Friday, December 30, 2016

A final journal entry for the ending of 2016...

2016 has been quite a year.

I lost love, I gained love…but most of all I’ve learned to create love.

It took me almost two years to realize that there was more out there for me...that there was the love that I could give myself waiting for me. It took a friend yelling at me over the phone, while I was sitting in my car on U Street in DC on the Friday before Valentine’s Day of this year, to remind me to love myself a whole lot more. It was maybe the anger in his voice and disappointment from watching me love a man more than I was loving myself and not receiving the love he knew I had been long overdue…maybe it was hearing that. Maybe it was him asking me what I was going to do if my ex at the time went off and actually married his current girlfriend…maybe it was everything hitting me at once that finally got to me—that finally hit me to love myself more.

And so I did. I started doing more for me and putting me first. I even started dating someone, which was like the ultimate scare and little speck of happiness all at once. And even though it didn’t grow into what I had hoped, but it grew something. It also inspired something. I learned a lot with him—I learned to take chances and to jump even if you’re not sure where you’ll land. I also learned to stand firm in what I believe and what I represent—A single, celibate woman living for Christ despite all odds and despite emotional infatuation. I also learned to ask for what I want and if a man isn’t willing or capable of giving such, he’s not it and that’s okay. My experience with him taught me that and I'm forever grateful for that. 

I became thankful for all of my relationship mishaps this year. Instead of crying over what no longer was or didn’t happen, I thanked God for clearing the way for me. And not just clearing the way for the man for me, but clearing the way for me to create the love that I had been robbing myself of. This year I got to know me like I had never known before. I got to try things I hadn’t before, noticed things about myself that I didn’t before. 

In 2016…
  • I filmed a short documentary on black barbershops and it was decent,
  • I filmed a short documentary on black vets that made it to WTOP,
  • graduated with my masters at 22,
  • I wrote a 22 page law paper that I am still very proud of,
  • I wrote for Blame Ebro,
  • I gained a following on both of my blogs,
  • #TheRibLifeJourney became an even bigger thing,
  • I let go of what hurt me,
  • I saw Beyonce!!!,
  • I saw Drake again like I had always wanted to, 
  • I saw Bryson Tiller,
  • I wrote an article on Bryson Tiller and he liked it,
  • I took so many chances,
  • I moved into my own own place,
  • I tried pork again...and still hated it,
  • I started a career in my dream field,
  • I produced quality newscasts,
  • I became an asset at my job,
  • I produced a 2-hour morning show on my own,
  • I produced a national live-shot with a CBS news correspondent,
  • I found a new church home and joined a ministry,
  • I threw a successful Christmas party at my new place,
  • I went on a wine tasting,
  • Wine and popcorn became an official food group for me ,
  • I met new people,
  • I got a second job as an adjunct professor,
  • I gained even more wisdom in the Word,
  • I developed my relationship with God,
  • I trusted God more,
  • I trusted me more,
  • I trusted the universe more,
  • I loved harder on me,
  • I loved men less,
  • I still loved infinitely,
  • I found my art again,
  • I drew a portrait,
  • I started writing again, 
  • I finally finished reading through a few books,
  • I finally listened to Chance 3 thoroughly before the year ended,
  • I finally got my Frank Ocean, Jay Z and Beyonce fix,
  • A Tribe Called Quest dropped their last album & it was AMAZEBALLS,
  • I finally watched all of A Different World, One Tree Hill and 90210,
  • I thoroughly participated in the evolution of black girl magic by being magical every day,
  • I maintained better hair habits and my fro FLOURISHED HONEY!,
  • I went to my first beer and wine fest and it was the SHIiiiiizzzziiyyyyeeee,
  • I started and stuck with my yoga practice,
  • I perfected by head stance,
  • I started my chapbook,
  • I went to my first Kennedy Center Show,
  • I drew art on the National Mall,
  • I reconciled with friends,
  • I developed an even deeper friendship with someone,
  • I dropped some friends,
  • I started living for me,
  • I told my mom about my testimony,
  • I told the world (maybe kinda sorta) about my testimony,
  • I used my words to speak my emotions,
  • I started living fearLESSly,
  • I healed from broken relationships relentlessly,
  • and I realized more dreams.
2016 was my year. It may have sucked for a lot of people (heck we loss so many people in 2016...like Prince and Debbie Reynolds, the grandmother from Halloweentown man!), but for me it was a year to get me back and to work out of faith. And GOD…it feels great to be here. It feels great to love myself relentlessly and unconditionally. It feels great to look myself in the mirror and love every part of that human being staring back. I may not like everything physically, but that’s because I like carbs and I like Cold Stone…and that’s not going to change. So in 2017, I may need to do more gym than yoga, less carbs and more protein. But more than anything—no matter how different this body may look 6 months to a year from now—I love me and it feels so darn good.

I don’t really have major plans for 2017. Hit New Orleans come August for a conference and enjoy the food and culture, finish furnishing my apartment, and plan for a February 2018 trip to Paris...but more than anything, I’m dedicating 2017 to creating more love within myself and to finding the hope, possibility and magic of love in romance, work, and marriage and holding on to it. I lost some of it…a lot of it. I gave up on it over and over again in 2016 because of disappointment. It made me harsh and cold in some ways; I want to believe in being in love again with a man…I want to believe in the undoubting possibility of Adam again…I want to believe that. I want to rid the fear and apprehension of vulnerability in 2017.

So…here’s to it…on the eve of the eve of a new year. 


2017…I’m ready for you. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Why I DON'T Want to Get Married...

WHAAAAAT?!!! Nic, you don't want to get married? But I thought the whole point of the waiting until marriage and #TheRibLifeJourney was all about being married?

WRONG!

Now that I've probably gotten your attention because let's face itmarriage is somewhat a key part of this whole thing, it's not the focal point. In fact,  getting married makes up about 15% of this #TheRibLifeJourney because at the center of this entire journey is Christ, Himself, but you probably already knew that. So let's get to the question I'm pretty sure you're trying to figure out the answer towhy I don't want to get married.

Well...the answer is quite simple, with somewhat of a complex background.

Earlier this week, my bestest guy friend and I were on the phone for our usual Sunday/Monday night updates. We talk about everything from politics, television, media, our mutual love for Jay-Z and hip hop music, all to men, women, and love and relationships. Every week, he and I talk about the same topics in a different way, and every single week we agree to disagree on these same topics; I can't tell you how many times we argue about why Drake is or isn't the greatest rapper out right now. It's so ridiculous, he started a Twitter war about it! But anyways! On Sunday night, something different happenedwe were talking about the difference between men and women in relationships, and out of nowhere I became really angry and emotional. It was as if something had come over me and had ignited this unresolved tension between my humanity and the male specie, and I was letting my friend have it.

