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Nica O.

Nica shares with us thoughts about contentment and relationship status, learning from failures, and how God has spoken to her about her anxiety.

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Nica O.

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Being truly content in Christ. In Philippians 4, farther down from the verse I mentioned above, Paul writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

I want to apply that to relationships too, specifically romantic relationships. I want to honestly say that I am content in Christ whether I am a single woman or a married woman. And that I will stay content, even if I never marry. But I can’t say that. Because right now, I wouldn’t mean it. But I want to get to that point where Christ is truly enough for me. In EVERY situation, even relationship-wise. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to eventually be married. It is still a big hope of mine. But I just don’t want to feel like my life is unfulfilled if I never marry. If I have Christ, then I am already fulfilled. And if God decides to bless me with a man to walk this life with, I want to take that as an added bonus and not something that “completes” me. Because Christ already completes me.

“But I want to get to that point where Christ is truly enough for me.”

Profession: Registered Nurse.

A one sentence bio of yourself: I’m a tiny little thing with a big personality, who loves the Lord.

When did you first encounter God? I grew up in a Southern Baptist church. It’s really all I’ve ever known. My earliest memory of encountering God was through a VHS given by my Godmother of a show/movie about Psalty the Singing Song Book. I guess it’s like the Christian version of Barney. But I remember the ‘alter call’ at the end of the video. Psalty explained the gift that is Jesus, how He gave his life for me. And it was then that I accepted him as my Lord and Saviour.

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Surprisingly, yet not so surprising: my failures. Everything I’ve learned spiritually is through my failures and my struggles. It is in my weakness that God displays His truest strength. I’m learning to truly thank Him in all that I go through because all of this keeps me dependent on Him. And I think if God never let me experience hardship or heartache or gave me every single little thing my heart desired, I would forget Him and lose focus of Him and instead focus on what I have. So, I am thankful for the storms in my life. He may not always quiet the storm itself, but He quiets my heart and gives me peace, as He molds me into the woman He made me to be.

“It is in my weakness that God displays His truest strength.”

Just read/currently reading:
I recently finished Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado, but I’m sort of also re-reading it. It’s an amazing book! My next read will be How Hard It Really Is: A Short, Honest Book About Depression by J.S. Park. I am also on this Bible reading plan where, by the end of exactly 1 year, I will have read the entire Bible. It’s thematic, not the books in order.

Top three essentials: I overthink these things. Top three material essentials: contacts (I’m blind without them and I don’t like glasses), my sugar pills (I’m hypoglycemic, so for emergency purposes), and my phone. Top three non-material essentials: God, family, & fur-nephew. *laughs*

How did God speak to you recently? God’s been really working on my heart lately. I suffer from an anxiety disorder and I’ve recently been exploring where God is in all of it. God has been using scripture, books by Christian writers, songs, and the people around me to speak to me. And He’s been reminding me of my life verse, Jeremiah 29:11. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you a hope & a future.’” I know He’s been telling me to be still and to know (Psalm 46:10) that He’s in control. He’s been telling me that anxiety itself is not a sin (although it can lead to sinful behavior, if left unchecked). He’s been telling me that it’s not His will for me to live a life of perpetual anxiety. He has plans for me, plans that I don’t need to know the every detail to. My job is to just hold on to His hand and never, ever let go because He knows every step of the way.

“He’s been telling me that it’s not His will for me to live a life of perpetual anxiety.”

Hobby: Movie watching at the theaters, food adventures (hole-in-the-wall place— not just Instagram worthy places. Taste over aesthetic any day. And spending quality time with family and friends, whether it’s game night, escape rooms, outdoor adventures… I love spending time with the people I love.

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Spend regular alone time with God. This includes reading His Word and praying. The best way to get to know someone and to build a strong relationship is to spend time regularly with them. This applies to our relationship with God. The less time you spend with Him personally, the more distant from Him you will become.

Spend time with and surround yourself with other believers that can walk with you and pray for you and pray with you. We were made to grow in community and made to spur one another on towards love and goods deeds.

Let yourself be cultivated and broken. We can come to God as we are because of His love for us. But also because of His love for us, He will not leave us as we are. His desire is to mold us and shape us into the person He intended us to be. In order to do that, we must allow ourselves to be broken so God can break away our old life in order to build the new one.

Favorite person in scripture?
King David! I love how he’s described as a man after God’s own heart. David. An adulterer and a murderer, not to mention all the other sins he committed. Still. He was still called a man after God’s own heart despite everything he did. That’s what I want to be known as despite all my failures and sins, a woman after God’s own heart. 

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? When people look at me, I want them to see that God can turn brokenness into beauty. I want them to see that, although the healing process may be painful, God will hold you together. I want them to see that all you need to do is give Him all the shattered pieces of yourself and be still and watch Him work as He puts you back together and molds you into His beautiful masterpiece. I want people to see that brokenness may be ugly, like Christ’s death on the cross which was ugly and broken and dark…but God is always up to something good, even in the darkest days.

“God is always up to something good, even in the darkest days.”

Favorite season? Fall. I love the colors. Plus, I was born in the fall.

Favorite holiday? Christmas.

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep:
When my siblings and I all lived under the same roof, we always had dinner together with our parents. No TV, no phones, just food and fellowship. Apparently, it’s not very common amongst families these days. To share a meal and really be present with no distractions and be intentional about our time together at the dinner table. I want to continue that tradition when I start my own family because I believe its important.

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? What really happened to the dinosaurs?

Thing you want to raise awareness about: Mental illness and where God is in all of that. Specifically, depression and anxiety, both of which I suffer from. For the longest time, I was so ashamed to even admit that I struggle from both because of the stigma I feel Christians have against mental illness.

What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Press snooze about 50 times! I am not a morning person. Eventually, when I do “wake up,” I like to spend my mornings singing songs to God and dancing. Singing to God is one of my favorite forms of worship.

Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is the belief that the one true God, Creator of heaven and earth, is in the process of restoring the universe which has been corrupted by sin and has made it possible through the sacrifice of His one and only Son, Jesus.

For more Nica:

Instagram & Snapchat: @whatsupmynica

Until next time, keep witnessing!

XOXO

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