Childhood should be one of the most embraced times of our lives – capturing the essence of it within an ice-cream cone, sloppy family barbecues and frolicking at the beach with friends and family. Yet, outside of this prism of warmth, love and response – a darker spectrum exists. It looks to seep into the lives of millions of children who undergo foster life, many of them undergoing abuse and neglect at the same hands that should instead offer support and love. Statistics have a way of diluting the strength of the survivors. Marked with internal bruises they can only endure, these survivors rise from the ashes of stereotypes and push past limits expected. Author Nikki J is one of those examples; in her book The Pain in the Promise: Child Neglected, God Protected, Beauty Reflected, Nikki J takes readers on a journey of pain, promise and the protection of God to immerse and embrace the beauty of life. Guardian Express had the honor of sitting down with this talented writer. The link to Nikki J’s incredible story will be at the end of this article.
This Story Was Hard to Write…
Taking a deep breath, Nikki J published her book in the summer of 2012. She hasn’t looked back since – it would be the first time anyone would know the complete story of this amazing survivor.
I never shared the full story before, just bits and pieces of the story and finally decided to do so. For years many people told me I was this miracle, and I guess I wrote it to see through the eyes of others. It allowed me this outlet for testament – sharing an experience that I knew would lead to so much more.
Nikki J was a product of foster life, after she was removed from the care of her mother by authorities, she fell into the cracks of society. She struggled through each new foster family, aiming to discover a greater part of herself. Nikki J endured the most horrendous loss early in life when it came to a champion who was near her side. The book eclipses on this pain and the promise of tomorrow.
Previously, Nikki J had shared with readers how tough it was to formulate beyond the title, to encounter and relive a life journey that made many wonder how she survived.
Writing is who I am. It’s how I process, heal, and even express myself. Since I was a kid I knew that I wanted to write a book when I grew up. I just didn’t know that it would be about my life. Writing this book was me finding my voice to speak out on the injustices that happen to children everyday, that society sometimes tries to sweep under a rug.
Especially when it comes to the children in the child welfare system. These children are too often left to be abused and mistreated by people that are supposed to be keeping them safe, and may feel as if no one understands. I do. I wanted to not only bring awareness to some of these problems and abuse that happens, but bring hope that no matter what, it doesn’t have to define who you become.I felt as if by writing my story, not only would I be healed, but others may also be healed in the process.
Child Neglected, God Protected, Beauty Reflected
Once her story was written, Nikki J took a moment to consider the title. In the writing world, writers know the title provides the impact. The sum of every single word between the front and back covers and the heart of the author. The Pain in the Promise: Child Neglected, God Protected, Beauty Reflected was created by Nikki J. It’s equal parts developed the true process of pain, healing, recovery, strength and discovering the power within.
The title reflected really I felt. I made a promise to myself that from this life filled with pain, there was a promise for more in life- I am a very spiritual woman and Christian. Life is full of pain, but yet full of promise away from the pain. I am a child who reflected, yet felt protected by God and reflecting that life is worth so much to live it.
In reflecting the path of her pain to her promise, Nikki J has taken the world by storm. With the strength of life to balance from and one hand connecting to God, she created The NikNak Nation. She is building this foundation on a premise of promise. Nikki J wants to provide strength to those who have endured and continue to overcome their struggles.
Nikki J is also writing a screenplay and another book. Her next book will provide the experiences of being a Christian woman in the modern world. One Bible verse Nikki J discusses:
Proverbs 18:22 -‘ He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.’ I want to connect with the modern woman and their level of accountability. Understanding the verse and the life it reveals is one I want to inspire.
In addition, Nikki J will be focusing on projects that enhance her ability to work closely with children of foster care. She wants to give voice for those unheard, a stage for those left unseen in the shadows of life. Her own experience has made her aware the power of connection, of simply reaching out to help those in need.
Nikki J has experienced the pain of abuse; physical, mental and sexual. She has endured the unstable mental balances of foster parents who held a gun to her head, she has experienced the greatest betrayal and sickening acknowledgment from people that were to be her caretakers. Yet, this incredible woman sees beyond the pain, she reaches for the promise of every new day to walk her path. A path she undertakes with happiness, gratitude and love.
Nikki J’s Message to the World
Nikki J doesn’t hide her pain, she refuses to. She also doesn’t allow it to control her path or crutch the process of her choices. Nikki J uses the pain as fuel to promote beyond what is expected by becoming an enriched woman of reflection. She shares what she learned over the years and hopes to connect with millions on this message.
This book was a spiritual journey in learning how to trust again. Pain is real, it is raw but don’t let that pain determine what happens in life. Everyone has a story, and people can pick their own story to write and succeed in life. The message is to never become a victim – because only you have the will to change the story. I know I have gone through hell, but I survived and out there I know there are others going through worse. That’s what keeps me going to share and connect with others.
The Pain in the Promise: Child Neglected, God Protected, Beauty Reflected is now available for purchase – pick up a copy to learn the power of promise from pain. Read Nikki J’s story to reflect in what it means to live life, instead of life living you.