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In this episode, you’ll discover… 

  • Why you’re the single greatest obstacle you’ll ever face (and how to conquer yourself) (8:01) 
  • The insidious way pastors, counselors, and Bible teachers prevent you from solving your problems (9:01) 
  • How “Band-Aid Faith” like listening to Christian music and podcasts and even going to church holds you back from fully surrendering to God (10:04) 
  • Noah’s “5 Decisions Process” that helps you through the darkest times of your life so you emerge full of light and joy (16:35) 
  • Why God won’t deliver your perfect life to you on a silver platter (and why you should feel grateful He doesn’t) (18:24) 

If you’d like to order Nicki’s book, Flooded, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Flooded-Study-Guide-Decisions-Rising/dp/0764236482. And make sure you follow Nicki on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/nickikoziarz/.  

If you’re ready to rise up and become the best version of yourself, check out the 12-month mindset and accountability experience that will help you rise up here: https://befitandfierce.com/justbreath 

If you have zero energy to focus on yourself and need extra support and accountability from women who know what it’s like to juggle a crazy busy life, then go to https://befitandfierce.com and become unstoppable with us. 

Or, if you want to join a sisterhood dedicated to growing our faith, join our Just Breathe Facebook Group.

Read Full Transcript

Hi there. I'm Jill Allen and this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce, unlock and unstoppable mindset. Build unbreakable courage and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week I will bring ideas, methods and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit, fierce and unstoppable.

(00:36): They're getting welcomed back to find your fierce. I'm totally stoked for this chat today. My friend, Nicki cozy ours is back. If you've been around for a while with find your fears, you may remember her during the peace series we had, or maybe the white her Bible study. We teamed up together with last year. But if you are new, let me tell you about her. I absolutely love her. She's impacted my life more than she knows. She was actually the keynote speaker at the finder fierce retreat. And I absolutely fell in love with her, her heart, her passion, her fixer upper farm was strawberry Juniper, her family, her wisdom, the knowledge that she has. And I tell you, she can share a story where we walk away, inspired, wanting to take action to show up as the best version of herself. She's just absolutely amazing.

(01:20): She's the author of why her and the five habits of women who don't quit. And now the author of her new book flooded, and I'm so honored to have her with us. Nikki, welcome back. How are you girl? Hey, gel. It's always so much fun to hang out with you. I love your ministry, your business, your podcast, your all things. Amazing. So thank you for having me on today. I love this. Yeah, it's so good. What I mean? Where can we, where can we pick up? You mean you have a new book coming out that has taken years. I know that you had this bit, you know, how you had this downloaded into your heart six years ago and the timing was not God's timing. That's right. You know, one of the things that as an author, I'm also an author coach. And so I help a lot of people write their messages.

(02:10): But one of the things that I always tell people is to hold your messages really loosely because this book's led, it is the best example that I could ever give about God's timing. So yes, I think it was actually, I think we're at like seven or maybe even eight years ago. Now time just keeps lying. It was when the movie Noah was coming out. So whatever year that was that I actually had a another book idea based on the life of Noah. And it was actually called foolish, which is so funny, but it was really just about like having this faith that felt foolish to the rest of the world, but just right in God's eyes. And so I put everything that I had into this book proposal and really like, felt confident. I had an agent that was interested in it and you know, she started to with me, but then she kind of ghosted me.

(03:01): So I was like, well fine, I'll just do this on my own. So I started sending proposals out to multiple publishers and the weirdest thing happened, they all said no. And I was very confused because I thought that the Lord had really given me this message. And I hear a lot of authors say that, like, I know God told me to write this book and I'm not here today to argue with what God says to you or doesn't says to you, but there is a time where we do have to say, God, do I have this right? Is this is this right? And God was very clear that I did not have it. Right. In fact, I wasn't ready to write this book. I needed to go through some really hard things in life before I would really be mature enough, both spiritually, emotionally, and in life, just in general, like we need growth is essential, right?

(03:46): Like we never stopped growing. So after why her came out, you know, cause I shared this with your audience and thank you so much again for doing that. That was so much fun. I look back on all the things that I got to do with water. And that was one of my favorite things that we did. Well, I loved it. Yeah. Like I said, I've impacted, so meet me so much. I just, thank you, Jill. I know you've even fueled me. I remember you saying no, I, how about I do this with you, but why don't you step out and do this? Cause I have a feeling right. You're going to be doing, I mean, so just that you planted that seed and you've continued to water it and here we are, you know, still, still connected. And I just value that so much.

