Michele Nicole was born in Trinidad, West Indies and raised in Queens Village, NY. She left New York in 2001 to attend North Carolina Central University where she graduated. She stayed in North Carolina for eleven years and eventually relocated to Atlanta, GA to be closer to family. She is a servant leader, entrepreneur, photographer and traveler. She is also the author of the book Are You Done With Him?
BPM: Please share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.
I will start with my name. I am Michele Nicole Mitchell. I was born in Trinidad, West Indies. I came to the United State when I was about 7or 8 years old. My favorite thing to do is travel and I love to cook. I value gathering folks at my home once a quarter and having transparent conversations with women of different ages and experiences so we can eat, fellowship, pray, cry, laugh and pour into each other. My objective is to live for when I leave, so I pour out and that is the best receiving I can ever get.
I am a Believer, who was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass. Let me tell you something, when you ask God to teach you, you do NOT get to choose the HOW.
BPM: Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?
The first published book was a coming of age experience. It was about a one night stand that lasted for 3 years. I compromised my integrity and standards in the hopes of getting a man that was emotionally wounded, unavailable and chose not to commit to loving himself, to see my value, worth and love me. I discovered my sexual self at his expense and also discovered that you cannot heal someone who desires to stay broken. The journey was painfully therapeutic. It caused me to see and accept the part I played in my own demise.
BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work.
My most recent work is entitled Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith. It is a very transparent and honest book. I am a Believer, that was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass. This book shares with its readers the process and series of life events that occurred that taught me how to Trust God, even when I felt like I could not Trace God. I am working with my distributors to make the book available for electronic devices.
Watch the Stripped For Greater Video Book Trailer (The How) – https://youtu.be/Z3tdtcNpH7U
BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
When you ask God to teach you to trust Him, you do NOT get to choose the HOW. As I began to learn to trust God during my season of un-belief, there were encounters with individuals that showed me how much He loved me and how far He would go to protect me. In my emotional state of “functioning broken”, He still used me to help others and meet their need at our point of meeting. My lack of trusting God and being a believer that was struggling with un-belief never stood in His way of taking care of me, it stood in my way of surrendering to Him.
BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?
Writing is not easy for me to do, but it is not difficult. What I mean by that is that for me writing is therapeutic and confrontational. I write from my perspective but as I write I am reminded that I am not the only one that was part of the event. That those who played their part in the event not only did I have an encounter with them but they had an encounter with me. As I mature as a writer I am understanding that there is more than one perspective and more than one experience. Being a writer that is learning the value of understanding that transparency changes lives, writing, just like God, causes me to stop looking out of a window and start looking into a mirror.
I do not feel lonely during the creative process but I do feel the weight of understanding that it is important to convey the moment in a simple relatable way so someone who reads it can honestly say “its not just me”.
BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project when so many ideas are running together?
Start writing from where you currently are in your journey. Stop trying to start from the beginning and frustrating yourself with thinking that it should go from A to B to C to D. Writing does not always have a systemic flow. Sometimes its a memory that surfaces, write that. Sometimes its s song that triggers an emotion or memory, write that. Write from where you are.
I love the feel of pen to paper because I feel as if there is a connection with what is about to be born, from the intangible to the tangible. When I first started writing, I wanted to see my progress, so what I would do is write then stick that sheet of paper on my living-room wall. There was no order to the writing but as it came, I wrote. Then I would step back and look at what came out of me.
Eventually, I began to stick the paper on the wall in order of the earliest memory forward. Then I wrote the connecting dots in-between. That is exactly how I wrote my first book Are You Done With Him. An old journal, memories, paper on the living-room wall, a song that reminded me of the yesterdays and lots of giving myself room to breath and heal. Write from where you are.
BPM: What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
When I was instructed that my journal was to become a published book, I sat in the living-room with all my journals, my niece laptop, a pen, notepads a cup of hot lemon water and stared out the window for hours. The challenge for me was the acceptance of what writing this book was about to do in my life, and that is, my voice was about to be born. Writing this book would be me accepting the mandate on my life, and that mandate is to go back and strengthen my brethren. For those who read this book, it might be just a book, but for me, it’s the accepting of my ministry as a fore-runner. It is knowing that I play a part in a bigger story that is being told.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
The most personal thing that I learned from writing this book, is that when you ask God to teach you to trust Him, you do NOT get to choose the HOW. What I also learned, was that God is very patient and kind towards me. His Grace, is my best friend.
BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?
There was a time when I would feel offended when someone disagreed with my writing. However, because I am maturing, I am listening to opinions that do not necessarily reflect mine. Now one thing I will not do is give someone permission to verbally stomp me or stab me with their opinions simply because they were confronted and the truth agitated them, that is something that they will have to wrestle with, but I do value a different perspective that is healthy in its presentation.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
I would not say that me being a believer that was struggling with un-belief is under represented, but there are a lot of Christians that are struggling in their walk of faith that would never admit it. There are many believers that will not say “I need help learning to Trust God even when I cannot Trace God”. There are many believers who think that God cannot handle hearing the truth about whatever situation, emotion or disappointment their heart and mind is dealing with. Personally I think it is disrespectful to Him, to not be honest with Him and with ourselves.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? Do you have a Facebook community?
