I am so happy to share with you another blog in the getting deeper series. I love this series because I love getting to know people, hearing other’s stories, and seeing how God is working in their lives.
I had the honor of getting to know Nicole Renard deeper. I’ve been following Nicole for quite some time on Instagram and her joy and happiness brightens my feed. She is doing awesome things for the kingdom of God.
She is Miss Washington 2017, an amazing photographer, a pastry chef, loves all things Disney, is totally crushing the Blog and YouTube game and LOVES Jesus wholeheartedly and unabashedly. I am SO excited for you to learn more about Nicole! Let’s jump in!
Tell Us A Little About You!
Hi! I’m Nicole!! I’m from a really small town in Washington State and recently moved to Los Angeles, California! I’m a full-time photographer, YouTuber and travel blogger and also develop recipes for different food brands. I was a pastry chef for 4 years and it’s my dream to host a traveling cooking show where I feed people around the world. I grew up as a competitive dancer and I also competed in scholarship pageants. Through my time competing I’ve received over $60,000 in scholarships which allowed me to graduated from film school debt free. I’ve held 3 local titles, 3 state titles, and 2 national titles. Last year I was Miss Washington and got to compete on the Miss America stage which was my childhood dream! I love going to Disneyland and being outside and I’m passionate about people and them knowing their worth and value.
Did you grow up in the church?
I did! I was lucky enough to grow up in a Christian household with 2 incredible parents who are rooted deep in their faith. However, because I was around it all the time I didn’t really understand the significance or what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus until I was 13.
When did you become a Christian?
I grew up believing in Jesus and knew about salvation and His love for me, but I think everything clicked and my faith became my own when I was 13.
Your joy and love for life is contagious, how do you stay so positive?
Jesus!! Haha!! As cliche as that sounds, it’s my secret to joy. It literally says in the Bible, “The Joy of the Lord is my strength” and this could not be more true for me. Through the years I’ve learned not to find happiness in people, things, events or possible outcomes because all of those are either temporary, unsure or out of my control. But when happiness is found in the security of my identity being in Christ, then I can be joyful in any situation because regardless of what happens to me, God is still good and my value doesn’t change.
With all your traveling how do you manage to find a quiet time?
Intentionality and prioritization. If I don’t make it a point to do it first thing in the morning, it usually doesn’t happen. I’m not the best at being consistent when I travel but I also like to use that time to find other creative ways of spending time with Jesus and worshiping Him because it doesn’t always have to look the same! The main thing (and this comes with practice… I’ve been doing this since high school) is staying in communication with God. The easiest way to spend time with Him is to TALK to Him so I try to pretty much be in constant communication so He’s interwoven into all parts of my day/life.
Where have you traveled that God has amazed you by the most?
Ooo this is hard. Israel or New Zealand. Israel because WOW. The history and walking where Jesus walked brought the Bible to life and gave me visuals for all the stories I read about. And New Zealand because I was at a point in my life where I was physically and mentally unhealthy. I couldn’t slow down and my stress and anxiety were through the roof. It literally took God moving me halfway around the world to get me to stop, rest in Him and discover my true identity. He slowly peeled back the labels I had let define me and showed me that just the fact that I’m a human, created with purpose is ENOUGH. This country will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s where my soul came alive again and I was made “New”.
Did you find any struggles with your faith and participating in pageants?
If anything, competing in pageants STRENGTHENED my faith. I think challenge is a better word than struggle in my scenario because there were MANY times where I was put in positions WAY outside my comfort zone and had to rely solely on Jesus to get me through and handle the task. I never thought I would be a National titleholder TWICE and certainly never knew I would make it to Miss America. Though it wasn’t always glamorous and easy, through pageantry, God taught me that my identity isn’t found in any title and my worth is not determined by my achievements or failures. He loves me the same if I walk away with the crown on my head or not AND I can still be “said title” whether or not I have the banner that says it. More than anything I learned to step into radiance and live as a daughter of the King… a REAL LIFE princess!
What woman of the Bible resonates most with you?
I relate a lot to Martha. She’s Mary’s sister and when Jesus comes over she gets all stressed out about serving Jesus and freaks out on Mary who sits undistracted, at the feet of Jesus, for not helping her put on a show for Him. Sometimes I find myself distracted by trying to serve and “do stuff” for Jesus and He gently reminds me, “Hey, I love you, I just want to spend time with you”. I’m working on being more like Mary because God doesn’t need us to “do stuff” for Him. He’s God; He’s got it. All He cares about is our hearts and us having a relationship with Him.
I know a lot of women in their twenties struggle with being single and trusting God’s plan, what does that look like for you?
Ohhhhh girl!! Jesus and I talk about this DAILY. I’m 23 and have never had a boyfriend. I used to think something’s wrong with me, but deep down I know and TRUST that God does have a plan for me and He’s SAVING me for the right person at the right time. As a woman, we are meant to be pursued and it’s so hard to be patient when you want to be with that perfect guy RIGHT NOW. What I have to remember is that although I may be ready (or think I’m ready) I’m only half of the equation… If the guy isn’t ready for me then entering into a relationship is not going to be healthy for me OR for him. You don’t want to be in a relationship like that! The right person at the wrong time is still the wrong person so instead of going crazy and stressing out over finding the perfect guy, I make a list of what I want in a spouse, apply it to MYSELF to make sure I’m doing all of those things and being that type of person and then PRAY over my future husband. He does exist, he is out there, so pray for Him and ask God to bring him into your life at the perfect time.
What advice do you have for a twenty-something Christian?
Let go of how you think it should work out trust God with the results. It’s easy to get discouraged when the results don’t turn out how we think it should, but maybe that’s not how God intended it to be. God cares less about the results and more about our hearts and who we’re becoming along the way so let go of the outcome, surrender yourself to Him and TRUST that He is who He says He is and will do something amazing in your life. He has PROMISES for you!
Y’all how AMAZING is she?! There is so much truth in her story! GO show Nicole some love on her links below!