FREEDOM SONG FOR HEALING

 Some beautiful flowers by my home I captured a few years ago :)

Some beautiful flowers by my home I captured a few years ago :)

Today I got a burst of inspiration and wanted to test out some new software recently purchased. After working many hours this past week, needed to regroup today and recharge. I decided to pick up my flute and play some music. As I go on to explain in the video, I've been recently playing my flute more after being encouraged to do so at a Christian conference I attended at Resurrection Life Church located in Grandville, Michigan a few weeks ago.

For one, music is a way to worship and celebrate the Lord and two, there are healing aspects to music, especially when God and the Holy Spirit are involved. In the Bible when David played the harp for King Saul, we learn that the evil spirit left him (1 Samuel 16:14-23). There was something to the music that David played and I've discovered this as well in my own life.

Sharing a pretty impromptu prayer and song the Lord gave me earlier today, loosely calling it "Freedom Song." Whatever you may be going through today, whatever healing you are waiting for, I hope this prayer and song blesses you today. May the Great Physician be with you, comfort you and bring restoration and healing to every aspect of your body, mind and soul.


"Freedom Song" tracks below, enjoy!

PRAYER FOR ENDURANCE

Have you ever struggled with endurance? Not merely athletic performance but from the standpoint of living life? I know I have. Seasons that call for added energy, strength, courage and stamina.

In my book, Rise Higher - I compare believing in our God-given dream to that of running a race. In those seasons when our bodies and minds fail and when relationships fail us, is when we need help the most. It's in these grueling miles when asking for the Lord to step in and "run" for us is most vital. Inviting Jesus to be the strength of our endurance when our dream is dying and we've given up hope can be the "lifeline" that provides the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

In chapter 3, I feature my friend and Ryan D. Kelley. Ryan, myself and our families have been friends for several years now and I've so enjoyed observing the endurance and faith he's put in God to achieve his dream.

Making the leap to full-time entrepreneurship several years ago and not letting defeat, discouragement and outside forces completely deflate his endurance, Ryan has kept running. Despite years of wandering through the trenches, overcoming his own doubts and failures, Ryan has stepped in to his fulfilling dream of: God and family first and secondly. co-founding a successful real estate organization in West Michigan called, City2Shore. In the midst of the race your running today, here's a simple prayer to ask Jesus Christ to run along-side you and to provide endurance for the long miles ahead.

Dear Lord,
I confess that I’ve grumbled and complained when things haven’t gone my way. I’ve looked at the thorns around my dream
seed instead of cutting them down, these things that prevent my dreams from being realized. Help me to trust that You know how everything is going to come together, how You’ll use every experience and opportunity I face to teach me how to run my race of endurance. In Jesus’ name,amen.


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Nicole Zaagman's recommended resources:


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Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!

PRAYER FOR FAILURE

In my book, Rise Higher - I talk about something inevitable in life... that something is, failure. I go on to talk about the 4 -F's of failure, Faith, Family, Finances and Fitness.

The bad news is, we will each experience a crisis in each area at some point in our lives. The good news? God can use ALL your past failures for good!

While it can be difficult to let go of our past mistakes and regrets, God call us to overcome them. By focusing on failure, you'll never be able to invest in your future and the dream God has called you to. So whether you've had a crisis of faith, crisis in your family, financial crisis or crisis with your fitness goals, ask Jesus to intervene. Repenting from any sin that's led to your crisis, He'll help you overcome and keep you from replaying your past, over and over in your mind and heart, so you can live out today in peace.

Christ doesn't call us to be perfect, striving for perfectionism is a sure way to stay stuck and never learn from our failures to help us and others succeed. In chapter 2 (Failure) I feature the one-and-only, Dave Ramsey. Ken and I had the privilege of meeting Dave in 2013 when we traveled to Nashville, TN to do our debt-free scream interview with him. 

