Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Fatherless Void: Creating Voids Within the People We Love

Recently a really important relationship in my life went left (like as left as you could think). And as much as this relationship going left hurt, it became an avenue for a teachable moment that I thought I might share for this post.

So to start off, I am going to admit that I have a really bad habit of "making homes out of human beings."

What does that mean?

It means that I tend to allow people to overstay their destined duration in my life--I have a hard time letting go of those I get so used to and when it's time for them to leave, I hold on instead of letting them go. They become what is comfortable for me and what feels like "home" to me.

Letting go is hard y'all--it's painful and it's a process that a lot of us (if not all of us) do not enjoy. And with this specific relationship, I held on to what I desired from this relationship for far too long. I was holding on to who that person used to be to me, what their love used to feel like, what their presence used to feel like, and the purpose that relationship used to serve in my life. Me holding on to that, yearning and desiring to get all of that back, put a strain on the relationship. I had certain expectations and when a specific expectation ended up not being fulfilled, I was let down. I was hurt and to be honest, it really hurt me to the point where I questioned me. I questioned my purpose, I questioned myself (THIS IS HOW I KNOW I WAS TRIPPING!!!!!). But seriously--I had invested so much time and so much of myself into this relationship that I wasn't always being truthful and honest with myself. I was more so concerned with making sure this person was okay and that I was there for them, instead of being there for me, first (your needs are just as important boo!). And long and behold, eventually, my expectation and a lack of communication on both ends led to what could possibly be an end to a relationship that I've valued for the past three years.

To this day, it hurts. I have cried--there have been days I didn't want to get out of bed. I've even had days when I've wondered if one of the things I'm waiting for in my life can still actually happen for me. There have also been days when I've questioned was there more that I could have done to keep this person in my life or maintain this relationship (again, I WAS TRIPPING!!! I'm really THE litness and if you can't see have a serious vision problem!). But today, something shifted.

In my time of communication with God today, I realized something so important about myself--I have a fatherless void and it has affected a lot of my romantic and platonic relationships with the men in my life in a negative way.

So what is a fatherless void?

It's an emotional, spiritual, mental and/or physical space left unoccupied by our fathers, which often times causes a lack of self love, self assertion, and self fulfillment within us. This fatherless void is often found in young women, but is also common in young men.

For me, my void dates back to my childhood when my parents divorced. I was just about six-years-old when my parents separated and it took a psychological toll on me--one that, of course at that age, I would not be able to comprehend. But as I got older, I developed this deep resentment and rage toward my dad. Despite the fact that my father was very active in my life, the six-year-old girl that felt like he left her behind, when he and my mother divorced, was still waiting on him to return. By the time I was 18, my relationship with my father had gone through just about every up and down any father-daughter relationship could endure. Before I went off to college, I wrote my dad a letter about my resentment toward him and I really let him know how I was feeling. We got the chance to talk about the letter, and from there, we agreed that we would always be honest with how we felt and would grow a healthier and more loving relationship. Four months later, my dad passed away from a massive stroke and the daddy's little girl relationship I desired to develop with my dad was no longer possible. I was hurt, but even more so, that six-year-old girl was once again abandoned by her father with no warning and this time, he wasn't coming back for her.

Since my dad's passing, I've tried to cope a lot on my own. My sophomore year of college I met this really awesome guy and contrary to popular belief, he didn't want anything from me-he just wanted to listen...and he did. He listened and he let me cry. For anyone that knows me, that's a big deal! I don't share my emotions nor cry with strangers (THAT'S CRAZY; DON'T RECOMMEND IT EITHER). But...I did and he was there. He supported me a lot and really helped me get through that year. Eventually, we progressed into a romantic relationship, and unfortunately he became a void filler for my dad's absence. He comforted me the best he could and was there for me, but I, not fully aware, was still searching for my dad. We eventually broke up due to a lack of communication, but became friends up until recently. And it was after our recent fall out that I realized he was a void filler in my life. I'd call him when things got bad, still cry (and ugly cry, too, smh), depend on him for EVERYTHING--I called him first when my tire blew out instead of AAA (WHO DOES THAT?!). He was my go-to; he became the main person I ran to and in retrospect, he became an idol.

Here's where this affects our spiritual health:

When a person, male or female, becomes a void filler in your life, they take away an opportunity for God to be God in your life. When there is a glitch with a toy, you don't send it to another toy to fix it--you send it to the manufacturer. Well just like toys, if there is a glitch (a void or a hurting) within a human being, you don't (well, you shouldn't) run to another human being to heal you or fix you--you should run to The Source, The Manufacturer, GOD.

Our voids, whether they being fatherless voids, motherless voids, and/or a feeling of something missing or lacking, are a glitch in our spiritual makeup. God desires for us to be whole, so when these lacks occur, we must seek Him to restore us--to fix us.

When we go out seeking people and things to fill our voids, we put God on the back burner. We're basically saying to Him that He alone isn't sufficient enough to heal us and to help us-that His love isn't enough to suffice. And that hurts Him.

Exodus 34:4 reminds us that placing other things and people before God is idolatry. The text warns us not to allow this to occur because God is a jealous God. When we place something in His place, we harden our hearts to Him and His will.

Instead, to heal us and to fix us, we should cling to our Creator. Anything other than God is just a band-aid to the wound.

He wants to heal us completely. The world may be able to heal us lightly and for a little while--that void filler may ease the pain for a some time--but He is the only one that can heal us completely. And in order for Him to do that, He needs to deal with the root of our sickness. A lot of the times, we try to heal the symptoms related to our voids or even our sins, when it's really the root. We don't take the time out to deal with the root of our voids and we continue to allow people and things to be the symptom solutions.

God isn't a symptom solution; He's the cure.

We have to let Him remove the root, letting Him get deep within us in order to really heal us. And that starts with self-reflection. We have to be honest with ourselves and with God. I once heard in a sermon that "God isn't a pedophile--He's not going to go into a place He's not invited." It's when we're honest with ourselves about our pasts, about our wounds, our hurts, and our voids that we can then admit to God what we're lacking and invite Him in.

In Isaiah 53:5, it says that He was wounded for our transgressions...bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.  That means that Christ suffered for us--He knew what we were to endure in this lifetime; He knew we would need healing so He sacrificed Himself for our sake. Christ is our healing; He's the cure.

God knew that we would lack, but He promised to be our provider. For those like me, He knew we would go searching for our fathers, but Psalm 68:5 says that He will be a father to the fatherless. He is close to those who are close to Him.

Another thing that we fail to realize is that our voids and our use of void fillers are a lack of patience, trust, and faith in God. For me, I know that to be true. I also know that my voids were also rooted in fear-I feared that no one would be able to be there for me, I lacked trust and faith in God truly being able to heal me. I doubted Him and I had a hard time believing that God was able to do it.

But He is!

We just have to let Him in and let Him love us. He's slow to anger and love us so much (Psalm 86:15). Nothing--not our sin, not our fear, not our voids--can separate us from the love that He has for us. He is greater than any desire, any void, and any person that has left you. He will never leave you; people will, but God won't ever leave you.

It's okay to love someone and it's okay for that person to be important, but when they become your main source and become more important than God, it's no longer healthy for you. And if you've totally surrendered to the will of God, He will remove that person Himself because He wants your heart. He wants nothing in the way of His path to you; voids fillers block His healing.

So God removed that person? It's okay, you'll be just fine...He'll restore you and if it's meant for that person to remain in your life, He'll even restore that relationship and teach you how to refrain from creating idols out of your relationships with people. It's so easy for our friendships and romantic relationships to become forms of idolatry. We must prevent that and deal with our voids.

Be honest with yourself...receive your healing and let the Cure, the Source, the Creator, God, fill your voids with His unfailing love.

You deserve healing; not a band-aid for a deep wound.

I'm praying for you; I love you and He loves you more!
xo, Nic

"If you cling to comfort more than you cling to Christ, you will deny Christ as soon as your comfort is threatened."
-Cornelius Lindsey

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"But Where is Your Husband:" How to Deal with The Holiday Relationship Conversations

It's the MOST wonderful time of the year!

I LOVE the holiday season, spending time with my family, decorating my mom's house, and just the spirit of this time of the year.

But with all great fun and family times, there's always the DREADFUL conversations about who I'm dating, what's going on in my love life, how are my exes (like who cares!?) and the other questions that leave the room filled with crickets sounds.

"Where is your husband?"

"When you gone get married?"

Like...but where is yours? (KIDDING!)

I get it-most of our family members have great intentions for us! And we thank God for their concern and the love they have for us to be the best and live the best lives that we can. BUT! that does not mean that Auntie Pattie and cousin KiKi gotta be all in your business!

Often times, we feel pressured by our family regarding numerous areas of our lives, and often times our romantic relationships are at the forefront of their concern (Just Nosey!!!).

I've experienced it just about every holiday gathering and I've even had family and friends call me just to ask about my love life-not even a hello! Just straight to the point, "Who you dating?" Like uh uh! Bye girl! Fly girl!

Recently, with understanding the call on my life and where God is leading me, I came to the understanding that dating isn't actually for me (blog on this coming soon!). Some people can date, and that is fine! But I cannot.

Here's what I mean: I told y'all in the last post, "I am not a seasonal kinda girl; I'm a lifetime commitment." I MEANT THAT! If we go together, that means, eventually we gettin' hitched! And that's not because I want to be married so bad, but because I want to be pursued by God's purpose; not for the mere purpose of "dating."

The idea of dating, according to most, means going out there and meeting different people. For the idealistic dating scenario, you may meet three different guys, go on dates with them, interact with them, and do all of that to get to know them. Then you pick which one you feel meets your expectations/compliments you and cut the rest off. And if you find out you don't like any of them, you go on more dates to find a new batch! I know this may sound harsh, and it may not be this way in your reality, BUT this is the way I see it (AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO AGREE!). However, seeing it the way I do, I am WAAAAAYYY too busy and do not have the attention span, nor the hand-eye coordination to juggle more than one person at a time! It's just too much! That's a whole talent that God has not blessed me with for a reason.

Dating is just not for me, and it kills me when people ask me why I'm not dating and refuse to accept that God hasn't called me to that lifestyle.

My desire is for every desire on my heart to be in alignment with the will of God-for every desire I have to be His desire for me. Before I graduated from undergrad, I was determined to hit the dating scene as soon as I moved to the city I live in now. Y'all I was soooooooo ready and so excited! I was really 'bout to be out here and doing this thing! Had my cute outfits set up in the closet-every-ting! Then I got here and God was like, "Nah. You THOUGHT it was!" No date life. Nada!

