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New Beginnings!

Lots of cool things going these days.

I’m posting this at 1 in the morning because well I was provoked by this interview….

THIS ONE

I realized I hadn’t really posted much since my accident so here’s whats up…

I just got back from New York, headed to Florida, doing the Makeup thing full time, and taking a hiatus from school and ministry. After the accident I seemed to have an awakening of sorts, went to new york and worked with a studio, and now am back in richmond to build my business.

I am doing good. I was recently diagnosed with an illness I’ll probably post about soon, hopefully to encourage others to get well, I am finally building my life. I’m happy, in love with God, in love with the life and blessing he’s given me.

Peace & hair grease!

h

http://heathertoler.com

The Crash

It was almost a month ago…. its taken me awhile to get myself together from this one, so here’s what happened:

I was sitting in my car, waiting for one of my mom’s students to come out of class for pick up, I sat there reading something on my iphone, feeling peaceful, blissful almost. Suddenly I felt the urge to move my car up a few feet to insure I’d be out of the way of other people coming through the little driveway of this  school. After moving up, my eyes returned to my iphone reading some scripture on you-version. Seconds later my car door opens, and the student gets inside of my car.

Making small talk I ask, ‘ How was your day?’, to this he replies it was good. I put my hand on the gear shift in my car and went to move it, when suddenly I felt like I should, or I needed to go back to my bible app and read something. 2 seconds later, out of the corner of my right eye I see a SUV coming over the left side of my vehicle, crashing down into the ground, hitting three cars in front of me. In the midst of all of this chaos of the moment, I see a concrete boulder the school had planted as a barrier flying in the air and seemingly headed towards me. I’m sitting there screaming, ‘ Oh my God, Oh my God’ I look over at the kid next to me, ‘ Are you ok? Are we ok? Did we get hit?” he looks at me, shock evident in his young eyes, ‘ I don’t know, I think we’re ok,” At this point my windshield is covered in dirt and earth clay, my sunroof has rocks and pieces of concrete reflecting through the side I could see from the inside.

May 11th 2010, I met grace – unmerited favor.

So you get the point of this one, let me give you a little back story on all of this, but I must warn you, I’m honest to a fault and will reveal some of my ‘stuff’ I’ve been dealing with.

For weeks before the accident, I had been having a concern or paranoia that something bad was going to happen. Coupled with stress, aggravation, and a few trying times in my family I had all but given up on God, the church, and ministry itself.

told ya I was gonna be honest….

For a period of two weeks, while working on my finale presentation for school, I had been wrestling with my faith. Between immersing myself in my short film on God & Suffering, being frustrated with politics and the christian pov, questioning my self and motives, I was burned out. Burned out because I made it a point to be one of an open mind with a ‘bull dog’ faith, and yet watching other acting the opposite of Jesus, burned out because I tried to be strong and got reduced to the heart of a seven year old girl when my dad had a heart attack, burned out ‘cos I was working hard to keep it together.


to remain in control…

The night before, the crash, is when I realized what was going on in my life. I was dealing with panic.

Here’s what panic means to me: a fear of uncontrollable circumstances, unanswerable questions.

Sitting in the computer lab at school I began to shake, and have breathing problems because of pressure, anxiety and fear. I spoke out loud saying ,’I refuse to have a nervous breakdown at twenty-three because of pressure.’

The day of the crash was an interesting one by far. I woke up with a need for the word of God, after 3 weeks of intentionally avoiding church, church people, ministry stuff, reading my bible. I was sitting at my desk and asked God a question:

Did I screw myself with that last jump?

If you follow my blog, you’ll realize that the post directly before this one is the very post I wrote that day. I was sitting there feeling like I complicated my life, and stepped out of the will of God, not realizing I was only going through the oil press.

friend of mine said I’m olive oil…..

I was questioning my decision to leave new Life, questioning my decision on my major in school, questioning, questioning questioning. Then, because God is a good father and loves to give good gifts to his children he answered me, with this verse.

Isaiah 41:9-10

Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

So, no matter what you go through, are going through, have gone through, don’t panic. He won’t and hasn’t dropped you. I realized, because God showed me how he could and would spare me, I did  not screw myself with that last jump, but indeed landed where I was supposed to. As for panic…. I’m learning not to. I’m learning to breathe, I’m learning to crawl…..

wait, thats a switchfoot song.

So all in all, all is well! All will be well, and remains it. Whats next? I’m not sure. I guess you’ll find out with the next post.


Sometimes you wonder if you screwed yourself with that last jump

But then as quickly as you thought that, you realize its time to question whose building this thing called your life…. your fame.

Am I building my life & my fame? Or am I building God’s house & His fame?

Self Check number 1.

Tonight, while watching Rachael Zoe, I layed out my clothes, my shoes, my accessories for tomorrow. I carefully combed over my makeup kit, picking out my face for tomorrow, picking it out because I am now a walking advertisment for my business. I ran out to my car, during a comercial break, grabbed my zebra print wallet to switch out for my owl print, while stepping out of my vehicle I peaked my red ‘life’ band hanging around my gear shift, suddenly my mind thought ‘perfect accessory!’

I can honestly tell you two seconds after thinking it I felt nauseated from the concept.

So here’s my I can’t go to sleep without getting this off my chest question:

Why is social justice sexy?

Why is it a moral fashion statement for those in my age group to be seen with a red piece of rubber around their wrist? Why is it even more awesome to be photographed with red tape across our mouths? Why are like minded h.o.p.ers identified by this red rubber around their wrist. Why am I more inclined to think a guy is cute when I spy this accessory on him?

Don’t get me wrong, I am more than anything FOR LIFE! But I tend to run away from our trends that seperate us. badly, from the rest of society, this includes the wwjd wrist bands we all wore that one year during youth camp.