What most people don't know about Dave is, he failed miserably in the financial department and lost EVERYTHING before he succeeded. He turned his family's nightmare in to an opportunity to help others. Was it easy? Of COURSE not, but with God's help, Dave reclaimed his failure. According to a press release found at DaveRamsey.com, Dave has helped more than a million families become debt free thanks to what he learned. Today, The Dave Ramsey Show weekly radio broadcast reaches an average of 14 million listeners. His books, programs, classes, and other educational offerings are provided at churches, military bases, and Universities around the country. Pretty cool turnaround if you ask me! EnJOY the prayer featured in chapter 2 of Rise Higher, below:

Dear Lord, I know I have messed up in the past and will experience failure in the future. In the midst of my humanness, please grant me grace and convict me when I need to choose life instead of living the same way. Please take all the broken pieces of my life. I hand them over to you and into Your capable hands. I ask You to create something beautiful out of my pain. Please use the lessons I’ve learned in the midst of my failures to bring wisdom to my life and to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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Nicole Zaagman's recommended resources:


nicolezaagman2017.jpg

Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!

PRAYER FOR ADDICTION

 Image credit: Victor Freitas, found on pexels.com under cc0 license

Image credit: Victor Freitas, found on pexels.com under cc0 license

Father God,
You are the Creator of all things and ALL people. You put the stars in the sky and the pulse in every heart. You see time all at once and know what circumstances, experiences and pre-dispositions that influence every single form of addiction. God, you know the trauma, hurt, pain and heartbreak that has influenced the choices of those who struggle with addiction.

Lord, we come before you praying this prayer in agreement and ask boldly that you'd stir in the hearts of ALL those suffering with ANY form of addiction. Gossip, sex, pornography, alcohol, unhealthy attitudes, drugs, relationships, control, beliefs, behaviors, eating disorders, the past, cigarettes, marijuana and more. Lord, you know the need, even unspoken addictions. As you stir the hearts of those in bondage, make them aware of their sin and need for you. May they be convicted and turn their "earthly war" towards "Heaven's hands." May they repent from their sin and ask forgiveness so their past can be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb on the cross, the first step to freedom.

Lord, break through to each and every soul struggling with ANY form of addiction. Put people, places, therapies, therapists, treatments and helpful resources in their lives to aid in their recovery. Grant them discernment about which steps and activities to engage in so they might find full and wholesome healing through your guidance. Put up barriers and blockades to any stumbling blocks, experiences or relationships that will lead them away from your healing and back towards bondage and addiction. Free them from the shame, guilt and regret the enemy desires to hold over them from their past choices. May they walk forward today and every day empowered by You through the Holy Spirit to battle urges, temptations and addictive relapses.

Guard their hearts, minds and souls from future hurts that would lead them to believe they are unworthy and alone in their addiction. May they call upon your mighty name, Jesus ANY TIME they need your help. Answer their pleas swiftly and grant them un-explainable peace as they learn to trust you through recovery. Walk with them Jesus, help them overcome. Replace despair with joy and turn depression in to gladness. Break the bonds and shackles of addiction so Your children can walk through the open doors of their prison cells and not turn back, in Jesus' name.

Nicole Zaagman's recommended resources:


nicolezaagman2017.jpg

Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!

PRAYER FOR DESTINY

It's easy to confuse our plans and earthly success as our own doing. Fortunately, God is merciful and allows us to steep in our own "security," until we realize our need for His help in our lives.

Jesus desires to be the "soul" influence of your life.

Our Father knows exactly how He crafted and created you and the mighty works He has planned for you long before you might ever have an idea what your "dream" looks like. Our God is a God of second, third and fourth chances and can work ANYTHING in your past towards the destiny He's hand crafted for you.

Relinquishing our control and placing our dream, tasks and destiny in His hands is the most important "success strategy" we could ever execute. Please enJOY the prayer below found at the end of chapter 1 (Destiny) of my new book, Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will (Order on Amazon).

Featured in chapter 1 is friend and fellow Spring Arbor University graduate, Jacob Atem. As a survivor/Lost Boy from Sudan, part of Jacob's God given dreams and destiny is to continue operations at the clinic he's co-founded in South Sudan. Consider giving a donation at their website and learn more about their work, here.