(04:24): So yeah. So during that season my mom went through a brain tumor and I shared that with your audience. And she died tragically and right before I had to turn the book in, but I didn't write the book about my mom. It was about comparison. And so anyways, after she passed away, my brother during that season of six months that she was very sick, had tried to commit suicide four different times. And so you add stress upon stress upon stress. I also went through some really hard things with one of my girls. I'll never forget the day my husband called me. I was in the middle of Costco. And you know, as a business owner tax season is the worst, right? It's the worst. And he called me and he told me what our tax bill was. And it was three times what our accountant had told us.

(05:12): And so it was just like hard thing on top of hard thing on top of hard thing. And I just really didn't have a lot of faith in me. Like I was really shaken. And so I started to write, just processing my own life and I just kept being drawn back to Noah. And I was like, is this time, is it time Lord for this message? And God was really clear. Yes. for sure. And so I thought I had gone through all the hard things, right? When I signed the contract in October of 2019, I started writing right away. But then just a couple of weeks into the book writing process, my brother would actually commit suicide. And that would shake me to the core and then I would get home. And just a couple of weeks later our first horse that we ever had here on the fixer, she tragically died.

(05:59): And then just a few weeks later, boom, a pandemic hit the world and life, as we knew it was never the same. And so I wrote this book literally in the hardest seasons of my life. And I was telling someone else in this the other day, Jill, I'm so grateful because sometimes with grief, we tend to, you know, here in the United States, you get three days off from work for a death. And then you're expected to be back up and running. You know, you can do counseling and things like that, but there's just not a lot of grace for grief in our country. And this book actually forced me to sit with my grief and I hated it. I hated writing this book. I mean, I would go away and I would sit there for hours and I was just mad. Like, why do I have to walk through this and write this book at the same time, but looking back on it now, I'm really grateful because I think our very healthier version of Nikki soul came through the very ending of those last words that I wrote in this book.

(07:03): Wow. Talk about timing. Six, seven, eight years later of everything. Yeah. Wow. In your first sentence you said, what if I told you it's you? I mean, I was, when I read that, I mean it was hook line and sinker. I w I mean, I love it. You're like, wow. It was bold. It's courageous. It's like, okay, we have to take some personal ownership and reflection back on who we are and who we see in the mirror. I mean, tell, tell us about that talks about that sentence.

(07:40): No, you and I were just talking, some people did not want that sentence to make it into the book. But it's funny because I keep hearing people say that that was the line. And so that kind of shows you as an author when you need to fight for your reader, because that's what I needed to hear. I needed to hear that my life was hard, but it was going to be my decision to come out of this. And so yeah, I do say what if it's you, what if you are the greatest struggle you're ever going to have to have? Yeah. Well the biggest obstacle,

(08:10): Normally I ease into those kinds of things a little bit faster, but I felt like with this message, there's just no time to mess around. And there's just, there's a time where sometimes we just really need to sit with somebody face-to-face and that's what I always feel like my readers feel is that we're having a conversation. And I always go first, I always share the really hard things first. And then I ask you, you know, through the study guide and through the book to share your heart things and I encourage you to do it with other people. And yes. So, and when I was writing, when I was writing the book, I remember that there came a point where I really did have to dig my heels into the ground. And so I was going through counseling and I had friends and, you know, constantly like encouragement was, was flowing into my life, but I was not being able to overcome this doubt struggle.

(09:02): And so finally, one day I just felt like God said, you're looking to all these other places and solutions and everything, but it's you like you are the one who has to fight this battle. And sometimes I do think that we're looking for pastors and counselors and Bible teachers. And, you know, I think one of the reasons why, you know, anxiety is at such an all time high in our nation right now is because we are looking to all these things in the world to fill us up. But sometimes God's like, Nope, I've got you and I'm ready to walk through this with you, but will you walk through this with me, is the question, will you stopping the fake Christian girl? Will you stop with your fake faith and get real and allow this message to change your life? And when I say flooded has flooded my life in every aspect, I mean, even up until now, like releasing it like so much doubt I've had to wrestle with, but I know that God is for this message. And he has been with me cause we fought hard to get

(10:03): That's so good. I love how you mentioned the word fake. How many times do we do everything right? Or what the world expects a Christian or a believer or follower to do? We go to church, we read the devotions, we listen to Christian music or podcasts, and maybe we gather with a sisterhood, but when it comes down to the hard stuff and everything that we face, do we really surrender everything? Do we really grab a hold of the concept that God is right there? That we just need to invite him in? Yeah, no, we don't know everything off. Right.