So I have to check myself.

I have to check myself when I give to hati, is it because I want to help or because giving, especially to hati, is fashionable.

I have to check myself when I make a fuss about where my coffee comes from and how, is it because I believe in the local economy or because its chic to get my coffee from crossroads instead of the ‘bucks.

I have to check myself tomorrow in my dr’s office while wearing that red band around my wrist, is it because its a power color that matches my straight leg blue jeans and compliments the black tee under the silver vest, or because i believe in life.

Why is social justice sexy?

*Jaime, totally been unable to get rid of this thought since our three hour coffee at globehoppers. Keep doing what you do.



life

Im Insane #fb

I’ve heard many times in my life, that insanity is trying the same thing over and over, while expecting a different outcome.

I’m done with that.

Not sure what it is I want or where it is,

but its time for something to break.

Today has been, well, sucky.

I went to bed around 1am, after editing my short film for school. I woke up at 5am when someone had the audacity to call my house, AT 5AM. I went back to sleep, only to see 7am come too soon. Got up got dressed, went to turn on my laptop, to finish editing my work, only to find it crashed and died overnight. I spent my paycheck over the weekend, which means I had no money for repairs or a new laptop. I got reamed out over a political cou de ta . I had a car hit my passenger side view mirror, popping the glass out and pushing it away from my car. I’m  trying to convert two video interviews I did this morning to edit them into my film. My left contact just popped out of my eye, while I’m sitting her in the lab at school, editing my film.

And truth be told, I just want to scream!

But my daddy is still here, and I will wait in peace knowing he see’s all and loves me through it.

Its been one of those ‘what else can go wrong’ kinda of days. Your still so merciful God

God has loved me through my troubles today, and will love me on through yonder still..

I

See that kid? Yup that’s me. I was probably 7 years old in that pic. It was taken with my friend/cousin Natasha in Mighty Kids, the children’s ministry at Faith Landmarks.

Today, I had a moment of clarity wherein I realized you don’t have to say everything you think, fix everything that’s broke. You learn as you mature that the more adult thing to do, sometimes, is to leave things where they lay. You learn we don’t need to address everything, comment just because thoughts are in our heads, fix every broken pot or glass, you learn to hold your tongue and your peace.

I guess that’s a grown up thing….

see this chick? Yeah, that’s me now, or me six months ago.  Supposedly I’m an adult. At least I’m trying to act like one.

Want to learn how to yield unto God in a way that will make your relationship with him easier?

Learn to make peace with whatever God chooses.

Now I do realize I’ve made a contradicting statement by saying make your relationship easier, while also making you submit even in pain. But serious, give up the ghost. Make peace with whatever God chooses, understand that He is God, He is sovereign, and He loves us.

We may feel harmed by what He chooses, but it isn’t to harm us, but strengthen us and our trust in Him.

So right now God, in 2010, whatever else comes my way give me the grace to make peace with what you choose.

i love you God.

God

i understand you are one who

decided who lives or dies

who breathes and not

and

here i stand a fallible man

trusting those decisions

So this week i’ve been on autopilot. I go on autopilot when things get rough and I don’t have time to process anything.

I go on autopilot when I don’t want to feel anything.

I go on auto pilot when im scared.

Needless to say I’ve been feeling very blah, and I’m not one to admit that to anyone. Reasoning is because in ministry, when you minister, your taught to remain copacetic, always strong, and blatantly not real. But in the two years I’ve been out of ‘ministry’ I’ve learned that God can work more in my realness than in my stoic perpetuation of myself.

[yes i do realize I’m writing some big words here, just left humanities class…]

Anyways, so driving to school it all kinda hit me. It hit me that the man who raised me, in absence of my biological father who died before I was born, had a heart attack this week and almost died. It hit me that I’m not ready to face the idea of mortality with my parents. On the way to school I was sure my heart couldnt take this all, because for awhile I’ve felt to so strong. Driving down Staples Mill I began blinking back the tears forming in my eyes, telling myself to suck it up. You’ll be ok.

But that’s not ok. In the past two years I’ve felt somewhat alone as I’m making a new journey in my life which caused me to leave my friends, ministry, my life as I knew it and start over. In my alone-ness I’ve learned things that God could only tell me in private, beautiful things. Beautiful things like REALNESS is ESSENTIAL, owning what we are feeling while talking to God. Things like I’m not alone, never alone, nunca solo, He is mine and I am His. Things like starting over is ok, because its starting over that wrecks you. It wrecks every perception of how to live you’ve ever learned. Learning to do old things again with  a new attitude. Learning to see things with new eyes is starting over.

So what made me smile when I felt blah?

My buddy John. I’ve known him since I 17, we led worship together for 2 years in the college ministry at NLOI. John has always been an awesome guy, but he used to annoy me. He used to annoy me because he could read me like a book, know my thoughts, feelings, irritations, insecurities in like two seconds, and call me out while being gentle and comforting. I in-turn would get pissed, accuse him of patronizing me, and walk away. Yes, I, Heather Nicole Toler was, and probably still is,  a certified brat.

So today I got a message from him basically saying I haven’t forgotten you and see you soon.

Wow! How does someone you haven’t seen in almost two years, be able to reach in and pacify what you’ve been struggling with.  Because that is always my struggle, being alone, being forgotten. Well here’s the how, God. He gives us all the right combination of words knowing the meaning to someone else.

So I’m choosing and learning to Disengage the auto pilot. Its like an old friend said, ‘ Feelings are niether good nor bad, its what you do with them.’  So own them, give them to God and allow his comfort.

You haven’t lost.

Its amazing the things that God will use to make you smile when you feel blah.