Extended: Maintaining Relationships with Kaci Nicole"It hasn’t always been easy and it can get tough, but in the end it truly does work out. I always seek God and ask Him for wisdom and discernment."
Christian blogger and influencer Kaci Nicole has dealt with various types of relationships. Through it all, she’s kept God at the center of her heart, which has helped her maintain healthy and positive relationships. Through the ups and downs, she’s been able to create a clear picture of what a fulfilling relationship should look like and as she states on her blog, is “inspired to live out the unique purposes God has for her.”
WC: Tell us about yourself.
Kaci: I went to Biola University, it’s a private Christian university down in Southern California, very close to Disneyland. I graduated in 2014 with a double degree in communication studies and Bible, which looking back is really cool to see how God orchestrated those things. At the time, I sort of just picked them because I didn’t really know what I wanted to and figured that the communications degree would keep my options pretty open. And everyone who goes to Biola gets a Bible minor. After I graduated, a job opportunity opened in the Bay area which I moved back home for. But I’ve learned from this job and how it relates to communications and how it also kind of applies to my blog.
WC: How did you get started with your blog?
Kaci: I started my blog my senior year of college. I was studying abroad in London and that trip was a really transformational time for me in my walk with God where He was sort of stripping down all these lies as far as how I had seen myself and just revealing a lot of who He was to me. I was growing a lot and from all the things I was learning, all the things He was showing to me, I had this natural desire to want to share those things. For me, words have always been huge. I’m a words of affirmation person. I had this inkling and desire to want to start sharing and that’s really what started it all.
WC: How has being open about your faith positively and negatively affected your friendships and relationships?
Kaci: I actually grew up in a Christian environment, went to a Christian school and grew up going to church. From this I grew up around people who had the same values as me. And even people in my life who aren’t religious know that this is something that is a big part of my life, so there’s never been this moment of having to tell people I was a Christian or seeing that affect my faith or anything. But I would say the impact has been mainly positive. I think just being able to pray for friends and family is a huge thing. I believe praying together is something that just connects you on a deeper level. And I think also anytime any relationship is something bigger than just the people involved, it just makes the relationship better, whether that be a friendship or romantic relationships or any of those types of things. I just think that being able to seek God alongside friends and encourage one another in that pursuit, that’s only really ever added richness to my friendships and also given them a sense of purpose.
WC: Have you had any negative reactions online about your faith? If so, how did you handle that?
Kaci: No, actually, not really. I think people who are coming to my profiles are looking for truth or encouragement in that area. If you are receiving hateful comments, the biggest thing you can do is go back to God’s Word. Double check what you’re posting and remind yourself why you’re posting it. I make sure that I’m not just putting something out because I’m hoping that it’ll get some sort of a positive response or multiple likes, but because it’s some sort of conviction in me and it’s something I believe in, something that I think provides a lot of safety if we are speaking and acting on our convictions and not just in this attempt to get approval. Then whether or not we get that approval, or a negative response, we can kind of rest in knowing that we shared something that was what we believed and that was our conviction. Knowing that makes it a little bit easier.
WC: You’ve gone through all the major stages of life, high school, college and now building new relationships with co-workers, what are some really important factors to you when choosing someone to add to your circle?
Kaci: There’s this old saying that goes, “We are the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with,” which is super true. And this is definitely not to say that we shouldn’t be friends with everyone, but I think that we should be cautious of those we allow closest to us. These are the people we allow to speak into our lives and they have this unique opportunity to influence who we become. With that being said, I think it’s really important that the people we’re allowing to influence us are going to influence us toward the people we want to become.
And so, I think a couple of things for me, one is that they love God. I love having people close to me who I know are going to give me Godly advice, that are going to point me back to Him, that their advice is going to be grounded in His Word. Also, friends who are going to be willing to hold me accountable when I need that. They’re not just going to tell me what I want to hear, but they’re going to speak truth to me. I think another key thing to focus on is that there’s a safety in the relationship. This person has to want what’s good for you. That will really be shown over time, in the same way that sort of trust is built. I think those are really important things to focus on when building a new relationship.
