She’s Got Issues: An Interview with Author Nicole Unice

By Trillia Newbell

shes got issues coverWe all have issues. Some of our issues are lying dormant waiting to rear their ugly head, while others are constant struggles. Here’s the good news, none of us–not one– is without issues (aka sin, Romans 2:12) and the solution is in Christ. You don’t have to hide or fear facing it for what it is.

Nicole Unice, author of She’s Got Issues, explores five temptations common to women including: a need for control, insecurity, anger, comparing, and unforgiveness.  Learn more about Unice and her book in this Q & A.

 

Q: Tell us about yourself.  What do you do?

Unice: Sometimes I wonder what don’t I do. First and foremost, I’m a wife of almost fifteen years (!) to my college sweetie. I’m the mom to three great kids. I’m also a ministry associate at my church in Richmond, a counselor by education, and an author and Bible teacher by God’s grace.

Q:  Where are you from?

Unice: I grew up as an Army brat and moved all around the country. My claim to fame is two cross-country moves before the age of twelve. One of those moves was so terrible that I managed to get into college by writing an essay about the crazy experience my family had driving from coast to coast.

Q: How did your book She’s Got Issues come to be?

Unice: I wrote She’s Got Issues last summer. I spent about nine months going back and forth on the idea and the slant of the book. When I finally got the go-ahead to finish it, I wrote it in a whirlwind eight weeks!

I wrote SGI because it’s the message of my heart. When I stand in front of the women’s “Christian living” section at the bookstore, I wonder, “where are the women who struggle? Where is the book for the woman who’s making it in life but doesn’t feel God’s power or freedom at all? Why is everything pink and flowery?” (But that’s another story)! I wrote the book because I wanted to speak to the woman who would rather read a People magazine than a pink, flowery devotional book. The book is real and I hope relevant to what woman are really thinking, feeling and experiencing in their quest to know God and to love others.

Q: Of the issues you address, which one resonates with you most?

Unice: The issue that was most real to my heart at the time was anger. But honestly, I resonate with every single issue. Some may not be as prevalent in my life, but whether it’s someone I love who has the issue or myself, I’ve learned so much by researching and writing about each.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the solution to dealing with issues?

Unice: The book talks about three foundational truths in finding freedom from our issues: 1) Recognizing that we are all pretty crazy. 2) Recognizing that we can’t fix ourselves (because we would have by now if we could!). 3) Embracing that God alone works through our issues, and that a daily, desperately dependent relationship with Him is vital to our freedom.

Q: What do you hope women will take away when they read this book?

Unice: I hope women will realize that they can be flawed AND free. That God isn’t waiting for them to get “fixed”. He’s actually wanting to meet them right in whatever struggle they are going through. Suppose you really struggle with insecurity or anger or fear, for example; you have an opportunity to recognize that this is an issue for you and then move forward by inviting God into that struggle. The book gives practical ways you can do that, and allows you to open your heart to God’s transforming work.

Q: I saw you have a DVD series…tell me about that.

Unice: The DVD is such a God-thing for me. When I started writing this book, I really wanted to give women a fresh, relevant way to come together and study the material together. After all, one of the ways we embrace our issues is by getting honest about them–what better way to do that than with a group of friends! So I thought about all the groups I’ve taught over the years, and what works for those groups. I’ve realized a few things. First, women need to hear from other women to “have permission” to share their own stories. Second, women rarely do homework. Third, most women don’t have time to listen to an hour-long teaching. So the SGI Group Experience gives women the chance to listen in on some real women that I interview about their issues. It also provides journaling prompts AND time to answer them! And finally, I teach a short, to-the-point bible study that’s about 15 minutes long. Then I turn it over to the groups for their own discussion! The DVD releases in August and I’m so excited to share it.

Q: What do you think is the number one issue for women today?

Unice: I think the number one issue for women today is hiding. What I mean by that, it’s a sense of trying to fix ourselves, of keeping it together. This is a lie straight from Satan. We cannot fix ourselves. We can work hard to join with God in the work he does in our lives, but the deception of “self-help” is that the end goal is independence from God. Rather, we want to have “God-help” where the end goal is an abiding and child-like faith in Him.

Q: Do you ever address our “issues” as sin?

Unice:  Yes. One of my points in the DVD is that even though we may be predisposed to anxiety, it doesn’t make anxious thinking and living any less of a sin. So the short answer is yes, I address all the issues as sin. I just make the point that God wants to work in and through those issues, not leave us alone in them to “clean ourselves up.”

Q: What’s next for Nicole?

Unice: I hope another book! I’m working on some material now. I’m very intrigued by the idea that God “tested” people in scripture…from Job to Jesus to Peter. And I wonder what kind of experiences people have that can be a “test” of character–from unanswered prayer to waiting to pain. So I’m excited to dig into some study on that.

nicole uniceNicole Unice is an author, ministry leader and counselor living in Richmond, VA. She speaks nationally on real life and a relevant God, and her writing has been featured in Leadership Journal, Kyria and Gifted for Leadership, among other publications. She’s Got Issues released in May with Tyndale, and its accompanying DVD bible study curriculum releases in August. Connect with Nicole on her websiteFacebook or Twitter.

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