A Chat With Nicole Reyes
With a passion for God and for people, plus a great sense of style. Nicole Reyes, Pastor at Oasis La and author, lives her life so full and genuine. Just one conversation with her and my soul was so encouraged. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter : @nicolereyesLA
Q & A's
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself?
- A: My name is Nicole Marie Guadalupe Reyes, which means I am half Mexican. Grew up in Arizona, moved to LA when I turned 18 and went to acting school. Started serving at Oasis when I was 19 and i’ve been there ever since. Life is full and life is really fun! I really like hanging out with people and having a fun time; loving Jesus and loving life!
Q: You are on staff at Oasis LA, can you tell me a little bit about what you do there?
- A:I am a pastor, who oversees for our founding pastors, Phillip and Holly Wagner. I oversee anything from day-to-day ministry, community care, discipleship, youth and young adults, to internship programs, and the teaching team. It’s a broad job and I love that! It keeps everything kind of fresh and new and I love it!
Q: What is your go-to beauty product?
- A: I really think that if you have good hair it can compensate for a lot. Every girl has their thing like, “if I did this with my hair then I feel good", or for some people it's putting on lipstick. So it's hair for me, I use the WEN hair products. I love that for my hair because it doesn’t dry it out and it keeps it fresher longer. They’re super generous and actually donate a ton to generosity.org which helps build cleans wells, so I like that!
Q: What are 3 things you must have in your purse?
- A: Powder, lipstick, and gum. I think you should always have good breath, make it a pleasant experience for people! Ha-ha.
Q: How would you describe your style?
- A: That’s a good question! I would like to think that I have my own style, but I don’t know if that’s true or not because I’m sure you can find exactly what I’m wearing on Pinterest, somewhere. But i'd like to think that I’m a little original. I like a little bohemian chic. I love turquoise and just fun, different pieces. I also like the idea of being a little more chic and put together. I’m definitely influenced by both New York and L.A. I like the idea of having one piece that’s a bit feminine on you but then everything be like edgy. Like a black leather jacket, with a white shirt that has lace. That’s a cool combo, a little feminine but also urban.
Q: Coffee or Tea?
- A: Coffee! I love coffee! I praise God for coffee! I start every morning with coffee, I’m a morning person but I do like to start my morning with a cup of coffee and my Bible, and then I’m ready to go. I love my coffee strong, to feel like “woah I’m waking up here!” I really like M Street Almond Milk Latte.
Q: What are 3 things on your bucket list?
- A: I would really love to visit every country in the world. I don’t know if that’s going to be a reality, but I would love to come close. I just love to travel. Secondly, I am really afraid of sharks, I think sharks are crazy scary. So I would actually like to go to like Sydney or South Africa where you can actually be in a cage and be around great whites. I know it’ll be the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I kind of like doing things that will freak me out, just to say that I’ve done them. Then third, I would like to be able to speak to and help equip young leaders on a broader scope.
Q: If you could have a meal with anyone in the world (past or present) who would it be? What would you order?
- A: I am a simple girl so I would like to have a pizza. Pizza is always a good thing! But imagine it in like this really amazing fancy restaurant but I still get my favorite pizza, and like overlooking the city. I would actually love to meet and have lunch with Tina Fey. I think she is hilarious and I respect how she as a woman has accomplished so much in her life. So I would just like to pick her brain even from that angle of like, “hey you just found your lane and ran in it, and we are in the minority as woman, so what’s that like?”
Q: Who are your mentors?
- A: Holly and Phillip Wagner they really believed in my from the time I was 19 on staff and gave me a go, when it didn’t make sense to give a young girl a go. Chris Caine, near and far and she’s been so pivotal in many parts of my life. Just one conversation with her has been so life changing; this woman is really living without limits, in the right way and being bold. Priscilla Shirer, she’s been pure encouragement and support. There’s different mentors from afar who are incredible leaders in the body of Christ like Brian Houston, Judah Smith, etc. The blessing of technology is that so many people can be mentors in our lives, whether we ever get to meet them or not. Use that, as your benefit if you want to grow, don’t wait for them to come to you, you go ahead and find the resource.
Q: You are an author? What’s the latest book you’ve written, and is there any plans for another one?
- A: The last book I wrote was with my founding pastor, Holly, and together we wrote, Survival Guide for Young Woman. It’s for woman in their late teens and early 30's about dating, friendship, discovering your purpose, and the local church. It’s fun and playful, but also pretty challenging. The book that I’m currently working on is just more about leading as a Christian in any sphere in life and some of the heart issues that can come up in that, from entitlement to comparison, to wanting to give up. It's very personal, you’ll laugh a lot ,and hopefully it’ll be an encouragement.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- A: Be you! Do you! If I could go back in time and tell my early self, I would’ve said, "hey your kind of insecure about some things, but don’t worry about it, it's not a big deal. God made you the way He made you, He gifted you the way He gifted you, He placed you where He placed you, and it's all really good and it's all going to work out." Don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t compare yourself to somebody else, just be you. The funny thing is that if someone would’ve just said that so clearly to me when I was twenty-one, twenty-two I would’ve been like,” I’m not insecure, I don’t know what you're talking about?” and part of it is that we are just not aware. Many young men and woman struggle with finding an identity, being really comfortable in your own skin. Love where Jesus has you and not envy somebody else’s position, gifting, looks, or upbringing. Just really love the life that you’ve been given and find you and find your own voice. We are always checking other people's Instagram and comparing our lives, but we're only really seeing the really great stuff, because nobody's going to be posting the really bad stuff. That can fuel a lot of insecurities. You find you and let Jesus lead you and appreciate that God has made you unique, that’s a pretty cool thing.