It got so bad that randomly I shouted, "I'm done! I give up!" There was a slight pause before he asked for assurance, "What do you mean you give up? On love?" The answer was yes...I was putting down all hope I had in the fairy tale ending, a house with a white picket fence and a husband that throws rose petals at my feet (not that I really think this way, but I'm pretty sure there are some women out there that define this as the "happy ending"). I was done, and he QUICKLY cut me off and said, "Bro (yes, he calls me bro), you can't just give upthat's wack! You just can't; I know it's hard for you, but you can't."

But I wanted to...I was tired and I felt like at this point, I'm not waiting for "him." I was tired of giving men chance after chance, to be left with nothing in return but a broken heart and memories that turned into unwanted repetitive nightmares. I was done. I had come to the conclusion that if I really wanted kids, I was going to turkey baste all of my children Being Mary Jane style; SO SERIOUS! I was over it, y'all. I went to bed Sunday night discouraged and it seemed no matter what my best friend said to me, I was still in the mindset that marriage and love weren't in the cards for me.

And then Monday morning came...and for what seemed to have been the first three hours of my day, God kept pushing me around my house like, "Hey little girl, are you going to stop being a brat and tell me what the heck was going on with you last night? Are you going to tell me why AGAIN you fell into the trap of your own mind? Are you going to tell me why you keep NOT trusting me? Are you going to tell me why you're defining your happiness and love within a man and not me?"

THREE HOURS Y'ALL! And He didn't stop...quite frankly, He let up on pushing me around my house, but those questions are still lingering because to be honest, up until this post, I hadn't talked to Him about it...because God was right. My "brat attack" about giving up on love is all tied to a trust issue and leads me to the answer to this post.

A lot of us women desire marriage because we're infatuated with the idea of itthe wedding day, the honeymoon, the lovey dovey emotions and the rest of the fluff stuff that we're told marriage is. But what about the work it comes with, the submission it requires, the endurance, the courage and faithfulness it calls for. More importantly, the selflessness that marriages calls for...you ready for that? Because it can get ugly and when that man isn't the man you "fell in love with," can you still pray for him? Will you be selfish enough to not walk out on him when he tells you he can't do something? Will you be trustworthy enough to care for him when he is low and needs someone to talk to and still see him as a man? Will you be slow to anger when he tells you he's having problems with lust, when another woman is taking the time to pay him more attention, when you've been overly working and may have forgot to tell you him you loved him lately? THAT'S THE REALITY OF MARRIAGE.

Does it come with the good times? Yes, but it also requires work. And if you only married that man because you thought he was the solution to your loneliness and you thought he was your happiness...I'm here to tell you that happiness is only contingent on your happenings; it's conditioned on your circumstances. Joy is eternal, though, and you'll only find that in God.

The simplest answer to why I don't want to get married is that if it doesn't please Godif He is not at the center of it, if it's not helping me to fulfill the purpose and plan that He has for meI don't want to get married. If I'm going to put a man that will somedays fail me because he is humanif I'm going to put him over God, I don't want it. And if I'm going to lose myself trying to get another person to define my happiness and the love I've already been filled with, then I DON'T WANT IT.  Return to sender! I'm good bruh! You can slide yo self out my DM's, hit 'em with the BLOCK, CTRL. ALT. DELETE.

don't want to get married if at the end of it all God is not the one who gets glory out of it. What good is it?! In fact, Paul warns us not to get married because of its complexities. Check it outhe says in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (MSG),
I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you're unmarried, you're free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God.
CLEARLY, plain as day, the homie Paul is telling us, "Ayo, bruh, you sure you wanna get hitched? Because it ain't all roses and unicorns, fam!" And if you do truly desire marriage, Paul doesn't say it's a bad thing (1 Cor. 7:2), and I'm not saying it's a bad thing either because HONESTLY, TRULY (Joanne the Scammer voice), I do want to get married eventually with the hopes that my marriage is pleasing in God's eyes.

The point both the homie Paul and I are simply trying to get the single ladies club to understand is that BEFORE you starting singing "Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh..." Beyonce-style, put God FIRST. In this same chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul says "Don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there" (1 Cor. 7:17).

It all comes down to self contentment and continuing to trust THE ManGod. God, defines our livesnot a man or our marital status (1. Cor. 7:17). We shouldn't idolize marriage or see it as the end all be all because it's not! There's this Ruth & Esther movement I see a lot of on social media where a lot of these "ministers and evangelists" are preaching marriage and how to be a wife, and that's cool if that's your steeze! But if all you're taught is that marriage and being a wife is all there is, you will be wasting your life, ladies...because if that man never comes, what are you going to say? What are you going to do? Think that God failed you? Follow that movement if you want to, but read the WHOLE book of Ruth and Estherthose women were working, fulfilling their purposes in Christ both BEFORE AND AFTER they mens came through!

Desire Christ, more than marriage...and when you put the things of Him first, ALL THINGS, not some, but ALL will be added unto you (Matthew 6. 33)...including your little somewhat of a fairy tale marriage to your man!

Enjoy your life, seek Him & love yourselflife will be simpler in many ways if you do (1. Cor. 7:7).

Peace + Love,
xo Nic




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why I Chose Celibacy: My Testimony & What Love's Got to Do With It?

Hey Lovelies!

So...in May 2015, I made a leap. I stepped out on faith and transformed a previous poetry blog into now what is "The #RibLife Journey." The "journey" in and of itself has been tough, up, down, but above all else so worth it. This past weekend some co-workers of mine had brought up my blog at work and asked a question I hadn't really been asked in a long time.

"Why are you celibate in the 21st century?!!"

It was so left and I was so not expecting it, then I realized for the past 4 years, I had been around people that had known me throughout college so I didn't need to explain or talk about my story. Then it hit meI'd never really told my truth about how I got here, to this very moment in my journey. Today's the day I tell it and fly free from the fear of holding that truth in.

Me at 16 yo;
If this little girl only knew what I know now!!!!
When I was about 13, I believe, maybe a day or so after my 13th birthday, my mom sat me down in our living room to talk about "the birds and the bees." I'll never forget that dayI was still playing with Barbies and for some reason had brought two of them to this "house meeting" as my mom would call them for my sister and me. She was really cool about explaining sex. Mom dukes was a mentor in her line of work to teens in local communities and basically, she talked to me like she would themREAL; she didn't sugar coat anything. Some of her last words in that conversation with me were, "You can always come to me for anything. And though I want you to wait until marriage because that's what God wants of us, if you do decide you want to be sexually active, you can come talk to me about it and we'll take the proper steps to make sure you're safe."

