Never Give Up On YOUR Dream
Nicole Mason is an attorney, entrepreneur, coach, international talk show host, wife, mother of three sons, and preacher. She is undeniably a Purpose-Driven Woman. Her "explosive extrovert" personality and love of God grabs the attention of women, imparting a sense of power, purpose, and passion. Committed to her purpose, Nicole uses her bold, bodacious, audacious spirit to encourage women to authentically be who God created them to be and to be that without apology. She has breathed life into women all around the world as it relates to what God has called them to do.
Grace and a supportive team are just a couple of the ingredients that allow a successful woman like Nicole to balance such an impressive resume. "God allowed the right man to find me," Nicole shares, "one who allows me to be myself. My husband keeps our son while I am traveling and teaching the Word. I also have some amazing ladies that help out while I am traveling. Balance is essential. As women, we have to know when to shut those things off so we can be fully present as a wife and a parent." To maintain this balance, there are some engagements Nicole does not take. "If engagements are on a day my son is involved in activities I do not accept it. If it is around anniversary or something my husband and I have planned, my family comes first. You must have priorities and boundaries when you have been called to a great work. Most importantly, you must stick to them. You have to gauge whether certain opportunities are purpose-driven. You need to know every good opportunity is not a God opportunity. It is important to know what your purpose is and what you have been called to do. You have to stick with it even when good opportunities come your way." Powerful, talented, and passionate about the Lord, Nicole is truly living and enjoying the good life! Nevertheless, these accomplishments did not come easy, behind the success is an arduous journey, one that required tenacity and a burning desire never to give up.
Raised by her mother and grandmother, Nicole always knew she would be successful. She just didn't know-how. Her grandmother was everything to her. "My grandmother was God before I knew God," says Nicole. "My mom and grandmother poured their lives into me. My mom would always tell me "Nicole, you do not ask for respect, you demand it. Moreover, it is not about your outer appearance but it's about your brains, that's what people will notice about you." It is no doubt they were grooming her for greatness. Her mom and dad divorced when she was only three years old. However, this did not stop him from being very instrumental in her life. Her dad always told her never to let anyone put her in a box. Nicole did not take lightly to the wisdom that was planted within her. She held every word her parents said close to her heart which developed into a blazing fire that brewed inside of her at a young age. Determined to be an attorney, Nicole decided at the age of 9 years old that no matter what came her way she was going to do what [she] was created to do. She decided to speak up for those who either wouldn't or couldn't speak up for themselves. It wasn't long before her desire to stand up for others and see justice be done was misunderstood as aggression from her peers.
As a child standing up for the right thing to do or not to do caused Nicole to find herself in a whole lot of unwanted fights, fights in which she was not so successful. She would run home day after day trying to avoid confrontations and her grandmother's dry cleaners had become her haven. Unbeknown to Nicole, this would soon change. One particular day her grandmother had had enough. She stood at the door of her dry cleaners, watching her granddaughter run for dear life with a crowd of people behind her. "When I reached the door she asked me what was going on. So I told her this girl wants to fight me." "To my surprise, my grandmother says to everyone outside "Okay, what you all are not going to do is jump her but she is going to fight ya'll one by one." I was like "What, no no grandma no I'm not!" But grandma steps back into the cleaners and closes the door. "I started banging on the door trying to get her to open the door but my grandmother just stood there not saying a word. So as I turn around the first girl knocked the living crap out of me and she beats me down. My grandmother still didn't say a word. Then the second sister starts fighting me and she beats me down. All the while I'm looking back at my grandmother like you not going to do nothing? My grandmother still does nothing. So the third sister steps up, the same thing happens. But by the time the fourth sister came up something inside of me broke and I started fighting from a place I had never fought from before. Something in me welled up refusing to get beat down again in front of my grandmother. I realized that my grandmother was not going to let them beat me real bad so this was my opportunity to fight back. I started fighting, all the while looking back at my grandmother. I started getting the courage and started putting some kind of combinations together and the next thing I knew I had beat the fourth sister down. Then I started fighting the next sister, and I'm still getting courage." When it was all over her grandmother still never said a word, but she knew her granddaughter had learned a lesson that would shape her into the woman she was created to be. On the front steps of her grandmother's cleaners, Nicole made the connection that it was not just about her using her mouth but sometimes she had to use her body to fight as well. It was at that very moment she realized she was born to stand up for not only others but herself also. "You have to learn to fight, but there is a better way to do it that is more sufficient and effective and that's through prayer."
