Nikki is finding her identity in the One who created her
There is an intimacy with God that is created through times of pain, which no other circumstance could provide.
I have been a part of NewSpring my entire life. My parents had brought me to the offices to lead me through the salvation prayer when I was in the first or second grade. However, it wasn't until high school that I started to take my relationship with Jesus seriously, which came through going to Fuse, my Fuse group, and my other friends.
As long as I can remember, I have had this desire for immense faith. I desperately wanted to learn how to hear from God and how to have a close relationship with Him. Recently, I found a journal entry from when I was 8 or 10 years old, and I wrote that I wanted to work my butt off to have a great relationship with Jesus. I think faith has been a big marker in my life.
Over the past year, I have been on a mission to understand who I was as a little girl. As a third-grader, I wrote poems needing to spend more time doing things I enjoyed. I don’t know what I was doing so young to be that busy. I also wrote that I feared losing a parent. Unfortunately, it was the following summer that my mom had passed away.
Before she passed away, my mom wrote me a letter and told me she wished that I would be OK with being the unique person that I am. She saw the uniqueness of me as a little girl. So much of my life I've spent trying to be anything other than that.
I've always felt misunderstood, and I believed lies that I was never good enough and different in a bad way. It was these lies about my worth and identity that God had to heal and change. But through this journey, I feel like I have stepped into who I am, and I love who I am discovering myself to be.
Just as I feared losing a parent, another fear became reality later in my life. When I became engaged, I was fearful that it would come to an end. As it so happened, I called off my wedding about 30 days before. I knew that this was not what the Lord wanted.
It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I remember sitting on the bathroom floor thinking that I wasn’t going to make it. I felt like my heart had been put through a paper shredder. But the Lord spoke to me and said I was going to make it. And not only was I going to make it, but my pain would be a testimony to share with other people. I feel like God has completely restored me. During this whole journey, I have been learning how to hear from God, which has been pretty awesome.
In God's process of renewing my mind, He is completely uprooting thought patterns I have sown for 25 years. I am learning that God is kind and gentle. When I hear something that does not align with His Word, I know it’s not my Father's voice.
We have our own language, and I am learning His lingo. I know when I hear the word “sweetie,” it’s Him. Sometimes, it's hard for me to tell the difference, so I will call a friend and ask for their guidance and help to filter the voices.
Right now, I am discovering the abundance of God’s goodness. As a little girl, I always operated in survival mode, especially when my mom died. I remember hoping my dad could get the lunch boxes packed and then him renting a VHS, trying to learn how to French braid our hair. We were just trying to keep our heads above water.
Through this, I developed a poverty mentality of God — that there's not enough to go around. He's showing and convincing me that He is a God of abundance, and I don't have to settle for the least end of the bargain. I also feel like I am discovering the anointing God's put on my life.
I do not know where God and I are going together, but I have so much hope. I know my story will come full circle, and I am so excited about that. I have found restoration from almost marrying someone God didn’t want me to marry and hope for what God is doing in my family through the conversations that I've been having with my dad and my sister. I feel excited about what the next 10 years could hold with them.
Another part of my journey this past year was finding out what my name meant, which is the goddess of victory. It made sense why God would pick me to go through all the things I went through because He knew I would be victorious.
One time, God spoke to me and said that He wouldn't have named me this if He didn't think I would be victorious. And my last name means messenger. So it's like all of these pieces coming together, and it’s unbelievable.
I'm very familiar with pain, grief, tragedy. For the longest time, I thought pain was a horrible thing, and I didn’t want to experience it and any longer feel it. However, God reshaped my perspective of pain and showed me He's made it my treasure.
In Psalm 34, God talks about being close to the brokenhearted. There truly is an intimacy with God that is created through times of pain, which no other circumstance could provide.
I got to know God face to face through those experiences, and I don't know if I would have if I never lost anything or had my heart broken. Even just the deep reverence and desperation for him, I don't think I could have experienced this the way I do if those things wouldn't have happened.
Seeing what my heart was like as a little girl, and how God has been shaping me to have faith through every situation in life, has been incredibly eye-opening and beautiful to experience.