Twitter– https://twitter.com/michelenmitchel or @michelenmitchel
Stripped For Greater Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/Stripped-For-Greater-Walk-By-Faith-2197573123613144/
Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole
I had $0.06 in my bank account and $5 in coins in my purse. As I sat in the car, the reality of this season of my life just hit me…homeless.
I am homeless.
I looked at myself in the mirror and the conversation in my mind began. “It’s all your fault. You did this to me. You. YOU failed us. You are 46 years old and you have nothing. You are stuck. You are yet again in “starting over” mode. You are not all here, you are functioning broken.
How do you go from having a job with benefits, having your own business as a travel agent, having almost paid off all your debt and making plans for the next season of your life, to sitting in the front seat of a car with $0.06 in the bank and $5 in your purse, your items in a borrowed storage unit, your clothes in a travel garment bag, a job paying $8.50 per hour working 15-25 hours per week and you have two college degrees?
How the hell did this happen to us Michele…please tell me…I would like to know.”
“Michele’s book reminded me of my own story of struggle. Her words painted a very clear picture for me that immediately took me back to when I lived in my car. This book will inspire and encourage anyone that is currently down, that they can recover and excel.” –Pastor Johnson
“Your book has truly inspired me to be a better me. While reading, I found myself reading the scriptures that you referenced. It has motivated me to let peace be still, and listen for my directions from the most high.” – Ms.Tracy W.
“Truly an easy, inspirational page turner. As I was reading, I laughed and reflected on God’s amazing grace. The author is truly gifted. I look forward to sharing and reviewing this book with my book club.”– Ms. Karese M.
“I loved everything about the book , the emotional roller coaster, the scare, the bravery, the encounter with strangers later to know they was messengers God angels ,the willingness to learn how to obey and trust in oneself and in God. I recommend this book to anyone who needs reassurance that you’er not alone. This book goes to show you that no matter the place ,the time, the situation , if you feel you are lacking something in life or you feel lost, need change in yourself take a leap of faith ,believe , in the journey ,the change the season. Thank you Michele Nicole. P.S part 2 please” – Ms. Michelle J.
“I do not know where to begin. When I started reading, I immediately felt chills and the tears started. I found that the book is so relatable because a lot of the experiences that Ms. Michele went through or have gone through. I remember being homeless for half the time that she was when I was in high school with my mom and twin. We stayed in a couple of family houses for no more than a week and then in an extended stay. There were days were money was so tight and we both went to different schools. I was in Atlanta and my sister in East Point. My mom works in Riverdale and I was in the Magnet Program where I was miserable due to being overweight, teased and bullied. Talk about a wake up call and stress build up, huh?? We made it through after a while and discovered who was really for us. I am so thankful that Stripped For Greater was written because I can start to finish my healing from grief and put my energy into my livelihood. Its a new dawn, its a new day and I a feeling good. Ms. Michele, this book is powerful, motivational and life changing and the best 10 hours spent. I appreciate you. Thank you!! — Ms Mariah
It was time for some truth. It was the type of truth that needed to be said out loud. Would I offend God if I told Him what I was wrestling with? Would it insult Him after all He had done for me? Would it bring shame to me if I admitted out loud what I was struggling with internally? Would He separate Himself from me? After all He has done, I should have a different perspective, right? I believe the time has come to tell Him out loud what I already knew internally. Look, let’s cut the nonsense. He Is God, and since He is God, there is no such thing as “breaking news” to Him. The fact is, He already knows, and He is waiting on me to be honest with MYSELF. He is waiting for me to admit it out loud, so my ears can hear it. But when I do, what happens next? Well I guess that is what I would find out because I was not going to hold it in and pretend any longer.
Well, I opened my mouth and said, “God, I believe but help the part of me that has un-belief. I don’t trust you anymore and my faith is wavering. I am frustrated belonging to you. You are silent when I need you to speak. You are elusive when I need you to be near. Belonging to you always requires sacrifice but I am tired of sacrificing for your name’s sake. I am sick of being yours. I can’t stand it anymore! I want to walk away but then where am I going to go? Will I go to the enemy? Don’t I have a say in what I choose for me? I have been raised in the church but church ain’t working for me anymore. Something is shifting in me that require more. I am sick of this. I just don’t…I can’t…it’s just…you know what… I’ve had enough. Yeah, I know what you have done for me since I have been homeless, and I know how you have covered me and taken care of me all my life, but I want more.
This agitation in me is causing me to be angry and pissed off and…I can’t continue like this…I just can’t with you…I just can’t.”
I stopped walking. “Did I just say out loud what was really in my heart towards God? What the hell was I thinking?” I said.
( Continued… )
© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Michele Nicole. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Purchase Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole
Non-fiction > Transformation Self-Help > Christian Growth > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoir