“Angels”

Hello Overcomers!

It’s been a while, but this year has been…well, you know. I haven’t forgotten about the Hall of Fame series. I have a few more people I want to present. 

For today, I want to present an excerpt from my book, Texts from an Angel. I decided to do this one because, with the way things are going now, I want to go in a closet and hide until about 2022. I hope you enjoy this story. You can pick up Texts from an Angel on Amazon either in kindle or paperback. Enjoy!

Angel of Peace

Bryan shivered in the corner of his closet. He hated coming home from school in the afternoons to an empty house. It would be hours before his mother made it home. Even longer before his brothers, which was fine by him. If they knew how he spent his evenings, they would tease him mercilessly.

Bryan set the alarm as soon as he walked in the door; he always felt like, at any moment, someone or something would jump out and attack him. To make matters worse, every sound the house made while settling (though he didn’t know that) made him even more anxious.

He knew no one was in there, but he had a routine. After making sure the alarm was set, Bryan double-checked the locks. Then he would go around, check every place with a door – including cabinets and closets. Once he finished that, he would use the restroom, with the door open, wash his hands, grab a snack from the fridge, then retreat to his closet.

Today felt weird to Bryan. Something was off; it was like he was feeling anxious yet peaceful as if something big were about to happen. This was a new feeling for him. Being the shortest in his sixth-grade class, he was teased often. He also spoke with a slight stutter which only manifested when he was nervous. He didn’t have any friends, and truthfully, it hurt. He wanted nothing more than to have at least one friend. Someone he could play basketball and possibly baseball with. But he was awkward, at least to them.

Bryan thought he was making a good friend last year, in the fifth grade. Shawn was a guy he’d known since kindergarten and lived a couple of streets over. But because he enjoyed baseball, he joined the other guys on the block in teasing Bryan about it. They told him black boys didn’t play baseball. Bryan figured he was better off; apparently, they didn’t know the sport or read, for that matter.

Bryan decided to take another peek in each bedroom. He didn’t understand what he was feeling. Maybe someone was peeking through a window? It felt like someone was watching him. He felt a warm breeze flow past his cheek. He looked up. He couldn’t see anything, but he felt a presence. What the heck?

He began to think. For some reason, he began to remember going to church with his grandmother this past Sunday. He enjoyed going to his Mama Doll’s house. He went as often as possible. She was loving and funny. He laughed a lot with her. His mother was fun as well, she just had to work a lot of hours to make ends meet. Whatever that means. What ends is she trying to meet?

Mama Doll said she was too young and too fly to for him to call her grandma, so Mama Doll it was. He had lots of fun when he stayed weekends with her. Although he had chores like raking leaves, washing baseboards, sweeping the porch, and sidewalk he ate extremely well over the weekends he spent with her.

Three square meals a day at Mama Doll’s house was rewarding enough for his hard work, so he worked without complaining. Besides, he felt all the heavy lifting would eventually produce the muscles he desperately wanted to have.

Because of his mother’s work schedule, they didn’t frequent church much. It was on the weekends when he stayed with Mama Doll that he went to church. The last few times he went, they talked about angels. They told them about the angel that visited Mary. They told them about the angel that spoke to Daniel, who passed out when the angel Gabriel talked to him. They told them about the angels that ministered to Jesus while in the wilderness. The funniest story to him was about the angels going to see Abraham and Sarah to announce the fact that Sarah would have a son within a year. A couple of old people having a baby? “Eww,” he said.

He had been thinking about this as he sat in his closet. This past week, he had a question for Mrs. Hicks, the Sunday school teacher.

“Mrs. Hicks,” he said, treading lightly. He knew his question could be misconstrued as rude, but he wanted to understand the things she was telling them. Since he didn’t come to church much, Bryan knew he wanted to believe and wanted to ask questions to understand. “I don’t want to be disrespectful, and I know my question may be weird, but why does God need angels? He’s the almighty, powerful God. He created the whole world with His words. Why does He need assistants?”