Dear Lord,
I thank you for blessing me with the gift of my life. I confess that I often take for granted the miracle that I am. I confess that I often focus on misery. Please help me to trust and know that you have created me for more, for greatness. Please help me to see my destiny from your perspective, and provide ideas and creativity to get me from where I find myself today to where you want me to be tomorrow. I thank you in advance for the work you are doing in my life in order to be of service to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

>> ORDER RISE HIGHER

Nicole Zaagman's recommended resources:


nicolezaagman2017.jpg

Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!

PRAYER FOR SUFFERING

 Image credit: LoveToTakePhotos, found on pixabay.com under cc0 license

Image credit: LoveToTakePhotos, found on pixabay.com under cc0 license

There are so many hurting right now. 

So many suffering through life challenges. I know so much of it can be overwhelming to know how to pray with ongoing difficulties. Please join me in lifting those up in our lives that are going through difficult times and strained seasons.

Father, God,
We come before you, asking for your swift and miraculous intervention. Lord, there are so many who are hurting, in pain, with needs who need your help. Lord, will you please step in to the brokenness of our loved ones, our friends and those we meet in passing. Would you show up in the mundane. In our lack of knowing exactly what to pray for and ask for, Lord stand in the gaps. Be with every person who needs healing, spiritually, financially and physically. Show up in a mighty way. Fulfill needs only you can fill, heal hearts and wounds only you can heal. Be with those going through unexpected and unimaginable grief. Be with those waiting for answers and for those trying to make sense of the pain their walking through. Comfort the lost and the discouraged. Revive their hearts, minds, bodies and souls and may you receive all the glory. In Jesus' name, amen.

Nicole Zaagman's recommended resources:


nicolezaagman2017.jpg

Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!

THE BAIT OF SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

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As a young girl, one of my favorite past-times was fishing.

I remember one time, my mom fashioned hand-made fishing rods that my sister and I used off the end of an old dock.

The activity of fishing requires bait... often called a lure.

A lure is used to "trick" the fish in to thinking there's something tasty to eat right in front of them.

The fish grabs hold of the lure, not suspecting to be hooked instantly and reeled in towards it's death.

Although a gruesome thought, fishing metaphorically describes what happens when we get "hooked" on the lure and bait of spiritual deception.

To take things a little deeper, the definition of deception according to Google is: the action of deceiving someone. 

Synonyms include: trickery, slyness and lying.

As mentioned above, the lure "tricks" the unassuming individual (or in this case, the fish) into believing what's in front of them is wholesome, something that will provide fulfillment and sustenance.

The shine, appeal, the thought and feeling the fish has about the lure is all a deceptive ploy to get the fish to bite the bait.

We as human's have our own spars with baits in our lives.

The lure's that take us away from God's best can be very shiny, appealing and tantalizing.

These lures come in many forms. Addiction, success, wealth, relationships, material possesions and the less often discussed, spiritual beliefs.

 

The irony of any form OF BAIT, is there is a bit of truth MIXED IN THAT APPEALS TO OUR SENSES.

In order to be deceptive, it must mimic something true, just like the fishing lure.

"If I could just control how much I eat... then I will be beautiful..."

"If I succeed and become financially stable... I won't have any worries or anxiety..."

"If I could have that relationship... I will be happy..."

"If I had this car or that house... people would see me as valuable..."

"If only I felt peace about this decision or it lined up with God's word... this "sign" or feeling must be God's confirmation..."

The bait Jesus followers must be aware of is the lure of spiritual deception. This bait can "appear" and "mimic" the truth found in the Bible.

Looking back over the past few years of my life, how far God has brought me... out of my own weighing struggles with spiritual deception... it is SO clear to me now how easily I mistook the lure of "spiritualism" and new age beliefs as the truth.

We get bogged down by life, the disappointment it brings, the hurt we encounter and it becomes too much for us to handle.