That's when it hit me-I wasn't called to date. I wasn't called to be another in some random's weekly or monthly rotation. God intended for me to be pursued by Him and only when a man is in Him first, will God reveal me to the one that He has created for me to pursue me. Ladies, we don't have to date to find the one. The Word of our Father says in Proverbs 18:22 that, He that finds a wife, finds a good thing. The keyword here is HE--it wasn't God's intention for a woman to find her husband; your husband is supposed to find you and pursue you. That means you have to be patient and wait on God!

Often times we move out of fear and impatience, and we've talked about this before in my previous post, but this fear and impatience also relates to how we react to our family's holiday conversations about our lives.

You don't have to move from a place of fear nor embarrassment when you're asked those questions about your dating life. God hasn't given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), so therefore you should not operate in such! Stand in the authority and confidence that He has given us in our big brother Christ Jesus.

Be confident in where God has placed you because He's working out a miracle in your life. He's creating you to be the best woman, best man, you can be! He's writing this beautiful love story for you and your husband (or rib), so don't you dare trip! He's got you and He's got it all figured out for you.

So when your mama and 'em press you with those questions, STAND boldly and courageously, laugh if you have to, and simply say, "I'm waiting on God." And if they have more to say, want to give the "advice" they swear by, or even better hook you up with their girlfriend Loretta's FIIIIIINNNNEEE son or beautiful daughter, AGAIN reply, "No thank you, I'm waiting on God."

Trust Him and really wait on Him (Proverbs 3:5 & Psalm 27:14).

Don't fall into the holiday blues or the cuffing season lie!

Pinky Promise founder and Christian blogger, Heather Lindsey, posted these awesome words of encouragement on Instagram recently. She said,
     "Refuse to be bullied members with good intentions this Thanksgiving. Be confident in the fact that God has you exactly where He wants you to be. When He opens up a relationship door, when you and your spouse get pregnant, when you find a job in your field or whatever else--they will be notified. Gently remind them that you trust the Lord and encourage them to trust Him too."

I couldn't have said it better (she says it so much nicer though)!

Really though, stand firm in where God has placed you and trust Him! He's got you!

I love you, but He adores you even more!

Happy Holidays from my family to yours,
xo, Nic

Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's Cuffing Season; So Why Be Lonely?

It's 'bout that time!

You know-when the "Bae Applications" have gone out, those old flings hit you up with a DM asking "how u been," and them "Netflix & Chill" date offers are coming through with the quickness...

It's Cuffing Season and it's in full effect!

The weather's gotten a little chilly and it would be so lovely to have someone to cuddle up with and watch some re-runs of A Different World or some of your other shows, right?

I'm pretty sure you all know exactly what I'm talking about.

For all of my "brand new" people, let's first examine "what is cuffing season?" Here's what Urban Dictionary had to say:

       During the Fall and Winter months, people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous (NICOLE INSERT-in other words people who THOT) find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be 'cuffed' or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed."

Sounds about right to me.

So let's look into this from a different perspective...and it's about to get real, so for all my "deep, spiritual folk," find a break somewhere.

As human beings, we are physical beings, first; let's be honest here! When you first see someone you're attracted to, you don't say, "Ooooo girl, look at his soul!" Mmmm nope. Naw. Don't lie. No you don't. Same thing for my fellas. We see each other with our natural eye that we some times have to take conscious control over to prevent the spirit of lust.

Being a physical being is PERFECTLY okay; it's a part of who God made us to be. The challenge comes when we don't know how to balance being a physical being and keeping our salvation (post on this coming soon).

Now, along with us being physical beings, we are also emotional. Like it or not, all human beings are overly emotional-it's a part of our makeup. When placed in certain situations, the emotional and physical aspects of our beings tend to collide with what we spiritually know to be true and right...and that's often why some of us fall during "the cuff."

Here's what I mean:

Just because you're lonely because the world has told you that you are OR because it's cuffing season and you don't want to be lonely, that doesn't mean it's time for you to go out in search of bae!


Your Adam is still sleeping and your Rib is still being formed!

Now, I'm not going to lie to you-sometimes being content with your contentment as a single, even for us Christians, is hard. You're not going to always be content in your singleness. Just the other day, I caught myself and I, too, felt discontentment in my singleness and honestly, it really hit me. At one point in my life, being cuffed was easy because there was no purpose behind the cuff. Now, I don't just want to be cuffed; I want to be godly pursued with intent to marry. I'm not a seasonal girl; I'm a lifetime commitment. You can't just chase me for a season because you're lonely, and then store me away in the attic until next fall. Nah bruh; not here!

You desiring being in a relationship or being cuffed, isn't wrong! It's not a sin. We all desire love and companionship...but at what cost? Your abstinence? Your celibacy? Your relationship with Christ? Your soul?...all because you're lonely?

The Word of God asks us in Mark 8:36, What good is it for someone to gain the world, yet forfeit their soul?" In terms of cuffing season, what good is it for you to have opened yourself up to be vulnerable (emotionally, spiritually, physically and FISCALLY$$$), after making all this progress, then to go right back to square one-laying before God, crying, hollering and ugly, realizing that you fell for the joke and should've been patient.

We, as believers, have to remember that every trend of the world is not for us. Romans 12:2 reminds us to Be not conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind." You're not supposed to be of the world; you are supposed to be of Christ living in it.

