Monday, May 31, 2010

i want to be authentic.

never in my life did i think i would be where i am now. never did i consider falling into the things i have let take control of my mind and body. never did i imagine a life without laughter and joy. never did i visualize myself walking without letting my lord drive me.

writing is about being honest with yourself. i am not always honest with myself, but writing has helped me to let go and be real. i think we all have issues with being real these days. i want to be authentic. i think that every person, whether they realize it or not, truly desires to find their own authentic beauty. every person wants to be fully known by someone else. we just don`t know how. so i am going to start with being honest with myself.

i was so strong. a year ago i was determined to do the will of my lord. i was willing to let my jesus talk to me and guide me through every decision i made. i was in the word every day. he taught me something new with every fragment of scripture i read. i prayed. every day for hours i sat in the corner of the nest, without doubt, i would be there. i let my life revolve around my time with god. i did not allow myself to do my homework until i had spent time with him. i fully believed that if i gave my time to god, he would give it back to me. and he did. every day i worshiped him in ways other than song. i discovered my love for writing and worshiped him with that. my corner where i sat through the pounding rain when the sky made love with the ground, the flowers blooming colors and lines of bumblebees in springtime green, snowflake evenings of michael buble and hot chocolate burning tongues. i was there, and willing to hear the voice of my lord.

it was there that i actively sought god with every breath.

as time went by, i slowly allowed sin to creep into my life. inch by inch darkness slithered into corners where i had not dusted in a while. without realizing, i let it sit there. it twisted me. it sat and twisted. sat and twisted. thorny vines sprouted and multiplied as they slithey pushed and turned and squeezed portions of my heart. suffocated pieces of me that made me who i am. suffocated the real me. authentic me. i could not discover my authentic heart because i had let sin capture my thoughts, my emotions, my body. once it took control, it thrived. it clutched every part of me that`s real and contorted it. it chained me down. i tried to run but i couldn`t escape, the chains only let me go so far before they tugged at my arms and sent me flying in reverse onto my back to start the pain all over again in the same ritual. running and falling. running and falling. part of me wanted to stay that way. i was so comfortable with my lifestyle that i gave up fighting. i had let my guard down. i allowed myself to be fully known by another person. i broke the covenant that had been set by god. i allowed myself to be changed by something other than Him. all i could pray was “help.”

the crazy thing about jesus, is that he looks at us in our most broken, rugged state: hair tangled in knots, face dirty, knees stained, clothes ripped and hearts broken, and he has compassion on us. he can pick us up wherever we are and give us hope.

i am leaving for summer project in ocean city tomorrow morning. for the first time in a long time i feel as though i am not chained down to my sin. god has always walked with me throughout this time, it was my stubbornness that kept me from changing. there are so many things that i regret, but at the same time, i would not have learned had i not experienced those things. i am coming back to my contentment in myself and in my salvation with a new perspective. with new eyes. this time has been rough and this project is going to push me, but i expect god to change my heart. it is through brokenness that we are strengthened. every note i sing, “break my heart for what breaks Yours,” is a prayer to be changed and molded and broken for the heart of jesus.

i was reading in my bible this morning when i fell asleep. when i woke up i guess the fan had turned the pages because it was set on a new passage. i had highlighted a verse that i hadn`t studied in a while:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” - Proverbs 4:23

this summer i want to be flexible, not just to the needs of other people, but to god. i have not given him the control that he asks for over my life, and i have seen where that can go. there are so many things god is speaking to me about right now but not enough time to write them all down. i cannot wait to serve this summer and to rediscover the freedom jesus has given to me. it is about dying every single day to our sin and praying that god will take control. praying for indifference to anything that is not his will for my life. and running the moment we notice deception, lies, seductiveness and fear, that satan throws in front of us every day.

jesus, i am so weak right now. but i know that i can have hope for the future that you have planned for me. teach me what it means to guard my heart. break my heart for what breaks yours this summer. prepare my hands and heart for the people i will meet and the conversations i will have while i am there. i want to be real. i want to be authenticly renewed into the woman you created me to be. help me to see people through your eyes, with compassion and wisdom. strengthen me to have joy and contentment in You.