 

Instead of turning to Jesus, we take matters in to our own hands and the lures around us become so attractive it becomes difficult to distinguish between the truth and the trick.

The enemy (devil) will stop at NO-THING to steal and kill every good thing in your life. Trust me, I know.

Jesus states in John 10:10:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

In my experience, Jesus is the ONLY WAY to spiritual truth and freedom. All other paths lead to spiritual deception and destruction.

In this season, God's revealing Himself to me through His voice. The Bible says, the sheep hear the Shepard's voice and they know it.

The "voices" and thoughts that whisper to you in your loneliness, anger, bitterness, resentment and regret are baits.

Baits that will trick you in to believing your joy, happiness, freedom and "enlightenment" lie in the future, with one more hit, more stuff, more success, in that relationship or in a particular string of beliefs, practices or ideologies.

In my own life, I've swallowed the bait of spiritual deception.

I've wrote and spouted things I wish I could retract and believed in theories that are deplorable examples of spiritual deception that can take over one’s life should you be influenced by beliefs and practices other than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Father, Holy Spirit and the gospel.

Although I never completely removed biblical references or mention of God from my vocabulary, the context and nature of my beliefs in the past were not of the Christian values I am committed to today.

 

I was under the influence...

Influenced by the enemy of our souls, the great deceiver and enemy of Heaven, devil and fallen angel, Lucifer himself.

"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." 2 Timothy 4:3,4

Spiritual deception and oppression is binding and life altering. You don't know you're deceived under the influence.

Like any addictive substance, belief in counterfeit lures that take you away from God will distort your outlook on reality and cause you to believe in “signs and wonders” that are not from the hand of the Lord.

Although I wish I had not taken the bait, that I did not allow foolish ideologies and practices to rule my life for so long, there is also hope.

My hope remains in the Lord. I trust He will redeem every bit of my sin and the lures I swallowed by telling my story.

That my experience with spiritual deception (click to read about my conversion) would bring glory to His name.

My prayer is others may know the transformative power of Christ, the wholeness, joy and peace a relationship with only Him can bring.

If you've got some shiny lures in your life, it's not too late to swim the other way.

Call on the name of Jesus. Get a Bible and begin reading the TRUTH. Get plugged in to a local church, small group or Bible study.

If you're unsure about an area of belief practice or lure in your life, ask another Jesus follower.

Tell a believer you look up to what you're going through and ask them to help you discern and start swimming in the right direction.

Rid your life of the bait that lured you in the first place. Begin to recognize the Shepard's voice and rebuke the voice of the enemy. 

Turn from your former ways, repent, ask Christ's forgiveness.

You CAN begin a fulfilling and sustaining journey towards spiritual truth and away from spiritual deception.

Here's a couple of my favorite book resources and for women, a Facebook Bible group led by my dear friend, Robyn Dykstra.

Churches with live stream options: Ada Bible ChurchShadow Mountain Church

Online resources: iBelieve.comReasonsforJesus.com, BillyGraham.org, Palau.org

Here's a great music video to close :)

 


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Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!

 

 

GRACE WHEN WE "BLOW IT"

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Ahhh, Thanksgiving is but a few days away.

This is a season and a time to be thankful. Often, when we're supposed to be the most grateful, we can be the stumbling block that stops us from relaxing in the presence of God.

So many preparations, things to do, people to please, decorations to put out...

Holidays can bring out the best and worst of us.

Myself being no exception, after recently "blowing it" and reverting back to old behaviors and and patterns I thought I had dealt with and were a "thing of my past," found myself seething with disgust.

Thoughts of, "how could you, Nicole... If you were only good enough you wouldn't have fallen for something so trivial... Why can't you just be happy."

 

One after another, the thoughts kept creeping in, eroding every sense of self-confidence I previously thought I had. Can you relate?

Whispers and lies from the enemy have a tendency to creep in when we least expect. I realized after a week of giving life everything I had, I was so depleted. Recovering from overactive adrenal glands has been such a hard season for me, one I've refused, tried to "overcome" in my own strength and pray away.

