Nicole Phillip wrote a book chronicling her struggles as a single parent and a Christian.
BY HOLLY KESTENIS, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – At one time or another everyone has gone through a difficult time. But what happens when those bad times start piling up year after year until one day you wake up feeling bitter and battered?
That’s just what happened to lifelong resident Nicole Phillip. Known to friends and family as CoCo, Phillip had to find a way to cope with a life gone awry and the backlash of being a Christian while having a baby out of wedlock.
“That was the sad part for me,” said Phillip, who found that as a worship leader the scrutiny was intense. “You’re most disappointed in yourself.”
So to counteract the feeling of bitterness that began to creep into her life, Phillip wrote a book chronicling her struggles as a single parent and how she got her life back on track for the sake of her child.
Her first step was realizing she stepped outside the protection of the Lord, thus making her life more challenging than it would have been if she hadn’t strayed from her timeline.
Phillip believes everyone has the good intent of having a lasting relationship and providing for their family. In fact, she preaches that God wants us to have all our desires, but with the stipulation that we do it in his time. If temptation and short cuts through life become the norm, lives can be changed and those looking for an easy way out may find their futures filled with obstacles.
“It causes consequences that you have to later deal with because you didn’t wait on the Lord, or you didn’t move within his principles,” said Phillip. “That’s what I found myself in.”
She also found there were people looking to revel in her failure, in her shame of not practicing what she preached. Phillip questioned her ability to continue ministry, even in her own family. With all the confines of motherhood, she had difficulty tending to her own mother in her time of need, and lost her faith in delivering a profound message to others.
A self-proclaimed woman of God, Phillip enjoys inspirational speaking and coaching women of all ages in having a healthy mindset and finding their spiritual place in the world. By day, she puts her marketing degree to use as CEO of Ministry Event Marketing, which provides branding services to local businesses, along with web development services and community outreach.
As a graduate of Gibbs High, Phillip has a deep love of the St. Petersburg area and wants to reach out to fellow Christians who may be putting on a face in order to save face in the community.
“Sometimes we don’t address the heart of a person,” said Phillip, who believes that ministry and serving others is a virtue in the community, but often wonders if it’s a bit of a show. “We know how to dress it up, we know how to do church good, but on the inside we are in turmoil, we are in pain.”
Her book, “Single, Saved, & Bitter,” takes you on a 30-day journey to healing a bitter heart and learning how to love yourself again. It not only chronicles Phillip’s journey through salvation, but also delves into the harrowing struggles of others in their attempt to find peace living through cancer and even rape. Stories of how ordinary Christians fell from the grace of God and found their way back again.
Phillip is confident her 30-day plan will help others gain healing and think about the decisions they’ve made in the past. With reflection, she promises readers will be able to face the hard questions facing them and make proactive decisions to ditch the dangerous choices that are ruling their lives.
“Sometimes we go through life and we just cover it up,” said Phillip. By not dealing with the hurt and pain that others inflict, as well as not knowing your own self-worth, a person can find they are walking through life in a bitter place.
“It springs forth out of your heart, and it will affect how you see things and the sourness will hurt your relationships.”
Nicole Phillip, COCO Entertainment
Phillip has embraced her new role as a single parent and finds solace in raising her child to love God and to appreciate others. But she does understand the pull of finding a partner to build a life with. She cautions about finding yourself in a relationship filled with distractions and encourages daters to not settle or stay with anyone who takes you away from your true purpose in life.
“You must strive to be a whole person first,” she said. Confront past and current relationships with friends and family, reevaluate your goals and standards. “The biggest thing in your singleness is not trying to get a man so you can feel complete, but being complete before you receive your mate.”
To purchase “Single, Saved, & Bitter,” just go to www.singlesavedbitter.com, or you can purchase it online through Amazon. You can also call (727) 228-1489 and get it shipped to you.
“This book allows you to be transparent,” said Phillip who has included a journal to chronicle your thoughts, along with daily scriptures to help see God and yourself in a different light. And if journaling isn’t your thing, don’t worry. She also included guided questions to help you dig deep and really work through what is holding you back.
“Once you go through the storm and come out on the sunny side, you’ll be able to recall it and share it with someone in need,” she said.