hillary nicole

Saturday, May 29, 2010

morning chippers

"but blessed is the man who trusts in the lord, whose confidence is in him. he will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. it does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. it has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure, who can understand it? i the lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."
jeremiah 17:7-10

i love being outside. there`s something about nature after it rains that brings peace to my soul. sitting on the porch, protected by the screen, yet still taking part in what`s going on out there. listen to the birds. they are beautiful! singing out as loud as they can to the lord! listen to the birds, how they glorify him with every breath. in a way, it is like that with all nature. every living thing, except man, lives, breathes and dies for what it was created to be. wouldn`t it be freeing if we just lived solely for what we were created to be? without worry or doubt because we knew what we were doing was what we were created for? god created us to glorify him! he gives us our talents and passions and little quirky habits so that we can use them! we are supposed to be excited about our gifts and use them every day! just like the gift of salvation- he gave it to us so that we could take it. he wants us to be with him. he is jealous for us. jealous of the things that capture us and lead our lives.

i wish that i could be like the birds. they trust their creator, knowing that every day without doubt, that they were created to sing and chirp and peep and squawk and chip and pipe and tweedle and tweet and warble to glorify the lord. why can`t i be that confident?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


it begins with one drop. spatter on my forehead, trickle down my freckled, sun-kissed cheeks to the tip of my chin. drip. to the ground. smash to the concrete. and then another. and then another. within seconds heaven opens up and the sky pours nourishment onto the green earth like an child`s overturned swimming pool. purples tulips. maples crimson. acorns tumble. thunder rolls. a bowling ball as it pounds the angel`s alleys and crash to lightening. sudden golden fire sparks as far as i can see. jagged ends and crisp turns traveling down and down the tapestry of the skies deep, clouded, blue, black canvass. burning sensations. i feel the livid passion of the Creator with every bowl. every time he strikes out. every time without doubt he comes through. why do i doubt Him? His love is so thick with the rain. bring the rain. soil loosens, my heart softens. rain becomes peaceful. comfort, to hear the pitter patter on the roofs of houses and window`s glass. the drenched earth breathes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


We walked from the car to the field carrying our blankets and warm cups of love. The grass was slightly damp and cold, slippering my toes on flip flops as I walked. We found the perfect patch of grass in the middle where we spread the blanket. He took out his guitar and began strumming. The crisp sound of new strings resonate, colorfully inviting. I lay there staring at the stars God planted in the pitch purple sky. Gleaming spirits glistening gold. They each are different, yet the same. Little beats of radiance, dartle back and forth like puppets on a string. Beaming bubbles shimmer in the most beautiful dance of all. The music continued. Picking lightly in the back of my mind as he sang. I remembered all the times I have gazed up at the dazzling animated sparkles and the sensation of being such a small, yet important piece of this world.

Monday, May 24, 2010


A searing stab penetrates the stomach, turning itself one way and then another, as if to carve out the only hopeful piece of me: my broken heart. Suffering torture of the mind through body. Physical illness overwhelms my flesh in throbbing nausea. Unexpected purging. Sensations travel up my throat to tongue, teeth, lips. Nervousness: never ending whirlpools rage through the body. Memories sting my mind, leading to the repetitive agony of heartache from my tingling toes to the tip of my head. Swelling, puffy, pink eyes bring pretty teardrops to the flawless, porcelain, rose kissed cheeks. Slow motion,the desolate room spins. The oak floor drenched in wet, salty pain. Naked, I stand. Light beams through the open sun-soaked window, casting soft shades onto my bare body. Beauty at its best. Absolute vulnerability. I want to run. I want to run into the arms of my prince and never let go. Forever we would be together. No drama. No manipulation. No lies. I want to wallow in his strength and dance in the joy of what love means. I want to be drenched in His silky, white purity. I am a broken woman. But brokenness makes us stronger. Transforms us into something more beautiful: what we were created to be.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

let Him.

