I’d like to introduce to you this month’s Overcomer, Francina Nash. Francina is a single mother of a son and has worked in dispatch for over twenty years. She has spent her life climbing over the most difficult obstacles and, frankly, I find her spirit to be one of the most beautiful I’ve encountered. She is a shining light to those who take the time to peep behind the curtain and discover the true beauty inside.
She has always loved tiny houses and hopes to transfer her love for them into a community of rest and healing for those in need. The heart of her vision is to create a place where wounded souls can come, pause, find healing and strength to get back in the race.The land will house a garden that will offer organic vegetable options to onsite guests and to underprivileged families within the city.. For those in need, licensed assistance will be available onsite as well. Her gentle spirit reaches into the lowest gutter and sees the gold within. She is a hidden jewel. So sit back, buckle your seat belt and enjoy the ride as I take you into a small snippet of Francina’s life.
As a child, she faced many obstacles. She found herself born into a family that was emotionally bankrupt and required the same from her. Often, she was silenced and her inquisitive nature only seemed to be a bother. With her voice silenced, she never felt safe and was left to emotionally fend for herself. Feeling alone, vulnerable, and invisible, this toxic environment of silence bred deep mistrust. Unfortunately, these childhood survival mechanisms followed her into adulthood.
It was in her 20’s she was introduced to salvation and quickly surrendered her life to Christ. These formative years as a christian seemed to produce the same type of atmosphere she grew up in. At times, she would venture out to be heard but was immediately slammed into silence by rejection. Once again, she was quieted and led to believe her only position was agreement. As life progressed, she accepted that silence was her only option.
As her marriage had come to an end, she found herself at the end of her rope. These events catapulted her into a more intimate pursuit of the Father’s heart. Her trajectory began with a fast. As she began, day one of the fast, she heard the voice of the Lord loud and clear. He simply asked “I know you trust me, but why don’t you trust you? This began a five year walk of self-evaluation and learning to abandon the safe places she had created as a child. She was a master at swallowing hurt, and not being seen. She was always the reserved and quiet one in the room. It was her safe place. She had been trained no one cared and that her words carried no value. Now, God was calling her to freedom. Full of uncertainty she slowly trudged the ground one step at a time.
She didn’t trust herself let alone anyone else. She stayed silent in fear of disappointing not just herself but everyone involved. She was trapped in a prison of silence with no voice to be heard. At times she wanted to quit but just when she was ready to throw in the towel, she could see the eyes of her son looking. Her love for him gave her the courage to continue. She could not bear the thought of him living bound to the same lies that had set up residence in her life.
As the Lord pressed in she could no longer ignore the elephant in the room. She had to begin to see things His way. He began with the simple lesson of trusting the intentions of a person’s heart verses their actions. She always tested people to see if they could hear her truth without having an adverse reaction. Her truth was raw and messy. Could she share politically incorrect stories of life without them panicking and running away? Could they be trusted with her life’s story?
Person by person, one by one, God gently presented lessons to her. Each person uncovered a new aspect of her own bonndage that was replaced by the spirit of truth wrapped in the Fathers love for all. He began to teach her that he wanted all her pieces, not just the polished ones. He wanted permission to use the broken ones without her fearing what others would think. He wanted it all and this new freedom would require her to trust his heart and intentions.
Over time, one by one she began to let down her walls, better accept herself and find grace for others. She realized her lack of trust created false judgements. It wasn’t that people were trying to hurt her but because of her past, but rather that they were grossly misunderstood. Everyone has a story and making judgements based on surface behavior isn’t fair. During those years God somehow pulled out the fear, inhibitions and uncertainty and replaced them with the affirmation and approval only He gives.
She realized all her years of silence had been like a thief continually breaking into her home stealing her goods. Her outlook has changed and she has become more personable. She has found great freedom and now lives from a place where the audience of one is her chief concern. She has discovered, He seems to be just fine with her.
Final thoughts from Francina:
Within the walls of the church there is a lot of pressure to always dig for the gold while overlooking the mud. When you ignore the mud and keep digging for gold, your silence gives a false impression to those involved. They falsely believe they are okay and never find repentance for their behavior. Sometimes confrontation is mud that cannot be overlooked but is needed to bring about the gold. She now addresses the gold and the mud at the same time. She has found her voice. One should not be harsh or judgemental but everyone should be brought into accountability when their behavior does not display the heart of God. You can’t preach against sin and baby sit people. It simply is not what Jesus did. Her new found freedom is causing her to hold herself and others accountable for their actions.
Francina’s advice to her younger self:
Don’t settle. You matter, Shout from the mountaintop and remember silence has a voice. It teaches others to disrespect and dishonor you while giving the impression that you don’t matter. It sends the message to the offender that they are correct and leave no room for repentance.
Author: Petrina Milan
Facebook: Francina Marie