Turning my "what ifs" into "why nots"... How processing the trauma of my baby getting attacked by a dog changed my life, for the better.
Fear is a tricky emotion. It's a necessary response in "fight or flight"... like, if a bear is ever rollin' your way you kinda want it to kick in. Ain't nobody fightin' off a grizzly without some adrenaline and a healthy dose of fear. That kind of fear? Good. The other kind? The emotional one that tends to rob us of joy, peace, adventure, and growth? No bueno.
I did a live video on instagram yesterday and shared one example of fear that I had to process and let go of this past year. It's taken me a long time to talk about it because 1. I thought I was over it, and 2. I don't like talking about things that are painful. But I've realized talking about the painful things releases me from its suffocating grip.
When my daughter, now 4, was only 17 months old, she was bitten by a dog. I don't mean a little bite. I mean in the face, lacerated from the corner of her mouth almost two inches up her cheek. Our babysitter was watching her at the time and our new neighbor's dog came barreling out of the woods while my sweet baby was eating a popsicle on the front porch. The picture above is of Ellie a week after the surgery took place.
That day was a nightmare. I still remember getting the call from our babysitter and having to turn around the van from picking the girls up from school and return home.
"There was an accident. You need to come home." she spoke through broken screams in the background.
My van turned into a freakin' sports car as I drove home. My heart was beating through my chest. My breaths were even faster. I barely came to a full stop before jumping out and running toward the already opened front door to my home. I still remember, like it was yesterday, passing by the blood stained steps. I stopped. I knew before I entered the house I would have to prepare myself for seeing what only I thought I'd ever see in my worst nightmares.
I stepped in, my baby screaming my name from the kitchen. As I turned the corner of the dining room, I saw her. Her blood soaked cheeks, her tear filled eyes, and her outstretched arms were all it took for me to want to crumble into ash, right there on my kitchen floor. I couldn't, she needed me.
I quickly turned my emotions off, like a light switch. When my nurse brain turns on, my emotions are all turned off. Years in the medical field taught me to avoid my emotional response when faced with traumatizing situations. This serves a purpose for first responders, nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff. It's not only helpful, but necessary in those situations and for that profession.
The problem came when I never flipped the switch back. I held my baby's hand while she went under surgery with a team of pediatric plastic surgeons. I watched her scream and cry for me as she came out of anesthesia. I watched as a nurse tried to stick her for an I.V. not once, but twice... digging around in her little arm like that needle was a garden trowel. I stayed silent. I stayed calm. But everything inside of me wanted to scream. I wanted to be angry. I wanted to yell. 22 stitches later, we went home with an emotionally traumatized little girl.
At the core of me, I wanted to collapse on the floor of my bedroom and cry when I got home that night. I felt like a failure. Hopeless, unequipped and unworthy of being her mother. I failed at protecting her. I failed.... but I couldn't. I couldn't feel anything. I was emotionless.
Life after that day was cautious, at best. There wasn't a slide safe enough, puppy safe enough to pet, babysitter trustworthy enough to watch my daughter. I helicoptered around that little girl like I had nothing else to do in life. My mind would flood with the worst case scenario in everyday circumstances. "What if" kept her and I from doing a lot of fun things. I was filled with the fear of something ever happening to her again.
Until I started therapy this past year. I learned that I was living in complete fear. I was parenting her out of fear. She didn't deserve that, in fact, she deserved to experience life to its fullest. She deserved to go to playgrounds, run free in our yard, be babysat by responsible adults (and my marriage deserved that too, Lord Jesus...).
I made a really hard decision last year guys. I traded my "what if" mentality in for a "Why Not?". And it was haaaaaard. But as I learned to loosen the reigns one tiny bit at a time, I recognized how much of an impact it had on her. She started to do the same thing. I had to let emotion back in. There was a lot of ugly crying. A. Lot. There was a lot of anger, not towards the dog or the babysitter, who I love dearly, still to this day. It was toward myself. I had to learn to let myself feel again so I could process that trauma and put it where it belonged, in my past. Until I did, it would continue to seep out into my life, affecting everything around me with its poison.
My little four year old is now one of my most fearless of all four kids. She is still timid around dogs (as she should be), but she traded her hesitation for bravery, her timidity with assertiveness, and her own fears for freedom. She explores, seeks adventures, and lives like a little four year old should.