I was just about to turn 17 when I lost my virginity.

I was dating this guy who I thought would stop cheating if I'd give him this one thing he was going to other girls for; my self esteem was really low and I was in a really difficult place in my adolescence. I had "friends," but I still felt like a loner sometimes. I didn't always like what I saw in the mirror and it was just really hard. Long story shorthe kept cheating and I broke up with him two months later.

At that point, I went through this internal depression. Here I was 17just broke up with a loser, just gave myself to this loser, was too afraid to talk to my mom because I didn't want to feel like I failed her nor did I want to disappoint her, DEFINITELY wasn't telling my dad because he would've went to jail, told my god sister, but still nothing and no one could understand what I was feeling nor what I was going through internally. I went through most of that time by myself. I cried a lot; I felt broken and hollow. But God said, "You don't have to be."

Fast forward to about a year later, I had healed from that past relationship, was thriving in a way healthier and better relationship, and I was preparing to go off to college. That spring, my mom was talking to me about birth control, but I would always brush it off because despite no longer being a virgin, I still wanted to be one! I didn't actually want to be sexually active AT ALL. Sex did NOT excite me, it did NOT make me feel anything but GUILTY, EMPTY and SINFUL. I got no pleasure out of it and it separated/stopped me from talking to God. It was NOTHING like what society lied to me about! Eventually my parents were actually having yelling matches on why I should or should not be put on birth control and Pops was NOT having it! He called me one afternoon while I was home sick I think from school and was like, "Baby girl, you have a choice! You don't have to go on birth control if you don't want to, especially if you're not having sex." He later told me he wanted me to wait and that he loved me too much to not remind me of the WORTH and VALUE I held within myself. Call it a father's touch or what have you, but that was all I needed to make my decisionmy pop pouring his heart out to me, telling me he wanted me to wait and that he loved me was all the validation I needed.

Since that talk with my old man in 2011, I've been celibate. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Slipped up? ABSOLUTELY! Have I recovered? No doubt. Is it worth it? More than anything. Why?

Because...I found myself. And I found myself when I went before God about my purity. For years, I had been searching for my worth and thought it was in some pubescent relationship. My parents were amazing at being there and always telling me I was beautiful, but in my head, every parent tells their child that! For all I knew, they could've been lying to me because it was a rule of the Parents' Club to tell your kid that, even if it means you're lying. My worth and value wasn't in my parents, and I later found out that it wasn't in a relationship with some little boy, nor was it found in what's between my legs. My worth and value is in God; always has been and always will be.

When I went before God about my decision to be celibate, I expected THE WORST. I actually expected to be struck with some illegitimate baby and thought I would die from some STD. But...He actually embraced me; He was waiting for me to talk to Him. He was waiting for me to repent of my sin so that He could pour out His love to me. Even in that moment of repentance and in the moments to come where I struggled, He reminded me that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). So it didn't matter what I did, so long as I asked for His forgiveness, He had forgiven me and still loved me the same. The moment I repented before Him, my sin was thrown into a sea of forgetfulness (Micah 7:19). God did not want me to be bound by my sin; He wanted to free me from that bondage, and when I gave Him control, He did.

Writing this post was hard for me y'allto strip the "image" of what people perceive of you and be honest about the person behind that perception is rough! But I didn't want to be held captive of an expectation of a "cookie-cutter" because I'm not and never will be that person. I'm simply a sinner who is loved by a merciful, forgiving, true, and eternal God...and I am so in love with Him. I also battled with not just telling my truth here, but also to my mom, which I literally did 24 hours ago. I bawled like a baby during their teething stage talking to her; it was ugly. I had prayed before I called her, practiced what I was going to say to her and how I was going to say it, and whether she would hate me or not, I made up in my mind that I would go free after that talk with her. Well because my mom is the REALEST, the moment I finished telling her, she said, "Nic, I love you." Cried even harder man. Looked like I got punched in both eyes after that!

By coming clean about my truth and my testimony, I'm hoping, even if it's one of you reading this, that you find comfort, healing, and your freedom. Being honest with yourself is a divine responsibility; you grant yourself permission and peace to be who you really are. To both my ladies and fellasthis world will tell you so many things about who it thinks you should be. The only truth about who you are is what's in the Word of God. You can search the entire earth for love, your worth, and your validation, but you'll never find it unless you seek Him for it. And no matter what it is you do or have done, there is NOTHING that can or will EVER separate you from the love that God has for you (Romans 8:39). He is willing to reason with you about your situation, willing to cleanse you, heal you, and fix you (Isaiah 1:18, Hebrews 8:12), all we have to do is ask; confess and repent to Him and you're forgiven just like that (1 John 1:9). The whole point of Christ coming was for sinners; He didn't come for the righteous people, the holy than thou people, the "cookie-cutters." He came for the broken girls like me, searching for self esteem in a boyfriend they know doesn't really love them but thinking their love is enough to make him stay. Christ came for the lost young men, abandoned by loved ones who are just waiting on someone to not leave them like everyone else has. Our Savior came for uspeople like you and me; the sinners (Luke 5:32). And I promise you, in Him, you'll find it alllove, peace, healing, joy, forgiveness, freedom, purity, redemptionHe's got it and wants to give it to you. Don't let the sting of guilt or shame stop you from talking with your Father.

He loves you immensely.

You Are Forgiven...now walk in your freedom.
    Stay encouraged friends,
    xo Nic.

    Mom Dukes & Me at a JT concert;
    Love you mom! xo

    Thursday, September 1, 2016

    Dear Nicole...

    I made a promise to you today…
         One that I vow to never break,
         To never lose sight of,
         To never forget,
         To never refuse.

    I vowed to love you unconditionally today…
         To pour out immense healing when you need it,
         To love you harder on the days you need it most,
         To honor you at all times,
         To listen to you even when you bury yourself in the silence,
         To run after you when you try to hide from life,
         To catch you when you fall,
         To show up today, tomorrow, and every other day…

    I won’t ever abandon you.

    You will never be abandoned again.
    God and I vowed to always guard you,
    Protect you,
    And never leave your side.

    Beautiful, you are a hurricane of movement…
         Fluid in love,
                   Flooding in your outpours of it,
                             And powerful in your force of it…
    You break levees of seasonal barriers caused by unattended to hurts,
    You damage roadways leading back to historical fallacies,
    You are a storm—beautiful in all of your loving ways.