What we have to understand is that a lot of the times our mistakes or poor decisions made out of "loneliness" are because of our lack of trust and patience with God. We doubt that He can actually give us the desires of our heart; we doubt Him and we don't trust Him.

Psalm 37:4 says, Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. God already knows what you desire. Nine times out of ten, if it's according to His will, God placed that desire on your heart as a part of your purpose. He wouldn't place a desire on your heart and not give it to you. The goal, however, is that you become delighted and content with Him, FIRST, so that when He does give you the desire, that desire doesn't become an idol and take His place in your life.

There is a method to what may seem to be His madness, but it's really His plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).

So trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6)!

I know it's hard, y'all, trust me I do. I'm a 22-year-old woman growing into my own and learning more about who I am not just spiritually, but physically as well. The more I am learning about myself holistically, the more it becomes THE STRUGGLE. But that doesn't give me an excuse to go out there, and degrade my temple or my God because I'm lonely and want someone to run their fingers through some "Kev Care" (y'all remember the show Cuts with Marques Houston?! check out this video here at like 00:35).

It's not worth it.

You may be satisfied for the moment (or the season); that person may coddle you and cuddle you in all the right ways, wine and dine you just right...but what happens after Cuffing Season is over?

When "bae" ain't tryna be "bae" no more because again the season will change and he (or she, for my fellas) will want to be "bae-less" because it's the summer and they'll probably want to go out and thot again!

Now what bae-less and faithless?

Trust me, it's not worth it.

Hold on! The Joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and He's going to reward you for being faithful.

In the meantime, get you a body pillow, some extra comforters, subscribe to your OWN Netflix account, and have a Netflix and Chill night with Jesus.

You'll be okay; being single is NOT a death sentence or a prison, unless YOU make it to be that.

You got this and I'm hanging in there with you.

I love you and He loves you even more.

Praying for you,
xo, Nic.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Proceed through the Process: The Growing Pains of Transition

Hello Beautiful People!

Often times in life, we reach a moment in our journeys where it seems out of nowhere we're knocked down or being pushed way too soon or too fast. These moments happen especially during transitional moments in our lives.

So what is a transitional moment?

In familiar terms, it's like the "change of plans" as we call it in film and script writing. At first, you feel as though everything is going right and for an extended period, things are going just fine! Then out of nowhere something creeps up on you and you're like "BUT WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?"

I'm actually in that same situation right now-I just moved from home to start graduate school and I'm 100% sure that the area in which I've moved to is probably going to be "home" for me for the next few years. However, in this process, it seems that I'm going through a spiritual and emotional growing pain. Nothing catastrophic has happened. My needs are met and more. I have a great support system here and back in my hometown, but something internally is changing.

I'm at what I'd like to call an "in between" point in my life-most of us are! We're in our late teens, early twenties and we're not fully grown, as we dub ourselves to be, but we're also not the children and adolescents our elders insist we are. We're transitioning and going through that "in-between."

In the spiritual realm, however, God calls this moment of transition and in-between as a kairos moment--it's the moment when God's Holy Spirit is performing a special work in and through us. It's the moment when He's performing a new work in us (Isaiah 43:19), and as He is performing this new work, He's also shaping and molding us, preparing us for the next level.

It's very often that during these kairos-in-between-transitional moments that we'll feel uncomfortable; we'll feel our faith being challenged, our emotional, spiritual and sometimes physical stabilities, too, being challenged. And that's a part of the growing pain of the process!

In Psalm 51:16-17, David simply reminds us that to God, a sacrifice of some sort doesn't matter. History Lesson: before the birth of Christ and His ultimate sacrifice, the people of God would have to bring before Him burnt offerings, often times the burnt flesh of animals when they sinned. The blood shed by that animal covered the sin of that confession. When Christ came and shed His blood, it covered ALL of sin. Hence why you don't smell the burning of animal flesh all day. Now back to Psalm 51-because the ultimate sacrifice was already made, to God, how we give reverence and sacrifice to Him is when we go before Him with a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. In the Message Bible by Eugene Patterson, it reads I learned God-worship when my pride is shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice.

In this passage, David is teaching us that even in that moment when we're down, when our hearts are broken, pride done, faith being rocked, God still sees us. We are to worship Him anyhow! 


Because it's our worship that will get us through our in-between--it's our worship that will build our faith, build our trust and build our stamina during our transition. It is also our worship during these moments that will help equip us for once we are out of our in-between-transitional moments. When God is finished His work during this kairos moment, you'll be prepared to receive what it is that He is bringing you to. This next level that God is bringing you is requiring more, SO MUCH MORE. You will not be able to walk into this next level with mediocre faith, bare minimum trust and low stamina. He's building you!

So though these growing pains of your transition are painful, He hasn't brought you this far to leave you. He is always with you. He reminds us TWICE in the SAME passage of Deuteronomy 31:6-8 that He will never leave us nor forsake us. 

As the scripture says, Be strong, take courage and don't be intimidated....He's right there with you. He won't let you down; He won't leave you...Don't worry. So don't worry! God's got you! Before you were even born, He knew you and made plans for you; He knew what you were going to go through and what you were going to need to go through it (Jeremiah 29:11).

Hold on! Your trouble will not last always; you have to come out of it and you will! His eyes are and will always be on His children (Job 36:7); He is a consistent, all knowing and never changing God.

