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Nicole C. Mullen: An 'Everyday' Hero

By Jennifer E. Jones
Producer Jennifer E. Jones: You get a lot of love from the people at the Doves and the Grammys. How do you balance being an everyday person while being in the spotlight?

Nicole C. Mullen: I think it’s remembering who I really am. Outside of loving Jesus Christ, I’m a wife and a mom first. The career part comes second. Then I have everyday people who are my closest friends who speak into my life. Some are single moms, some are married, some with kids, some without kids, and some are just single. We hang out and kick it -- just real life. I think being surrounded by that really keeps me grounded. All through the Scriptures, God used everyday people to accomplish extraordinary things -- people not necessarily born with extraordinary talents but God gave them gifts and abilities and used them for His kingdom. If you’ve got something small, I dare you to offer it up to God and watch Him do something great with it.

Jennifer: How do you manage being a wife, mother, and an artist all at the same time?

Nicole: Prayerfully (laughs). Really. I’m always asking God for wisdom. Like the Bible says, acknowledging Him in all my ways ‘cause He promises that, if I do that, He will direct my path. So again, I say, ‘Okay Lord, I need Your help. I need Your guidance in every situation from who’s going to baby-sit my kids to going on a date with my husband.' Whatever it is. He’s always faithful.

Jennifer: One of my favorite songs on this new album, Everyday People, is ‘Valorie’. You are just raising the roof on the ending. And yet, there’s a deeper meaning in that song. Tell me what 'Valorie' is about.

Nicole: It’s the triumph of the human spirit when it’s yielded to Christ. You’ve got this woman who has kids. She’s born in hardship. She’s been beat physically, mentally, and spiritually. [The song says] 'Valorie, your name means bravery. That’s what valor means. This is your song. Life may kick you to your knees but you pray, get up, and move on.' Valorie is just a symbol of a lot of different women I’ve come across – myself included – who’ve endured hardship. In the midst of our pain, Christ is there. In the midst of my loneliest hour, Christ is there. He says He’s been touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He knows what it feels like, so He meets us at those points. It’s just the triumph of saying, ‘Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, don’t fear because God’s with you. He’s got your back.'

Jennifer: You work with The Baby Girls’ Club. What are some of the issues girls are dealing with today?

Nicole: Everything from relationship issues with boys to parental issues. I’ve got some girls whose parents are involved and others whose parents couldn’t care less. There are times we have to step in and say, ‘Okay baby, you don’t have school supplies? Let’s get you something.’ There are times the kids will act out of frustration, loneliness, or [just needing] somebody to recognize them. We find that paying them some attention and being involved in their schoolwork, they start listening. We tell them, ‘I know you’re smart, baby. I know you can get A’s and B’s.’ We call it forth, and we see them living up to it. They’re grabbing on to hope, and they’re running with it.

Jennifer: You’re helping young women at home and abroad with the International Needs Network. How are we, here in America, so unaware of the issues going on in other countries?

Nicole: Well, I didn’t have a clue until it was brought to me a couple years ago. The laws of the land in Ghana abolished slavery but there are still practices of it that goes on. The Trokosi slaves are evidence of it. Last year we had a tour surrounding it. We had a lady come [who] was released from slavery through IN Network. Just to see her and others be able to economically provide for themselves… In this practice, they take these girls from the time they’re five years old. They’re like a gift to the gods. They’ll say, 'Your ancestors have transgressed, and the only way to appease the gods is to donate one of your virgin girls.' So family members will give up one of their little girls to this priest, and he really just has his way with them. He can rape them and beat them. So the organization goes in and negotiates with the priest to bring an end to these practices. In return, IN Network builds wells and schools. After they release the women, they teach them how to provide for themselves. Ultimately, a lot of these women give their hearts to Christ, and that’s the greatest freedom we could ever have.

Jennifer: All of this is really about helping ordinary people dealing with everyday issues, isn't it?

Nicole: Everyday people touching everyday people with the love of Christ. That’s how we make everyday heroes.


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For more information on Nicole C. Mullen, visit her Web site.

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