Q: In college we are trying to find who we are, and what our purpose is. What advice would you give to someone who finds him or herself in that season of life?
- Your purpose is always going to help people, it's always going to be less about you and more about making the world a better place through Jesus. Now the purpose that God has for you is going to be quite enjoyable because He wired you for it, but you're not going to be the center of attention, it's going to be Jesus. God has given you gifts and abilities to serve and reach people and love people. In real practical and tangible ways, so make sure that it’s doing that. Whatever the dream is figure out how those dots connect to God's plans.
- Then I think that people are always waiting for it to be really clear. Like once God makes the plan really clear then I'll step into it, and this whole journey is by faith. "We live by faith and not by sight"- 2 Corin. 5:7. We are never going to get the amount of clarity that you want in life. So trust God and take risks. You're not going to have all the answers before you decide, “ I’m going to do this, I’m going to pursue this.”
- Listen to some wise counsel and get some honest feedback. We need to make sure that we have people in our life that are honest, who really believe that God has great things for you.
Q: In singleness, people can get discouraged and worry about their future spouse. What advice would you give to someone going through that season?
- It’s a real thing, we've all been there. I would just say, trust Jesus and if you're really doubting or wondering when you're going to meet the one, when you're going to get married, and your really struggling in that area, that’s okay. Have great conversations with Jesus about it and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you and bring you the peace that you need.
- Make sure you surround yourself with people, conversation pieces, and environments that are only going to fuel your faith for that. Don’t get distracted with "Debby Downers" about being single, frustrated and worried. You can really enjoy every season that you're in, but you have to be around people who are loving life and have a great attitude.
- Don’t put your life on pause, go on with life! Have fun, go on adventures, travel, pursue the dream in your heart, career, the calling that God has for you. Life doesn’t have to be on pause just because you’re waiting to get married. Make the most of this season, and that’s very attractive. The person that you're looking for will see that you're having a good time, enjoying life and their going to be drawn to that. If you're really unhappy and depressed that you're single and that’s what you're putting off, then that’s what you're going to attract and that not what you want in a partner.
"If Jesus can take care of every area of your life, finances, calling, family, friendship, and health, He is going to take care of this as well."
Q: Someone once told me, “don’t compare your process to somebody else’s process”. What’s your take on this quote?
- A: I absolutely agree, I think there’s things that we can learn from each other but there’s a difference from learning from and comparing to. When you're looking for wisdom you can find it in someone else’s story. But everyone’s journey is unique and that will only bring discontentment, frustration, and it can actually cause a rift in some really good potential friendships and relationships in life who are supposed to be on this journey with you.
Q: When I heard you speak at conference, I was so encouraged and blown away by your passion and boldness for the Lord. What are some things that you implement in your daily life that fuels that passion for God?
- A: I spend time in the word and worship God everyday, that the norm and I’ve been doing that since I was twelve. I love that and I can’t look to other circumstances, other people to give me a level of passion in life. I fulfill that with Jesus. I also try to surround myself, my core friendships, with people who love God and love life. So their passion is inspiring me as well. I I’m also about Gods business, the things that matter to God and that’s inspiring to us even when it's difficult it's inspiring. It's not easy, nothing really great I think is easy. When you're in your lane and doing what you're called to do, you are experiencing Gods grace in the season that you're in; there's a lot of joy that can come from that. But never forget to be grateful. I think that’s a huge discipline in life. Choose to be grateful, because grateful people are excited, optimistic people, since you are just aware of what God has done in your life. God has rescued me and saved me and I never want to get complacent about.
Q: You are such a powerful woman! You carry yourself with such confidence, humility. You exude happiness and joy. Any tips on how you stay so positive and confident?
- A: Ha-ha, I would say just being around good people. I’m still discovering that emotions are great but I don’t need to be led by my emotions, actually they’re just indicators. They’re not the major influencers of my life. If I’m having a bad day, it doesn’t dictate the choices that I make that day. I think sometimes we give ourselves to our emotions so quickly and let them lead our choices versus us saying like the Psalmist says, "Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul."- Ps. 146:1. He actually told his soul how to respond when he was in the midst of a tough situation. He was able say, "no I’m going to make a choice and once I make it and follow through with it, my emotions respond." Managing your emotions is a really cool thing to develop and to be aware of.
Q: What has shaped you into the woman you are today?
- So many things! First, Jesus, for saving and leading my life. I encountered Christ love when I was 12 and it’s been the biggest shaper of my life.
- My family, it’s been my family that has taught me so much and God has been so good to my family. Just seeing what Jesus has done with a really broken family has been amazing. My mom taught me how to love kindness and aspire to be kind and my dad’s work ethic in incredible and he instilled that in me, “hustle hard girl, hustle hard”! My family has also had a great sense of humor, man if you know how to laugh and not take yourself to seriously, it's given me a really good attitude in life.
- Friends, whoever you have closest to you will shape you. “Look at your circle of friends and ill tell you your future”, that phrase is really true. I make sure i'm around people who inspire me, people who are running in the same pace, and mentors who are ahead of the game.
- Challenges, some of the toughest seasons in life have changed me. I'm grateful for them but in that moment not so much. I'm the person I am because God was with me through that season, developing perseverance. I wish our character would be shaped just by good experiences but it is shaped under pressure. There's just something about difficult times that if we just submit to God's grace and commit in the difficult times that above all else I want to be more like Jesus, Jesus can do phenomenal things in those seasons that will shape us."Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds"- James 1:2
"If you want to come out refined gold you have to go through the furnace!"