(10:49): We do what I call band-aid our faith. And so, you know, we'll put a pretty worship music on over it, or we'll put like what you're talking about, going to Bible study, going to church, let me check all these things off, cover, cover my wounds. But no, like I would say most of us can identify with this fact of showing up before God and not feeling like it's authentic and there's nothing wrong with that. I want to, I want to normalize that today. I've been guilty of that. Yeah.

(11:15): Yeah. And I think we need to normalize more you know, some, somewhere along the way, someone started to write a story that, you know, to follow after Jesus meant that everything was going to fall into place and that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and, you know, taking that scripture out of context, then, you know, someone started writing that story. And so to be weak was seen as to be unfaithful. And I just, I don't think that's the message, the legacy that Noah left for us. Because if anybody in the scriptures, he was a man who had every right to doubt God. He did. I mean, he was given this massive assignment that mass destruction was going to come to humanity and he had to build this Ark and bring all these animals into it. And only his family and his children and their wives, none of his friends, none of his neighbors, not his grocery clerk, like nobody else was coming in this arc except those people.

(12:12): And so I talk about this a lot in the book that, you know, Noah really, he built his faith. If you know, billing, the art took a hundred years. Can you imagine how many times over a hundred years he stopped and he went, did I really hear from God? Right? Did I really get this assignment? Right. Cause this is looking crazy right now. And everybody thinks that. Yeah. Yeah. And then like, think about in the arc, you know, 40 days and 40 nights it's raining and flooding and the arc is, you know, the here and there and everywhere and rocking and the animals and God am I crazy? Like, why are we doing this? This makes no sense. And then stepping off the arc after being in the arc for over a year and stepping into this world, that looked nothing like he had left.

(13:00): I mean, think about it with the flood that the mountains removed trees were ripped up the landscape, as we would see it today, like I'm looking outside and I see all these trees, they would all have been gone. And, you know, to look at that and to have, he had to have grief in that moment of realizing that what was, is no more. And that's really what hard things is. Is it showing us something in our lives that was one way, and now it's this way. And it's going to be up to us to decide like Noah, how we're going to walk through it and how we're going to rise and get stronger in the process. And I mean, I think even, hopefully you're, prayfully that I don't want to be the same person that I was, God used me. Help me change me, heal me.

(13:46): Who is it that you want me to be through all of this? What do you want me to know about this? Yeah. Hard questions. Yeah. It's awesome. I know you're doing a Bible study with all of this too. How fun is that? Yeah, so Proverbs, Proverbs 31 ministries. We do online Bible studies that are incredible. Especially, you know, in the season that we have been in. The thing that I loved about Proverbs is that we didn't have to change gears. We were already doing ministry online and doing it really well. And so yes, they have selected it's such an honor for your book to be selected for this. And so I don't, I have been very like, Oh my goodness about it. It's still kind of a crazy thing to think about, but yeah, just a couple thousand women go through it together, but what they do is so you go to and we'll provide the link for you for where you sign up that you guys find out it's totally free to participate.

(14:45): We do ask that you actually buy the book because you need it to do the Bible study. And basically what ends up happening is there's a variety of activities that you can participate. Listen, there are some people that online Bible studies it's Monday through Friday, it's all they do. Like their, all the activities and everything. And then there's other people that all they can do is read the email and you, you get to decide how much you want to do with it, but they do tons of lives on Facebook, on Instagram. And you get to watch all of the teaching videos through Proverbs 31 ministries. And yeah, it's just an incredible way to actually walk through the content. You can do it with yourself. You can ask a friend to do it with you, but it's just, it's a fun way to do a Bible.

(15:30): Oh yeah. And connect and reflect on our heart. Yeah. I mean, every, everybody has hard, hard things, different, right. Part is hard. That's right. At the end of the day, whatever it is that we are walking through and facing and in the, in the arrows that the fiery darts that come flying at us. It's real. Yeah. And so I know, I know that you are going to walk us through for all of that. So I'm just, I'm just super excited. Where can they, you said Proverbs 31.

(16:03): Yes. We'll have to, we'll include the link. I'll say the gel because it's kind of hard to, I don't even know what the exact thing perfect If you do go Proverbs 31 online Bible studies, it'll come up that way too, but we'll give you the direct link

(16:19): To sign up. Okay. No, and I know they definitely want to follow you on Instagram. So that is really good. What else? I mean, if you could share one thing to kind of wrap this up of what they can take away.

(16:35): So in the book I talk about the five decisions that we can make when life is hard and doubt is rising, and these decisions are not based on my own experience. They're based on Noah's experience. And the interesting thing was when I was studying the life of Noah, especially in the scriptures, Genesis five, six, and seven, where we kind of see God lay out this plan for Noah, we don't see Noah actually saying anything to God, to his wife, to his children. There's no verbal. So like was Rachel and Leah, when we were studying that there was tons of like catty comments that we could unpack. And, you know, and it is the author's interpretation of what happened. But even with this, this biblical account, like there's no words until the very ending of the biblical account of Noah and even the ending is not super amazing.