I promise you when this moment is over, you'll be saying the same thing our homeboy David said-It was good for me to have been afflicted so that I might learn YOUR decrees (Psalm 119:71). Your blessing is nothing compared to this season of growth. Stick it out, pick up your cross and walk!

He won't fail you!

I pray that you receive peace and rest in knowing that you are already covered and already victorious because of Christ.


I love you and so does He!

Praying with you,
xo, Nic

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Don't Miss Anything Good While I'm Gone...": For the Girl Waiting on Him to Come Back

You ever been in a situation where you and another are in this kind of limbo in your relationship, and you know for sure that you want to be back together with that person, but they aren't exactly sure if you're "the one" for them and basically press the pause button on you, while you're expected to wait on them to figure it out?

You have?! Oh great! Because that's exactly what we're going to be talking about today-the young women, and even young men, who are used to being told that they are the perfect person, just not the right time.

If like me, you've gotten what I call "the Speech of all Excuses;" you know, the one where they go, "You know, you're everything I could've ever asked for and more in a [girl/man]. And if you give me like 3-5 years, bet I'll marry you, but right now I really wanna live my life."

I love that speech!

If I'm being honest, I've been given that speech at least 3-4 times in the past 6 months. Last year, I was also in the very same situation I mentioned in the beginning of this post, where I was told by a man, whom I loved very much, to not "miss anything good while" he was gone. We had broke up a few months prior, but were still very much so invested into each others' lives, trying to figure out what was the best decision for our situation. After many talks, lots of awkward silences and situations, he made it clear that he wanted to see other people and see what else was out there for him.  It hurt me to the core. I knew the caliber of a woman I was and it shocked me that not only was I the one dumped, but at the moment, I felt that I wasn't good enough or worthy enough for him to stay.


Ladies (and gentlemen), if that person wants to go out and explore the world, LET THEM! Understand, them choosing to leave you has absolutely nothing to do with you-however, it has everything to do with them! Your worth does not change because someone chooses to leave you. Psalm 139:13 says Body and soul, [you were] marvelously made; for you were made in His image (Genesis 1:27). Thus meaning, you were made beautifully; YOU ARE ENOUGH IN GOD'S EYES. To Him, you are to die for (John 3:16). Your worth is not defined by those who choose to stay or choose not to stay and marvel in the masterpiece that God has made of you.

Now, I know you're probably like,
      You know Nic, I hear what you're saying and I get that my worth isn't in a man (or woman)-it's in God. But's not that easy. It's not that easy to get over someone. I envisioned a future with this person; I wanted them to be my last. That pain...that void...that emptiness just doesn't go away over night. I thought they were...

The One?

Yeah, I did too. So in fact, I get it! But I'm here to let you know that it's not the end! Now "the end" can mean two things: (1) the end of that relationship all together OR (2) the end of a specific season for a relationship.

A little sermon for you:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that For everything there is a season, meaning that everything in existence has its own season. Just like how in nature certain crops and flowers are only in season during the spring and summer, while others are only in season during the fall and winter-it's the same thing with relationships. Before these crops and flowers flourish in their harvest, a process takes place before the harvest to prepare them for when they are in season-again, same thing with relationships (you have the "getting to know each other" phase, "dating" phase, and then the actual season of the relationship). Some relationships, however, are only meant to stand the test of time for a short season. That season can vary from a month to 3 years, even 50 years; no matter how long the season is, though, once that relationship has served its purpose, that season will end. Once again, just like in nature, certain aspects of that season will begin to shed and whither. If a relationship begins to diminish (shed/whither), the season of that relationship may be over and you may just need to let that relationship go.

Of course, I know, that's a lot easier said than done.

However, that's where God comes in to not only encourage us, but to remind us that He is still in control and still has our best interest at heart (Jeremiah 29:11). No matter what, God calls for us to Trust [Him] with all of [our hearts], depending not on [our] own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Ultimately, He loves us more than anything or anyone else ever could and He knows what's truly best for us.

Here are some great scriptures on what God says to encourage the brokenhearted:

  • The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18)
  • Cast your burden on the Lord, He'll carry you and He'll help you out (Psalm 55:22)
  •  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10) 

However, if you're a hopeful romantic like I am, I know that even after all of this, you'll still propose the thought:
    Well Nic, you know I hear all of that and I totally agree...but what if he (or she) comes back? What if they really are 'The One' and what if just like you said, this is just the end of a specific season in our relationship?

In that case, I say that we, as human beings, have the tendency to always have our own agendas, but if it is truly in the will of God for that relationship to persist somewhere in the future, than it will according to God's purpose (Proverbs 19:21). The Word of God says in Matthew 6:34 to not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. So in that case, be still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10), for He works all things out for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28).  

If you're waiting for that man or woman to return, weigh your options! Seek God for understanding on whether or not that relationship's season is truly over. You should NOT be waiting around forever for that person! LIVE YOUR LIFE! Do not waste your life and your good single years, crying and waiting, waiting and crying for that man or woman to come back! If they don't, you'll have wasted your time (and some good mascara) on some joker who ain't even thinkin' about you no mo'!

And...TRULY, and I REALLY mean TRULY, if God has called you to wait on this person, ask Him to guide you in this waiting time-ask Him what it is that He desires for you to do in this season of waiting. Don't waste your season of waiting either, being unwise with your time and your talents. Prepare yourself for the next step of that relationship. Also, while you are waiting, BE PATIENT! Don't try to bring the two of you back together on your own! Clearly that worked out for no one; ask Abraham! You don't want to meet your Adam (or Eve) prematurely and you're not ready. When the time is right, God will bring you back to that place (Genesis 28:15). WAIT ON HIM! Not your own will. Chill out shawty!