If I wouldn't have processed the trauma I went through that day, I wouldn't be parented her the way I am today. I would've held her back. I would've taught her to fear instead of risk. My fear of failing her kept me from allowing her to experience life. Heck, it kept ME from experiencing life.
After speaking out the FEARS and LIES to my husband and my therapist, God bless him, I realized how oppressive they were. It wasn't until I spoke them out into the light that I was able to recognize how they were impacting my life.
"He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into light" Job 12:22, NIV.
Guys, speaking about that day brought the darkness in my mind into the LIGHT... . It shined a light on them for what those thoughts truly were, LIES that were keeping me from the TRUTH, which was this: I am NOT a failure. I am WORTHY of being my daughter's mother. I did NOT fail her and I am charged with raising her without FEAR...
This is one of MANY fears that were brought to light in 2018. This is one of many fears that I talk about in my upcoming book. Thank you all for following along in this journey. I can't wait to share more.
Cast fear aside by first bringing them into the light. Talk to someone about something that you feel is holding you back. Take a step in putting that fear where it belongs, in the past....
Here's my little pumpkin now. Just as strong, beautiful, and full of life as ever. The journey we have been on in the last two years has been difficult but it's been worth every bit of work she and I have put in. I praise God every day for the little miracle that she is, for the resiliancy she has, and the life she breaths into everyone that knows her.
I really hate crying, especially in public. I’m not what you would call a “pretty crier”. Nope. I go from “ok” to snorting, snotting, and turning a a lovely shade of grape in about five seconds. Sometimes, it just hits me unexpectedly. Like, when I’m at a movie with all four of my kids, watching “The Grinch that Stole Christmas”. Yep. I’m that girl.
I tend to notice the inconspicuous, somewhat unremarkable attributes of my surroundings. When others are engrossed in the movie, my mind tends to wander. I notice the intricacies of digital theatre and marvel at things like the detail of the snow covering the Grinch’s bright green, hairy foot. Hey, we’re all a little weird, but I’ve just grown to accept mine and be ok with it.
I also hear the laughter throughout the theatre when Max digs himself into the snow when the Grinch snaps the reigns of his large sled and commands him to “mush”. More than the comedic relief, I see the friend in Max who’s willing to love the Grinch, despite how unkind and unfair he treats him.
I notice the businessman beside me with his glass of wine, bag of popcorn, and forlorn face as he hears my children giggle and laugh. I wonder what brought him there and why there wasn’t anyone accompanying him. I wonder what his story was and what brought him to that place.
I notice my daughter’s eyes grow ten times larger than normal when she sees the hurt behind the meanness of the Grinch. She connected with the pain, not the act of unkindness. Proof that I’m not screwing her up (completely). That’s a win for this momma.
I felt the tears when the Grinch watched his reindeer leave him when being reunited with his family, because at the heart of every misperception, mislead opinion, and act of unkindness is hurt. The Grinch focused all of his free time, energy, and efforts towards destroying Christmas because he never healed from the one thing that hurt him the most- being forgotten on one Christmas day as a child. The resentment and anger built up and made him hard towards others, isolated him from people, and creating unhealthy habits to satisfy the desire for what he truly desired: to be known.
He overate, used the only friend he had, constructed inventions to suck up toys, pouch lights, steal garland, and destroy everything about Christmas. The one thing that began changing his cold heart was Cindy Lou-hoo telling him if he simply closed his eyes and sang around the town tree it could erase all sadness. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get that little girl and her words out of his head. Yet he still went from house to house, pillaging all that he could fit on his sleigh.
Meanwhile, back in Hooville, even when everything was gone, he could still hear the people in town singing. No matter how much he stole, the Grinch couldn’t steal the true meaning of Christmas. He didn’t understand, didn’t they know what he had done? How could they still find joy?
Then the miracle happened...
The voices from Hooville grew in strength and volume, swelling the heart of the Grinch with soft, unexpected surprise. He began to heal, change, and feel again.
The end of the story is the best. He did a 180 and found what he needed most: friendship, love, and joy. He stopped dreading life and began to celebrate it. It’s when his heart softened that he saw his wrong doing. It’s when his self-awareness drove him to ask forgiveness from those he isolated himself from; those he thought wouldn’t forgive or accept him, for stealing Christmas and being unkind for so many years.
