After my father left, I began to live a life that began to spin quickly out of control. I lived with my mother and my older siblings were no longer living in the home. I grew up in the Motor City with an abundance of drugs, alcohol and rock and roll. I began to hang with the wrong crowd at a very young age, meeting boys, and sitting on the corner of our street, drinking whiskey and 7-Up in the middle of the night. My mother was not privy to my lifestyle, as I kept it well hid, until one New Years Eve, I went with a friend and her family to a party, and while sitting in the basement with a group of people who were much older than I, began to share their beverages, yes, you guessed it, with alcohol. I don’t think I was even 14 years old. That night I was so intoxicated that when we were leaving, I hit my head on the top of the car as I was getting into the backseat. When I arrived home, my mother met me at the door, she had no idea I was drunk until after taking our dog to her bed in the basement, and kept tripping on the steps as I came up the stairs. Just a few short years later, my mother overdosed with legal drugs, she was only 45.
This lifestyle continued and even grew more serious. When I was 20 years of age, I had become involved with a man whose friends introduced us to a very addicting drug. I was amazed at how one could crave such a substance. I believe it is only by the Grace of God that I survived.
At 21 years of age, I had moved back in with my father and his new wife and her family. During this time my father, the late Bob Nielsen, who was Captain of Paramedics at station one in Warren, Michigan and a Firefighter for many years, began to change, in a good way. One day when I came home from work, my Dad was cutting the lawn in the backyard, it was summer, so the windows were open, and I could hear him speaking, only I could not make out what it was, my step mother was sitting on the couch and I asked, “What is he doing?” She responded and said, “He’s praying in the Spirit.” I paused and said, “Oh, OK.” I made a mental note, but did not think much more about it, until later.
Not long after, my older brother Bob, who had long blond hair, and was what I considered at the time, a “party dude” came up to my younger sisters room, where I liked hanging out, except she was not there at the time. Bob came in, sat down, and began to tell me about Jesus. I was like, “Ooooh K.” I listened. And if my memory serves me correctly, he had given me what was called a four spiritual laws track. What’s a track? It’s a small pamphlet or paper that has Bible verses printed on it regarding Jesus, how He paid for our sins, and How we can have NEW Life in Him. One famous verse that many know, and may have seen even at sporting events is, John 3:16, How God so loved the world, that he gave his One and only Son, Jesus, that whosoever believes (believes also means obey him) in Him, will not perish, but have Everlasting Life.
At this time, I had come to a place in my life where I was ready for a change, a Real change. I had done so many things wrong, I cannot even list them, and when I began to read those verses on the “track” they began to speak to me; I began to hear God, and that He loved me, even with all my sins, all my mistakes. It wasn’t audible, the best way I can describe this is His voice is much like your conscience, that “still small voice” inside of you that says, “Don’t do that!” Or, “Don’t go there.” God speaks to us through the person of His Holy Spirit, Jesus says in John 16:13, “When He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all Truth. He will not Speak on His own; He will SPEAK only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” When this happened, I began to do what some of those verses were encouraging me to do, I began to ask God to forgive me of my sins, and I asked Jesus Christ His Son, to be my Master, the Lord of my Life, and when I did, something very real and tangible began to happen, it was as though a blanket of Love was draped over me, like you would cover a baby. I began to weep, yet they were not tears of sadness, on the contrary, they were tears of Joy, and as I cried, it felt as though all of my shame was being washed away. I had become as Jesus said, “Born again.” Born of the Spirit of God. That was over 45 years ago. And that same loving God is with me even to this day.
All throughout my life as a follower of Jesus, I have made many mistakes, as we all do. But God is Faithful and Rich in mercy, and promises, that if we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just to Forgive us our sins, and to Cleanse us from All Unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
Some years later, I married a wonderful man of God, had two boys, and combined, we have 6 Grandchildren with another on the way. In my book: Love Awakens (Love Awakens.org) and in my husbands book: The Main Thing, we share his story, regarding His encounter with Jesus, and how the Lord spoke to him regarding his Return, and led him to read His Words in Matthew 25:31-46. Because of what the Lord shared with my husband and myself, we have been very active as a church and family, caring for the orphan, widows and the poor. We are the founding pastors of Ponce Church in Ponce Inlet, Florida. Our oldest son and his wife are the Directors of our home for Age Out foster girls established in 2016, and soon a boys ranch. (see LegacyHousingProject.org) and after serving over 35,000 meals to our homeless community since 2014, we began to walk out the vision God has given us to provide housing for adult homeless women, specifically those who have made the decision to live a life from from addictions, something that is very common among the homeless community. We launched Ponce Village (PonceVillage.com) years ago and have recently opened Tabitha’s House, a home for women who have been homeless and are working to live a life of sobriety.
Since providing meals for the homeless community, I developed a strong desire to not only provide a Home, but a Family, with opportunities they would not have in any other environment.
TABITHA’S HOUSE of Ponce Village – is a Christ-centered home, with a long-term solution, providing the spiritual resources (Mentorship) needed to help them on their journey, toward a life of Renewed Hope, where each woman receives the same love and care as our Legacy Family.
At Tabitha’s House there is a live-in Woman of God to help mentor the women as they take the necessary steps to maintain sobriety with the help of Jesus Christ and the Strength of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Nina will be involved daily, with scheduled Bible studies, and Godly counsel.
Tabitha’s House is not a temporary shelter, but a Long-Term solution providing Safe Housing, Mentorship, Spiritual Counseling; a Life of Renewed Hope.
If you have taken the necessary steps toward sobriety, and have a desire to be a follower of Jesus, and live the Life He and the Father God have planned for you, I encourage you to contact me, and we can discuss more about what we do at Tabitha’s House, and help you continue your Journey with the Lord toward a Life of Renewed Hope.
The Lord Loves you my friend, and He has only Good planned for us, if we turn to Him and give Him our all. If that is a desire of your heart, we can help you continue your Journey.
If you are interested in being a part of our Team of Compassionate Women who take Serving Jesus Christ seriously, as a Caregiver, contact Pastor Nina at [email protected]