In closing, know that God has chosen someone SO MIRACULOUS for you who is more than worth waiting for. But more importantly, you are worth the wait. Whomever God has set aside for you, He will bring directly to you for the right time. Just trust Him. TRUE, keyword: TRRRRRRUUUUUE, Love waits and above all, true love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).

Stay encouraged!

God loves you & so do I!

xo, Nic.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

"I Did It Again; God, I've Gone Too Far Sexually"

I think this is a common conversation that I've had so many times with young women that are first starting out in their celibacy journeys and/or are contemplating about being celibate, or young women like me in their journeys and slip up because we're human! A lot of times people ask how do I do it and every single time I tell them, it's HARD.

Just like every other human being on this planet, we all have sexual urges and are naturally sensual creatures. To "deny" those sexual urges seems unnatural to the average person. But what happens when you're on your celibacy journey and that visit over from an ex or even "ya boo", or a movie date turns into a night cap and it "just happened;" what then? Now, you're left feeling guilty, like you're the scum of the earth, you feel like God has removed His hand off your life, you can't look yourself in the mirror because you're ashamed and you just can't seem to pick yourself back up.

Well, I'm here to tell you that there's hope...and in that moment, in that space where you feel shamed and feel as though God has left the building, He's actually sitting right at the door, waiting for you to open it so that you both can talk it out.

I've been there numerous times! I still experience temptation and GO THROUGH IT; trust me! And if you're like me, IT'S NOT A FUN PLACE TO BE! And that morning after is even worst. But then God reminded me of a few things:

First, He reminded me that He loves me unconditionally. There is nothing that you nor I can do that can separate us from the love that God has for us (Romans 8:38-39). In fact, in that same text, it states that neither death, nor life...can separate us from the love of God in Christ. Now, catch this:

       -Before Christ came to redeem us, we were subjected to death because of our sin. In the Old Testament, you'll see that when a sin or unlawful deed was committed, saints would have to bring a sacrificial offering-usually one of an animal from their flock-in exchange for the blood that should've been shed for their sin; death of the flesh in other words. However, this text in Romans says that because of Christ and because of our redemption in HIM, not even our own sin that should lead us to death nor the lives that we live can separate us from God's love. Basically, it doesn't matter what you've done, GOD STILL LOVES YOU.

Another thing He reminded me of was that His mercies are brand new everyday and they endure forever (Psalm 136, Lamentations 3:22-23). Lamentations 3:22-23 also reminds us again of that unconditional, never ending love that God has for us, as it states that [God's] steadfast love never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning." That means that every single day, God grants us His mercy and it won't ever fail! No matter what you do, His mercy is with you. He knew you were going to fall before you did, which is why He had to send Jesus to save you! His mercy has been granted to you.

Lastly, He reminded me that I am forgiven-that all I have to do is confess with my mouth, repent and just like that He is faithful and righteous, forgiving us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). And not only does He forgive us of our sin, but He forgets it, too (Isaiah 43:25). Just like that! You confess your sin & repent (which simply means to express your sincere regret and remorse), ask for His forgiveness, and just like that...He says "I hear you, My child. You are FORGIVEN. Now go on and sin no more."

It's that easy!

What's not easy is the "sin no more" part of it. Even in that, because He loves us and hates to see us fail, He even provides encouragement for us in that process.

He reassures us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that if anyone is in Christ, [they are] a new creation; the old [you] has gone [away]. In other words, who you used to be and even what you did yesterday, doesn't matter. Your old life is no longer a concern to Him because of your life in Christ.

After He reassures us of our new life, He tells us to put on the whole armor of God so that [we] may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11-12). We must clothe ourselves in God, accepting His will, inviting His Holy Spirit in, and meditating on His Word, speaking it into our lives, so that when we are tempted, we know how to fight!

Finally, He provides an escape. Yep, you read that right-an escape. God does not ever allow an uncommon temptation or anything that Christ hasn't endured. But because He is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. He knows what you're capable of enduring and He will not pressure you nor allow you to be pressured beyond the strength that He has equipped you with. And when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

By now, I know you're probably asking one of two of these things, or maybe both:
       1.  Well Nic, why does He allow me to be tempted anyways? What's the point? Why can't God/satan stop playing these games and just let me live already?!
       2. Okay Nic, I hear you and all, but what is this escape you speak of because when it gets lusty; I don't see no way out? I'm trying, but this flesh really gets to me when he's/she's looking good and looking at me like that!

I am SO glad you asked, my friend!
       1. You suffer, because Christ suffered too. Ultimately, the point is so that God can get the glory. Plus, life would be SO boring without progress. Can you imagine if life was perfect and you didn't have to work to earn anything? What would we learn? What strength would we, none. We'd be basic. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of being basic! Nope. Not at all. God allows us to be tempted and grants permission to the adversary for us to be tempted, knowing how much we can bear, to build us in Him. He's building our stamina!