    And you deserve to be loved.

    I know you’ve been hurt,
         been lied to
         been disappointed
         been cheated on
         been let down…
         forgotten,
         talked about,
         mistreated…
    But I won’t do that to you.

    You deserve more.
    Anything less is a disrespect to your humanity.

    Not another day will you have to worry,
    Not another day will you have to search for love,
    Not another day will you have to wonder if your tears have fallen in vain,
    Not another day will you have to scream in silence,
    Not another night will you cry yourself to sleep,
    Not another morning will you wake up feeling forsaken,
    Not another afternoon will you miss the beauty of a sunset—focusing on a lack of love….
    You’ve got it all—love—you always have…
    All you ever had to do was look inward…

    I vow to always love you…
         to see you as magical,
         to see you as divine,
                           as brave,
                           as worthy,
                           as beautiful,
         to see you as pure.

    I vow to always honor you,
         to always cover you,
                         respect you,
                         value you,
                         adore you.

    I vow to always find you especially in those dark places when you go astray,
          forgetting there’s a redemption for you,
             to remind you of the light shining bright within you.

    I vow to always find the beam in how you smile,
         the shine in how you sparkle—you’ll never again have to rely on any man for that, you’ll never have to rely on them to remind you of such because you’ve got me for that.

    Black girl, you are magical!
         Even when the world tries to downplay it,
         YOU ARE BRILLIANT.

    I promise…I pinky promise, like the one Jesus made with God to look pass your sin and still die for you…
    I promise…to love you unconditionally.

    Love Always & Forever, 
         Self.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2016

    "I Want What They Have:" Battling Discontentment in Your Singleness Thanks to Instagram

    Hello beautiful people!

    So much to tell you all, so little time...so let's get right to it!

    Ya girl moved...AGAIN! I'm starting to feel like a gypsy, but it's all good! I took the producing job I last told you all about and found a beautiful place closer to the station. GOD really came through for me y'all!

    But anywho! So a couple of days ago, I found myself awake at like maybe 2:00 in the morning boohooing! Like ugly, REAL ugly tears and it's like it came out of nowhere. I had been "talking" to someone for about four months, let's say, and with timing, transitions of jobs and career paths, distance, it just didn't work out. No love lost, but it just didn't develop into what I was hoping for. That night, I was on Instagram, scrolling through my timeline, when I saw what seemed to have been all of the guys I either used to date or talk to were all in these great relationships...and they had the nerve to look really happy! It was almost like they came together and plotted to post about their newly found relationships or happiness all at the same time and I was the target! Now, none of them know each other at all so I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case, but something about these back-to-back posts hit me. Something came over me and I started to feel as if I was unworthy of happinessas if there was something about me that wasn't enough, wasn't worthy enough of these men being the men that I needed them to be for me.

    It was rough. All of my insecurities consequently came to a head and for a good 15 minutes, I felt really small. I felt like all of the effort I had ever put in, the love that I gave was never enoughnever capable enough of convincing these men that I was worthy of staying around for. And then God asked me...

    "Are you done?"

    Like what? What you do you mean am I done? I'm here having a moment and you're asking me if I'm done?! No, Sir, actually I'm not done and I'm going to keep having this moment. 

    Then in what seemed to be God rolling His eyes at me, I realized all of those thoughts that I was thinking weren't trueme not being enough for those men wasn't the case; me not being enough period was not true. Those thoughts that I was allowing to rule me in that moment were not in alignment to what God has always been telling me.

    Those thoughts were rooted in a lie; they were also rooted in discontentment.

    In this day and age, if you're hooked on social media like most of us millennials are, you're vulnerable to the lies, perceptions, and falsities social media can plant into your spirit. I'd like to think I follow a decent amount of accounts that either preach what I believe or are simply people that I'm cool with. But I also find myself on my popular page a lot where couples related to different accounts are getting married or are really happy in their relationships. To be honest this year alone, I feel like everyone I went to school with is either getting married or having a baby, and I'm sitting here in my singleness like, dang!!! Can I at least get a boyfriend?! I don't want to be married tomorrow and I DEFINITELY do NOT want a baby ANYTIME soon, but dag! Like Ayo, GOD?! You remember me right?! You know I'm tryna be married too right?! You know I learned how to cook not just because I need to survive but because Ma told me no man wants to starve, right?! Oh okay, because it definitely feels like you forgot, OG.

    That's my truth and I'm so not afraid to tell it like it is because I'm hoping by me being honest with you all, it'll set some of you free.

    Social media, when used in the right amount of consumption and for the right reasons, is a great tool to get information and inspiration to the masses. The problem with it is when we forget that those pictures with their stolen lyric captions are just milliseconds of a person's life captured by a camera phone. Those pictures aren't showing how a person got to that millisecond of a moment, the pain they went through, the journey they endured, or the argument that happened right after that picture was taken. We fall for that millisecond of time and base our life's season on that one fragment in time. Crazy, right?

    Yet we spend so much time trying to attain these unattainable expectations we've created with our minds based off of these images, because we are discontent with ourselves. We completely throw out and forget about the truth God has been telling us in His Word like:

    • We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14),
    • We are the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21), 
    • He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10),
    • That He has plans to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11)
    Instead we wallow in our discontentment and we allow it to completely take over our lives. NOT ANYMORE SHAWTY!

    You have to take a hold on this thing! You can't just let your mind win; you can't let that spirit of discontentment rule your life. Take your life back! Claim your happiness!

    When discontentment tries to creep up on you, speak the truth to itSpeak God's Word to it. While you're speaking God's Word to that spirit, something in your spirit will begin to rise up as well. Don't let them lies set up a home in your life; evict them now and abort their mission!

    Personally, I think that anytime we allow discontentment to have its way, we're slapping God in the face, because we're not trusting Him and we doubt the unconditional love that He has for us. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5 in The Message Bible says, "...God not only loves you very much, but also has put His hand on you for something special." Meaning, He's got youmeaning that every desire, every dream, every prayer, He knows! If you could trust Him and keep your mind focused on Him, He'll come through (Isaiah 26:3).

    It's going to happen for youI promise you. You won't be single forever if it's in God's will for you to eventually be married. But in the meantime, DO SOMETHING with your singleness. "Stay the course with committed faith and [watch you] get everything promised to [you]" (Hebrews 6:12).

    Singleness can be roughI know. With what seems to be everyone being in these great relationships, getting married or going on these fly vacations, it can get discouraging. I'm right here with you, but we can make something of this!

