Disappointment met me many times in my desire to reach out and be able to trust someone outside myself.
It started with a dad that left before I was born.
Continued through molestation as a child.
And being raped at 13 solidified it pretty good.
By high school I did not have a best friend, just many ‘friends’.
When it came to choosing a spouse, I chose poorly and ended up with a man that developed addiction issues and became physically abusive.
My trust had completely eroded and it effected my relationship with God. Why trust Him? Everybody else had let me down!
Then as a single mom, I knew that the single-life wasn’t what I truly wanted. I was lonely. But I didn’t know how to trust anymore.
Is any of this sounding like any of the feelings you have had? Or things you have walked through in life?
And then….I started going back to church with someone who kept inviting me even though I wasn’t interested anymore.
They kept asking and I finally said yes.
When I went to church, I felt better.
My life didn’t change in a day, but I felt my course change one degree.
I went back the next week because the same person invited me back again.
I went again and knew that coming to church was helping me.
No one had to invite me back the next week, I knew my course was changing when I went.
Over the next weeks, I started talking to God again. He talked back.
I started giving to God again. He always gave back.
I got close to God again. And He never left.
Matter of fact, I realized He didn’t leave the first time – I did. And He trusted I would come back.
And I did.
My trust levels were beginning to grow again.
Then I met David CrankHe and I had some mutual friends.
He gave me his phone number, but I threw it away.
After all, who could trust a man?
I kept bumping into him at outings for months when I was around my friends and he kept giving me his number.
As my trust grew in God, I finally called one day.
We decided to eat dinner together one night and he was charming.
I thought it might be okay to eat with him again.
Several months later, we were married.
Just because someone, or several people, have broken your heart, or betrayed you, or hurt without any remorse – it DOES NOT mean that everyone will or that God EVER would.
God’s LoveGod loves us and never stops. No matter what.
People want to love us, but if we keep them at arm’s length – they never have a chance to.
I thank God for the woman who kept inviting me to church with her – just casually – every week. If she hadn’t, who knows where I would be today.
You may be that person who needs to reach out to those that are hurting around you so that you can introduce them to the One who will never hurt them.
Reach out! Touch your world!
You may be rejected today, but next month they might come! You could be their link to a better life.
You may be the one that was like me and has hurt so badly that you think that no relationships are better than any relationship. Let me reach out to you right now.
There is a God in heaven. He does love you. So do I.
I understand what it feels like to hurt. I now also understand what it feels like to be healed.
Healed feels much better.
Reach out to God. Come to his House and be with Him. He misses you more than you know and He trusts that you will come back to Him.
And when you get into that relationship – the rest starts to happen one degree at a time.
Thank you so much for sharing as I too have felt much of the same with the men in my life including God. It was a friend inviting me week after week to Bay Area Fellowship that finally re-aligned my heart with God’s. It was gradual, and wasn’t until years after my initial visits that my husband and I became members but thank God for the invite that started it all.
I am learning that I must trust my husband in order to fully trust the Lord as He has given me this man. One degree at a time, one day at a time for a lifetime together.
Christina – I am so glad that your relationship and life are following the path god has for you! A good church, good friends and a good family life. Blessing abounds! I pray blessing on you and that friend that brought you to Bay Area – I love that church! (and Pastors Bil and Jessica!)
I am just like you were Nicole. I am going through my second divorce. Greg Riley left me on Christmas morning and told me he did not want to be married anymore. He moved in with a woman. I have to get money from my parents to pay my bills. My first husband is now talking to me but I feel very mixed up. He is going to get a divorce soon. I too dont trust any man. I pray all the time and watch you on tv and Joel Osteen. I am trying to take one day at a time. God is helping me because I have forgiven these men . It just hurts very much. Thank you for listening Jeanne Riley
I love you Pastor Nicole 🙂 You always know where I am, and I am right now praying for a two of my neighbors I’ve been asking for a while but I won’t give up. I also put there names on my prayer list. I don’t try to push I ask about once a month. I know in time they will hear Gods voice and except my invitation. Thank you for your continued encouragement.
Angela – never quit offering the opportunity of God! God is using you to pray for them! SoProud of you!