In my strength I want to run, shine, engage with others, be, do, go here - there and everywhere. All the while neglecting ME in the process. This season God's been doing some REAL deep heart work in me and I am starting to realize like a small child throwing a tantrum when they're too tired, I am no different. 


Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
 2 Corinthians 12:8-9


The tendency to reach towards short term "fixes," behaviors, relationships and stories we've adopted from our past is heightened when we're exhausted from living life.

While not an excuse, it begs us to reconsider where our strength comes from and to look at what lifestyle choices HAVE to go in order for us to be whole, full of joy and experience the FULLness Christ offers.

I love the song, Masterpiece by Danny Gokey... I believe the words so beautifully illustrate the point I am trying to make :)

In the midst of sharing my short-comings with a loved one... they responded with, "I can understand why you would struggle with this, you're just looking and searching for anything to help you feel better."

Insert grace moment. 

I couldn't help but think, that's how God sees us and without hesitation extends His perfect grace to us when we least deserve it. Receiving God's grace is a completely separate topic.

In my own life, I've discovered any time I couldn't seem to receive God's grace ONLY occurred when I clung to control and self-condemnation for not living up to the "God standards" I kept for myself.

My friend, our "God standards," whether based on performance, perfectionism, pride, un-confessed sin, beliefs adopted as a result of years of living, negates the necessity for Jesus in our lives and the greatest grace gift of all, His pardoning for ALL sin through the cross.

While this girl has known God all her life, there is so much more that Jesus is teaching me about myself, my perception of Him and how to open my heart to receive His unconditional love regardless of when I "blow it." 

Sometimes we have to get out of "God's way" not just our own, so we can be exactly who He created us to be.

Allowing Him to melt my human "God standards" and self-imposed perfectionism to be a certain way is what I desire most. While I am grateful for so many things in my life, I think the greatest gift of all is God's grace.

So this Thanksgiving, before you might find yourself "blowing it," just know you don't have to be perfect and have everything figured out or together.

Reach for and receive God's grace in every situation when you're tempted to be or do something you know deep down you're not.

Ask for help when you need it. Don't endure one more minute of unnecessary self-imposed pressure.

Instead of turning to control or self-sabotage... let God work "the mess" into a Masterpiece.


nicolezaagman2017.jpg

Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!

FROM LOST TO FOUND

     Image credt: tobi, FOUND ON Pexels.COM UNDER CC0 LICENSE

 

 Image credt: tobi, FOUND ON Pexels.COM UNDER CC0 LICENSE

Sitting here with cotton stuffed in my nostrils, recovering from a cold (thank you for sharing, hubby) I’ve been pondering my life over the past year.

2017 has been a transformation (behind the scenes) of MASS proportions for me personally and spiritually speaking.

Publishing my first bestselling book, Bee BADASS and Brilliant in December 2016 was the highlight of the last 12 months.

Since commencing the sequel (Rise Higher – Believe in Your Dream Cuz’ No One Else Will) in March, 2017 I’ve been met with opposition ALL year.

The opposition I’ve faced makes me all the more eager to share this faith and Biblical based book with all of you, it’s going to change and transform lives.

 

God's hand has been on this project all the way, answering prayer after prayer, even including stories from well known personalities such as Dave Ramsey and Danny Gokey.

However, in April as I tried to press ahead with the project, I began experiencing an unexpected health relapse. Things I thought I’d dealt with and healed from started coming to the surface faster than I could catch my breath.

I was left exhausted, plagued with anxiety and restless at night unable to sleep.

God was trying to get my attention, I needed His healing, although I didn’t recognize the initial invitation at the time.

By God’s grace, I ended up at an event in April about being a Confident Woman here in West Michigan. I thought, “This event is right up my alley, I should attend.” Little did I know, the host’s talk and consequent testimony would be the starting point for me to turn my life back around.

Pray tell what did I need help with turning around? I needed to be found, I’d been lost for FAR too long.