    And don't you dare for another second of your life think that there is something wrong with you; you are perfect as He is (Matthew 5:48); He made you with perfection. One of my favorite songs at the moment is "I Need You" By Jesse Boykins III (no, it's not a gospel song, so deep Christians, stone me later as the stone boulder at the top of the hill waits for you). Anyways! One of the lyrics says: 
    It's not their fault they did you wrong; most of the town boys just ain't that strong. It's not their fault they lied to you, as long as you know you deserve the truth.
    The truth is: God wanted so much better for you!

    Those relationships didn't work out because they weren't meant to; God has someone better to meet the caliber and level of amazingness that you're on.

    Don't be like mePLEASE, I beg you!!! Don't be like me and waste an hour of crying and having an attitude with God because you chose to believe the lies of discontentment. You're not those lies; you're what God says you are.

    I know me saying all this is A LOT more easier said than done, but I figured since *cues High School Musical* "We're All In This Together," I'd start sharing snippets of my "Love Journal." Now here's how this works:

    1. NO, I WILL NOT BE AIRING OUT ANY DIRTY LAUNDRY.
    2.  NO, I WILL NOT NAME DROP.
    3. NO, I WILL NOT EXPOSE ANYONE.
    4. YES, YOU MUST PARTICIPATE, TOO!
    Basically, three to four times a week, I journal into what I've named, "Learning to Love (Me, Myself & OTHERS)." It's me being intentional about the healing process during my singleness before I meet my Adam, loving myself completely, being enough for me completely, before trying to be for someone else. I challenge you to do the same! You can use a notebook or download the Evernote app like I did and create a notebook in there. Each week, I'll try to post 2-3 snippets from my journal entries to encourage my fellow singles out there also going through their journeys. 

    Stay encouraged friends.

    I'm praying with you,
    xo Nic.








    Friday, June 3, 2016

    The Best Years: Dating Yourself & Making the Best of Your Singleness

    Hey Fam!

    So about a good two weeks ago, I was on Le Snapchat, and I had shared some advice relating to not being afraid to take yourself out on a date by yourself. Honestly y'all, I was low-key venting to encourage myself and just had faith that someone else would be going through the same. Long and behold, I got some feedback about it and one of my friends actually followed through with the advice and took himself on a date. I thought that was pretty cool and since I know a lot of us may be struggling with discontentment in our singleness, I figured why not write about dating yourself and making your single years your BEST YEARS.

    Before we get into the "How to Date Yourself" codebook, let's first talk about the reality of our lives:

    From the time we're born to about 22/23 on average, our lives are really our parents'. They take care of us, tell us what to do, and pretty much shape us into who we are up to that point. It's not until after our college graduation that some of us get to experience real freedom for the first time. By that time, you've probably moved out of your parents' house, or got a new job to kickstart your career. In theory, you've given 23 years of your life to your parents, family, and maybe even your friends—you've barely had the time to really know yourself and determine who you want to be for yourself.

    Your single years are just that—the time for you to get to know who you really are and who you want to be. We often times rob ourselves of that opportunity, rushing into relationships and sometimes even marriage. Sorry to break it to you, but marriage at 22/23 may not be for you shawty, maybe not even at 25, 35, 45, or maybe not at all! And if it's not, will you still be content with Christ alone? If Adam or your Rib never comes—if marriage is not what God has called you to, will you still say, "Yes," to Him?

    A lot of times, we allow marriage and the idea of it to become an idol in our lives. Whether it be to fill a void we hold from our upbringing, or an idea that we were told we're supposed because of some movie we saw, and because society told us it's what "we're supposed to do," marriage should never be the end goal—glorifying Jesus should be.

    If we could take our eyes off of marriage for just a second, and get to know ourselves as singles, first, we avail ourselves to the opportunity not just to experience ourselves, but to also experience God in a relational way. We experience Him as a companion, a friend, and a love. In that experience, He reveals to you your true self in His image.

    For me, it wasn't until I started spending quality time with myself, alone—no friends, no boyfriend, no family—just me and Jesus, that I realized who Nic really was. I was able to figure out why certain relationships didn't work for me, why my favorite color is what it is, what qualities of myself I like and need to change. Y'all I even learned how to cook and liked it! Anyone who knows me personally knows that I've always hated cooking. I was convinced that my husband would just have to get over it and learn for himself. Clearly, God thought it would be cool to have me move out my mom's and either live or starve. So another check for Proverbs 31 checklist!

    I started dating myself and the day I made up in my mind that my single years would be my BEST YEARS yet, discontentment in my singleness became less of a thing. I began to focus more on my purpose and actually enjoy my singleness.

    So,
    "How To Date Yourself 101:"

    1. Get that butt to work!

    Being single doesn't mean you wait around for Mr. or Ms. Right. Your Adam isn't going to come while you're sitting there looking pretty, or your Eve, fellas, while you're not getting a home ready for her.

    Look at both stories of Adam (Genesis 2:4-25) and Ruth (Ruth 2:1-23)—both Adam and Ruth were minding their own business, doing the Lord's work before they were introduced to their spouses. Adam was in the garden when God made the decision that it was not good for man to be alone. Ruth was working in the field when Boaz noticed her work ethic and became intrigued by her. Both servants of the Lord were working, fulfilling their purpose, completing their work.

    So get to work, bro!

    2. Be confident!

    That night two weeks ago, I took myself out to one of my favorite spots, requested a booth, picked up a book and really sat there, minding my business, ordered something different and I looked great doing so. I dress up for my dates with myself—makeup, heels, the whole nine! The same I would if I was going out on a date if I was in a relationship. I looked good and I felt good. I didn't need a man or woman to tell me I was beautiful because I already knew; God told me so (Psalm 139:14).

    A man had come up to me that night and said, "Are you by yourself?" I simply replied, "Yes, I am." He went on to ask me why I was having dinner alone; no beautiful woman should ever be having dinner alone. I blushed and slightly cracked up at first, then I told him that there's nothing wrong with a beautiful woman having dinner alone and enjoying herself. I was treating myself and didn't need anyone else to do it for me. He applauded me for that. Weeks before that, another man had asked me if I had ever been told I was beautiful. Quickly I replied and said, "Yep! Sure have." When he asked who told me, I said, "My daddy!" LOL! My curve game is hilarious and so sarcastic, but it's also on point!

    Knowing who I am in Christ and growing in Him has allotted me the freedom to grow past my insecurities and into confidence. I no longer need the affirmation of people, especially men to tell me things I already know about myself. Now, ladies, don't be rude! Some men are genuinely looking to compliment you as a way of encouraging you and applauding you for being put together. Say "thank you" and don't be afraid to compliment them back. A safe-zone response for me is "Thank you, King. Have a great day, okay;" gets them every time with the smile.