But he was wrong. They didn’t reject him. They accepted him. Even though he stole Christmas, that little girl that shifted his perspective came knocking at his door, inviting him to Christmas dinner, regardless of the hurt he tried to cause.
At that moment, I noticed the smiles on everyone’s faces around me as they left the theatre. Their hearts grew just a little bit bigger because of the Grinch’s story, as did mine. Cue the ugly crying. So embarrassing. I saw how the Grinch’s story touched each and every one of theirs. I couldn’t help but be moved by how beautiful that was.
There’s a beauty in the story of the Grinch, much like the journey of life. We might not always see the reasoning behind the hurt and the pain but we can hold on to the promise of hope and redemption through Jesus.
The Grinch got lost in the pain of his past. It robbed him of joy, love, and relationship. But to regain the loss he had to confront the past. That took courage and a ton of vulnerability. He had to push past the fear of being rejected to receive the things he desired the most. He had to acknowledge hurt when it would’ve been easier to ignore. He had to exchange selfishness for relationship, and that took self-awareness and the desire for change.
There’s a lot of lessons to be learned from the Grinch’s story, but the one that speaks loudest to me was hope. Even when reconciliation seemed impossible, there was still hope for redemption. If we are willing to soften our hearts to others, listen and seek out the answers from Him, we will be healed from our past and gifted what we desire the most: acceptance, love, and intimacy.
I challenge you to lean in to the uncomforts of the healing process, open your heart up to others (no matter how scary), and walk into the unknowns of vulnerability. The result will grow the size of your heart ten times the size you’d ever imagine. We all have similar stories to the Grinch, and so many of us are moved by it. From the businessman, to the child, to the parent ugly crying next to them, we all find ways to connect to his story. Start by recognizing what it took the Grinch so long to identify: you are worthy of joy, you are more than enough and capable to overcome your past, and you are deserving of intimate relationship.
Happy December friends!
Motherhood isn’t for the faint-of-heart and if we aren’t careful, it can wear us out more than it builds us up. These five verses have helped me grow as a mother with every stage of childhood I’ve been through thus far, which to this date, has been an 8 yr old, 6 yr old, 4 yr old, and a 2 yr old. I've crawled my way to bed at night wondering what in the wide world I was thinking when I let my husband impregnate me not once, not twice, not thrice, but FOUR times. Then there were other nights I went to bed deliriously happy and with a full heart, but it usually occurred after multiple glasses of wine OR a night without my kids.
I wanted to live somewhere in between those two norms and possibly with a little less wine, mommy had a lot of headaches. It started with my mindset. It needed to shift, desperately. These four verses and truths help me be a better mom, a better wife, friend, and individual. I hope they help you. Actually, I hope they make you cry, with relief, a couple of belly-laughs, and the feeling of not being alone. Cause you're not momma- I hear you and I'm walking this road of parenthood with you. From one momma to another, if you don't read any further than this, know you're one of many taking it one day at a time (or even a minute, depending on if you have a toddler or infant that requires a boob in their mouth so often you wonder why you even put on a shirt, or constant guarding from the possibility of death with every second of the day.)
So lets get started, cause I know you don't have much time:
1. Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I don’t know if you realized this yet, but you were hand-picked by God to raise the child growing inside of you. There is no other person on this earth that could do it better than you. Fear-based isn’t holy-spirit based. Trust that God will deliver you and your child out of any trial.
When my daughter was only 18 months old, she was bitten by a dog while sitting on our front porch. The attack left her with 22 stitches on her little face and an emotional wound larger than the physical one. For the longest time, I parented her out of fear, keeping her from anything that could potentially hurt her. There wasn’t a safe enough slide, calm enough animal to pet, or babysitter qualified enough to watch her. It took time and prayer to realize I was robbing her of enjoying the simple things inher life and mine. I had to let go of the “what ifs” and trust enough to start saying, “why not”?
2. Psalm 127: 3-4, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth."
Your children will be the greatest joy of your life. You will love them like no other person on the planet, even in the most trying moments. This isn’t easy when your toddler is throwing a tantrum in the store because you won’t let her buy that block of blue cheese she doesn’t even like (how dare you).