Mrs. Hicks laughed. She didn’t tell him, but she enjoyed his inquisitiveness. She said, “Oh, Bryan, that’s easy. God is a family man. He doesn’t need them; He wants them. Life is more fun with family, don’t you think?”

Bryan thought about that. What would his life be like if he had an angel as a friend? That would be way cool.

“Finally! It’s about time you engaged me!”

“What!” Bryan shrieked. “Who are you?”

“I’m Mike, dude. What’s up? I’ve been waiting for you to want me here so I wouldn’t scare you too bad. Looks like I did it anyway, huh?”

“You’re an angel? Angels wear baseball hats?”

“Yeah, you like it?”

“Well … yeah,” Bryan couldn’t seem to get his words together.

“Hey, I’m sorry to scare you. I’ve been hanging out here for weeks, watching over you. Hoping you’d feel peace. I know you don’t like being here by yourself. But Chief doesn’t want you to be afraid. He wants you to have fun and enjoy life. You don’t seem to be doing much of that lately. Why?”

“In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t have any friends. Am I really talking to an angel right now? Can anyone else see you? I’m not going nuts, am I?” Bryan asked in a rush. He didn’t want anyone to come home and catch him “talking to himself.” He would never live that down. Furthermore, he said all of that without stuttering!

“Whoa, one question at a time, okay? Yes, you’re talking to an angel.” Mike said with a boisterous laugh. “No, one can see me. However, Mama Doll knows I’m here with you although she can’t see me. Some people can see me, while others can sense me. Either way, it’s okay. The knowledge that Chief cares enough to send us around is comfort enough for most people. No, you’re not nuts.”

Bryan heaved a big sigh of relief. “What now? What do I do?”

“Nothing just be confident in who you are. Chief has special plans …”

“Who’s Chief?”

“Well, God, of course!”

“You call God Chief? That’s cool!”

“Yeah, He’s cool. As I was saying, Chief has special plans for your life. Stick with us. I can’t promise you everything will be easy, but Chief and I will be here for you every step of the way. I can’t tell you everything, but I will say you will make a friend soon. You will be BFFs, as humans like to say, for many years to come. You should know I am mostly here because of Mama Doll. She prays for you every day. She knows Chief has great plans for you.”

“Wow.” Bryan was speechless. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Let Chief know you’re thankful and do your best to make Him proud, though you should know that He already is. “

Tears welled up in Bryan’s eyes. At that moment, he heard keys in the door, then his mom yelling, “Bryan, I’m home! Where are you?”

Mike shushed him, “Don’t tell her yet; we’ll talk later.”

Gathering himself, Bryan ran out to meet his mother. “Hey, Mom! You got home early tonight! Awesome!”

“Boy!” she said. “It’s eight o’clock. I’m late. What have you been up to that you didn’t notice the time?” Bryan was usually upset if she was a minute past seven-thirty.

Mike gave him a salute then held his finger up to his lips.

“I was in my room playing, Mom. I promise.”

“All right, help me get these groceries out the car. I’m hungry.”


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You can pick up Texts from an Angel on Amazon.

 

From your head to your heart

I’m thinking about what I know versus what I “know.” It’s said there is only eighteen inches between my head and my heart. Eighteen inches? That’s less than two feet! This is baffling to me.

db487841-3ce0-4a3b-81a8-67f12e2856bc-3909-00000384239f5c10-1This is how this looks to me: Knowledge in my head refers to things I’ve learned. I read it, I took a class, I heard about it. Maybe its information I have committed to memory. I may not have personal proof, but I believe what I’ve been told. However, when I receive new information, the information I have is challenged causing me to be unsure of what I knew before.

Knowledge in my heart is information I know based on evidence or rather history. For example, you can’t make me believe that my red shoes aren’t going to be comfortable. Every time I wear them, they are comfortable. I can take long walks without my feet hurting. Or, you would have a hard time convincing me that “Ann” is an evil woman. It would easier to believe that maybe Ann had a bad day or possibly an evil twin. I’ve known Ann for thirty years and she’s honest, sincere, kind, patient and loyal. Based on my history with Ann, I know it would take an extreme circumstance to rile her up.