In April 2017, I publically recommitted my life to Christ, which has been just the beginning.

 

Prior to this, over the course of the last few years, I let my guard down.

The strength and purpose I found in the Lord and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ became more distant as the days and months went on.

After experiencing years of frustrating disappointment and as I watched my family move 2,000 miles away in 2015 I walked away from the strong relationship with God I’d previously known. I no longer believed God could be trusted.

Maybe you too can relate. The job loss, unexpected accident or health diagnosis. Life can rattle you.

 

It wasn’t overnight; it was a slow and steady distancing, one I never realized until more recently.

The funny thing was, I never stopped going to church!

As a result of my “prodigal” walking, I sought out other means of truth. “Spiritual” practices that made me feel like me, communities and relationships I felt accepted in.

There was little judgment, everything stemmed from love and a mutual “oneness” that we all possessed.

I started attending events, locally and around the country.

I began to consult with spiritual advisers, frequently engaging in astrological projections, readings, angel cards, crystals, books, programs, theories on soul-mates, studying reincarnation and healing work not based off of using Jesus as the means of healing.

These practices took me to a place far away from Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit.

They had me consulting every other means but the true God for my life. Instead of getting pertinent details about my life and which steps to take from Him, I looked to outside sources and influences for direction.

Crazy looking back, I even attended a workshop to learn how to communicate with deceased loved ones and yet another, a look in to soul mates and their importance in our lives.

Now, I say this with all sincerity and heart, I didn’t stop to think about what I was doing.

I was completely deceived, hence being lost, looking for acceptance and for answers about life.

While I look back now and realize how far away from God I was, I see how He never left my side in the midst of the confusion and my “spiritual” blindness.

At first I was horrified at my realization, but then grateful for the opportunity to speak out about my experience and for the forgiveness I’ve received as I’ve made my way back to God this past year.


If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9


Maybe none of this comes as a surprise to you, perhaps it does. Regardless, why does it matter?

It matters to me because I know how easy it was walk into a world that does not give life, does not provide answers and leaves you empty handed and broken-hearted. 

Being on the other side, I realize now there’s a cataclysmic difference between believing in the universe and the Creator of the universe.

Furthermore, there’s a difference between believing there’s no such thing as sin or the consequences that result.

Lastly, there’s a difference in thinking you’re a pretty good human being not in need of a Savior who came to earth to die on the cross for your sins.

When those around me tell me there is no difference, I can relate, because - I too, didn't see the difference any longer.

 
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My friend, there is a difference and the difference is Jesus.

Jesus was not just a highly enlightened man, full of wisdom with divine consciousness to heal the sick, He was and IS the son of God and He desires a relationship with you.

A relationship with Jesus is not built on religion, regardless of what you’ve seen or heard.

Jesus came to overthrow religion and did so in His ministry on earth (you can read about it in the Bible).

Regardless of where you find yourself today, it’s never too late to be found.

Whatever darkness you might be experiencing, perhaps it has no relation to any of what I shared above; know that Jesus is calling you in to the light.

 

This relationship is not an easy one.

It’s loaded with opportunities to learn, grow, trust and become dependent on someone else besides yourself and your loved ones.

But, if you’re tired of walking the same, unfamiliar road, waiting for wholeness…  you don’t have to wait any longer.

Turn your life over to Jesus, invite Him into your HEART give Him your hurts and your wounds.

He is truly the only source of healing to recommend.

A popular saying I love is, let go, let God. I’d like to change it to, let go, give everything to God.

Every day I am continuing to learn how to love Jesus more and more, it’s such a blessing  to no longer be running.

As Amazing Grace states, I once was lost, but now am found. 

Here's a couple of my favorite book resources and for women, a Facebook Bible group led by my dear friend, Robyn Dykstra.

Churches with live stream options: Ada Bible ChurchShadow Mountain Church

Online resources: iBelieve.comReasonsforJesus.comBillyGraham.orgPalau.org

Watch my testimony below!


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Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!