Overcoming Sexual Abuse, Finding Purpose, and Breaking Free with Cory Nickols

Cory Nickols serves as the director of strategic partnerships for Destiny Rescue. Cory travels worldwide to shed light on the issue of human trafficking.  Cory has a passion to set people free to find and fulfill their purpose.  Cory’s story is one of redemption, forgiveness, and victory.  He enjoys nature, with a partial affinity to the ocean and mountains as well as any place with warmer weather.  Besides being a frequent spokesperson on TV and radio, he develops relationships with people and organizations that will champion Destiny Rescue’s mission.  Destiny Rescue believes in defending those who can’t stand up for themselves.

We talk about overcoming valleys, the difference between forgiveness and bitterness, envy, dealing with the unknown, and what might be holding you back from finding your purpose. There’s a reason for every season of our lives. Many times, until we allow an understanding of the reason for the season we are in, we could remain stuck in a season instead of moving forward.

Favorite Success Quote

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Sir Edmund Burke


Key Points

1. Core beliefs purpose can be found through the pain from our past.   

Cory has a passion for seeing people set free, getting unstuck, and living their purpose.  Growing up  Cory experiences parents going through a Divorce.  It was the week of his parents’ divorce, his most vulnerable point, that he was taken advantage of and sexually abused by someone who was supposed to be looking out for his well being.  Cory shares how he managed to find purpose from the pain of his past later on in the interview.


2. Humbling Grounding 

In his 20’s, Cory went on to earn a degree in Landscape Architecture.  He worked for a firm in Georgia and was excelling at his career until the 2008 economic recession hit.  He was eventually laid off and had trouble finding work as it was a specialized field.  Eventually, he was forced to go through bankruptcy.  He could not sell his house, sports car, or anything of significant value.  He had to essentially end up giving all of his possessions away and had to move back into his parents’ basement when he was 30 years old. This Was a humbling experience that reveals to him areas of pride in the way he what’s showing up in the world. This humbling experience of moving back into his parents home after losing everything he had work for in his twenties revealed to him his struggle with pride. Cory explains that he would judge people based on their financial circumstances. 

He remembered feeling like he should have been further along in life.  In that dark moment, he felt God tell him, “Cory, I don’t need anything from you.  I want you to be available to set captives free.” Corie did not fully understand what this was all about, but he said “Yes.”


3. Faith and Trust

Cory’s story takes a unique turn as he was challenged by a friend to start writing again.  As an act of faith, Cory started a free public blog and within two months he was contacted by the largest Christian magazine publication in the United States.  The editor-in-chief of the magazine reached out to Cory directly and acknowledged his work and asked if he would like to come on staff and right for them. He agreed and that started a published writing career for Cory.

This writing process started working on his heart and he began developing compassion through the stories he was writing.  In time, he eventually came across the work of Destiny Rescue.    


4. Understanding Human Trafficking

The horrific nature and tragedy of the reality that is human trafficking, is not easily understood.  Yes, it is evil, but why does it exist? HOW does this crisis exist?! Cory explains, Destiny Rescue primarily works in the developing world – predominantly throughout Asia, but also in others.  The issue of human trafficking is a global issue. It affects All 50 states and every country in our world. Much of Asia is in the developing world So there are limited resources, Manpower, and Rules to combat Injustice. Many times the government’s don’t have strict enough laws to uphold justice and keep people accountable long term.   Extreme poverty often and usually leads to a lack of education. Families don’t have the ability to send their kids to school long-term, so when they are out looking for work and they need to help their very poor family, they can’t get good jobs. This leads the brothels to approach them and invite them to human trafficking.  One of the big risk factors that faces these people is the instability of the family due to poverty.  Many times in a single parent household the children will be sent out to look for work to help support their family. These children are vulnerable and easily tricked into becoming part of the sex trafficking industry.  Another large issue Cory Speaks about is the shame/honor based culture that often pervades Asian culture.  


5. Rescue. Restore. Protect.

The spiritual work that Destiny Rescue does goes far beyond words.  After rescuing children from the horrors of the human trafficking industry, they then begin the work of helping those rescued understand their intrinsic worth and immeasurable value.  When an individual understands their intrinsic worth and value, their likelihood to go on and be successful dramatically increases. 


6. Do What You Know Is Right 

Doing what is right often requires people to live up to their fullest potential.  To grow, stretch, and ultimately become more than they once were.  To leave behind what is comfortable, and to embrace the unknown.  This is the least selfish thing one can do, as it isn’t about “me, myself, and I”.  Once you realize the deep truth that you living out your calling and embracing any giftings you have been blessed with is your duty, you will get over yourself and live for others.   If you have pure intentions behind what you are doing, truly pure, there will be no room for shame to try to slow you down and sabotage your work. Corie shares that he would not be the person he is today if he had not gone through the dark valleys of life. 

Struggles help you identify with those who are hurting.  

If you are walking through a difficult season, realize that it is just a season and that it will not last. Do not get discouraged. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Yes it’s painful, but by walking through it you will become a person of resilience, strength, And you will be able to one day offer others hope.  In order to make wine, grapes have to be crushed. No one likes to go through a crushing process, but Corie remembers his bankruptcy as one of the most important things that he ever went through.  


Influential Books

Battlefield of The Mind  By Joyce Meyer

The Dream Giver  by Bruce Wilkinson

Craig Roschel’s Leadership Podcast and Resources


Support Destiny Rescue

Please take the time to SHARE what Destiny Rescue is doing to set children free. 

Go to: www.destinyrescue.org/us/

Get involved:

Overseas Team Trips



Connect with Cory Nickols


Corie’s Website: corynickols.com

Instagram: @corynickols
Twitter: @CoryNickols


Final word?

“Continue to serve, continue to put others first, and God will put you where He ultimately wants you to be.”

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