FROM LOST TO FOUND

 
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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 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 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.

If you're a woman and have questions about your relationship with God or wondering why in the world God allows detours in our lives, I invite you to attend an upcoming event.

Come to Ada Bible's Thrive Gathering featuring my story (titled FOUND) taking place on November 14th at 6:30pm at the Ada Bible Church Kentwood Campus in Kentwood, Michigan.

At FOUND, I’ll be sharing my story along with 3 specific lessons God has gifted me through the Holy Spirit. Join us for an evening of fun, food and fellowship as we learn how to Surrender Your G.P.S. (Gifts, Purpose and Security) to God.

Tickets are $5 and registration is required at this link. Blessings to each of you!

 
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Nicole Zaagman

NICOLE ZAAGMAN is the creator of the Discovering Your Brand Story® Program, founder of LUX CHIX™ and host of the LUX CHIX™ Radio Show. Empowering other health conscious WONDER WOMEN to LOVERAGE™ their past experiences to impact present and future SUCCESS, attract IDEAL CLIENTS & follow their DREAMS is what she does best. She is a caring and creative individual at heart. Her experience working as a graphic and digital designer, starting a professional photography studio with her mother and creating her first business at age 22 all culminated together to express her purpose as the Luxury Image Director. With the self discovery she obtained after going through a health crisis in her early twenties, NICOLE now enjoys helping others use their own experiences to cultivate confidence and achieve success. Her mission is for others to value themselves, and realize what they have done really does matter. And furthermore, teach them in order to be successful they must be willing to share their experience with the world. NICOLE and her husband Ken reside in West Michigan with their Maltese dog, Nickel.