That was by far the last fight Nicole had to fight. Soon Nicole would be faced with a testimony that would change not only her life but the lives of many women to come. The difference, this time, was instead of fighting a group of girls after school, Nicole would be fighting the obstacles of life.
After graduating from high school, Nicole continued pursuing her dream to be an attorney. She enrolled at Howard University. By her sophomore year, she had her oldest son, but she did not allow this to stop her. "I had my oldest son while I was a sophomore in college, and I was determined then to finish college and continue to law school. I took him to school with me when necessary, because I had to do what I had to do to finish what I started. My son spent so much time on campus with me that he became popular. When I walked across the stage at Howard University's Burr Gymnasium with my 3-year-old by my side, my classmates and those in attendance went wild! He started waving and smiling. It was a moment indelibly inscribed in my mind and heart! Anything is possible if you believe you can do it, and then put the hard work in to make it happen."
After graduation, Nicole started dating a guy from the neighborhood her grandmother's cleaners were in. "We were hanging out one night and he got murdered in my car." In a matter of seconds, her life had changed drastically. Before she could even wrap her mind around what happened, she was a government witness and living on the run. "I was about to lose my mind," Nicole shares. "When people see me they don't know my story. This situation is what lead me to the Lord." Dedicated to her purpose, Nicole fought through and found a church home. About one year later, two weeks before the trial was about to start she won a scholarship to a paralegal program that later developed into an internship. This was the start of a divine appointment. One day going about their normal routine, Nicole and her instructor were at the courthouse when they saw the cousin of the guy who was murdered in her car walking in their direction. "I panic," says Nicole. "I did not know how his cousin was going to respond. So as I'm walking with my instructor down the hallway I start telling her about what I was involved in and what was going on as fast as I could. Her eyes looked like someone was choking her." All the while the guy's cousin was getting closer and closer to them. When his cousin finally got close, she says, "Nicole, I am so glad you are alright." Nicole was done. She couldn't hold it in, she started shaking and crying. "That was my first experience with the Holy Spirit because I could not get myself together. I knew that was God at that moment. So after his cousin walked away, my instructor told me she was going to be my lawyer." This was nothing but a blessing because the trial was a few weeks away and Nicole had no one to represent her. She was just trusting God. "So it turns out it wasn't about me working with her but it was about God connecting us so she could represent me. Right before the trial, the suspect in the case pleaded guilty so she did not have to testify. That was an answer to one of her prayers. During this same time, I was rejected from law school 9 times. "I believe God put me on hold because mentally I was not ready. On my 10th attempt, I was finally accepted into law school! I fought the rejection and the doubt, and I kept applying! When I received notice that I had finally been accepted, I wasn't going to let the fact that I was pregnant stop me. I was used to putting in the time and effort and fighting for what I wanted." So she walked into the law school with confidence and courage. Her life was fueled by passion and faith. "I had "faith files" and "holy highlights" of what I had already accomplished. I wasn't afraid of the work ahead of me. I had done it before, and I was certain that I could do it again. And that's what I did. I graduated from law school. I passed the bar exam."
About 3 years ago, after almost 20 years after the shooting, Nicole was dropping her son off at school when she was once again was approached with a decision to fight or give up. "I saw the guy who had murdered my friend in my car. My heart started palpitating and I started breathing fast. I didn't know what to do." He approached me and said "Of all the people I did things to, I knew I had to come back and apologize to you because your family was good to me. And Nicole I was just not in my right mind at the time. You were just at the wrong place at the wrong time." Nicole was faced with a level of forgiveness she would never forget. "It took a long time to forgive him," Nicole shares. "But God put my life back together again and I realized I had to forgive him to move on."
Now Nicole is living her dream, all because she did not give up! "My dream has become a reality! And, you can do it too! Giving up is not an option! There have been women who have sacrificed so much so we can be where we are today. God has placed so much on the inside of each one of us we must share all the skills and gifts He has given us. It is not just for ourselves but it is for others. When we go through it is not really about us, it's so God can get the glory. The mere fact that you are still here is enough to say giving up is not an option!"
What is your dream that you want to accomplish? The only person that can stop you is you. Set a goal, focus and be intentional about achieving the goal, establish boundaries, surround yourself with people that support you, do not take "no" for an answer and put your hand to the plow and do not let up until you have accomplished your goal. Never give up on your dream. Keep pushing until your dream has become a reality! We believe in you! You can do it! Ready, Set, Go!
Written by Kimi Johnson
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