    3. Enjoy it!

    Saying that being single is boring is a lie—a lie someone told you and you believed it silly! It can be fun if you allow it to be. Do different things, travel, create a bucket list of "Firsts" and actually do all the things you've never done for the first time.

    God hasn't called us to live these dreaded lives; He's called us to live in abundance. When we seek Him first, He said that all things shall be added unto us (Matthew 6:33)...ALL things!!! You know what ALL things is? It's ALL things—an abundance! You'll never lack if you get your butt to work, remain confident in who He has called you to be, and enjoy the journey!

    Make the best of of your singleness and don't waste them away thinking your life will magically become this fairy tale once you reach marriage. I'm telling you, matter of fact, I BEG YOU LINDA, LISTEN TO ME!!! You'll want to enjoy these years now because once they're gone, THEY AINT COMING BACK! Once that spouse comes, and them little snot nosers are crawling all over your house and them terrible-twos hit, you'll be wishing you had two seconds of silence!

    Your single years are your BEST Years yet. Enjoy them!

    Stay encouraged fam. This is a community thing so feel free to hit me with the questions or shoot me an email even if it's for encouragement. We're in this together!

    God loves you immensely and I love you too!

    Praying with you,
    xo Nic.


    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Trusting God in the Transition at Any Stage in Your Life

    Oh heeeeyyyy friends!

    Quick back story and I guess quick testimony to segue our way into this post:

    So almost five months ago, I was in complete and pure panic mode! My last semester of grad school had started and I was already trying to figure out how I was going to be affording continuing to live on my own following graduation. I was applying for internships, hoping that would be a way to at least get my foot in the door to employment. Around the beginning of April, I had a preliminary interview with a television news station for a producer positionit went great and they were really fond on me following up with them; so I did...but, no response. I remember the Sunday before the interview, one of the worship leaders at my church prophesied, relating to someone in the room going after a job and that if they really wanted it, it would be their's. I knew then and there that Jesus was talking through him to me.

    About two more weeks had went by and still nothing back from the station. Finals week came...no response. And then the week of graduation came, and the news director of the station called me asking me to come to the station for a formal interview. On last Tuesday, the news director called me again following my formal interview to offer me the job...WITH BENEFITS Y'ALL!!!

    This leads me to remind/share with you guys three points:


    1. TRUST GOD


    Literally.

    Like I mentioned to you, I was in panic mode! There were nights, I stayed up in pure negativity. My mind would wonder how am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to pay off my loans? How am I going to survive? I moved out of my mom's house three weeks after my 22nd birthday in pursuit of my master's degree and to start my career. I was only a month and a half shy of having graduated from undergrad (CRAZY! I know and I honestly don't recommend it either). I knew that if I hit hard times, my momma would always be there to help me, but I knew that there was more to thisI knew that if God had really called me to make this leap into this new chapter, He would provide. He's the provider for the provision. Instead of panicking, what God was requiring me to do was trust Him in a new way; I had to stretch my faith and be patient.

    Proverbs 3:5 reminds us that if we trust Him and don't depend on our own doings and understandings, acknowledging Him, that He would direct our paths. To me, that scripture is evident that WE DON'T HAVE THE ANSWERS SWAY! I don't got them, you don't got them, ya momma don't go them, ya man ain't got them, your homeboy don't either! But HE does! We trip up and shuffle our way into panic when we try to understand it on our own. If God gives you the vision, trust that He will provide to make provision for it. It's not your business how it's going to happen; it is your business to trust Him, however.

    Think of the story of Peter walking on water in the book of Matthew. When Peter fixed his eyes straight on Jesus, having faith, he was able to walk on water. It wasn't until Peter looked down, taking his eyes off Jesus, that he realized the waves crashing under him and became afraid. He then started to sink. Just like Peter, when we take our eyes off of Jesus and begin look at the small figments of our life (bills, loans, hardships), we become afraid. We don't realize that those aspects are small parts compared to the major partour purpose. We thus sink in our own fear, forgetting that fear is not a fruit of the spirit (2 Timothy 1:7).

    2. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

    A lot of times when God gives us a vision, we think, "Okay, great! Sounds awesome! Thanks for letting me know God; I got it from here," when we're nowhere near close to being equipped to make it happen (WE STILL DON'T GOT THE ANSWERS). For me, I'll use my singleness for example, I always knew that I wanted to be married and start a family. I believe that being a wife, and especially a mother, is a part of the overall purpose God has given me. In knowing that purpose, I've often times moved ahead of God with certain relationships that I had no business being in; same goes in lots of other areas of our lives.

    Or in other ways, instead of moving ahead, we nag God and wallow in sorrow as a result of impatience. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed myself and even some of my friends create these self-pity moments for no reason. "Oh my God, I don't know what I'm going to do," "Oh my God, I don't have this," "Oh my God, the deadline was yesterday and just I don't know," "Oh my God they didn't call me back," all of the "Oh my Gods," ugly tears, snot and drama for no reason. It's actually ridiculous if you ask me now. Why? Because it's showing that lack of faith of a person who says they believe in the God who is in control of everything.

    John 14:14 says that if we ask Christ for anything in His name, He will do it. SIMPLE. Yet we find ourselves having a hard time waiting on Him. Patience and waiting in God has nothing to do with Him really, but everything to do with us. He's already assigned the blessing to you, but He needs to be sure that you're responsible enough to trust you with itare you equipped with the strength it requires to handle such a blessing right now?

    The Bible also reminds us that if we wait on Him, we receive fresh strength, we'll spread our wings and soar like eagles, run and not get tired, walk and not lag behind (Isaiah 40:31). This waiting God is asking of you is so that when the time comes for Him to give you the blessing, you'll be able to handle it.

    So get your life and please stop crying; it's not cute and the dramatics are annoying, bro. Get a grip!

    3. HE NEVER FAILS

    He can't, He won't, never has and never will.

    Whatever He said He'd do, He's already done it. He's just waiting for you to catch up! Often times, we allow eagerness and controlling behaviors to take reign, thus removing God from His rightful place in our lives as Lord. When He is truly Lord of your life, you don't worry about anything! You know that you are taken care of. You're 100 percent sure that God is the same today and forever and that what He's told you about you is true (Jeremiah 29:11).

    The transition is hard y'allI've been through it time and time again. But what I know for certain is that it's built my faith even more every single time. The process isn't happening to you, it's happening for you. God wants to build you, He wants to plant your faith on ground that will not waiver (Psalm 1:3).

