Nicole

God has been in my life for as long as I could remember. We would go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and when we got older maybe an occasional small group study. Then I went to culinary school. I like to call it my season of being thrown in the WORLD. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. My roommate brought pot and alcohol into our room so I had to take measures to get my room changed because I didn’t want her to ruin my starting future. Then I met a guy in culinary school whom I thought I had fallen in love with and moved in with him and his family. BIG MISTAKE! I should have listened to my mother and not live with a boy before I was married. This is when I started becoming very worldly and not a daughter of Christ.

After culinary school, I ended the relationship with this boy because I didn’t see it going anywhere I was stuck. Didn’t have the greatest job, no relationship with my family, not very loyal friends and no relationship with God. I came home to Orlando and then I started working for Disney. I call Disney my College days because I became of legal age to drink. So what did I start doing? Partying and drinking…not healthy. I started to spend time with an old high school friend and we then began dating. At this time I started to go to church again and become a little involved. Then one day I decided that I wanted to officially move in with the guy BUT I also wanted to sing on the Worship team. I go to Pastor David and he gives me an ultimatum: Either you can sing on the worship team or you can move in with your boyfriend. Well, I was not happy with this. I left the church angry and judged. However I never moved in with him and I decided to take an adventure to Australia.

Australia was probably the best and worst time of my life. I partied and traveled but I always felt something was missing. I didn’t want to go to church with the fear of being judged on how I was living my life so somehow I ended up in the Outback. I met people there who I thought were great at the time but they ended up being the darkest people and it ended up being the darkest days of my life. When my visa ended I came back home. A few months later nasty pictures were being posted of me all over social media. It felt like my life had ended and there was no way out. But then I remembered something, God.

My Mom, Jenny and my twin sister were trying to encourage me in their own ways. When my Mom was saying you should take it to God at first I was like eh but then it started sinking in. Jenny and Heather were just added reminders of what I needed. Jenny invited me to come to TFF and well now here I am. TFF and their love for God and His people opened my eyes to what God’s grace and freedom truly is. A few weeks ago I realized Pastor David only wanted what was best for me! He wasn’t judging me at all, He was standing by his principles. I understand now and fully respect him for putting me in that position. It took a long time for me to realize he was extending God’s grace to me by being firm.

God knows what he is doing. Let me play this out for you: I went to culinary school in order to work at Disney, Pastor David gave me a choice so I went to Australia, my visa ended and had to come home, I started to hang out with Jenny, then Jenny invited me to church, I met TFF, TFF became home. So accepting at the minute I walked in. I started coming to TFF regularly, I started spending time with Josh. Josh and I began a bible study. FIRST man to ever do a bible study with me one on one. We began to dating and BAM here we are now, married!

If all these events in my life didn’t happen, I might not be where I am today. God never left me. He was showing me glimpses of His grace throughout the whole time and I never realized it until  I decided to become free. Without God’s grace I wouldn’t be leading worship, I wouldn’t be able to share His gospel, I wouldn’t have the peace I have today and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to write this. I thank Him every day for the grace He freely gives.

God gave me Psalm 103 as a reminder of how great His love and Grace are.

True Freedom Fellowship