       2. The escape He provides is that LOUD but still voice you hear when you feel like things are getting tense. Right before you proceed to go through with it, there's this LOUD still voice that warns you and assures you that temptation is near and that you can run. THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OUT! Whether it be you knowing yourself well enough to know your triggers, surrounding yourself with accountable people, establishing explicit boundaries with your partner, or simply no longer partaking in things that you know will only lead to you falling into temptation, He will always provide an escape. It may not be a literal door of escape, but if you pay close attention and have truly allowed the Holy Spirit to come in and reside within you, you'll have an escape.

Now that you know of His love for you, how He's not mad at you, but indeed has forgiven and that you know how to equip yourself to fight temptation's butt, you might still be at at standstill because of one or, again, two of these things: (1) you haven't accepted Christ as your personal Savior yet, or (2) you have no idea what prayer to pray in order to repent.

Welp, I'm so happy Jesus is the homie and God is my Dad because they both helped me to write these prayers for you to recite in your quiet time of mediation and prayer.

A Prayer for Salvation:

Father God, in the name of Jesus, I come before You first thanking You for my life. I thank You for knowing me even before I was in my mother's womb. I also thank You for loving me so much that you sent Your only son Jesus Christ to die for my sins. I confess with my mouth that I am guilty of all of my sins. Father, forgive me for I am truly sorry. I believe that Jesus came to this Earth, that He died and rose up from the grave so that I may have everlasting life with You. Right now, I ask that Jesus come into my heart, save me, and be the Lord of my life. I accept Jesus as my personal savior and this day, according to Your Word, I declare that I am saved. In Jesus' name, Amen.

A Prayer for Repentance:

Father, in Jesus's name, I come before you humbly first to say thank You. I thank You for Your son Jesus Christ who died and rose for the wages of my sin. I thank You for Your unconditional and unwavering love for me. Father, I confess that I messed up; I own up to my mistakes and I ask for Your forgiveness. Father, I also ask that You come into my heart and let Your Holy Spirit reside here permanently. I ask that You allow Your will to completely take over my life. Help me with my walk and within my celibacy journey. Help me to pick up my cross and deny my flesh, just like my Big Brother Jesus did. Help me to move out the way and go Your way. Help me to be more like Jesus, Daddy. Show me how not to take Your mercy for granted. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.

And just like that, you're officially a part of the family! Welcome to the family and welcome to this big group hug that God, Jesus and me are giving you right now. Now after you've prayed either of these prayers, I suggest you be in constant conversation with God and follow the Spirit to find a church home or to enroll yourself into a ministry that is going to help you grow in your faith and in your walk.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email using the email provided in the contact tab, or leave me a comment and I'll get back to you ASAP.

He loves you & so do I!

xo, Nic.

Monday, June 8, 2015

#RibLife Survival Kit 101: Nicole's Top 10 Steps to Pursuing YOUR #RibLife Journey

Hey ya'll!

First, I wanted to thank everyone who has been extremely supportive in this movement and in this work. God is just amazing for allotting me this awesome privilege to share my journey, my ideas, and my thoughts with you all-I truly do not take this lightly.

We're going to be having so many conversations (that's what this entire space is created for-so leave comments, email me, Facebook me, whatever!) yeah, back to what I was saying! We're going to have so many conversations about different things that occur throughout this journey, different topics like sex, courting vs. dating vs. relationships, mental and emotional health, how to get over that annoying ex that you just keep crying over (I've been there, too!), how to truly seek God's face, what it means to be a single wife and so many other things.

Today, I wanted to go into detail a little bit about what being a "rib" means to me on my personal #RibLife Journey and give you all my Top 10 Steps to Pursuing YOUR #RibLife Journey.

So, what does being a "rib" mean to me?

            To me, being a rib means truly being what God had intended for us, WOMBman, to be-the man's helpmate. Not a doormat, not a slave, servant or any other servitude role. It means being that man's equal. Being a rib also means being that man's weakness and in the same right, being that man's protection. If you look at the biology of the rib cage, the rib cage protects the organ of the heart. Without that rib cage, that heart is out in the open, only protected by flesh. Us, WOMBmen, have the responsibility of protecting the second most precious aspect of our male counterparts. In that right, we must learn how to love and care for them. Men are NOT ALL created equal, ladies! You can't expect the same out of all of them, so stop saying they are! I'll go more in depth on our rib responsibilities relating to men in my later posts, but you can get a head start by reading Proverbs 31:10-31 and Genesis 2:18-25!

          Outside of our responsibilities relating to men, our FIRST obligation is to God and then ourselves. God is the central focus of this journey-becoming a better WOMBman, according to the plan that God has for each of us. There will be times when we have our own agendas and our own plans for our lives. A true rib, however, understands God's timing and also understands that despite the plans that we have for ourselves, God knows what's best and His plans are far better than our own. A true rib understands that God's plan and His purpose for our lives will always prevail no matter what (Proverbs 19:21). One of the goals of this journey is to continuously edify self in alignment with what the will of God is for our lives; BEFORE Adam comes (you gotta work on you first, boo!).

So, here are 10 pretty fundamental steps for working on YOU and starting YOUR #RibLife journey:

1. Consent with God about beginning this journey - make sure that beginning this journey is what God has TRULY called for you to do. "It ain't for everybody?"

2. Ask for repentance DAILY - that means constantly going before God asking for forgiveness. You will fall short in this journey, especially when you first start out. Having a constant and open line of communication between you and God will definitely come in handy!

3. Get into the habit of having an active prayer & devotional life - trust me, it'll keep you in perfect peace! You also want to study and understand why you are on this journey and why you believe that God will perform this work in you. Being in your word will not only reveal this, but reveal God's unconditional and unwavering love for you, no matter what you've done. Studying your word will also keep you from falling back into the same habits you once used to practice.