This leads me to my case.

I know I’m great – in my head.

I know I’m smart – in my head.

I know I’m capable of reaching my goals – in my head.

I know I can succeed in business – in my head.

I know what the Bible says about me. I am God’s treasure. I am beloved. I know these things – in my head.

7697b5e3-83d3-43df-947d-b8073518431c-3909-00000384d3582293Then why don’t I live like I know? Why don’t I hold my head up like I know? Why is fear, self-sabotage, and retreat my default response? Time after time, I have this conversation with myself. I have this conversation with others. I journal about it. I write a goal list. I tell myself I can do it. I’m ready to go. Until it’s time to actually go or what we say now: level up.

Also, why do I have more confidence in Ann than I have in myself? Wasn’t I smart to pick a friend like her? Doesn’t that show good judgement on my part? Why can’t I give myself credit for my accomplishments?

Now, it’s a week later, and I haven’t started on the goal I set and I am fussing at myself. The self-condemnation and verbal abuse. The problem with this conversation is it’s counterproductive. Berating myself doesn’t motivate me to do anything different. Even when my peers encourage me, I can’t receive it because the negative things I say to myself is speaking louder in my head than the encouragement and vote of confidence they are offering.

You may say: Wait! Aren’t you the same girl who tells us about declarations and affirmations? Doesn’t that make you a hypocrite?

Well, yeah. Yes, it does make me a hypocrite. I’m a hypocrite in process of change. I recently learned my declarations must be statements that I believe. If it’s something I want to believe then I should repeat it as such. So, I will admit, this revelation has changed the way I do declarations. For example, instead of making the declaration “I am confident.” The new declaration or affirmation is, “I am learning to have confidence in myself. I am learning to acquire wisdom from my losses. I am also learning to celebrate my wins.”

The latter statement is different because it makes me personally responsible for steps to build my confidence level.

As I implement this new knowledge, my goal is to be more consistent in what I know I’m supposed to do; things I enjoy doing.

There’s much unrest this time of the year. Lots of conversation and bemoaning regarding what has or has not been accomplished for the calendar year. For me, it produces anxiety because, without a solid plan, the “discussion” is counterproductive. And didn’t we moan about this last year? Cycles…

So, I take time out to evaluate. And I deal with the why. Why didn’t I do what I set out to do? What about my thinking and sabotaged me into not pursuing my dreams?

What’s the point, you say? I’m reminding us that any successes we have achieved in life means we have the tools to be successful again. If we had the tools to win before, we can win again. Let that sink into your heart. Let’s learn to cheer for ourselves with the same energy we cheer for others.

I have a 7-Day Journey available on this page. Just click the link and download. Please follow and share. Let me know what you think. I think I’ll go back and read it again.

Work it!

Hello, Overcomers! How are you?

In this life of mental health, we tend to struggle with consistency. Consistency and discipline is so important.

For me, when I’m doing well, I forget that I have meds to take. I forget that I need to get out and get sunlight. I forget that I need to keep making positive declarations. I forget that I should get some form of exercise. I forget that I must continue to engage in things that contribute to me having good mental health.

I am the first to admit, you can be working your plan and still have “moments.” However, there are many times that the problem is that we’re not working our plan.

Even if you have to write a daily routine, stick to your plan. A deviation to your plan will clue you into the idea that something is off. We can be more proactive with our mental health when we have a plan.

Community – tell your plan to your community of friends. Allow them the space to remind you of your plan to help get you back on track. Allow them the opportunity to support you. Sometimes when you’re in the midst of a “moment,” you don’t realize you’re in that moment until it becomes some days and you find it hard to pull out of it.

Having a plan, and a community who knows your plan helps everyone involved to assist you. Also, ask your counselor to help you manage as new things come up. Utilize every resource available to you.

If you work your plan, your plan will work for you.

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I’d love to hear from you. What would you like for me to discuss?
How are you doing?
You can also follow me on my social media pages.

 

“Default Settings”

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If you’ve ever worked on a computer or a cell phone and went to settings, it will ask you if you would like to “restore to default settings.” What is your life default settings? How do you respond to life? Conflict? People? Certain situations? Let’s talk about it.

