Slow Down to Go Fast

What in the world?

The phrase “go slow to go fast”or any variation of that idea  is something I’ve been hearing in the business world for a few years now. At first I sloughed it off as not important – I am a full speed ahead type of person, and honestly, the faster I can get to a destination, the better.

And then I found out that business and life sometimes don’t work that way.

So tell me, does that phrase even make sense to you? If you’ve never in your life heard this concept, stay with me here – I hope to give you a lightbulb moment or two…

A quick google search of the words “slow down to go fast” comes up with a LOT of resources. I mean, everyone from Forbes to TedX to Huffington Post and the Harvard Business Review has articles or videos on this very idea. Even Porsche. (Which begs the question, is it even possible to slow down in a Porsche driving machine?…)

Two weeks ago today I had elective foot surgery to correct a decades-old injury. Even though the injury in itself had slowed me down, I had become accustomed to that pace and thought I could live with it. And then my preschool age grandson challenged me to a race. He pretty much wants to race every time he’s here. I obliged, but soon I was limping my way around the driveway. Could it be that hanging on to that old injury was too great a price to pay? I was asking my husband to pop my metatarsal back into place every few days or so – a process that was painful and unpleasant, but it was my new normal because my damaged tendon could not hold those bones into place. I was unable to hike with my friends in Yosemite each spring, I couldn’t walk more than a couple of miles, I was in pain at the end of a day of skiing and worst of all, I couldn’t even race my grandson around the yard. This had become my new normal. I didn’t like it, but I accepted it. It was’t the best for me, but I endured it. I started thinking about how I’d become comfortable in my new normal, but it wasn’t an optimal place to live.

It took me years of enduring this to finally decide this was no way to live. So when I found out it was fixable, and I had surgery to repair it. And then the REAL slowdown happened.

Here’s what slowing down to go fast looks like for me right now…

Crutches. Scooter. Sit with your leg elevated as much as possible. Wear this boot. And NO DRIVING for several weeks.

Yes, I am on the slooooooooowwwwwww boat right now.

But you know what? I’ve decided it’s ok. By slowing down to fix this torn tendon in my foot I now can look forward to a future of even more mobility. I am slowing down now to go fast later. I am fixing my eyes on a time when I will be able to walk or hike several miles, ski all day without pain, and I’ll be able to race my grandson again – and maybe win for once? (Doubtful, but I will certainly give it my best shot…)

So what happens during the slow times?

Healing. That’s what happens.

A foundation is built for a strong tendon and bone structure to hold up my body for the rest of my life. In order to walk (literally) in my purpose and calling to be a fun and active grandma, I need to slow down and let this foot heal properly. I need to let my cells knit themselves together to form a new bond that is strong and able to perform the work of holding those bones in place. This takes time.

It wasn’t until this past weekend when God was walking me through an exercise of also slowing down my spirit for some inner healing that I saw the full circle message of this.

Life is busy. I know that. We get comfortable in our normal of stuffing our wounds full of temporary fixes. We eat or drink too much to numb the pain. We shop even more to avoid facing the debt. We stay busy to avoid having to listen to that still small voice telling us what needs to change to be healed. But do you know what happens when we slow down and let God fix our torn and broken parts?

Healing. That’s what happens.

Feeling anxious? Slow down and let God heal you.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

Are you exhausted and weary in your spirit, even down to your very bones?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Slow down and let God do the healing work. Just as I know the good work of healing started when my surgeon repaired that torn tendon, I also know that pushing through it too fast and forcing too much activity on that tender foot would undo everything the surgeon has done for me. Likewise, if I don’t sit with God in the work of healing in my soul and let him knit together the foundation for what’s ahead, I could undo everything the Great Physician has started in me.

…Be still and know that I am God…

Psalm 46:10

Have the lights come on yet? I hope so.

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

Let God finish the healing process he started in you so you can soar into your purpose and the calling he placed on your life the very day you were born. It’s never too late to slow down to go fast.

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Do You Believe in Miracles?

“I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs in the earth below.” Acts 2:19

Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe the miracles in the Bible still happen today?

These are 2 questions I asked a church group while we were on a mission trip in Belize. Less than half raised their hands. At one point in my life I was like them, and maybe you are this way too. I would read the stories in the Bible and not believe they still happened today. How could they? I was stuck inside my head, over analyzing, and trying to think logically, when I wanted to believe it was true so badly in my heart.

Month 2 of the World Race, God rocked my world and shifted my belief. Before then I was in disbelief and questioning God and his supernatural powers. But he proved himself to be a God of miracles through the act of the Holy Spirit.

I was in Tegucigalpa, Honduras walking on the dirt streets of a very poor community. We walked house to house praying for people and offering them an opportunity to be a part of a food program. Toward the end of the long day, my 6 teammates and I were making our way to the bus. One of my teammates, Christina, was walking significantly slower than the rest of us. I stopped and waited for her to catch up and asked if she was okay. She said her back hurt so bad she could barely walk and had numbness down her leg. Well that’s not good.

In that very moment I felt the need to pray for her, but I told her we would wait until we got to the bus. God literally stopped me in my tracks and I stood there and turned towards her to say, “NO! I AM GOING TO PRAY FOR YOU NOW!” She agreed and as we were slowly making our way to the bus, I placed my hand on her back and prayed for healing. I prayed for buckets of healing to be poured down from heaven. I declared God did not want his children to be in pain but to dance with him. God is the ultimate physician who can and will heal her! I praised him for what he was about to do, heal my friend!