4. Get a journal - now this step is optional, but I do recommend it. Keeping a journal has helped me to set goals for myself, in addition to tracking my progress in my journey and witnessing God answering my prayers that I write in my journal.

5. Join a sister circle or women's ministry where you see yourself growing and accountable - this is so important! You need to be able to grow in this journey; if you're not growing, you're not evolving nor benefitting yourself. Surround yourself with women that are on a similar journey that you can seek Godly advice from that will assist you along the way.

6. Evaluate your habits - understand that a part of this process is edifying self and mortifying your flesh. Some things you used to do, you can't do anymore. After you have invited the Holy Spirit into your space to reside there, as you grow, the Holy Spirit will check you and guide you. When it warns you or convicts you (it'll sometimes feel like an uncomfortable eerie or gut feeling), listen and take heed to its direction.

7. Check your friends - everybody can't go where God has destined for you to go. Be UNAPOLOGETIC about that. You cannot carry everyone on your back in this journey. You must help you first. Your relationships should be growing, in addition to helping you grow. Pray about this and ask God to reveal to you who it is that you need to get rid of and ask Him to bless you with friends that He sees fit for you.

8. Be REAListic with your process and your progress - Sis, keep it a stack with yourself! You know what you're capable of doing and what you're not. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Everything will work out in God's timing. Seek Him and ask Him what He sees fit for you to do, ask for His guidance doing it, and be FEARLESS. Don't run off and try to start a whole new ministry when He's only called you to serve in the one you're already in.

9. Be confident in your journey & where you are - you CAN do this! Believe in yourself and the WOMBman that God has called you to be.

10. Enjoy YOUR journey - this is YOUR journey; no one else's! Be YOU! Your journey will not look like mine or the next rib. Be in your journey. Have fun in your journey and be kind to yourself!

You've got this, sis!

I'm praying for you & love you dearly,
xo, Nic

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What is #RibLife

For about two years now, I've been brainstorming this project. I wanted to birth a space where young women could come read about my chastity story and journey to marriage. Now, no I'm not preparing to be married today, tomorrow or anytime soon--this journey, in fact, has more to do with me and my commitment and relationship with God, than anyone else, including my future husband.

So...what is #RibLife?

My junior year of college my best friend and I were talking and just coming up with random names and hashtags for this project. At some point throughout our conversation, I blurted out #RibLife. At the time, my brother-in-Christ was engaged and I remember whenever he would post something about his fiancé on social media, he would refer to her as his rib. If you look in Genesis 2:22 it says, "Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib He had taken out the man, and He brought her to the man" (New International Version). In this text, God is referring to the creation of Eve, whom He had created from the rib of Adam, her husband. Hence where my brother got the reference from!

When I blurted out #RibLife, a host of different ideas came about-I knew that I wanted to tell my chastity story and my life after rededicating my temple back to God, but I also wanted to be transparent and honest about the life that I am living now. I wanted to show the development of who I am becoming as a woman and inspire other young women to be patient in their journeys to womanhood and journeys to marriage.

#RibLife is simply a journey; it's the journey of godly women, consistently consecrating themselves and going before God, reevaluating the character and heart of who they are as women before they pursue courtship and marriage. The journey of #RibLife doesn't end with marriage--in fact the journey continues. #RibLife prepares us young women for our lives not just as wives, but as prepared women equipped to spiritually withstand in our homes, in our careers, and in our spiritual journeys.

Within #RibLife, young women are transparent because let's be honest, this walk gets hard! Temptation is real y'all--too real sometimes. But that's when the support system of other #RibLife sisters comes into effect. Through this page and through my blog in general, you will observe my life as transparent as can be, especially within my poetry. My poems are my most purest thoughts in their most purest forms of expression. I am nowhere near perfect and you'll see that within my poems, but more importantly, through my posts and testaments on what I am experiencing in my life, you'll see that this life is not easy. I've come to the understanding that in order to live this life accordingly that there will be certain things that I just cannot do, certain places that I just cannot go, and people that I cannot be around--that's hard! I am slowly, but surely, adjusting my life to where I know God is taking me and while it may press me and put a lot of pressure on me at times, I know that it is for my good.

So! That leads me to this: I will try my hardest to blog as much about my personal life without being too "mixy." I believe that one of the biggest misconceptions about this journey and life as young Christians is that it has to be boring and really "cookie-cutter." I have fun y'all! I go out with my friends and we have a good time! We enjoy each others' company and just being good girlfriends to each other. My tightest group of friends range from the ages of 20-22 years old and we are taking on the world. We travel, we dance, we laugh, we have fun, but more importantly we are your average 20/22-year-old women finding themselves through this journey called life. We stumble and fail a lot...and that's okay. What I realized early on in my faith was that God doesn't wait for you to be prepared for you to get Him; He, himself, prepares you. As my pastor says, "You don't get right and then get Christ; you get Christ and then He gets your right."

I pray that this entire blog, from the poetry to this specific page, all the way to my journalism blog, blesses you and inspires you to live a life of peace, love and abundance as you continue to develop and grow into the woman that God has called you to be.

For ways to contact me, please feel free to click the Contact Me page and be sure to subscribe to my blog for updates and remain up-to-date with my posts.

xo, Nic.