I'm Talking About "Them"

Over the years, as God has been shaping and refining me, I have noticed that my character defends me time and time again. I’ve seen the enemy silenced, narratives debunked, and foes scattered. God knows how to get things done, my friends, and what an honor it is to be used to getthingsdone for the kingdom! It’s worth it to just show up sometimes.

The Lord  will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

Deuteronomy 28:7 (NKJV)

I know society tells us not to dwell on the past. I’ve said it too, but today I’m talking about it. I’m talking about them. Those we know have had negative conversations about us behind our backs. Those frenemies who have fired shots with backhanded compliments and somehow caused public humiliation…without public notice. Those who have allowed their jealousy to rise up and morph them into bullies, making us their target. Those who have rallied troops against you…and me. Those who have masked their nosiness with concern, only to vomit all you’ve shared, with, guess who? more of them!

This is what I have to say to you about them.

Forgive them.

Call me naïve, but I wholeheartedly believe that there are so many who know not what they do when they do those evil things. We don’t know all that is in our deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9)! I think few people are hurting us intentionally, and many are living and loving the best way they can…even if that way is trash. Forgiveness doesn’t mean a rocked relationship will be restored to what it was. It may be better, it may be very different, it may or may not be both.

Forgiveness does not mean excusing.

– C.S. Lewis

Forgiveness can be super tough, but is always worth it. It keeps our most prized relationship (with God) intact and functioning healthily. The sin of unforgiveness is way too costly for us to allow it to gestate. It can manifest through bitterness, physical pain, strife, sickness, disease, etc., as it slowly… separates…us…from…God. Christ gave us a prescription for many things on the cross. Pardon them, He pardons you (Matt. 6:14).

Don’t bend for them.

I know the room is dark, but keep showing up and letting that light of yours shine. oh, and please don’t dim it when you get there. I know you feel alone, but God is on your side, fighting for you! Dwell on the good that God has done and keep a grateful heart. Don’t let them make you shrink back or give in. I know you don’t want them around, but God has prepared a pretty awesome table for you in their presence. The spread is for you, friend! 😉

You prepare a feast [table] for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

Psalm 23:5 (NLT)

Pray and release them.

The truth is, we’re not the only one He loves, ya know. God loves them like crazy, too. They too are image bearers of Christ, (though it may be a greatly distorted image in this season of their life). We may unknowingly be a “them” for someone else. If you can find it in your heart to forgive and genuinely pray for them, it’ll do humanity some good. If you can release that prayer to heaven and leave it there, it’ll do you some good. Sometimes we forget that we really can change the world with prayer. As my late aunt would say, “prayer is the most you can do.” When we release them in prayer, the matter is out of our hands and head, left in the best hands of all. We are free to be, trusting that it’s taken care of by a Righteous Judge.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

This song is an oldie but goodie that God used to bind up my wounds and reaffirm truth. I hope it encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:13 (NIV)

©2020 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

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I’ve been comparing myself to Paul instead of you
And it’s amazing what Acts will help you do
Walking forward with my head held high
Drinking courage as I scroll pass
Bye…post.

Sorry, not sorry
You’re no longer welcome to my eyes
I can’t let them get lazy or God-forbid
Hypnotized
To gouge or not to gouge?
I’ll set a boundary for you instead
It’s worth it. I’m worth it.
The sin will only leave me dead

Paul had a thorn like me
And it kept him on the low
He was posted up everywhere
But never had a formal show
His fruit told his story
My fruit tell mine too

So if you’re ever scrolling and don’t see me…
No worries.
I’m good luv.
I’m serving.
I’m new.

Double tap, no more likes
Finally, are we free?
Remove the scale
Stop weighing him!
and her!
and them!
and me!

I’ll see you when I see you
Won’t miss you when I don’t
But every now and then
I’ll stalk your stories
Hmm…or maybe I won’t

This affair has ended
Those compliments you can keep
‘Cause then I’ll have to accept your criticism
And I ain’t lettin’ you sow that deep…

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©2020 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

#Kingdom #Business is Booming…

Today, I have the most amount of friends that I have ever had in my life at one time. I mean, I have had plenty of acquaintances, but the number of genuine people that have been a friend to me can be counted on one hand. The number is small, and personally, I like it that way, but I feel God stretching me.

