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Me & my Boys!

The Goodness of God

The day I got the news my dad was dying I went to Oral Robert's University, walked around and spent time alone with God never realizing Victory Church was right across the street.

Two years after leaving the abusive relationship, in July 2020, I started my job at Creoks.

Then, in August 2020, I was invited to a Victory conference and it set my heart on fire for God all over again. It ignited the light of Christ within me.

 

Just recently God connected the dots and I put two and two together. God so is good! The Saturday I got the call about my Dad God placed me right there at Victory - telling me I had Victory over it all. 

I've since been attending Victory Church and I have received awesome discipleship.

 

I am  forever grateful for Victory church, the fellowship, Pastor Paul and Ashley.

Growing up most people would have said I was destined for greatness, now whether that was great suffering or great service for God posed a different question.

I was born with my right hand smaller than the left and webbed together like a frog. I felt later in life it was a reminder from my maker to “F.orever R.ely O.n G.od.". I always felt different like something was wrong with me. I was constantly bullied.

My addiction started with bulimia and anorexia when I was 9 years old. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking I hated myself. I watched a true-life video about anorexia and bulimia on MTV and it taught me how to use food as an escape from all the emptiness I felt. When I started using my drug of choice it was a release from the obsession that came from my eating disorder and made me feel a false sense of normalcy, and acceptance.


Throughout my life I struggled with an eating disorder, drugs, alcohol addiction, co-dependency and witnessed several people dying that I loved. I've lost close to 30 people from drug related incidents, or other unseen circumstances.  When I was 16 my best friend died in a car accident and then his mom died a year later, I really didn't know how to process this so young; it started an unhealthy cycle of dealing with grief. At age 25 my high-school sweetheart and love of my life committed suicide. How do you cope with something like that? I did what I'd always done - I ran and used more drugs. I lived in 18 houses, and 5 states by the time I was 18 years old and transferred schools more times than I can count. 

Running when times get hard was in embedded in me, it's what I’ve always known. My dad got sober in Alcoholics Anonymous and took me to my first meeting in 2009. I was so glad to see my Dad get sober, he was my hero, but I really didn't think I had a problem I thought he did.

At 25 I moved to Oklahoma where my mom and grandparents were living to try and do something different and be close to family.  I wished Oklahoma state line would have had a sign that said, “Nicole this state won't work either, you’re still here.”  I had a 2-year-old son and a drive to not raise him in a lifestyle he had to recover from - like I did. I completed my Associates degree with a 4.0 and lived in this illusion that I could control my addiction. 

In 2010 I was caught up on 13 charges and was facing 7 years violent in prison for drug related offenses.  I lost custody of my son. I was granted an opportunity to go to an inpatient drug rehabilitation center and accepted a 5-year deferred sentence. This was a great example of Gods amazing grace and constant love for me despite my sin. After I left treatment, I went to my first Narcotics Anonymous meeting. For the first time in my life, I felt accepted and this surging sense of hope that I could be FREE from this self-imposed prison I had been locked in for years. As the years went on my dad collected another year clean and sober while I struggled to stay clean. I never gave up hope. After 5 years I regained custody of my son and was granted an expulsion on all my charges. I knew there was a God that day and I truly wanted to serve him.

I have since been a light in the darkness for many others struggling with addiction. I have served in sober living homes, the recovery community, and in the mental health and substance abuse field going on 7 years now. I am a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist, Case Manager and Outreach specialist for Creoks Behavioral Health. I work closely with other ministries to preach the Gospel in our streets and help resource for the still suffering.  I was baptized and saved in 2014 and felt a strong calling on my life like I had never experienced before to help others find hope. 

My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in 2017 and the doctors gave him 2 years to live.  I don't think anyone, despite how strong their relationship is with God and how planted they are in a fellowship, can anticipate how something like this will affect them.

The next few years were led by fear and resentment towards God. I didn't understand how he could take the best man that had ever lived and why like this. It didn't make sense to me. Dad had become a mighty man of God, who lived his life to serve the Lord and help others. I was angry and confused.  On April 15th, 2019, my dad went home to heaven. I went back to what I thought would be an escape from the pain and entered a toxic, abusive relationship that almost killed me.  I had a one-year-old child that was taken from me, to protect him from the chaos and turmoil of addiction and abuse.  I overdosed and hit my knees asking God to set me FREE. He answered my prayers and delivered me from the desire to use drugs and alcohol. 

When God heard my cry and pulled me out of the slimy pit of mud and mire, he placed my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand (Psalms 40:1-2). I started actively seeking a deeper relationship with him, surrendering my whole self over to God, my life took a turn in a direction I never dreamed possible.  I always knew I wanted to disciple women, and open recovery homes for people lost in addiction. My Dad always told me I would one day, he was right!

In July of 2020 when I started working for Creoks Behavioral Health, I knew it was a position God had placed me in to fulfill his purpose for my life and start FREEDOM FOLLOWERS MINISTRIES. It gave me the opportunity to connect with the community and lead people out of darkness. I began the ministry with no expectations other than to serve God, serve people and offer the same grace, and love I had been shown for many years.

I had a veil over my eyes for many years and didn't know who I was in Christ. Today I have been delivered from addiction, co - dependency, and an eating disorder that almost killed me. I know who I am in Christ and am forever grateful for what he has done to transform my heart. I have 2 beautiful boys who will never have to go through the hell I went through growing up and are being taught the love and grace of Jesus Christ - something I never had as a child.  My goal is to involve as many community partners as possible and unite for a common goal to help people recover from addiction and develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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