Side note, there will always be an older woman that will see your children throwing the most epic tantrums and choose to remind you that these will be the days that you miss, right smack dab when you’re about to threaten all the spankings and timeouts. Don’t hit her, just nod and walk away, because we all know, that even though kids are loved, these moments are not the times we’d like to be reminded of what we’ll miss. The only thing we miss in those moments are silence and days when we didn’t wear yoga pants as our “work attire”.
Remind yourself of the good moments at the end of the day. Sometimes it’s a tiny giggle, a quick snuggle, or an unexpected hug that make all the rest of the stress float away. Give yourself a break, a glass of wine, and a bubble bath. You deserve it!
3. Psalm 112:7, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
It’s inevitable that our kids will disappoint us. No matter how many times we tell them not to do something, they won’t always listen. This isn’t a reflection of your faults, but a normal part of development, for both of you. When we approach our children with a steadfast love, like our heavenly father, they learn to trust instead of fear us and that’s what will win their little hearts.
4. Philippians 4:6-8, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
I don’t care if you’ve heard this a million times, from your grandma to your momma to your pastor, I’m gonna say it again, PRAY. Parenthood will make you say and do things you never thought possible. You’ll be left more confused at what you say than what they do, but when it all comes down to it, praying through it all is what will get you through it. It will deepen your relationship with Jesus and your children.
Let’s face it mommas, there’s a lot of truth in, “if momma ain’t happy, no one is”. We are the glue that binds our homes. When we stay strong, so does our family. Lean heavy on your maker. Guard yourselves with His word and ground yourself in its truth.
These last couple of weeks I’ve been singing again…. And it’s been uncomfortably freeing.
So, allow me to explain why Jesus sounds like Mr. Stapleton to my “hot-mess self”…
You might be thinking, “What in the wide world of weird are you talking about Nikki? How can you hear anything about Jesus through Chris Stapleton?”
And my short and simplest answer would be...
Because I’m looking for Him.
Jesus met me in some of my most painful moments with Chris Stapleton’s song, “Tennessee Whiskey”.
A verse that spoke in to my heart on some of the most difficult moments was this:
“I’ve looked for love in all the same old places
Found the bottom of a bottle always dry
But when you poured out your heart I didn’t waste it
‘Cause there’s nothing like your love all the time”
-Tennessee Whiskey, C. Stapleton
The nights my pain was too much to bare, I leaned heavier on bourbon than Jesus. Those nights helped in the moment but left me with guilt and a fairly large headache.
The difference between bourbon and Jesus? Jesus doesn’t leave me empty and needing more to mask the pain, He comforts and fills me with peace.
My heart grieved the loss of its innocence at such a young age and in such a traumatic way. Processing my attack caused me to feel again, which was healing, but it hurt more than I could bare at times.
Psalm 139:7-8 tells us, “Where shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”
I’ve made my bed in Sheol many nights in my life, but Jesus met me there… and He poured out His heart in ways that only He knew I would be able to hear Him. There was nowhere I could go or any amount of bourbon I could drink that would turn His love away from me.
He continually shows up.
At times when I’m sad, He looks a lot like a lumber jack, sounds like Chris Stapleton, and smells like warm apple pie.
Other times, He makes me smile harder than Jim Gaffigan, cry cleansing tears with Lauren Daigle (girl can sang), and feel warmer than any glass of bourbon I’ve ever tasted. But He somehow always looks like a lumberjack... much like the hunk of a husband pictured above... (I guess He figures if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… 😊)
I know, those are some pretty strange conglomerations of Jesus, but so was Ricky Bobby’s….and somehow, that worked for him….
“Dear Lord baby Jesus, lyin’ there in your ghost manger, just lookin’ at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin’ ‘bout shapes and colors. I would like to thank you for bringin’ me and my mama together…”
-Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby might’ve been joking, but the image of Will Ferrell praying to a Jesus that looks so different than the one I pray to made me realize that Jesus can and does look different to everyone, and that’s perfectly acceptable …😉
Even if his or my version seem a little strange…
Here’s the thing folks, my Jesus consistently shows up when I need Him. He doesn’t always look the same, but His truth does. He knows what I need and how I need it more than anyone, including myself.
He never has, nor will he ever, abandon, reject, or demean me. Instead, He loves, listens, and talks with me.
Where people and culture leave me wounded, He heals…
What does your Jesus look like?