I try to give the people and things that I care about my undivided attention. I’m the person who’s not on their cell phone at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I also don’t like rationing out my love. I like to give out as much as I can for keeps, and for free, if you’re not a pig, that is (See Matthew 7:6). Up until recently (like hours ago recently…this is fresh!), my analytical mind figured a small number of friends would allow me to strategically drop lump sums of love on everybody, resulting in happiness for all. It was a big fat burrito versus numerous street tacos kind of approach. street taco burritoIf you ask me, it’s a brilliantly inappropriate formula that works as long as the numbers don’t increase. But, Kingdom business is booming, and something’s gotta change. Times like these make me happy. They are those sweet and sour crooked path being made straight types of moments, and I’m all about it! I’m noticing that there are suddenly more mouths to feed, and I am but one chef cooking in the kitchen. There are suddenly more sheep to tend and I’m just a little ol’ sheep myself. Kingdom business is booming, and something’s gotta change.

business booming

cut the stringsMany of my friends, like myself, are probably used to my level of availability. Their level of support and maturity vary, but regardless, it comes down to me. I’ve been the kind, single friend with a different type of busyness that truthfully, I haven’t respected much. I’ve had a willingness to be there and set myself aside. Sometimes it’s a labor of love, which is great and necessary, but mostly it’s been a neglectful puppet act that displeases the Lord, and myself. It’s been an unhealthy form of bondage, like all forms of bondage are…unhealthy. My puppet strings are showing, and I can’t do it anymore.

As I sit here on this threshing floor with Jesus, looking at all the dreams and opportunities that He’s dropping on purpose for me, I realize that there is no way I can attain them with this posture. I am weak and I need His perfect strength to make me strong. I need Him to take it from here.

…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 12:9 (NIV)

Lord, please forgive me for taking Your place, and getting in Your way. It is not my job to meet the needs of my friends (or anyone). In fact, there is absolutely no way that I can do it, for You are their Shepherd! I see that Your family is growing. Your church is growing, and many new relationships are forming that I just can’t keep track of. Thank You for every friend, brother, and sister You have blessed me with. I submit them all to you, Father. Past, present, and future. I entrust them all in Your hands, and ask that You would appropriate each one. I am free to do Your will and mine, and I do not have to apologize or feel bad for doing either one, which are truly the same. I love You, and I thank You for bringing this up. Thank You for allowing me to come to the end of myself and recognize the err in my ways and my need of You, My Savior.

I thank You for these important life changes, and I ask that You would help me to set appropriate boundaries and help all who are affected by them to adjust accordingly . Snip my puppet strings! I remove the pressure off of myself to be someone that I am not, and I embrace imperfect me, and choose to love her. *sigh* Thank You for Your burden that is light, and Your yoke that is easy. You are such a Good Father. I ask that You would continue to do what You do, and help me to follow in Your way. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

 

#Boundaries #Liberation

Lately I’ve been annoyed. I’ve been annoyed because people (mostly loved ones) have been so dang nosy and just all up in my business! People wanting to know Who?… What?…When?…Where?…Why?…How? about this, that, and the other…ay yi yi Whyyyyy?! Ugh! No more. Now truthfully, it’s partly my own frickin’ fault for communicating over time with certain people about certain things in the first place. A little bit of this or that out of excitement, boredom, or various counts of random rambling, but I’m buckling down now…fa real. People don’t know or understand that certain topics or things are off limits if you’re not consistent and it’s not communicated. Show people how to treat you. This is an ongoing learning experience for me. Not trying to toot my own horn, but I’m a great teacher *toot toot*. Nonetheless, I can only teach that which I’ve successfully learned. I’ve learned a lot in this little lifetime, but I’ve still got a ways to go. Let’s Go!!

Maybe I’m just fed up and so just taking grown to another level, but sometimes that’s what it takes shoot. Some serious changes are about to be made and I’m reallly looking forward to the results. I’m ready. It’s about time! 

All frustration aside, when it comes down to it, I am greatly loved and in turn, greatly cared for. They all mean well, they really do. They give advice, suggestions, opinions, insight and “I hear them”, but, it’s simply not always necessary and I forgive them for the things that they don’t even realize they’re doing, and myself for granting permission to impose. My loved ones want to know that I’m okay and often fear that I may not be. I can’t submit unto their fears and live for them and God at the same time. I can’t and I won’t. I think this is part of the reason I’m going back West. Just part. The Lord’s a multi-tasker like no other ya know. I don’t have all the answers and when I do, I don’t need to share them unless of course I want to or feel led to. So that’s why the mold is breaking. That’s why the umbilical cord is being cut. This is Liberation. (cue the music haha)

You will know what I want you to know. The more I learn and know about me, the more I can teach you and I’m happy to do it.

My friend shared one day…

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you. –  Dr. Seuss

I love it and I believe it. It’s time for the new Nu to get even more true y’all! It’s time to set some new boundaries and really give myself a chance at an even greater future. *sings* “Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh Oooooh…I got a new attitude!” haha.

Wish me luck and def keep me in your prayers as I do what I do in the most loving way possible. Love you & have a great weekend!