    Endure! I promise you it's worth it, I wouldn't be here saying that at the age of 22, I'll be starting off my career as a news producer in a top small market. That doesn't happen on average, but I'm not average and neither are you! Know who and whose you are.

    Stay encouraged friends.

    I'm praying for you,
    xo Nic.

    P.S. Never let fear or anyone else's reservations about your dreams stop you from going for it! I've did it and I'm doing it, so that means you can too. Get your degree(s), get that job, start that career, start that business, write that book, whatever it is! Have faith in yourself and God; He'll work out the rest.
    Graduation Day 2016,
    almost exactly a year after receiving two bachelor's degrees
    from The Lincoln University,
    I received my Masters in Journalism and Public Affairs
    from American University.

    Friday, April 22, 2016

    Don't Get Weary; He's Coming...

    video

    I wanted to encourage my #RibLife ladies real quick. I know this walk gets rough at times and we can become so impatient and discouraged, but your Adam is coming, sis. God is preparing him just for you, as He's preparing you for your Adam. Just hold on a little while longer; he's waiting for you and I'm waiting with you.

    God loves you and I love you too.

    xo, Nic

    Monday, April 4, 2016

    "...Just Give Me Like 5 Years:" For the Girls [And Guys] that Got Away...

    Hey friends!

    It's been more than three months since my last post, but today we're going to get back into the groove of things.

    Lately I've been reflecting a lot on where I'm at mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in my walk and even in my relationships--past and present. I was noticing a commonality in a lot of the conversations I would have with men either in passing or in general. Now I've mentioned this commonality before, but honestly, it's beginning to bug me a bit. That commonality is this phrase:
    You know...you're great and all, wifey material and everything...I'm just not ready for a commitment right now. But if you could give me life 5 years, I promise you, we gon' do this thing and Imma make you real happy...what do you say?
    *Insert rolling eyes emoji*

    Crazy, right?! Like what "man" in their right mind thinks I...Me...THIS POPPIN' GIRL RIGHT HERE is waiting 5 years for them to get their act together?! Not here brother man...I'm good! Enjoy sowing your royal oats though!

    Let me tell you something: if a man [or woman for my fellas] can't see what's right in front of them, let them go! I've said this before in previous posts and that's because it's true!

    For most of my life, I've been "The Girl that Got Away." What does that mean? Well, for my slower friends here, in short it means it takes for a relationship to be over, done with, I've moved on, and he's settled for less (no shade *hair flip*), for a guy that I've been in a relationship with to FINALLY get that maybe they should've gotten they're act together sooner. And by the time they've gotten this act together, I'm already over it and the door of access is only accessible after the Rapture...basically, you have not a chance!

    Honestly, about like two months ago, I got tired of being "The Girl that Got Away." Like y'all I was really starting to think that it was time to give up on this whole "love" thing (Yeah, right! Tried it!--Y'all know I'm a hopeful romantic at heart). But no for real, I kept feeling like nothing was coming out of anything--my patience with men and God was running real low, I had no "juice," no one ever slides in my DM's (that's actually a blessing), and no one had really expressed interest seriously. Y'all I started trippin'!

    Likkkkkeee, "Hey, Jesus! What's going on here?! You forgot about me...little ol' me?! I could use a little man right now. This grad school thing's gettin' kinda crazy, my boss is getting on my nerves EVERY 5 minutes, calling me after business hours...I could use a little companion here!"

    I was done being that girl and I just wanted someone to appreciate me for the amazing woman I am, not take me for granted, or take the chance of letting me go, in hopes that I would wait around for them.

    Then, as God ALWAYS has a way of doing, He checked me. And that's when I realized that being "The Girl [or Guy] that Got Away" is often times a choice.

    WHAT?!

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know! It didn't make sense to me at first either, but let me explain Gina:

    We've all been given free will in this life and sometimes, we choose to see past the signs God has already been showing us. For me personally, I always get this gut feeling when I'm going into a situation I'm not supposed to be in. I also hear CLEAR AS DAY God's voice whether I want to or not. But I go in anyhow thinking I can "influence him, not change him because I can't change a man; only God can." I swear to you this is really what I tell myself, y'all.

    Despite the FIRST initial sign of warning, I keep going heart first, mind last. STUPIDLY tragic! And as time progresses, other signs show up, but I stay anyhow really thinking that I can influence this person into a transformation, praying and crying, crying and praying to God who already told me this is not a relationship I should've pursued in the first place.

    If you're like me, you've overstayed your visit in a situation God never ordained you to be in. Then he [or she] hits you with "there's too much living to do; we're so young and I'm just tryna enjoy my life." So you're now left with the short end of the stick, after putting in all the effort, wasting your love and/or your time away and now what?

    You convince yourself that you're better than their next (which you MOST CERTAINLY are), but you dedicate too much of your time trying to out do them, trying to fight for someone to love you, when you should be loving yourself.

    One of the most painful things I've ever put my own self through in life was loving someone more than I loved myself, overstaying my stay, trying to turn what should've been a hotel room into a home. Pay attention to the signs and go in the direction The Lord is leading you to.

    To be honest, in theory, there would be no "Girls or Guys that Got Away" if we'd just pay attention to the signs that God gives us when He gives them to us. By being hard headed, impatient and disobedient with Him, we lead ourselves straight on into heartbreak and wonder why when we get into the next relationship, we either take our bad habits of ignoring the signs and continue overstaying, or we take the hurt from our past and bring them into our current relationships...BOTH WRONG. Yet, we wonder why God hasn't blessed us with something different.

    My sister wrote this quote on her mirror, one in which inspired this post:
    God can't give you something new with your hands still clenching onto old things.
    After being tired of being "The Girl that Got Away," I realized that I had to make a change in my actions and expectations in relationships. I also noticed within myself a trust issue with men, which is really a heart issue stimulated from the not-so-smart decisions I made and predicaments I put myself in regarding my heart. Let me make this VERY clear: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW YOU REACT TO EVERY EXPERIENCE IN YOUR LIFE. There will be some circumstances life hands to us, and others we create for ourselves; either way, YOU are responsible for how YOU deal with them. Relating back to my "heart issue," I am completely responsible for my trust issue because I created that issue by allowing anything less than what I deserved into my life, allowing it to stay, make itself comfortable, bring its baggage, and live rent-free. Therefore, I am responsible for also evicting it. It's the house cleaning afterwards that God wants to take part in--He wants to clean you up again and deal with your heart's root issue--the foundation that was damaged when YOU allowed that person to destroy you. We give permission to people's actions towards us when we allow their bad treatment to go unchecked.