I learned something recently. Pain & trauma in your memory has no time line. So until it’s processed and healed, it will feel like it just happened and you go back to that place often. Many even feel through symptoms in the body (stomach pain, for example).

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I’m learning, as I heal, to remind myself that it’s over. The past, pain, nor trauma has no bearing on who I am or who I will be. Trauma doesn’t diminish my worth.

Fight for your healing. It won’t come for you. You must fight for it.

You’re worth it.

Having said that, I am in pursuit of changing my “default setting.” I was talking to someone the other day and I was telling them how I usually respond to conflict-that it was my default setting.

Later, I began to think about that. I didn’t like it.

Don’t I have the power to change? Don’t I have the right to adjust my thinking, my perspective, and my actions? Of course I do.

I’ve added another component to my mental health. It’s call DBT (Dialectical behavior therapy). In my limited understanding (I’ve only been to one class), DBT teaches you coping and management skills. The major thing I’m working on right now is learning how to properly process anxiety. I am determined that anxiety will not run or ruin my life.

I believe that the undercurrent that produces anxiety can be processed and healed. When I say undercurrent, I’m speaking of the pain that is stored in your body. You don’t realize it’s still there, but it doesn’t mean we can’t heal from it. I often wonder where anxiety comes from because, in my mind, I’m not thinking about anything. In many recent instances, I’m having a good time before it shows up. In my mind, this is the undercurrent; a warning of something I need to be aware (but not afraid) of.

I’m not a professional, but I do a lot of reading and researching. I’m a thinker/over thinker. The purpose of this post is to give us another perspective that will hoped lead to answers and healing. And to hopefully have a better understanding regarding what I’m experiencing. It helps me to change my default settings.

No, I don’t want to be restored to my default settings. The default setting have not served me well. I am creating new settings. How about you? Let’s do it!

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Love, Hope & Joy

Hello all! I decided today would be a great day to share an excerpt from my book, Texts from an Angel. Enjoy…

Amy was so depressed. She didn’t want to bother her friends. She knew they were busy. However, after being in bed three days, her guardian angel, Hope, was flustered.

“I hate to bust your angelic wings, but what she needs is a little Joy. No pun intended.” Joy quipped.

“Oh dear heaven!” Hope slapped her wings together in frustration. “Here you are again, in my personal business.”

“You don’t have any personal business. This is all God’s business or did you forget? I keep telling you the Joy of the Lord is where strength comes from.”

“And we also know that ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick.’ That’s why I’m here. So go…” While Hope and Joy are arguing, Amy is holding a bottle of pills. She’s sick of it all.

“Ladies! Ladies!” Love steps in. “Stop it. You’re off focus again. Look.” Amy was pouring a glass of water and had several bottles of pills lined up on the counter. Hope and Joy looked at each other. They knew what to do. Before Amy could reach for the first bottle, a strong wind blew through her kitchen and pills and bottles were flying everywhere!

Conveniently, most of the pills flew down the drain. Amy was so stunned with what was going on around her she didn’t hear her doorbell ringing. Her best friend, Keya, was at the door. After ringing the doorbell for several minutes, Keya decided to use her spare key to get in.

Hearing all the commotion, Kenya rushed to the kitchen. “Amy! What’s the matter? I got your text. Why didn’t you tell me you were so depressed? I’m so sorry I haven’t been here.” Amy was still stunned as she looked at her friend.

“You got a text? I turned my phone off three days ago.” Keya showed her a text message that came from her phone. It read, “I love you, sister, but I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry.”

After a long talk, Keya decided to take Amy home with her until her mother flew into town. Spending time in the nurturing warmth of a mother’s love would help tremendously. She would also seek counseling and formulate a safety plan.

A safety plan is a specific plan you set in place for yourself to ensure your safety whether physical or emotional. The plan usually includes coping mechanism, phone numbers, and maybe personal reminders for you or ways you can distract yourself.  