A baby looking at developmental videos, Chris Stapleton holding warm apple pie, or something completely different? ‘Cause I’m here to tell you- He will individualize His words and presence to each and every one of us, no matter how strange it seems to others. If you seek Him, He’ll show up in a way that will speak specifically to YOU and where ever you’re at in life.
Happy Hump day guys… Friday’s right around the corner…
Me and Chris Stapleton Jesus
“I can’t do this!” she screamed. Her brow furrowed as she fell back in the bed, exhausted from pushing for over two hours.
I swallowed the ball of tears that was welling up in my throat and encouraged myself, “you’ve been here, you can help get her through this. Don’t be afraid.”
“Look at me, Mandi. You CAN do this and you WILL. You are strong. Now get ready and push as hard as you can. We’ll get through it together.”
Her eyes met mine and I began to see an inner strength replace her pain. I gently lifted her leg, took a deep breath, and began to count her through the next contraction.
My sister had her first baby this weekend and it reminded me so much of my own labor and delivery stories. I had the privilege of being with her through every part of the delivery and I was so proud to be a part of her story. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.
Child birth is such a beautiful reminder of what life looks like when we go through trials. There are five things I’d like to share that have helped me get through mine, in hopes it will be a source of encouragement for when you go through yours.
Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Trials will leave you feeling scared and weak, but if you remember who is with you, you have the power to cast fear aside and replace it with boldness and courage. He is made strong in your weakness. You will overcome any hardship when you put your trust in Him.
2. The result of any trial is wisdom and strength. Remember, there is purpose in your pain.
It was interesting hearing the doctor coach Mandi in the last half-hour of her labor. I’ll never forget when she leaned down to Mandi and told her, “I can tell you’re resisting when you feel the pain you’re pushing into, but that’s what you need to push through. That’s the body’s way of giving you a focal point. That’s what will get your baby out.”
I mean, HELLO? How accurate is THAT? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve resisted trials to avoid pain or suffering, when that’s exactly what I needed to push through in order to see the beauty on the other side. I realize this is God’s way of developing us, teaching us to lean harder on Him when we know we can’t endure it on our own. When we choose comfort over pain it prolongs the trial, or even worse, avoids it completely. When we boldly walk into the struggles of life, no matter how painful it may be, the reward is wisdom and strength.
3. Learn to rest when given the opportunity, to gather the strength to get through the next phase.
It was so difficult for Mandi to rest between contractions. For her, and most women, that’s due to a mix of adrenaline, pain, and hormonal shifts. But if I’m being honest, which I am, I think I have such a hard time doing this, in daily life. I’ve recognized that when I don’t stop and allow myself quiet time, to pray and get in God’s word, I become restless. I find that even when my day only allows for five minutes of quiet time (which, a lot of times, that means in the bathroom- am I right mommas?) I’m calmer and more prepared to take on whatever else gets thrown my way.
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Your trial isn’t yours to carry alone, give it to Him and He promises to give you the rest you need to strengthen you. You aren’t alone, you can do this.
4. Remember that you were made to overcome whatever you face, regardless of how unequipped you may feel.
It was right at the end of labor that my sister needed help the most. Her energy was depleted, her spirit faint, and her pain the strongest. This was when she needed reminding the most. Esther 4:14 says, “…And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” What a wonderful reminder that whatever we are facing, we were made for this moment, regardless of how we feel! Sometimes, we have to detach ourselves from how we feel so we can attach ourselves to reality.
Mandi had a choice to make, give up or fight. She chose to fight, even when she felt she had nothing left to give. And the result was priceless, a strength she’d never known she’d had and the birth of a precious baby girl.
5. When you overcome your trial, you are fully equipped to share your story with those who need to hear it the most.
I’ve had four babies of my own. My first two were c-sections and my last two were vaginal. Yeah, I did it in reverse. I’m extremely proud of my story and the strength I possess as a result of going through them. But seriously y’all, I cannot tell you how empowering it was to watch my story and my trials impact my sister go through hers.
Whatever you’ve faced, I guarantee you there is someone else out there who has gone through something similar. God desires us to share our trials to empower others to overcome their own. His intention is for us to connect with others by sharing our stories, to encourage one another and draw us closer to Him.