I remember the day Kerry pulled me aside and asked me to lead the congregation in worship on Sunday morning. I was uncertain. The massive, newly-built, white church was a flawless building containing not-so-flawless people. In an ultra conservative-traditional Presbyterian Church, where the adults love you just because you`re youthful, the elders pick out every flaw possible, the youth struggle with the pull between the traditional and contemporary and the music ministry flourished, we led.

God provided me with an amazing way to minister to others in a way in which I am passionate about through a gift that we all can relate to. Music. On stage, mic in hand, I let go of all emotions breaking through the barriers that held us back from unity. God has pushed me to become more than I deserve. Although I had accomplished a lot in high school vocally, nothing comes close to what God did through my time with the music ministry. Music became more than something I enjoyed to do, it became something that I passionately desired to use to share my testimony with others. I am honored to have been a part of such an amazing experience. That God trusted his young daughter to spread the gospel with her voice in song. I witnessed lives changed.

I remember the summer God`s scripture became real to me. His words were already embedded in my heart through song, and now they were jumping off the pages of my Bible and into my soul. He told me that I am his daughter and he will protect me. He promised me His perfect plan and taught me that I had nothing to fear. He was preparing me for a time of uncertainty, where I would face fear. This was during a mission project called Youth With A Mission. The long days before my trip, where the sandy, summer breeze brushed by my face turning pages in the pink treasure that held my deepest thoughts, were crucial to my spiritual growth. Those eleven days before I left for Florida on the veranda, overlooking the turquoise ocean with the comforting scent of coffee and colorful, fresh fruit breakfasts, were where the Lord told me he was about to do something big in my life. I asked him to prepare my hands and heart for how he was going to use me in the next two weeks of service.

It is through brokenness that we grow stronger; like a muscle torn, we are strengthened by our dedication and endurance. God has placed a desire in my heart to fully know him, and fully know myself. I can never fully know myself if I do not know Him, for He created every intricate part of me. People can change if they meet Jesus face to face. For He can meet you wherever you are and carry you, if only you let Him. Sing. Love. Dance. You-be-You. It`s freeing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

laughing harmonies

white zinfandel in hand, chilled by sweet blackberries, we sat on the couch in her cozy home. we talked about my insecurities for the things i am meant to be pursuing. i poured my heart out. i haven`t been singing at all. maybe its because i was praised so much in high school, and now there is lack of encouragement from the ones i have loved the most. maybe its just because sarah has been in florence all semester and i didn`t have a friend who knew my heart to tell me the truth. or maybe it was because he hated my gift. once again, satan had gained control of my thoughts and i let him manipulate me into thinking that i wasn`t supposed to use my passions because that would be selfish.

it does not matter how people react to my love for singing harmonies, my bellowing laugh or my desire to go into something that isn`t considered a “real job” in this country. what matters is what god is doing in my heart while i do these things. for so long i have let my fears of peoples` opinions rule the decisions that make up part of who i am. because people told me i was selfish for enjoying my talent to sing, i stopped singing. when i received mean glares because my laugh could be heard from afar, i held it in. when relatives and well-respected elders said it was stupid to go into missions, i looked into other careers. i was so concerned about what others thought of me that i let my fears of not being loved for who i was created to be, prevent me from fully knowing myself in Christ. i was trying to please those around me, but by doing this, i was stifling the chance for god to use me to reach others.

it is about my heart. it is about my talents- but not for me, and not even for others. but for God. i have come to realize that my voice is not mine, it is God`s. he has trusted me with such a gift of his that i am able to be used by him to reach people in ways that not everyone else can. i realize that my voice is different. but i never wanted to embrace it for the fear of other people thinking i was selfishly using it to be praised. i was afraid of being seen as self-centered. i was scared to ask to sing solos in church because i was scared of others thinking i wanted to steal the limelight. but i have come to realize that it is selfish to not share my voice with the world. (i even have trouble typing this statement right this very minute for the fear of you judging me as selfish for saying that). but she helped me understand this in a different light. because my voice is God`s way of reaching people, it is not selfish to share it with others. it is something that i love and passionate enjoy sharing with others. i long to be seen for who i truely was created to be and part of that is my voice. God created me with this voice because he wanted me to use it. it would be selfish to be anything other than indifferent towards things that are not the will of God. and part of God`s will for my life is to sing. he wouldn`t just create me with passions and desires to be used in high school and then thrown away when i graduated. there has got to be a reason for this passion in my life.