If you are ever feeling like Amy, please contact either of these numbers:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255
Or text: Crisis Text Line: Text RISE to 741741  

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This is an excerpt from my book, Texts from an Angel. You can purchase it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QC2GD93/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_BKGPCbDK92FJ3

For a paper copy, email me at nicolesharonwrites@gmail.com

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You can handle it.

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You can handle being healed…

I was talking to a friend, and she said these words to me. “Nicole, you can handle being healed.” I stopped her mid-sentence. Wait! Ma’am! What you say?

So, here’s the thing. I have been on this journey to healing and wholeness. I’ve been asking God, what does that look like? How will I act? Who will I be? What will change?

Trauma, pain, sadness, low self-esteem, insecurity, isolation, etc. becomes comfortable when that’s all you know. It effects the way you view your life, your relationships, other people… It’s all a smoke screen. It doesn’t allow you to see life clearly.

Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, it is so uncomfortable. I admit, there is fear in the unknown. Who am I without pain? How will my perspective change once the negative thoughts that have become my friends are evicted from my mind? What will I think about? Who will my new “friends” be? (Can you tell I overthink?)

No one can give me the blueprint of how it’s going to look and, as much as I would like to know, the date when the project of rebuilding my life will be complete. Note to self: settle in sis, for the rest of your life you will be evolving, growing, changing, rebuilding – constantly under construction. Learn to enjoy the beauty of each season.

I think I will. How about you? Let’s make this resolve together: I resolve to go through my journey and trust that God will never leave me. I don’t know what the journey cost me, but I know the payoff is priceless. I resolve to stay in the fight. Though bruised and scarred, I will win.

I stand in strength.

Knowing God made me who I am.

He doesn’t waste His energy on anything or anyone that is not of value.

I can do this.

I will stand.

I will fight.

I am more than a conqueror.

I am an overcomer.

The pressure will not break me.

I will not be silent.

He created me for greatness.

I am whole.

I am prosperous.

The victory is mine.

I am an overcomer.

ABBA

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Myself and a group of ladies have been studying the names of God. This week we are focusing on Abba. It means God our Father.

Too many in this world have never experienced the love of a father. Many may not know who their father is, or maybe he’s absent, unavailable, too busy or deceased. Maybe your father is great! Imagine that God is even greater than that! The key is to learn not to compare what we know of earthly fathers to our heavenly Father. There is no comparison. I understand, however. You have to remind yourself that God is not like any human that you will ever meet.

From Believe.com:

Abba means “Daddy, Father” – Abba is the most intimate form of God’s name, showing us His character as our loving daddy. He is the One who can be fully trusted, the One we can lean on, the One who cares about all that concerns us. Just as a godly father’s presence in our daily lives is one of protection, security, and unconditional love, the constant presence of our heavenly Father is what gives us the strength and covering we need for this life’s journey. This is one of my favorite names of God because in it He conveys His heart for each of us, as His children. He gives us the privilege of being called his own sons and daughters. He provides the way for us to call out to Him and the assurance, beyond a doubt, that He hears and will answer. In our most difficult to painful times in life, we can crawl up into the lap of our heavenly Father, and know that He is for us, and His arms will hold us secure. (https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/10-powerful-names-of-god-and-what-they-mean-for-us-today.html)

And so that we would know for sure that we are his true children, God released the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts—moving us to cry out intimately, “My Father! You’re our true Father!” Galatians 4:6 TPT

So when you’re feeling bad and it feels like your life is a constant storm, call for your Father. He will help you. He will comfort you. He will give you peace.

So, here is my prayer for you: In a world where fathers are absent, overly busy, overworked, stressed, silent, or just uninvolved…

I pray that you experience God as your ultimate Father. I pray that you experience His compassion, grace, and consistent love for you. It’s such a pure love that could never be earned or worked for. I pray that you will begin to experience Abba (God our Father) in such an intimate way that you will never view yourself or others the same again. He has plenty to say to you and he wants to be involved in every area of your life. Have a wonderful week! Blessings!

Tonight, at 8pm EST, I will be live on my Facebook page. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

https://www.facebook.com/lifeofanovercomer/