’t know if Mary Whelchel wrote this or got it somewhere else, but it sure hit the nail on the head.

    Nina, your blog postings have helped me more than I can say in my own walk with God and in my marriage. You’ve been a blessing to me and hope God blesses you richly today!!!

    • Cathy, WOW. Thank you so much for sharing this with me… that other guy is too good at what he does… and I should know by now that discouragement is his best tool – and I pray that we all catch on to his scheming before he’s able to whip this one out and use it.
      You are just gorgeous. And thank you for taking the time to bless me with your kind words.
      Love to you, baby!
      Nina

  4. I like taking things that others might see as junk or no good and reworking something usable out of them. Did it today in fact. I drove by a granite and stone place that had thrown out a bunch of scrap pieces. I went in and asked what they were going to do with it and the lady told me to take what I want. That’s exactly what I did! I went home and got my daughter to help me load several nice granite pieces, then went back home cleaned them up and now have some great cutting boards in my kitchen.
    I also enjoy working with kids, being silly, encouraging others, thrift shopping and dancing in my Zumba class.

  5. Praise God, he loves us so much. I can hear the sense of hope now in your blog Nina which God has brought to you to climb out of the pit.

    I was at a bible study last night where we talked about hard it is to give up our burdens to God and to rest under Jesus’ yoke (teaching). I struggle with this … With wanting to control things, with letting go … Especially with ministry leadership areas. I guess that’s why your previous blog touched me so.

    With our ministry and our God-given passion, it’s sometimes hard to let go and let God. We take it so personally don’t we. But I’m learning to trust God more and more … In my weakness He can shine. I can already see Him shining brightly in your situation Nina. It’s ok to be real and authentic as a leader. Thank you for taking the risk. You are such a blessing to many of us 😉

    • Thank you, Janine! And I love that He showed me the whole TRUST thing for today! 🙂 I’m getting excited. 🙂
      Love to you,
      Nina

  6. Nina, I LOVE you for your transparency and honesty. If more of our so called ‘leaders’ exhibited the humility and transparency that you do the world would be a better place. I love your ‘ah ha’ moment.

    I believe that I was created to sing.

    I believe that I was created to mother my son.

    I believe that I was created to be a truth-speaker, a change-agent, a ‘crier’ as it were, for all things good and pure and true and edifying.

    And I believe that I was created to BE exactly what I was created to be. Even the things I don’t know about yet. And that by being, I am bringing glory to God.

    You inspire me. I’m psyched that you are ‘back’.

  7. i myself am dealing with a very difficult sitaution. what is more difficult than the situation is the people around me expecting me to respond in an ungodly manner. no i will not be impatient or cruel, or demanding, or admit defeat, or say i’m tired….and the list goes on. our Lord is so much bigger than that. He IS where our strength, perserverance, fortitude….comes from. yes, if i was responding as I want to i would be running like a woman with my hair on fire, but that is not me. i don’t belong to myself, so i muster up and ask minute by minute, who do You,(Jesus), want me to be, how would You have me react/act, what should i do, how can i reveal You in me so as to make someone want You? God seems to save his gratest trials for His gratest warriors – that statement in no way puffs me up, i don’t know anything that anyne else can’t know. the question is: are you SEEKING GOD? or your self? are you KNOCKING on GOD”S door, or your own. are you FINDING GOD? or finding yourself. draw nigh unto Me and I will draw nigh unto you.

    • Hang in there Gina. Just do what the next thing is that He wants you to do, and Trust – that’s more important than pleasing Him. I was so focused on responding the way Jesus would in a way that would please the Father, I forgot the most important thing…that I already pleased God, just the way I am, and I can’t be unpleasing. 🙂 Not that I should ask for More of Him and less of me, but rather that I should TRUST first. 🙂 LOVE you, baby!
      Nina

  8. Personally I love your transparency…it is truly an encouragement of sorts to me…makes me able to connect more with you to see that when I fail at this journey we are on I’m not alone…and that it is okay to fail I h net destroyed everything but that I just need to refocus and club my way out of the hole I put myself in regardless of the pain or the dent in my pride.
    As for what do I love to create…I’m starting to love to cook! After ten years of marriage I’m actually finally getting the hang of it and am not half bad! I love to try new recipes and serve them to the college kids that frequent out home since my hubby is a student minister. I also love to teach which is good since I am a science teacher…I love to study and teach kids about the amazing world He has created.

    • Jen, thanks for sharing what you create, and for the encouragement. 🙂 Beautiful, you are!
      Nina

  9. Thanks for sharing the struggles and allowing us to see you apply Gods truth to your life. I appreciate your honesty, your realness, and kindness even when others are hurtful. I do not create anything, but I do love my job and talents God has given me. I am a pediatric nurse practitioner and it is so rewarding. I love helping my patients feel better, eat better, and love to hear their accomplishments over the years. It is a joy to do work as unto the Lord in my home and office. Thank you for all your writings, I have missed your emails.

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Patricia! 🙂 You are lovely. 🙂 From what you said, I think you create health and create knowledge and habits that equip others to do their thing… 🙂 I KNOW how valuable that is! Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us. 🙂
      Love to you!

    • It’s God. He’s like EVERYWHERE right now – not kidding… following me around in my car with the radio, in emails, in devotionals… I can’t wait to put more of this together …
      THANK YOU for your prayers. I can feel them.
      🙂

  10. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness! Your vulnerability and weakness doesn’t hurt your ministry in my view – it makes you human and we can all relate to that! And you allow us to bless you in some small way – maybe we can repay a bit of the blessing you have been to us!

    • I can tell you it hasn’t been a “small way” that I’ve been blessed. I can FEEL the prayers… it’s amazing. He’s EVERYWHERE. 🙂 And there’s nothing to repay… it’s all His, isn’t it? 🙂
      Our lives…
      Our gifts…
      Our ministries…
      All His. 🙂
      Love to you,
      Nina

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