    Our "getting away" is really a blessing in disguise because it gives us another chance to do it right--to be obedient to God's will and reset our patience in Him. Love takes time and requires patience (1 Corinthians 13:4); it's not going to fall out the sky and just happen. It takes WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK--sorry y'all that's really my song!!! Anyways, back to patience...Psalm 27:14, says Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart. Your patience in waiting on God in your life will not only block the actions and repercussions of your hand, but it will also build your endurance in the waiting.

    Now about this "give me like 5 years" thing--Look here! The Bible says, He that finds a wife, finds a good thing (Proverbs 8:22). KEYWORD AGAIN LADIES: HE. God didn't call you to look for him. But when he finds you, there is NOTHING that man won't do for you. Check out Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29:20-28). When Jacob came across Rachel, he knew she was too good to let up. So immediately, he wanted to marry her before anyone else had the chance. But her father made him wait FOURTEEN years...AND HE DID IT LADIES!!! Jacob served and worked for the woman he loved and was determined to spend the rest of his life with.

    *HINT HINT*: If a man is not willing to respect your vow to honor your temple before God and commit to you, then he's NOT the one for you. No man is going to let another man take what's his.

    So if a man [or woman] is afraid of commitment, chances are God hasn't ordained them the honor of having you. Get Away From Them! But in that, don't doubt God either because He will come through. Remember that our God is not slow in keeping His promises (2 Peter 3:9). If He promised it to you, He will do it.

    The Word also reminds us to guard [our] hearts, for everything [we] do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). Be so very careful with who you allow into your space. Don't be discouraged friends...it's going to work out for your good and one day, you'll be happy you were the one that got away, because you'll have made room for the one that won't let you walk away.

    Peace + Love,
    xo, Nic

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    #RibLifeDiaries: Trusting God with Relationships



    This video was not intended to be almost 30 MINUTES (omg!) long, but I decided to video journal about a lesson I was learning and from there came this video. I thought it would be pretty cool to start this #RibLifeDiaries series to give you guys some insight on my day-to-day evolution in this journey. 

    Peace + Love,
    xo, Nic

    Sunday, January 10, 2016

    Why I Kissed Dating Goodbye...

    Hey friends!

    Today I thought would be a great day to address a topic dear to my heart--a topic I live my every day life with so much joy, so much fulfillment, so much...I am soooooooo lying, it's not always that joyous and exciting (LOL). But today we're going to talk about why this 22-year-old fly girl kissed dating goodbye!

    So here's the story:

    My junior year of college my best friend Brianna told me about this book she read called "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris and how she was no longer dating...huh?! You can bet I looked at her like she was crazy. We were both 20 at the time--I was in a relationship and I don't remember if she was or wasn't, but all I knew was that here we both were on my bedroom floor of our college apartment and she telling me something crazy. "Like how are you going to get married silly?"

    She went on to try and explain it to me and it didn't make ANY sense until maybe a year and a half later. Basically, she was no longer giving into the worldly idea and concept of what it means to date (You'll hear more about this in her video I attached at the bottom).

    Around the end of February that same school year, my relationship ended. I was reevaluating my past relationships and my dating habits in general and I wondered again, how did what I was doing in my relationships differ from what Bri was talking about? I mean I had only been in 3 serious relationships-God existed in each...right...well....okay nevermind, but I hadn't just been with these men to be with them. I had intentions of a future, a marriage, a family. I wasn't dating for the sole intent of having a "boyfriend." The difference, though, is purpose.

    How Brianna and I define "dating/courting" are a tad different, but one thing I think we both agree on is that we both desire to be pursued God's way and ONLY "date/court" with the intent to be married with a purpose.

    So what is purpose?

    The definition of purpose is the reason for which something is done or created for which something exists; basically why something was created. For me, I don't want to be married just because it's cute and I want to be able to be laid up with someone without sinning. DUB. That's not the point of marriage. God's intent for marriage was way bigger than that-to glorify HIM.

    Going back to my decision, I decided that if God had truly placed the desire to be married and have a family on my heart, it was to fulfill His plan and purpose for my life, in order to glorify Him. That meant that I just couldn't date these random guys anymore! Couldn't be laid up with bae, Netflix and Chilling. My life had a purpose--God had a purpose for me and there was more that He was requiring of me..."worldly dating" wasn't it either.

    As stated in a previous post, the idea of dating, according to most, means going out there and meeting different people. You may meet three different people, 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!

    Doing it God's way is different. Instead of going through this "process of elimination," God has already created the man He has intended for me to marry, so there's no need for this "process of elimination;" only that I be patient and wait in Him to reveal that man in due time. Me waiting in Him is me working, serving, fulfilling my purpose even in my singleness (Proverbs 31, Ruth 2-3).

    Now after this epiphany, was I always excited about it? NOPE! (I sometimes think I run things in my life) Around two months before I moved from my hometown to a new city, I decided I was going to try and hit the dating scene! I told y'all before, ya girl was REEEEEAAAADDDYYYYY!!!!! I was going to be out here-cute, single, and ready to mingle. God shut that down so quick. Y'all I got no play out here! None. At. All. He had other plans CLEARLY!

    That's when it really hit me-I wasn't called to "just 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!

    The Word of God talks about the union of marriage and how big of a deal it is in Genesis 2:22-24. When a couple marries, the two become one flesh spiritually (Mark 10:8), meaning all that goes with that person's spirit, goes with you. I'm not about to do it my way and be one in the flesh with the wrong man! Not A Chance! I'll wait!

    There are also responsibilities and tasks of each spouse that come with marriage stated in 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 and Ephesians 5:22-33 that I'm not about to be doing or working out with the wrong Adam. God reminds us in Proverbs to purposely not trust our own judgement for a reason when it comes to certain things.

    Now is there any specific scripture on dating? Honestly, no. God intends for us to marry though, before we get in the marriage bed!!!! (MY EYES ARE STARING AT YOU!!!!!)

    So why did I kiss dating goodbye? Because after loving each of these men, it still failed and we still did it wrong. I was tired of hurting as well. Breakups are rough! I didn't want to do it my way anymore. I wanted God's best for me and I wanted Him to have control over everything in my life, including my love life. So I'm waiting on God and I pray you will too!

    Be sure to check out Bri's video here and checkout her website firefliesforchrist.com. You can also check out another great video on Christians & Dating on Chase God TV featuring Joe Solomon here (he's hilarious and breaks it down in a pretty clear way).

    In the meantime, be blessed!

    Don't get weary during your season of waiting. Focus on the promise, not the process.

    I'm praying for you; God loves you like crazy!
    xo, Nic