This has been an amazing year for us here at Whole. We have met so many wonderful women of God that are truly impacting the world with the love of Christ. It was through some of those ministries that, over a year ago, I met this month's Spotlight woman, Nicole Louis. It was a blessing for me to see her birth Love Me...31, a ministry existing to encourage, empower, and equip women of God by striving to meet the Proverbs 31 standard of a true, godly woman. Check out our interview below to learn more about Nicole and LM31.
W: Nicole, can you share with our readers a little bit about your upbringing?
N: "I am a mover! I was born in California, moved to Arizona at the age of two, grew up there, moved to Texas at 19, and then to Arkansas at 20, and that is where I currently reside. I am one of seven children and grew up in a very loving family, goofy, but loving. I am bi-racial my mother is Caucasian and my father is African American, and that was a blessing and a curse for me. I was blessed to be who I was and have parents who instilled confidence of loving who I was, however, I had so many problems with girls who just did not like me because of the “ stereotype” that comes with mixed girls. People say we are all stuck up and think we are better than the next girl, so not true. I was determined to show the world I wasn't like that at all."
W: How were you introduced to Jesus personally?
N: "I remember going to church functions as a little girl, but my family was never really stable and consistent in a church environment. It wasn't until I was about 17 that I encountered Jesus for real, for the first time. My family had started going to a church in Phoenix and they had a winter retreat coming up that my mom forced my brother and I to go to. At first, I was pretty hesitant, I thought it would be a lame church trip where everyone sang, “ Jesus loves me this I know, “ and smiled all the time. When I got there and we had our first worship service, it was really late at night and I was tired, so I really wasn’t feeling it to begin with. At some point in the service, the pastor gave an alter call, and I just remember I started crying. I didn’t know why , and I did not know what it was, but the moment he said, “ if there is anyone here who needs to surrender their all to the Lord, raise your hand.” Before I knew it, my hand was high in the air and I had a counselor praying the prayer of salvation with me. It was amazing, by far the best trip of my life."
W: Can you tell us a little about your ministry Love Me...31 and the vision behind it?
N: "Love Me…31 is the result of a life full of mean girls and seeing the inner “mean girl” in myself. I saw a lack of Godly women who were standing up for one another and really walking life together as sisters. I saw more women being caddy with each other, waiting on the next girl to slip and stumble so they can get their shine on and be the next greatest thing in the church. These were women of God I was seeing acting this way, and I knew this wasn’t the life God had called us to, and I was just as guilty. Love Me…31 was designed to build and uplift women of God. I wanted to build self-esteem and confidence amongst all my sisters in Christ. The goal is to help develop women and teach them to love themselves, each other, and God. We live with 1 Timothy 1:5 mentality, “ The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. “ I really want to see myself, and all of my beautiful sisters desire to love out loud and love on purpose!"
W: What are some of the toughest challenges you face as a young single Christian woman today?
N: "Contentment can be such a huge struggle for me. I battle with just being okay with where God has me constantly. It can be so easy to look at the next person and desire what they have, especially if it looks good! I have to constantly seek God’s face so that He can remind me that my portion is perfect for me. He has me right where He wants me to be, and there is no other place that I should want to be than in His perfect will for my life. The struggle is real, but it is worth giving that area, really an area that you struggle with to God."
W: What does a Proverbs 31 woman look like to you?
N: "The woman in Proverbs 31 is my example for what a woman with God’s heart looks like. She is not perfect, but she works on being everything God asked her to be. To me, I look at my own mother as an awesome example of what the Proverbs 31 woman looks like. She is so strong; willing to do whatever it takes for her family to get to the place God designed for them. She is constantly reaching out to help people even when it might put her in an awkward position because her heart and passion for God’s people is amazing. The woman in Proverbs 31 is a servant and her heart is set on doing God’s work. She is not fazed by what the world is doing or saying because she is focused on what God is doing and saying."
W: What inspires you to press on, when the going gets rough?
N: "My inspiration truly is all of the women I come in contact with on a daily basis. The pure hearts I see and the honest transparency I get to experience with a lot of my sisters in Christ is so beautiful to me. They motivate me to do better and be better. I constantly get text messages, emails, and phone calls with encouraging words and loving support, It is awesome to have a few strong warriors in my corner that can pray for me, fast with me, and just let me cry it all out when things get rough. I have so many honest relationships that direct my eyes back to the cross and remind me that Jesus paid for it all and whatever I am going through, He went through it so trust Him."
W: What advice do you have for young women who want to launch their own non-profit organization someday?
N: "It is WORK. It is GOOD work, but nonetheless, it is work. However, know that if God called you to something, He will help you through it. There are some rough spots, especially in ministry that honestly sometimes, make you want to quit. It isn’t all roses and rainbows; you have to be diligent and focused. It requires a lot of patience. You have to be patient with people who don’t always understand the vision God gave you, you have to be patient with yourself when you start to feel weary (it will happen, but God has you), and you have to be patient with God. You won’t see your vision manifested right away, but slowly you will see everything God promised to you begin to unfold, and those moments are what make it all worth it."
W: What are 3 bible verses that have blessed you and why?
N: "Proverbs 31:30 – This verse was the first verse I memorized. Believe it or not, it was not John 3:16 ! I had a "Not of This World" Hoodie that had this verse on it, and I thought it was so beautiful that God goes against everything society tells us and says that “charm is deceitful and beauty fades, but a woman of God shall be praised.”
Matthew 28:19 – This verse has become so real to me recently. I had always heard “ this is the great commission,” but never got it until now. God told us to do this, He commanded us to make disciples, yet, the church is so busy playing the church, we forget to go out and actually be the church. We have gotten away from everything God told us to do, too focused on bodies in seats and not souls in heaven. It is a real issue, so I really want to live my life on a mission, a serious mission for the Lord.
Proverbs 31:25- I feel like so many women lack the “ strength and DIGNITY” part of this verse. The world is focused on how they can be more like Nicki Minaj, I want to focus on how I can be more like God, that takes more effort than the world thinks. It takes strength to be righteous and live holy, it takes pride and dignity in yourself to know that you are made in the image of an awesome God and you have to be bold enough to walk like a queen, because you are a queen. Plus, this woman laughs at the days to come, so she isn’t worried about the future because she knows God has her back that is beautiful."
W: How can we stay connected and up-to-date with you & Love Me...31
To keep up with everything Love Me..31 you can like us on Facebook, instagram, and twitter. and make sure to check out the blog at www.nicolelyric.blogspot.com.