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Nicole Crank Defines Thriving Through God's Unlimited Scope

Thriving vs Surviving 

To Nicole Crank, Thriving means: many people are just believing for their next meal – basic provision should be our floor – but the floor is where the enemy wants to keep you. Thriving, according to God, is defined in Ephesians 3:20 – “Above all I can ask, think or imagine – without faith it is impossible to please God.” Our faith doesn’t even begin until our ability ends. Until it's impossible to do it in our own strength, we were not pleasing God. A thriving life is so far out of the possibility that we know we can’t do it in our own power, but God can. 

The Father's Heart of God vs the Walls We Build 

When Nicole was born, she had a biological father – a dad with a “little d." No matter how loving her adoptive father was, many times she would think about the biological Dad she didn’t get. Yet a man did choose her, and he adopted her, and he is the “Capital D” Dad just like her “Capital F” Father in heaven chose her when she felt she was unwanted. She gives the example of East vs West Berlin before the Iron Curtain fell. People on one side were well to do, had shelter and trade, and were free. Those on the other side felt like prisoners, lived in poverty, and many went to bed every night hungry and constantly afraid. When we build walls thinking we are protecting ourselves we actually keep all the good God has in store for us away from us.

Nicole's Story  

In 4th grade, Nicole was not from a well-to-do family.  She was already an easy target to make fun of. When she was molested, she told only one friend and kept it a secret. It didn’t stay secret for long, for the girl she told actually was one of the worst bullies on the school bus for years to come. As the story got out, a guy working in the school raped her because he heard the rumors and thought she was an easy target. Rejected by her friends, the only attention she got was constant ridicule, shame, and bullying. Years later she moved, started over, became cool and started to say yes to everything so that she could finally just enjoy being cool and liked and valued for a time. Saying yes to everything got her pregnant at 18 years old. Looking back, she realized she was molested, got saved, and discovered she was adopted all within the same year. Failing herself in high school by getting pregnant, she had received a scholarship at a college and was excited about the fresh start. But when she was speaking to the school on the phone, she asked about childcare, and they hung up on her. She never heard back from them again.

In time a guy with all the right medical initials after his name was interested in her. He was hot, had an amazing job, and he seemed to accept her and her child. After dealing with all this baggage, a guy who showed her affection made her feel valued and wanted. She got a new amazing job herself as Marketing Director for a Fortune 500 company and life seemed to be looking up.

Sadly this didn’t last long. Soon after their wedding day, he went from prescription drugs to cocaine to crack cocaine. He disappeared for four days after only three weeks of being married. He came back angry and high, broke her ribs, sold the furniture to buy drugs, and soon no amount of restraining orders kept her safe. He even tried to smother her with a pillow while coming down from a high. The worst came when she had to run for her life when he put a gun in her mouth and pulled the trigger. By God’s grace, it did not fire. He pointed it on himself and for the second time in 120 seconds, it did not fire yet again. Nicole believes God gave both her and him a second chance that night – and she wasn’t going to waste hers. She gave her son back to his birth father for a time to keep the child protected, and she ran to Florida, telling people she was moving to Mexico. She needed to get away and figure out how to survive. 

After dealing with coping mechanisms, shame, and Captial D-anger (Danger), Nicole realized that all along she just wanted to show her dad who abandoned her before her birth and had never even met her, that she was worth his love. Even though he was nowhere around to value her nor see how hard she tried to earn his love. She kept trying to just survive but the more she read Scripture, the more she realized God is so much bigger than our next meal or rent or emotional basic needs. There is no shortage in God. Survival should be the floor not the ceiling, to then stand on for future victories. God is pleased when we believe we can thrive, as we cannot please Him without faith.

True vs False Labels 

There is a constant Tug of War for our souls. The enemy is going to replay pain like a broken record, and it’s always the most negative things. 35 years later, Nicole can remember some of the most hurtful things in the world. She can still replay times from childhood when she was picked on by kids on the bus, but it can stop there. Her thoughts are her choice, and her mind is the jukebox, so she can instead choose to replay the Word of God on repeat. Could I possibly be chosen? Yes, it is in the Word so many times. Could I possibly be worthy? Yes, it is in the Word so many times. Could I still have a future? Yes, it is in the Word so many times.

Just like we can’t be healed until we address and offer our hurt to God – so that He can recycle it and do something good with it, we also need to believe with expectation that He will follow through til the end. To do something with expectation determines the trajectory of our lives. Her life has not lived up to her expectations, but when she handed all her pain over to God, He has exceeded her expectations. All the false Name-Tags we are assigned by others and ourselves should be ripped off with some Glue-Gone. Turn that false name-tag into a post-it note.  Rip it off, and get a new nametag and label yourself as Redeemed, Restored, and Renewed.

Nicole later met an amazing man - her now-husband David, married 23 years this year, who asked her out for five months and she said no after no. His patience and persistence paid off, and over time she relented, and accepted the love she was given freely. She still faces giants every day, but thrives through it all. She has already written multiple books to encourage others in their struggles and victories – Hi God, its Me AgainHi God, One More Thing, and Goal-Getters. There are now four campuses of Faith Church in St. Louis, two in Florida. She now also has her own podcast – Nicole Crank Podcast. A 17-year-old pregnancy and later in life a pastor in their church – how God redeems. Her son and his wife and child live with them because they want to! She is a grandma! She now has an International TV show shown around the world on Victory Network -  it got picked up by Hillsong Network, Faith TV in Africa, Shine Network in Pakistan, UK, Africa, Philippines, Australia, and Costa Rica is soon to come! All has been provided for free by the network, which does not ever happen. She has never felt more fulfilled in her life. She feels unconditional love, and loves to give it unconditionally.

Final thoughts: “Your pain is your platform." Nicole emphasizes chapter 3 of her book called “Tug of War,” saying it is our duty to take God at His Word and believe Him by Faith – the very evidence and proof of what is hoped for. God won’t take us or our word until we choose to believe His. God promises that Satan may bruise our heel, but He will crush Satan’s head, and he must pay seven times every time she opens her mouth and speaks the truth of the One in Whom we have Hope.

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