Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Joshua 1:9

Sometimes, after I tell people about what I've gone through. They are amazed.
I don't get that.

They think I'm strong. I'm not. I just made a choice.
I decided not to be consumed.
I decided to survive.

We don't have to be defined by what happens to us.
What happens can, and will affect us deeply.
That doesn't make us weak. Emotions, heart ache, and trials don't have to destroy us.
They expand us.
I can have greater joy now, because of the severe sorrow I've felt and still feel.
But, because God gives me strength, I can rise higher.

Don't be afraid to take control of your life.
Don't wish away today for better days.
Be strong.
Be courageous.

Why would you choose to be miserable, when you have the opportunity to be joyous?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Miracle Monday... It's a thing.

Well, hello. Remember how I'm a blogger, and then I started a new blog, because who wants to keep blogging on an established blog that thousands of people read. Not me. No way. So, I started this new blog to get back to why I really blog.

To share my story, to share my life. And my life and story have a few major things that are at the core. One of those being, miracles.

Let's talk about prayer.
I can't tell you how many countless times, I have been saved by prayer. I have been comforted countless times by prayer, and I've felt peace, inspiration and direction because of prayer. But, the time I was most affected by prayer, was when I didn't have the strength to pray.

Several years ago, I was in a severe sledding accident, and because of that accident, I had to have surgery on my hip, during that surgery, mistakes were made, leaving my ankle and foot paralyzed. I am not going to attempt to explain the pain that followed. I couldn't breathe without pain. Someone could walk by me, and the wind would cause excruciating pain. It took everything in me to survive. But, if I had to have done it on my own, I wouldn't have survived. I can easily promise you that hundreds of people were praying for me. My church congregation, my family and extended family, friends of friends, and countless others. I found out that recently, that also a choir that I am now involved in was praying for me, and I didn't even know them. I had been involved in the Logan LDS Institute, and I had sang in the institute choir once or twice, but when they found out, because I had friends in the choir(s) both the Institute Choir and Latter-Day Voices prayed for me. Easily, between the two choirs is hundreds of people. Hundreds of people praying for me.

Trust me when I tell you that I felt the power of those prayers.
I have never felt anything so strongly, or have been so aware of anything in my life.
I knew that my strength was not my own.
That it came from God and his angels.
Those angels who prayed for me, who rallied their faith to give me faith.

That faith, that strength that I was given, is still blessing me to this day.
Prayer is a miracle.
Faith is a miracle.
Life is a miracle.

Trust me when I say, that no matter how painful, how hard, or how difficult your situation may be, that there is always hope. You are never without hope. You may forget, your may turn away from hope, but whether you like it or not, hope always is there. Hope is ever present, just waiting for you.

Pray to your Heavenly Father.
Miracles are waiting.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

happy thanksgiving

Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen. 
Alma 26:37

Friday, November 22, 2013

Real Life Nichelle (Volume 1)

Sometimes my good foot falls asleep, and I walk like Bambi.
(read about my accident to see why I have a good foot and a bad foot. click here.)

This is me when someone starts talking about Disney movies:

This is me when someone talks about food:

When I found out my roommate had never seen Star Wars... 
I'm still struggling with it. 

Every time I hang out with Elise...

Nichelle when she wakes up and starts a new day...

Night Time Nichelle... She tries to be social, but she just wants to go to bed.

I'm awkward. But, I'm told I'm the good kind of awkward...
Let's hope that's a real thing. Because, I only know how to be me.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

you don't even know

You don't even know the influence you have. Seriously, you have the capability to change the world. Do you realize that, that your influence is immeasurable? Do you really believe that, because it's true.

You don't even know how a simple smile, note, text, look, compliment, kind thought, gesture, act of kindness, or even how you carry yourself could change someone's life.

This post is written for one person, who doesn't realize how amazing she is. She doesn't realize that she is a light to everyone she meets. That she helps people become better. Do you realize that you are at times like her? We all are. I am all the time. I forget my worth, I doubt myself, I criticize everything I do. I need to remember that I'm Nichelle, and that's pretty awesome. Do you realize that you forget how amazing you are? That you forget that you've blessed my life so much, that you are needed, desperately needed by those around you. Do you doubt how wonderful you are? Do you do that to yourself? Stop it. Stop it right now.

Your imperfections, your faults, your shortcomings, yeah... they are there. But that doesn't take away anything from WHO you are, that doesn't make you less. You are not a list of positive and negative attributes. You are so loved. You are so cherished. You are so important. 