Proverbs 20:5 words it beautifully, “the purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”
You have a unique purpose that gives you an insight that no one else has. There’s never been, nor will there ever be another story etched in time quite like yours. This makes you invaluable, uniquely made, and more precious than gold.
Pushing past the fear of being known and sharing where you’ve been and what you’re going through is tough, but the benefits are great. Being transparent and authentic will yield a deeper relationship with the people you love and draw you closer to the one who loves you more than anything.
Allowing myself to be a part of my sister’s story added to the impact of my own. Sharing who we are not only benefits others, but has a residual affect on ourselves. I’m stronger because of her and I’m so thankful to have been able to be a part. I’d love to hear some of your own stories of overcoming trials and how they have impacted others! Your stories encourage and strengthen me along my journey! If there’s a trial you are facing, I would love to hear about it so I can pray for you.
Please share them with me by going to the contact page of my website and filling out the form.
If I don’t hear from you, hope you have an awesome week!
If I told you I began this journey with nothing but excitement and expectation I’d be lying, and I feel like that would be a pretty poor way to start this thing off right. The truth is, I am starting it with excitement mixed with a little fear of the unexpected and anxiety about opening my heart up to you, to the world. But coincidentally, God has given me a story that I just can’t shut up about and that bodes well for someone who has always been a sort of chronic, over sharer. That personality trait hasn’t always suited me well, but in this case, it helps drive me forward. It paves a way for action when I would otherwise stay stagnant.
When God gives you a story too great to keep to yourself, it’s difficult to sit back and let it go to waste. I’ve lived a fairly comfortable life, not ever really going without. From the outside looking in, I had it all. My life at 33 was full. I had four beautiful, healthy children, a loving and adoring husband, a beautiful home, and a loving community of friends and family that I did life with. But something was always missing. No matter what I achieved, who I did life with, or how successful I was, there was always this nagging voice inside me begging, “isn’t there more?”. It lingered like a toothache, easily dismissed but always present. It began to claw away at my life from the inside out, like a beast contained for far too long. She was tired of being caged and growled with anticipation and hungered to be let out. Fear kept the lock tight and insecurity hid the key.
God began to unravel the life I had so He could begin to build one that would realign me with Him, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. In the unraveling, God made an everlasting covenant of peace with me. I would never be able to experience it if I continued to do life with only parts of Him.
Giving my whole life to Him freed me to boldly step into and discover my calling as a writer, a speaker, and a survivor in Him. I began to set aside the fears and insecurities that once kept me hidden amongst the crowd, but stepping into this life required me to unlock the beast of my past and let her surface and be heard. She came out fierce, clawing away at life. I could feel her claws against my ribcage as she spoke for the first time in over twenty years, and it tore away at everything I was.
My struggles dealing with PTSD associated with a suppressed sexual attack that occurred when I was 13 years old began when I was a 33 year old. Up until that point I thought burying it deep in the darkest parts of my mind would heal me, but instead, it grew. She grew. As the years passed by, she remained quiet as I took lead over my life, hitting milestone after milestone, achieving more than most. It wasn’t until a fateful drive back up to the place she was birthed that the memories of my attack would no longer stay confined.
Discovering who I was, and all that God had for me required me to let go of confining her. The journey of healing thus far has had many ups and downs, trials of remarkable battles that ended with extraordinary victories. Healing is equivalent to enduring a second trauma. The work involved is much harder than anything I’ve ever endured before, but such is evident for things that are worthy of fighting for in life. Shedding the life I once knew birthed a life that was filled with an inner peace and joy that I’d never experienced before. God began to pave a way of discovering who I was in Him, showing me along the way just how loved I was, regardless of what I could do or who I could please.
It’s actually pretty funny, I’ve lost a lot in the process thus far, but what I’ve gained is worth more than I could have ever imagined. Life with Him broke me from the bondage of my past and freed me to be truly known. It’s so freeing to be me, authentic and genuine, and caring more about what Jesus thinks than anyone else.
So, let me introduce myself! I am Nikki. A truly known and loved woman of God who wishes to open her heart up and share it with you, because I want my light to shine bright and I believe the more I use my voice to share my story of transformation, the brighter my light will shine on a dark world. We were made to be connected, intertwined with love. Our stories are the doorway to a world overcome by a multitude of lights, too bright to be put out. So join me and lets rise up, together and shine!