When I finished I looked at her and asked, “How do you feel?” She was silent with her mouth and eyes wide open.

“Nikki…”

She paused.

“I don’t feel any pain.”

I laughed, “Are you kidding me?”

“Nikki, I wouldn’t lie to you. The pain is gone!”

We were both stunned and speechless. Christina and I looked as though we had just seen a ghost. She can I turned slowly in a bit of shock as we made our way to the bus. We silently sat next to each other. She put her legs up on the seat in front of her and looked at me wide-eyed, “I couldn’t sit like this before.” I was shocked! God used me to heal my friend’s back. That night I was unable to sleep still in awe of God and the Holy Spirit and his power. I sat on a blanket in the middle of a grass field under the stars and had a conversation with God. During this time, God shared with me my brother would be healed from epilepsy and my dad would be a believer. I began to cry and thanked God for sharing this with me. What a big day! I can tell you for sure my belief in miracles changed. The miracles which occurred in the Bible still happen today!

We have the Spirit within us, but He comes upon us when others are involved. In this moment with Christina, the Holy Spirit came upon me to heal her.

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave is inside me, inside of you! Do you believe it?

(excerpt from my book A God You’ve Never Met: Who is the Holy Spirit?….coming soon!)

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Twenty Candles

20 candles.

20 babies.

7 women.

All loved equally by their Abba Father.

I was honored to attend a memorial service for babies who had been lost to abortion, but quite honestly, I was also a bit uneasy about what I was about to witness. As we gathered together in the pastor’s office in love and reverence, I heard their stories.

“I didn’t know it was a baby”

“I thought it was the right thing to do”

“I was forced to do it”

After being together for several weeks in the Post Abortion Support Team (P.A.S.T.) recovery group at Fellowship Monrovia, they have cried together, they have grieved together, and they have loved each other through painful memories. Now these precious women were gathering together one last time to acknowledge their mistake in giving up the life of their child or children for the sake of convenience, and to lay their children to rest in the arms of the Father.

They were sorry. So deeply sorry. Many had not been able to move forward in life, even though it had been years. Some carried the physical scar of not being able to get pregnant after multiple abortions and not knowing exactly why.

The medical community had no answers.

They tortured themselves with whys and what ifs.

Their friends and family said to get over it.

But they couldn’t.

These women are part of the beautiful few who have chosen to come to Jesus with their post abortion pain and accept healing and wholeness. Each one wearing white and lighting a candle for each baby.

Previously unnamed, each child was given a name by their mother. One young mom even brought a box of baby things to lay on the altar of forgiveness and grace.

I heard them, one after one, say “I now know I can still be a woman of God and move forward into my calling even after having an abortion.” And “I’m so comforted to know I will see my baby in heaven.” So profound. So heartbreaking. And so beautiful. As God forgave them, each one had to work through the process to come to a place of forgiving themselves. And that is the hardest thing.

There were tears. Oh yes, there were tears. This night showed me the messy beauty of God’s love. He loves us in our mistakes. He loves us in our mess. And he brings people alongside us to help us out of that mess. Also part of the group that night were women who were many years beyond a similar program of healing. Now they were turning their pain into purpose by leading these women to the very throne of God where they could lay down their past and be renewed in His spirit and His truth to walk in forgiveness and healing.

20 candles.

20 babies who will never be forgotten.

7 women who are now walking forward in wholeness and with hope.

“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 8:12 ESV

 

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Walking in Freedom part 2

About a month ago in March, I went on a mission trip to Mexico with my church. We went into Tijuana to work with our church plant and share the great news about Jesus and the new church.

I had no idea what to expect on this trip.

No one did.

God moved in ways I couldn’t even come up with!

I feel there are multiple steps to be able to walk in freedom. The first one I mentioned in my blog “Walking in Freedom,” which to summarize is to allow Jesus to enter the place of shame or guilt or anger or whatever it may be and picture him there with you. I did this for a certain area of my life and recently Satan tried to bring me back to that place again, but I pictured Jesus grabbing my hand and walking me out of the situation. It was freeing.

The other part to freedom, I feel, is surrendering all that you are to God and letting him come into every crack and filling it. I experienced this for the first time when I told God out loud “I SURRENDER EVERYTHING TO YOU!” And then I experienced so much joy that I began to laugh and rock back and forth uncontrollably. It was incredible and very freeing.

My friend Brea has been deaf in her left ear her entire life of 25 years. She has been praying for God to heal her because she believes he can. In Mexico, God said, “Now is your time.” Brea went up to the pastor during worship and told him her story. He began praying for her and I felt I needed to go up and pray for her too. Me, the pastor and other girl named Rachel were laying hands on her and praying for her. The power of God was so mighty and powerful that she was bent over as the pastor was laying hands on her ear. He told her she had something inside of her that was holding her back so he prayed healing and freedom over that area of her life. She fell on her knees and we continued to pray for her. Rachel was praying over Brea in her left ear, and Brea told her to pray again. Brea began to scream and exclaim, “I CAN HEAR! I CAN HEAR!” And we all jumped up, started cheering and crying and praising and giving glory to God!

 

God healed her!

 

She said before she heard Rachel pray in her ear, she heard God say to her, “You are my child.”

That is walking in freedom. Free from the bondage.

God wants to free you from bondage. He wants you to walk in the freedom he has given us.

“And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:17-18

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(Me and Brea in Mexico)

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