I wish we could all see ourselves as God see's us. I wonder if we realized how precious we truly are, that we would never dare say an unkind word about ourselves. We wouldn't dare to offend God in that way, we wouldn't dare do anything except love ourselves, because we are so incredibly precious to Him. 

Maybe you should try a little harder to be kinder to yourself, and when you look in the mirror, see yourself, really see yourself. You are wonderful, you are precious, you are amazing, you are inspiring, you are full of potential, unlimited potential. Shine, shine on. Don't let others hold you back, don't let yourself hold you back. Keep going, go forward, and know that you are amazing. Love yourself. Because you are deserving of love, of respect, of so much more than I can write in this simple blog post. You are so, so loved. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

'You can love yourself. It's allowed. '

I am more than a list of qualities or imperfections.
It's taken me a long time to realize I'm more than just  a list of traits. I'm more than what I perceive myself to be. I'm more than what others perceive me to be. Even if they see me with rose colored glasses, I am even greater than that, because I am a daughter of God.

I think it's really important that just accept the person we are, and embrace the possibilities we have inside of us. That we really, truly can be more than we can ever imagine.

I have this thing about me, I can't lie. Like, it's really hard for me. I also am a very expressive person, so if something it weird, I'll make a face, if something is funny, I will laugh, when I feel nervous, I make awkward noises, if I want to carry my lunch in an Avengers lunch box, it's in my hands.  I am who I am, and sometimes I get nervous about that. I have this weird combination of not caring what people think, but also caring what people think. I want people to like me, but I want them to like me for who I am. Sometimes, it's really confusing being Nichelle. I'm strangely confident in the weird things about myself, but then I worry that those weird things are too weird. If worrying were an Olympic event, I would be the champ of champs.

But, why should I worry about showing people who I really am? Why should I worry about people knowing that I dance around to Disney songs when my roommates are gone, why should I worry that sometimes I go to my parents house just to sleep. (Also, for future reference, if you text me in the middle of the day, and I don't answer within 30 minutes, I'm taking a nap.) I think it's really hard for us to accept ourselves for who we are, to be confident with our personality, to be grateful for our bodies, to laugh at our quirks, to embrace our flaws, to celebrate our potential. Our capacity to do great things doesn't end. Our capacity to love doesn't end. And that includes loving ourselves. In the context that I am writing, pride isn't an issue. I feel most of us are far too critical of ourselves to be worried about being prideful. You can love yourself. It's allowed.

I love people. I love getting to know people. But, I am also shy. I tend to look at that as a weakness, but I've realized lately that it's not. I don't create a friendship unless it's real. I don't let people in halfway, I'm not a surface friend. I either care about you, or I don't know you yet. So, the times when I'm most critical of myself, I realize I'm not allowing myself to really know who I am. If I truly understood my worth, then I wouldn't be so harsh with myself. I would be tender like I am with those I care about. It is just as important for me to love myself, as it is to love those around me.

Do most people struggle with self confidence? Or is that just me? Maybe I just spend too much time with myself and I'm fully aware of all the weaknesses I have. Shouldn't I be fully aware of the good things about myself as well? Why is it okay to be so hard on ourselves? It really is just a dumb idea. Yes, we are human, yes, we have flaws. But, who said you had to be perfect to be wonderful. If we are striving forward, looking up, having hope, taking that leap of faith, pursing dreams, lifting others, isn't that enough to make us wonderful. Our strengths and our weaknesses make us who we are.

Having a bum leg is a weakness, but it is definitely a strength when you are at Disneyland.

Trials and obstacles don't have to be negative. You don't have to be perfect, you can be perfectly you. It doesn't matter if your life has gone the way you hoped, what matters is what you do with the life you've been given. 

It's okay to trust yourself, it's okay to trust God. He loves you, if you don't love who you are, rely on his love. "The trials and tribulation that we experience may be the very things that guide us to come unto Him..." (source) God is giving you experiences because he loves you, because he trusts you. Don't doubt who you are, because those who really know you don't. Life can be hard, life can be painful, but if you trust in what you can't see about yourself, you'll do great things. There is more to you than you are allowing yourself to understand. 

God loves you, I know that, because I know Him. If you don't believe that you are wonderful, rely on someone else's faith in you until you discover that for yourself. You get one chance, you get one life, live it well, and live it fully. Don't be the person that holds you back. 

Trust that good things are in store for you, trust that good things are happening to you, trust that you are deserving of the blessings you have. Don't be afraid to embrace who you are, and who you can be. Because, you are completely wonderful.