Archive for April, 2010


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.

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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.

Life, Loss, and Hope

8 years ago I made a change. I decided I wanted to start going to youth group at a local church, and didn’t realize the romance I would encounter there. It was New Life Outreach International, pastored by Victor & Carmen Torres.

Victor Torres was a man saved by God, a former drug addict and gang member. He entered Teen Challenge, a christian rehabilitation center, and his life was radically changed. I belief this change came from his mother’s prayer. His mama was an old school saint who believed in praying until something broke, which is something this modern church has lost the art of. In the seven years I was apart of that body, I was afforded the opportunity to minister to the women of The Mercy House, which is there womans home in Richmond. It was an amazing experience to be able to love on, talk with, laugh and cry with these beautiful women who wanted to get their lives together. You’d watch their intake, coming in as women who were abused, used, and tattered to their trial period where they’d learn about God and be mentored and loved on. I’d see the crack addicted, still having the shakes, come in and within weeks have a new gleam in they’re eyes. Suddenly these women who didn’t know love, didn’t know Jesus, begin to fall in love with him and enjoy worshiping him.

In that type of ministry you try your best to focus on the ones who make it, rather than the ones who don’t. The ones you cry over because they walk out the door. The ones you grieve over because it was theyre last hope, you and them both know it.

I’m bit brokenhearted right now because I just found out one of my girls died last year. She left the program, and overdosed. Me and this woman, who was old enough to be my mother, would sit and chat about what God was doing in her life. I’d encourage her to keep on keeping on. She even told me once she knew if she went back on the streets she’d die. She walked out, I knew when she did, and I prayed God would keep her safe and remind her she was loved. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know when, but I know God was there with her always. It hurts, makes me very sad, but God was with her, she wasn’t alone. She may have been scared, hurting, wounded, and abused, but she wasn’t alone. God was there. He is always there. I take comfort in that.

I have a special heart for the thrown out, the drug addict, prostitute, because society looks at them as if they are so different from anyone of us, but they’re not. They are victims of the things we made it through, the things we had support to get through. I believe in rehabilitation. I believe in programs to get your friend, loved one, dear one help. I especially believe in them if they point the person to Jesus.

If you, if someone you know and love has a problem PLEASE GET THEM HELP. Please get help

I’m a self cynic, i’ll admit. Matter of fact, that is probably one of the first things I inform people.

I’m a self cynic, seeing my glass as half empty and yours half full.

So love, yeah…. Love is one of those things.

I don’t believe in fairy tales.

I don’t believe we should go kissing some frogs and hope the prince comes out.

I don’t believe in Plato and Edgar Cayce’s ideas of androgynous souls who were two souls together, male and female,spilt by the greek gods, out of fear, forever doomed to wander the earth searching for their other half. The one who completes and complements them.

i believe love is complicated. i believe love is a choice. i believe love is, what it is. not defined by a textbook, not define by the best philosophers or thinkers, but defined by our actions and willingness to stay.

Love is probably one of the most earth shattering, head turning in delight, awesome yet soul shaking experiences ever. Love is complicated. The realization of love for someone is possibly the most frightening experience of human existence while also doubling as the most enlightening. Enlightening because you see what you reflect, what you want to be, don’t want to be.

love is…. what you make it.

I love songwriting because you never know who you are writing for.

I know many times I’ve written things in the past, only to call on them in the future as my prayer.  The more and more I write I’m beginning to find the truth and beauty in openness, brokenness, and contentment in God.
Its a beautiful thing.

Sometimes our song’s written become people’s  that last minute fix. The lyrics are the finale boost from the defibrillator, that heartbeat the kicks death in the face. You never know what God is calling you to write, so by all means

Write

And write, I will.

I’m working on a few tracks and have been for the past 12 years, but  now I’m beginning to hit the diamonds God has buried deep within me. I’m not a pro-songwriter, but one thing I’ve learned is honesty. Out of everything I’ve written, since beginning this songwriting journey at 7, I’m more honest than ever before.

Maybe the honesty of my journey will effect a generation.

This kids gonna sleep well tonight!

its a beautiful day. I celebrate the ressurection power,  that raise Christ from the dead, and Bosox, well…. I’m sure you’ve heard by now.

Its official 2010 is gonna be a beauty!

The only true glimpse of love I can show you is what was done on the cross for me and you many years ago.

God wanted a family, He wanted you, He desired you.

So God sent His son, the only one He had, compelled Him to live a blameless life so that in the end He, Jesus, could be the sacrificial lamb for your sin, my sin, and the sin of the world.

Jesus came and took my cross upon Himself.

He traded the garmets of white, purity, blameless, and put on me and my sin, you and your sin, everyones sin…..

Because of Love

Love broke through when God sent His son.

Love broke through when Jesus lived on this earth as a pure and blameless one.

Love broke through when He took my cross upon himself.

Love broke through when all my guilty stains, my fear, my commitment to sin as opposed to righteousness, dissipated when I accepted Him.

His love broke through for me to be one with the father.

Today we celebrate the resurrection power of God when He raised Christ from the dead, so now I compel you to experience that in Him always.

I can’t promise you riches, a perfect life, no pain, no sorrow, but I can promise you won’t ever be alone again.

God loves you and wants you.

Received that today and you’ll never be the same.