lord, change my heart. make me indifferent to anything that is not your will for my life. make me the woman you created me to be and help me to be indifferent about what people think. all that matters is that i serve you. i am worshiping you when i use the talents you placed in me. you created a hope for me and a future for my passions. nothing you create is worthless. help me to let go and be freed by finding my authentic heart.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


he holds the key. he knows my every flaw, every joy, every sorrow, every scar, every freckle. he knows the things of which im embarrassed and the things of which i rejoice over. he knows the sins ive committed, the selfish thoughts and words that consume me. he knows my deepest desires, my passions, my insecurities. every inch of my heart and mind- every drop of blood that has dripped from my body- he knows.

i always thought i would allow the key of my heart to only one person, but now im not so sure. it has been taken and it has been abused. its been loved and its been hated. its carefully, slowly kissed and its been angrily, rapturously stifled. the key has been contorted into something it wasnt created for. its been hidden. its been kept. but it has also been set free. it has been let go. it has limitlessly soared. it has touched souls. it has given all its had. its been burnt out. but its been filled to overflow into the garden. where ripe fruit juices gush harmoniously onto the ground. red, luscious cascading tartness and sprinkled sugar melt down my hand as i drink in the pouring out of the spirit. and abundant thickness of the fruit play bountiful in my garden. the garden of my inner sanctuary, which can be made a flawless, transparent, unadulterated palace. this palace is where the key belongs. the key that the only ONE may enter and may satisfy.

a budding romance

i have been keeping a journal on and off since i was thirteen years old. from a young age i always loved english the most out of all of my classes. i would take writing a paper over taking a test any time. i began keeping my journal in eighth grade while i was on a retreat with my youth group called In Search of a Princess. we stayed at a crown hotel in a land far away from home. this was where i first officially recognized what having a personal relationship with jesus meant. it was the budding of an enchanting love that would forevermore blossom in my heart. i specifically remember the day that Kimberly Powers gave us a writing assignment. She gave us blue, clouded paper to write on and an envelope. we were asked to write a letter to God about anything we wanted to. anything that was going on in our lives, how we wanted to change, if we wanted to change, our emotions, joys and struggles. sending them to him. i sealed my envelope with a kiss and sent it to Kimberly who sent it to me six months later.

my family moved from the sophisticated, traffic packed streets of DC to the tranquility of the Ozark Mountains and Lakes last summer. as i was packing up my lilac room, reminiscing in the memories of pictured paper, ribbons and the cutouts of my scrapbooks, i came upon the envelope that held that very special letter. as i read, i grinned at the memory of the desires of a young girl`s heart which had been hiding in this small, secret package, waiting for me to come along and drip the tears of growth and love onto its perfect sky pages. the pages told of the beginning of a love journey. the journey of a princess accepting her father`s forgiveness and redemption because of his sacrifice. she was his prize. he was enthralled by her beauty, the essence of who she truly was created to be. she was awakening from the deep slumber of death and was beginning to tiptoe into a foreign, radiant love light.

this triggered my desire to write...2.15.10.

the point.

i originally started a travel blog for a class i was taking last semester. i wanted to continue that blog, but i wanted it to have a more distinct focus: my authentic heart. instead of just creating descriptions of where i am and what i am doing, i want to include what i am learning and how god is working in my life. i write to discover a deeper understanding of who i was created to be. i write to actively pursue my jesus. i write to encounter the love of god. i dont know if anyone will read this, and i guess it doesnt really matter. if you are reading this, i hope that you find it entertaining.

i pray that god will use this to evoke questions and stir your spirit.