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

Social Media

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…

Social Media

©2020 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Field Days

This past summer I had the honor of serving with Kaleo, a missions organization that partners with church plants (like Swerve Church) in select cities and states to help impoverished communities through various outreach efforts (i.e. assisting with school organization, food pantries, shelters, street evangelism, prayer walks, community clean-ups, etc.). In a nutshell, we spread love and share the gospel.

Kaleo hosts church youth groups (junior/high school) from all over the United States interested in serving, and they chose me (and a couple of others) to lead these groups that were arriving weekly to serve in Brooklyn (Bushwick). Such a great honor and experience. The harvest was and still is plentiful! May God bless the workers still there and send more according to His will!

Now I had originally planned on keeping my followers updated often throughout my time there, but I ended up only documenting a little on my Instagram stories (now highlights) and on a couple of posts. Between our long, sweaty days of serving and leading debriefs, it honestly wasn’t a high priority for me to talk to anybody but God (ha!)…’cause your girl was so tired! Just being honest.

I did, however, share a bit of my heartfelt perspective over on Kaleo Missions’ Blog that I wrote during my deployment. Though I was there for only a season, my investment was eternal.

In case you’re wondering what I’m doing now on this adventure with Jesus…welllll, my calling remains, folks! I will forever work with youth in some capacity, and I’ve recently adopted 22 little 4-year-olds. What can I say?! I am now crazy for Pre-K! 🤗🤪

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“If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”

©2019 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Sweetness in July

Oh, God
please tell July
to be sweet to me!

May it adorn me with it’s sun
Make me shine like a penny
Let’s walk many streets
And love, oh so many!

May it drop me a beat
Help me take steps towards my dreams
May it foster new hopes
And build new teams!

Like Scruff McGruff
May it take a bite out of crime
Bring swords and make peace
During this time

Let’s go to Austin and listen to live music!
Let’s go to bed; I’ll praise You while I sleep
Let’s sing karaoke with no care in the world
Let’s laugh, laugh, laugh
Way more than we weep

May it cheer me on!
And bring great support
May it say hello to new ventures
And a harvest of praise reports

May it tell me a joke I’ll remember
The cornier, the better!
And indulge in cute sandals
For this hot Summer weather

May it give Fall and Winter a heads up
Its cooperation is needed
And remind them of the details
May each one be heeded!

May it be full of great feasts – dinners, breakfast, and lunch
May it lead to parks on Sunday
And maybe even brunch!

I don’t know what all of Your will is
I must wait and see

But Oh, God
please tell July
to be sweet to me!

©2019 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

When All Feels Wrong

When all feels wrong
Yet God is pleased
Hold on
Hold on

When cracks expand to pot holes
And threads part seams
Hold on
Hold on

When smiles twist and turn
Upside down
When hearts plummet you 6 feet
Underground
When the jury is hung
When only you’re around
Hold on
Hold on

When all feels wrong
Yet God is pleased

Let us remember, the
lions’ den and their mouths that shut, the
praise that broke the bars at midnight, the
faith that slew the arrogant Philistine, the
crucifixion that split the temple curtain in two, the
girl who was “only asleep”

Thank God for, the
Red Sea that parted, the
cloud that rose above the tent, the
virgin who conceived a King, the
grace and unconditional love that leads us to repent

Oh God, Let us not forget
Until we hear
Well done
Well done

I will praise you, Lord , with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. – Psalms 9:1‭-‬2 (NLT)

©2018 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Grief + Healing

My dear aunt passed away a few months ago. I did not attend her funeral, but the Lord knows, as does she, I was present when it mattered.

Since then, I’ve been grieving. More importantly, I’ve been honest with God about my grief and have trusted Him with it’s appropriation. I’ve had days of super strength, days of stoic numbness, a few sudden with tears, and some with spurts of laughter. Today was laughter and tears. All days, gratefully, I’ve had peace.

Just this morning I met a lady that looked like my aunt did in her younger years. Man, it was so good to see her. She was listening to an audio book (something my aunt would be doing) and she had a lot of bags, and a lot of things in those bags (something like my aunt) lol. I chuckled to myself, teared up, and thanked God for the spurt of laughter. This is grief…coupled with healing.

I think it’s so important for us to not just stay stuck with our grief, but to also marry it with healing found purely in God, The Father. We can move past it properly this way. Do you know that it’s okay to move past it? Have you granted yourself permission?

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven…a time to cry and a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Now if it’s your season to cry buckets, I get it. By all means cry on without remorse! But if you know deep down in your heart, that you should have been dancing a long time ago, this is your opportunity to cast your care for real, for real…or again any way. Guilt is NOT from God. Never feel guilty for God’s favor. Feel GRATEFUL!

1 Peter 5:7 says: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.” Do you believe that?! So that means, yes, even though He allowed your loss to occur, God cares for YOU!! Is scripture going to be your foundation or are you going to believe a lie? The choice is yours.

Let’s not just carry this weight of grief. Let’s feel it in all of it’s gory, sometimes seemingly unreasonable pain and injustice. Ugh. Let’s release it unto God and release each other to process it in ways unique to ourselves.

Let’s give the devil a black eye and an eviction notice, telling him HE CAN’T RUIN OUR LIVES by causing us to tighten our grip in seasons we should be loosening it.

Let’s also pray for appropriation in our grief, so that it is not displaced; turning into bitterness, addiction, and who knows what else. Let’s not let it begin squatting on our hearts; extending past it’s seasonal expiration.

God wants you joyous! That’s one of the fruits of His spirit! And I would personally hate to see you skip past your happy season, because you’re holding on too long to the sad one. You know what I mean? I know you do.

Well, that’s all I really wanted to say. I don’t have a fancy punny ending or anything like that for this post. Oh! I did see an Instagram post by another person who was grieving. They suggested writing a letter to a loved one and releasing it in a balloon. I thought that was a pretty neat idea, and I think that will help me in my process. God-willing, we’ll do it, as writing was something special my aunt and I shared together. A letter seems swell.

In the meantime, pray for me while I pray for you. Enjoy this short clip of my aunt (Author and Speaker, Andrea Grayson) sharing her testimony at a Women’s Conference in San Diego a couple of years ago. Love her and you so much.

Trusting Doors #trust #faith 

I went to Sprouts Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago. It was all a normal trip, and nothing happened out of the ordinary…until I went to exit and approached the automatic sliding doors. They didn’t open.  I didn’t think much about it initially.  I just accepted the fact that they were having mechanical difficulties on this day, and so I gently pried the doors open, exited, and went on my merry way.

As I drove off in my car, I thought about those doors again.  I wasn’t frustrated, but I recalled that this was actually the second time this week that automatic sliding doors didn’t open as they should.  Though both times I wasn’t making haste enough to run into the doors, I wondered who would have.  I couldn’t shake the thought of how many of us trust mechanical doors to open, almost to a fault.  I thought of how many of us walk into elevators, confidently expecting them to open and close, take us up and down and on to our designated floors.  I thought about how many of us trust creations far more than we trust our faithful Creator.

It is too often that we rely solely on what is seen, when the power of our unseen God is insurmountable.  Though His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and not always making sense to our finite human minds (Isaiah 55:8), He can be trusted more than anyone or anything!  Hallelujah!  Be Encouraged!  Unlike unreliable doors, God has no difficulty in coming through for us.  He does not malfunction, He does not slip up, and gratefully He never takes a day off.  Hallelujah again!  Thanks to Jesus we can approach God with faith and confidence.  And when we walk thoughtlessly through automatic sliding doors that open with ease, may we be reminded of how similarly, if not more, our trust should be in the God who made them.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
– Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)