You always have an encouraging word. My life was nothing like yours because I had a mother and father who loved me and especially a dad who was a great example of what a husband should be. I happen to be lucky enough to be married to a wonderful man for 42 years in October. We met you only briefly at church and you took care of the purpose tee shirt we were waiting for You are a really good help mTe to Pastor David. We think you are both awesome people and one watch your broadcasts on live stream. If we ever end up in Missouri again I already know we have a church home
Jesus is awesome how HE works things out for HIS glory…………healing is from God and I enjoyed your testimony, thank you for sharing God’s goodness !
This is my first time reading this site. I really feel this way as well. I was in a 5 year relationship and he left me. I have forgiven him but its still difficult for me. God has given me the strength to live day by day. Its been more then a year and I’m still healing. I go to church twice a week and I still sometimes feel lonely. What else would you recommend me to do. I try to stay busy. But when it comes to being alone I get depressed.
Thank you hope to get a reply.
Yesenia – I love that you are going to church twice a week! That is fantastic! Hopefully it is a church with groups and events and opportunities to serve. Go to every group, serve for sure (this is where many people forge the deepest relationships). Go, have fun, hang with every group, serve, meet people and don’t stay home alone if you don’t like it there.
As relationships form, and as God heals your heart, you will actually one day look forward to a little time home alone. I never thought it was possible for me either – but now that is a dream day.
I pray the best for you!
Another great message, Pastor Nicole!
I have been in difficult situations, also, not as extreme, but enough to be weary of trusting anyone.
I was invited to Faith Church earlier this year and really enjoyed my first visit. When I saw the KOF, I started bringing my stepson and grandchildren, when they are with us.
This Sunday is my birthday and I’ve been inviting friends and family to join me for a “Birthday Celebration” at Faith Church. I just know, if they “come back” to this church, my family and friends will be impressed by the messages from you and Pastor David and hopefully join me for the 945 service again in weeks, months, and years to follow.
Thank You, Pastor Nicole!
I have been blessed yet again,
I find your email so encouraging!!!! Thank you!!!!! You are a blessing and an encouragement to our entire staff. You bless us and encourage us to continue!
Jeanne – I will pray for God to direct you in this time. He says the footsteps of the righteous man (and we are righteous through Jesus) are ordered of the Lord. Keep your eye of Him and He will direct you. You future will be greater than your past. God has a plan for you!
Dear Pastor Nicole, thank you for sharing your wonderful testimony of trusting again! It ministered to me. Keep shining for Jesus!
It is really touching to read this as it mimics my life story in several of the details. I do still struggle with trust in my life. And it does continue to cause major issues in my marriage and other areas. I do pray that some day I can get where you are with God and with the other issues in my life.
I believe that God can do a work in your life and is the process of doing that work RIGHT NOW! God has done such a healing in me and so many other women and men that have been hurt, that I trust completely that this same kind of healing can and is coming to you.
I pray that you are connected to an amazing church with great teaching in this area. Also, feel free to get on our website at http://www.faithchurchstlouis.com and check out our broadcast section with many video teachings aimed at healing your heart and preparing you for a more fulfilling life through Jesus Christ and all He has to offer you.
I will be praying for you me friend.
