Voices Against the Grain Turns 2!

“Do not despise small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…” (Zechariah 4:10, New Living Translation)

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Mixed with some trepidation but more exhilaration and freedom, I hit the “publish” button on May 28, 2013 to share with the world our first blog post. I was now “out there” with a bold message that would show everyone for sure who I was and where I stood on life issues. No going back. No retreat. I was living and speaking from my authentic self. No longer afraid of being politically correct or concerned about whose toes I might step on in the process of lovingly sharing God’s Word, I still remember that day as the Holy Spirit stirred in me. I stepped out of the shackles of worrying what others thought and boldly began sharing about Jesus Christ in hopes to free and embolden others. That was two years ago!  In this daily journey of yielding to the Holy Spirit’s promptings/instructions and putting our faith in action to share His Word, our ministry team has been AMAZED and HONORED to witness the consistent growth. All to His Name and Glory!! Since our May 28, 2013 launch we’ve:

  • Published 292 blog posts
  • Received nearly 16,000 visitors to our site (15,946)
    • Launched online 1-hour weekly radio show on September 4, 2013
    • Hosted nearly 30 shows with more than 30 guests
    • Transitioning from online-only radio network to a DC-based radio station w/wider reach
    • Have exponentially grown our social media reach
    • Became monthly faith columnist for GospelToday.com (since June 2014)
    • Gained ministry partnerships
    • Secured ministry events with select colleges

Praise God for how He has used our ministry platform as a vessel to equip and empower Believers; to bring clarity, truth and restoration through His Word to unbelievers walking in confusion, deception and brokenness caused by Satan’s counterfeit schemes. We are grateful to be in His service! With a continued mission and mantra of “Advancing God’s Kingdom in a ‘do your own thing society’,” we are excited for what the Lord has done, what He is doing and will do through us and others.

birthday cake 2

I am grateful to God for each of our team members who He has gifted with talents, messages and their own ministries: Ana, Destiney, Herbert, Jason and Jill. Thank you for our ministry partners PureHOPE and The Family Hope Line who have blessed us with support. Thank you for each of our radio show guests who’ve brought excellent messages of truth and restoration to our audience since the show’s launch on September 4, 2013. Thank you to my amazing and dearly loved prayer partners, mentors, family and friends whose godly words, counsel, prayers have guided me on this journey. Blessed to serve and love in truth those who we are reaching through written content, messages from radio show guests, etc.

How did Voices Against the Grain start? What were my feelings about it? Read my first blog post from our May 28, 2013 launch. Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we grow and disperse salt, light, love and truth into the territories God has called us to! Love and Blessings to each of you and yours.


Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes and the VATG ministry team here. 


Ladies: Good News for You

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Ladies, I have encouraging words for you: You don’t have to have it all together to be successful! That is wonderful news and should automatically bring you peace. During this past Wednesday’s radio show (March 19), we talked with three fabulous women who through their respective organizations and careers, are empowering other women to live out their God-given purposes. The episode, “Empowered Women Empowering Others” is the third conversation of this month’s radio series called “March with Us, March with Her,” as we host great women every Wednesday in March, showcasing how they are helping other women. Our show guests: Dawn Bauer, founder of The Family Hope Line, Carrie B. Cook, founder of empowHERment, and Kareen Riviere, PhD, an FDA scientist and founder of The Empower Foundation, all brought great advice, authentically shared their experiences and lessons learned. As part of our conversation, we realized that sometimes in trying to please everyone, we put on a good face, push through even when our bodies are exhausted, and think we have to know how to do everything.

Carrie B. Cook, founder of empowHERment

Carrie B. Cook, founder of empowHERment

We quickly learned from Dawn, who experienced a health scare in late February, that there is “nurturing power in the word ‘no’ and setting personal and professional boundaries.” We learned from Carrie that not everything has to be in place, and that “we benefit by sharing the lows we experience. There are blessings and lessons in sharing our failures with others.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that “Christ’s power is made perfect in our weakness.”  In pursuing our purpose, Kareen advised to “Trust in God’s timing. Know that God would not put this dream in your heart if you were not equipped to see it through.”

Here are some more good nuggets that emerged from our conversation as you learn and understand God’s purpose for you:

  • Listen to and act upon the warning signs given by your body; don’t push through it; seek medical help
  • Don’t let a temporary circumstance change your permanent disposition! Keep your joy, peace and know your worth!
  • Your obedience is tied to somebody else’s destiny
  • We all have unique giftings and skillsets; connect to who God has created you to be
  • You are here and important
  • God’s plan is infinitely greater than we can map for ourselves; will be more meaningful and purposeful than we can dream
  • Being vulnerable is ok; it encourages others to see we’re not perfect
  • In pursuing your dream, pray on it, write down your ideas, do your research, know if you need donors or investors, make achievable goals, share your ideas with those you trust, and have someone/team/support system to keep you accountable
  • Be aware of the people God places in your life; they may further develop your purpose and you may help develop theirs
  • Recheck your intentions and ensure your actions are motivated by a pure heart

Want to hear more nuggets? Listen here!  Please also visit the ladies’ organization websites to learn more of their work:

The Family Hope Line, founded in 2009. Family Hope Line is a cost-free placement service which assists families seeking programs to address the specific needs of their struggling teen and provide family restoration.

Founded in 2011,  empowHERment, is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based organization whose mission is “empowering a continuous network of girls and women to be leaders in their community through mentorship, talent development and advocacy.”

Founded in 2010,  The Empower Foundation, Inc., is a Maryland-based nonprofit whose mission is to empower people and communities to have a voice, take action, and better their quality of life.