An Author Interviews an Author (Part 2 of 2)

An author interviews an author:   Rachel Reynolds interviews Nicole Unice

When Nicole and I realized that we both had our first books coming out in May, we jumped at the She's Got Issues-Coverchance to review each other’s work.  Here is my interview about Nicole’s book She’s Got Issues.  You can also check out her interview about my book, Four Seasons for Charlotte, HERE.

Nicole, what inspired you to write this book?

I wrote this book because I felt stuck. I knew on paper that my life seemed pretty great, but it didn’t feel pretty great to me. That led me to ask some deeper questions about life, joy and where God is in all of that.
Why do you think many of us who grew up in a Christian community often abandon the church or forget to seek Jesus for answers as we get older?
I wonder if we’ve really come to grips with our own need for Jesus. As a kid, we are sometimes spoon-fed Jesus as our friend and our comforter. When we don’t have a deep, growing faith, we can easily feel like Jesus isn’t much of a friend–especially if we believe that following Christ means we should have an easy life, and that things can go our way. When we do start to see who we really are, the failures and the fears and the ways we hurt and wound others, it’s our chance to re-examine what Jesus is all about.
Sometimes I encounter friends and acquaintances who try to equate Christianity with perfection. What do you think of that?
Well, I think that feels like a religion I don’t want to be part of! I think there’s been a culture in the past around some Christian women, particularly in the south, that equates “good Christian girl” with “perfection.” But times are changing. The women I know who really are trying to experience God aren’t looking to be perfect. They just want to experience a different life.
One of the big topics in your book revolves around “control”.  When we talk about God being in control, it seems important to remember that he is in charge of both the good things and the challenging things in our lives.  What is your perspective on this?
This is one of those questions that really challenges our belief systems. It’s the hard question: is God all-powerful or is he good? If he is all-powerful, why does he allow bad things to happen? If he is good, why does he allow bad things to happen? So we begin to think that God must be this impersonal force who is either uninterested, or worse, cruel. But this is a question that anyone who believes in God should be wrestling through. For me, I know that God uses suffering and trials for good outcomes. I’m the one who wants the easy, comfortable life. But I have a feeling that in heaven, we’ll be looking back on this world and our lives and our only response will be “oh.” There is so much that’s beyond our understanding in this life. We all have to wrestle with that, and hopefully make peace with the fact that God is both all-powerful and good, even in the darkest of times. 
How can the Bible be relevant to a 21st century working woman and mother?

The Bible has every human condition in it. The Psalms alone express so many of the thoughts I shared above, about feeling abandoned by God, about wondering if he’s there. What I love about the Bible is that it’s full of messed-up people who don’t get it right. But if you read it as a human study and as a God study, you’ll learn all about the character of humans and the character of God. And that makes it so relevant to my life! Consider this truth: Jesus said “what you say flows from what is in your heart.” That’s just straight up truth and wisdom for my life. 

Is this a book for solitary reflection or should it be used with a group?
You could do it either way. I’ve created a DVD group experience that tries to combine the best of both. In the group, there’s time built in for solitary reflection and journaling, but you also then have the opportunity to open up with your friends. I think most women could use some practice in getting vulnerable and honest about these things, especially with some friends. It’s a great chance to know each other better and to encourage one another in life.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in writing this book?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that God isn’t waiting for me to fix myself up before he can work with me. In fact, God isn’t even trying to fix all my issues. What He’s trying to get me to do is be in a vibrant, real, relationship with Him, as my divine Father who’s way into his little girl, and wants to be in relationship with me right through the issues I’m dealing with. That’s a completely different way of experiencing life for me.
Which of the “issues” in your book is the most challenging to you personally?

You can be the judge of that by reading the book! I’ll give you a hint: it involves a cheese grater.
With an intriguing statement like that, how can you not be interested in Nicole’s book? To find out more about Nicole Unice and her book, She’s Got Issues, check out her website.


Rachel Reynolds

Rachel Reynolds balances her time as Principal of the Dominion School for Commonwealth Autism Service, Executive Director and Co-founder of CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation, and writing on her personal blog. Her first book, Four Seasons for Charlotte, a memoir chronicling her daughter's battle with cancer was released in May 2012.

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