Your best is yet to come – Eph 3:20
Boy oh boy can I relate to you Nicole. Nicole if you don’t mind I feel as though I need to share my testimony. My grandfather when I was a child did things to me I won’t speak of on here and I had to hold it in for a very long time. Mainly out of fear because I didn’t want my grandmother taken away from me. I knew my mom would strip them out of my life. I think maybe that is why so many children that are molested from family members choose not to speak out. Then I latched onto the first man I could at age 19. I was young and dumb persay. Yeah he said all the right things and I fell super hard for him. Being a Christian all my life and giving myself over to Christ at the tender age of 12 I really thought God had put him in my life. But to be honest I never “asked” God to send a special person to be my mate. I did the choosing myself. Big Mistake!!! The first year was good but after that I started seeing signs that I chose not to pay attention to. After our son was born in 1991 things really started to go bad. He was an alcoholic but I didn’t realize it at the time when we were dating. Things started to turn abusive and my only safe haven was going to church. I never left God and always prayed that God would help me, save me and protect me from this horrible man that “I” had chosen to be with. Then came along our daughter 2 years after our son and it was only worse not any better. I did leave him for a short while but of course an abuser will always say their “Sorry” and tell you all the right things to get you back. I did go back each and everytime. Only to find out he was lying and everytime the abuse would escalate. He didn’t care if the children saw him hit me, call me names and berate me. After so long when your told “You are nothing, you will never amount to anything and without me you “have” nothing you start to believe it. It will wear you down. Kind of like a 2×4 and after you chop on it so long you finally end up with a splinter and after that there is nothing! Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? I felt trapped like a caged animal with no where to go. I am originally from Missouri but was in Georgia with no family to call my own. Only him!! Finally I prayed so hard for God to show me a way out. I know divorce is not the answer and trust me I tried everything. I have to say I did lie and tell him we needed a fresh start and moving to Missouri would be the answer for us. My mom was able to line him up a good paying job and off we went. All the while I knew down deep in my heart he was not the man for me and I didn’t know when but I DID know we wouldn’t be together forever. All I knew was I had to somehow get him to Missouri so I could be around my family for support. We lived in Missouri 2 short years before we split up and he left and went back to Georgia. I felt like I was finally free like a bird finding her wings. I got down on my knees and thanked God for finally saving me from the horrible situation I had been in for 10 long years. I never left God’s side and was always faithful and I at that time did ask him to send me the man of his chosen not of mine. I know what you are probably thinking “Wow after all that she would want another man in her life”. But you see God had told me that not all men he has created are like the one I had been with for so many years. Then came Dale into the picture. He absolutely swept me off of my feet and I knew deep down he was the man I was supposed to be with. That was 14 years ago and we are still in love more so than when we first met. To have a Christian husband to love is amazing. I now finally know what marriage is supposed to be like. Back with my first marriage I just thought I did. Just know if you Praise him in the storm no matter how bad the situation you will always come out the victor! He will always be with you in the darkest of valleys and never leave your side. I am very proud to say we both are members of Faith Church STL. We love both you and David so much and are so happy to be a part of such an awesome church family. Keep on doing everything you do and God will continue to bless the two of you and our awesome church.
With much love,
It seems as if the opportunity to share your thoughts with someone who has been in a similar situation makes you feel safe. Me too. It is when people like us feel the safety to share our pain lets others do the same and know that they are not alone. Your story of not only pain, but victory through Jesus will encourage countless others. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. You are an unbelievable woman and many will be touched by how honestly you shared! You are AMAZING!
Great message Pastor Nicole! Having you in our life has impacted our entire family! We love you! Thank you for always being authentic and speaking truth! This message hits close to home for me…..Thank you! Thank you!
Your encouragement is so amazing. Thank you
Pastor Nicole I have been trying t get a hold of you. Would like to sit down and talk but whatever means I try to reach you it isn’t working. I think a conversation with you would really help me.
Jackie – I am always at church and my email is on the church website. Come get me after service!
Thanks so much for sharing your past. It always encourages me.
Im blessed to be a part of Faith Church St. Louis. By reading your blogs it gives
hope. I have learned how to trust others from you. Im really lookin forward to giving this city hope! God is good…. You and Pastor David are world changer.
Kelley – Thank you so much for the words of encouragement!
Thanks for the message Pastor Nicole, I was invited to attend Faith by a member, but the morning I was to attend with my friend, she was unable to go. But God told me to go alone. I got up and got my two year old dress and off we went to Faith. When I walked through the doors, everyone was so nice. I left my two year old in the day care and walked to the second row. What a blessings!!! I really enjoyed my visit and been back to Faith six more times. I even been to both campuses!! I took my 13 year old to the teen function last week and my two year old to bounce U! I too been through a lot and really want to belong to a church family who is not judgemental and understands everyone walk with God is not at the same pace. I have to make some decisions in my life that will really hurt the people I love. But I can’t live the way I am living anymore. I want to live by following God’s word. So I will be at the RISK function next month, because I know I will have to take a risk very soon. Please pray for me, and may God continues to bless you.