WC: What problems do you see emerging among friends that may create division or broken relationships?
Kaci: I think the biggest thing that we have to guard against—especially as girls and as women—is gossip. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve seen that gossip is poison in relationships. If you have an issue or you have a concern, do your best to go to that friend. Sometimes, as Christians, we talk about people under this veil of concern, “Oh, I just want to pray for them in this area.” But at the end of the day it’s still gossip and it’s still hurtful. It creates a division in any type of relationship. By keeping gossip out of the conversation it creates this safety in your relationship. Remember that if you have a friend or person in your life who refuses to talk to you about somebody else, then you can feel confident in knowing that they’re going to refuse to talk to somebody else about you. This topic is a huge one that we often write off, but it really is important.
WC: What would be some advice to others who are in a bit of a toxic relationship right now?
Kaci: I think my biggest piece of advice for somebody in that situation is to keep seeking God, pour out your heart to Him and also do your best to pursue peace and reconciliation with that person where it’s possible.
One of the biggest things I’ve found in hindsight looking back on those seasons where I was going through a hard time in any kind of relationship, is that sometimes these relationships go through growing pains because you’ve got two individuals who are growing as individuals. And sometimes, that means you go through seasons where your broken edges are sort of rubbing up against each other and poking at one another. And God needs to do some work in each of you before that relationship can get back to more of a peaceful place. God uses these people closest to us to shape us and those broken edges to refine us, the whole iron sharpens iron.
Another thing I’d say is to not shy away too quickly if things get hard. And as times goes on and as we’re seeking Him and pursuing reconciliation, I believe that God really will make clear whether this relationship is going to be restored to a close place in your life.
WC: It seems like you really lean on God and think about what He would want for you.
Kaci: Absolutely! It hasn’t always been easy and it can get tough, but in the end it truly does work out. But it’s not always in the moment, and it’s not always quickly as you may want it. I always seek God and ask Him for wisdom and discernment.
WC: How can the younger generations find their relationship with God?
Kaci: The biggest thing is to spend time with Him in every single day. This is something that I really didn’t get until probably late college, just the power of spending time with God. As somebody who did grow up in a Christian church and went to Christian school, I had homework that literally involved me reading the Bible. As for knowing His will for us, they think that sometimes we see God’s will as this grand plan or this set of marching orders that at some point, He’s going to hand over to us and that we’re going to march on forward into His will for our life. But I think that more often than not, it’s a step by step thing and that it happens as we’re taking steps forward with Him as we’re seeking Him.
WC: Do you think God puts certain people in your life at certain times for a reason?
Kaci: Oh absolutely! I believe He always gives us the people we need when we need them the most. We may not always know it, even at that moment, why we needed them, but as time goes on it becomes more clear in hindsight.
WC: What advice would you give to others, if their friends and others in their lives aren’t comfortable with their relationship with God? How do you suggest they find that balance?
Kaci: That is a tough one. Because I think something, we hear in our culture a lot is to not compromise who you are, but I would say it kind of applies to this that I don’t think we should ever like try to hide our faith. I think that if you’ve got a friend who’s not as comfortable talking about their faith and beliefs, I think that’s totally okay to have a relationship where that’s not something that you talk about, especially for somebody who’s not a Christian. I think it’s important that all people kind of know where you stand and what you believe, and the things you love are naturally going to become a part of your conversation
WC: What has changed for you in the last five years of your life, and what do you want to see change in the next five years?
Kaci: I would say a lot of the change that has happened in my life has really been internal. There have been things that have happened circumstantially, even within the past five years with starting my blog, I started a Youtube channel and I wrote a devotional. But I would say the vast majority of the change that happened has just been work that God sent in me to transform me from the inside out, to make me look more like Him, to kind of break down lies and wrong ways of seeing things. As for the future, I have learned enough to know that oftentimes what we planned, it doesn’t always work out exactly how we thought it was going to. I would say that I would just love to continue creating. The blog, my Instagram, Youtube and all of those channels where I’m able to just create and share my truths. I would love to see that to continue to grow and be a bigger part of my life.
Photos by aubreymattsonphotography.com