Staring at a blank page, writing hasn’t come easy to me this month. Typically I find excitement and ease to put thoughts and words on this screen for you to read.

May came and so did a looming work project which caused me internal stress and a feeling of inadequacy. I look back and see the hand of God faithfully pulled me through each challenge, yet this time, I allowed fear to creep in and thoughts to churn, not to mention my stomach.

The distraction clogged up my flow of words and my head overruled my heart. I know I am thinking way too much!

Looking back one year ago, I remember the dread in the pit of my stomach. My calendar at work had progressed nicely with events, meetings and assignments. All came to a halt at the end of May as I stared into the summer calendar of “nothing.”

How was I going to get through each day?

This time of year hasn’t been as joyful for me as it is for others.

As friends are making travel plans and discussing camps for their kids, I can recount many years feeling alone. One income, a home to maintain, and reflecting that I didn’t have a family of my own wouldn’t afford me the same excitement as my peers.

And now, I had “zip” to look forward to at work.

One year ago, Orlando went through one of the most devastating times in its history with the mass shooting massacre that occurred at Pulse Nightclub. An eerie feeling fell over our city and my workplace at Orlando Health.

Here I am and here we are one year later.

By God’s goodness and grace we all navigated through one day at a time, though ripple effects continue to be felt by many grieving families, survivors, and loved ones of those affected in the aftermath.

I had been waiting on God’s fulfillment of many dreams He gave me to teach and speak thru my job. After my summer of “nothing,” this year exploded with unexplained opportunities and advancement to do the work He called me to do.

I believe this summer will be very different.

Does this time of year have you feeling hopeless? Are you facing a stressful situation? A challenge? Maybe even dread?

Let me share with you what I know to help you through and serve as a reminder to me:

  • Keep your mind focused on God and not your problem. His kingdom is eternal. (Colossians 3:2)
  • Remember what He has done for you in the past. He is a faithful Father. (Psalm 66: 5-6)
  • Thank Him for the small things. He loves His children.  (Ephesians 5:20)
  • Ask Him for what you need. He desires to bless His children. (John 15:7)
  • Be honest with Him about your unbelief. His love overflows with mercy and grace.  (Mark 9:24)
  • Turn it all around with positivity. He only has good in store.  (Philippians 4:8)
Nicole Santapola

About Nicole Santapola

Nicole Santapola began her relationship with Christ after 30 years of religion being a mainstay in her upbringing. Experiencing a divorce, Nicole found herself a single woman leaning on God's promises and learning both His faithfulness and love. She calls Discovery Church home. She began attending in 2002 and through bible studies, women's events, and restoration counseling, she was baptized at East Campus in 2006. Nicole has a passion to share God's love and encouragement to others particularly in the area of health and wellness. She has followed holistic health and nutrition and through education and cooking classes, she teaches and shares this with others. She loves to cook and bake mostly plant-based dishes in her home and visit local vegetarian establishments. Her walk began with Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".

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