I would be honored to pray for you and I believe that God will lead you through the upcoming RISK in your life.
Thank you, Pastor David and the Faith family,
I walked into Faith Church 3 months ago as a very beaten down, heart broken and lost woman. Professionally I’m confident, blessed to be able to change others lives, but very insecure, hurt with the sense of loss of oneself, ie: no self esteem personally.
I today have a sense of who I am, not sure of what I want, but sure do know what I don’t want and what God wants for me. I have been empowered by My Pastors, new concept. I am so very grateful to you both for giving me the courage and empowerment to dream again and stand in faith that I am deserving of my dreams as the mercy of God rains down on me with a future that is bright, warm, loving, kind and unlimited, again a new concept. I call this miraculous!
I stand in total faith and confidence that my suffering, although I have allowed the duration, will not be in vein and this divorce will conclude in a balanced and equitable manner. I stand with the strength of Samson knowing that I am not alone. God is a fair and just Judge, Jesus is a persuasive Attorney and the Holy Sprit is interceding on my behalf.
My heart is healing without resentment to my ex. I am in process of restoring my relationship with my children, I am laughing again and loving myself.
This journey has been nothing what I thought it would be with lies, deceit, assault and theft. I became very oppressed with Satins lies screaming in my face one night to the point that I did not think I would wake the next morning after sobbing myself to sleep, my most frightening experience ever. Later that week I found myself at Faith for 3 services that Sunday and my life has been growing stronger daily since. Continue to go to services at least 2x per week and really make every effort to hear your powerful words being spoken to me. I love being a part of something greater than what I could do alone. I have just started volunteering with Faith Church. I am looking forward to my future and living what I know is true and loving.
Again, I have never felt such love for myself or God. The peace I feel has not been felt like ever and this is by the grace of your love for your parish family, the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart again J
Thank you for your story. I heard a wise saying one day “You might be the only Bible a person reads.” Always keep in mind, even when the devil is trying to beat you down, you never know who is watching and listening. Sharing your story has helped me immensely. It touched me in ways I can’t even explain. I also understand exactly what you mean by the preaching and the teaching being so powerful at Faith. I too find myself drawn there just after one episode I caught on tv. I have yet to meet Nicole but I feel the power eminating from them both. God is truley using this wonderful couple. Keep up the good work.
What a wise saying! I may quote that on twitter!
The work that God is doing in you (and me for that matter) is not done yet. We are in the process of becoming. What you are becoming is even more beautiful than what you started with. Now you are beginning to see the beautiful woman that you are.
My sister emailed this to me. My 3 sisters go there and I come once in a while. I can’t begin to tell you how I relate to what you said. It has gotten to the point that I have spent two days in bed depressed and crying from the heartbreaks and 2 failed marriages were they both left me. I feel like I don’t measure up to what men want to marry, yet im sometimes okay to date. I’m tired of the depression that it puts me in. I want to go to church, but the motivation is hard. I keep telling my sisters I will come, but then I talk myself out of going. I told my mom that I would go with her and my sister tonight, so I hope that something changes in my life. And I hope I can be in the service without crying. I wish God would talk to me because im tired of hurting.. Thanks for your encouraging words on here.
I am really scared right now. I just discovered something that terrifies me. And my first thought was “will I go to Heaven?” Silly, because I have been born again and go to faith church st louis regularly. I know God loves me and that I will go to heaven, but I am scared about leaving my kids. I keep thinking, “Will they no how much I love them? Did I hug them enough?” I pray that God will comfort me and guide me. I pray for peace. And I pray that my kids know how much I truly love them!
Thank you for always having a positive oulook on life!
Just saw you share your story on Life Today and couldn’t help but get a big lump in my throat. It really bothered to think of the monsters out there doing awful things to defenseless people. I have two precious little girls that I absolutely adore and I can’t imagine either of them – of any girl for that matter – having to endure what you did. You have tremendous strength and grace and you are an inspiration for anyone trying to over come a struggle. May God Bless you with the most abundant of blessings for as long as you shall live.