(17:27): Noah ends up speaking both blessing and curse out of his mouth, which is something interesting. But you know, one of the first decision is to walk with God. And I feel like that is probably, I'm not going to go through all five decisions. You have to read the book to do that. I feel like that is probably one of the most important decisions that we can make when life is hard. Because in times we want just sit with God, right? When life is hard, I just want to sit with God, but actually faith requires movement. And so you know, and I'm not talking about taking a walk outside or around the park or something like that. Your walk with God is gonna look like your walk with God. And I'm tired of people trying to put it into a bubble and saying, well, if you're going to walk with God, then you need to read your Bible for one hour a day and you need to make sure you're praying morning, noon, and night, and you need fast for 40 days.

(18:16): Like, no, I just give you permission today to reject all of that, what it means, you know, based on your past experience to walk with God. But what we see there, Noah is that God commanded Noah obeyed God commanded Noah obeyed. And those decisions were stemmed from actions. And so walking with God as an actual action. And sometimes I do think we're just waiting for God to ring the doorbell and, you know, bring the answer and bring the solution and, you know, make it a lot easier. But there are things, I mean, that's why we talk about in the first chapter, it's you, there are things that you need to do to start walking with God. And it's a decision that you're going to have to make every single day to get up and to walk with God and walking with God is super, it's something very Holy and sacred in our lives.

(19:06): And it's not something we need to share about on Instagram, on podcast, on anything there's some times where God, like, just like with Noah, God was walking him through something that it was just him and the Lord. Nobody else was to be involved until that flood came. Okay. And so there are seasons where it just needs to be you and God wrestling through this, walking through this. And I feel like sometimes those secrets sacred places with God, we miss it because faith has become this. Like, let me show you my faith kind of thing. But I have been so challenged by that, that first decision to walk with God. And when life feels really hard because I can't just sit back and wait for God to do something ridiculous. Faith requires movement and we've got to get going and we've got to make the decision to do that.

(19:54): Leaning into him. Yeah. Leaning in command and obey. We sometimes hear, but we don't always obey because we want to come in and no, I'll try to, I'll try to do it this way first. Right. We love to make suggestions to God. Oh gosh. Yes. Yeah, we do. Yeah. That was a good way to say or so drew on this out. It's the only way that we can and we need to slow down enough. We need to slow down so we can actually hear his commands. That's right. That's right. There's so much chaos and storms that we, that we are in one after another. I mean, that's life, that's, that's the journey, but we need to actually slow down.

(20:39): You know, here we are, this one-year point of being in COVID season. And you know, I think back to a year ago, just what life looks like. And we were forced to slow down. Like we didn't have a choice. And so I think one of the lessons that I'm taking from this last year, because, you know, things are starting to pick back up and it's starting to be really busy again. And the noise is getting really loud again. And so we need to like hold tight to the lesson that God taught us during 2020, even into 2021. Because I think all of us learned a lot of things about ourselves, about our faith, about our God and to just not miss that. Otherwise hard seasons are for nothing. If we miss what God was trying to show us, it was just a hard season that we walked through. But if we walk through it and say, God changed me, God did something different. And I'm taking this from this season to the next season. I really believe that's when God is honored. There are hard things in life which goes back to your first question. What if I told you to you, if we choose to go back to the old ways? Yeah. I love you. You're so awesome.

(21:48): God. Oh, well you guys, you're definitely going to have to grab this book so you can check out lessons two, three, four, and five, because they're just as good as that first, that first strategy of walking with God. Yeah. So much. Thank you so much for being here. Thanks for having me in jail. This was great. Be sure to check her out on Instagram, follow her. You're going to love the life that she shares with you. And so it it's so good. Thanks again, ladies, you are being called to rise. I want to invite you into the just Bree sisterhood, a 12 month mindset and accountability experience rooted in biblical truth for Christian women, like you who are ready to rise up, had to be fit and fierce.com forward slash just breed. Or you can check it out on the just brief Facebook group heads up on the next episode, my friend, we're going to have another special guest. Amy Carrillo is going to be with us and she's going to share her journey over the past year as well. Thanks so much for joining us today. Please subscribe, share this episode, link on your social media. If you've felt encouraged or inspired, as we all know, someone that can benefit. And I would love it. If you would give some feedback and a review as well, talk to you next time, beat that beat. There's the unstoppable.

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