Yearning for the Greater

“You don’t hire an interior decorator for a hotel room. You don’t change the carpets and drapes in a hotel room because your stay there is temporary.”- Kirk Franklin

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

For those in Christ Jesus, today, every day and particularly this Holy Week, we’re gratefully reminded of the hope and freedom Christ obtained for us on the Cross at Calvary and beyond the tomb.

Mankind steeped in a fallen nature from Adam’s sin, was cursed and doomed to eternal damnation and separation from God. The deep chasm created between a holy God and our filthy hearts was bridged by Christ’s sacrifice and unconditional love for us. The punishment we deserved for our wicked thoughts and actions, he took on for us by being nailed to that old, rugged, wooden Cross. He became the curse for us (“Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”- Galatians 3:13 ESV and Deuteronomy 21:23) so that none would perish who believe in Him.

We can become burdened by this world’s activities, routines and chaos that we forget that this is not our home. This is a temporary living space to prepare and shape us for our eternal home and living. As the aforementioned quote by gospel artist Kirk Franklin suggests, we’re not putting down stakes on a temporary living space to then hire interior decorators. We’re here for a purpose that transcends beyond this life into true living. This is Christ’s promise to us.

In short but powerful words, the chorus to the gospel song “Glorious Day/Living He Loved Me,” tells the full, joyous testimony: “Living He loved me. Dying He saved me. Buried, He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified me, freed me forever. One day He’s coming back, Glorious day!”

2-corinthians-4_18 girl in pic

Thank you Jesus, for paying the penalty for my sins when you were blameless. Because of you, I am free from what held me. Thank you Jesus for becoming my Greatest Hope beyond this temporary living and the challenges therein. Your Promises encourage us to look beyond our present circumstances. As I fulfill Your will for me on this temporary ground and in this temporary vessel, I maintain my focus on and yearn for the greater.

Do you yearn expectantly for the greater promise of eternity spent with Jesus and our Brothers and Sisters in Christ? Or are you consumed by this world’s routines that you’ve begun decorating a hotel room here?


Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.



Elevators, Exit Ramps and Eternity

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Elevators, exit ramps and eternity: why would I group these three very different items in one sentence? Because frankly, each require that we know where we’re going. The Lord has grown me in patience and deeper love toward others, which is a blessing and prayer answered over the past year and a half. Praise God! He continues to grow me in an area that challenges my level of patience: when people get into the elevator and forget what floor they’re going to. I am not a coffee drinker and still manage to be alert to what needs to occur in the mornings. Nevertheless, I need to be sympathetic to those who need several hours and a couple cups of coffee to get it together. A rule for riding the elevator: other riders need you to know where you’re going.

There is another area that requires us to know where we are going: a highway exit ramp. Have you ridden with someone who is indecisive on whether to get off at that exit or the next? Or the driver hasn’t paid attention, realizes in two seconds their going to pass their exit and steers suddenly to exit the ramp? It’s unnerving. They could cause an accident.  Ain’t nobody got time for that. A rule for approaching exit ramps: know where you are going and signal your intentions in advance to other drivers.


Elevator buttonsExit ramp signThere remains yet another destination we must be certain of where we’re going: eternity. Some people think they have a great deal of time to decide if they believe in heaven or hell, Jesus Christ or Satan, eternal life or if this earth is heaven already. Earth is not our home. It is a temporary location, not your permanent address. Since creating mankind, God Our Heavenly Father has desired an eternal and intimate relationship with you and me. He even sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to show us His love and provide us a way to secure an eternal relationship with God, while we were yet in our sins.

Jesus came so that through him we can access “life to the full.” (John 10:10) Many question who is Jesus, question what has been said about Him and seek other ways to establish their own path to “eternal life.” Yet, Jesus made it clear to us the path in John 14:6-7, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7- If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

It’s decision time folks. Step quickly, signal your intentions and decide your destination. Jesus says, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)Salvation


About Nicole D. Hayes

Nicole D. Hayes is committed to serve as a vessel of compassion, instruction, love and truth for Jesus Christ. Born and raised in Topeka, Kan., she is a member of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church in Washington, D.C.  Drawn to know Christ in her early childhood and saved at the age of 12, Nicole is a student and applier of God’s Word. She is also a successful public relations professional operating in Washington, D.C., with more than eight years experience of coordinating and delivering strategic communications and media outreach support for nonprofits and small business owners. During her career she has placed several nonprofits and small business owners in national, local and regional media spaces. She operates with a personal and business mantra of “making an investment in people.” Among many things, Nicole is also a motivational speaker. She has been invited to deliver messages to business leaders to not be misguided by the world’s view of success, to direct young people navigating through the world’s challenges, and to remind those who may have lost their way that joyfully, “God Has Not Changed His Mind About You.” Nicole’s purpose in creating “Voices Against the Grain” is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amidst confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.