My Life Was Transformed!
-Nikki Nelson

My Life Was Transformed!

My name is Nikki Nelson, and this is my story.

My life was full of abuse, selfish indulgence in sin, and feelings of guilt and unworthiness – until one day when my life was transformed and I finally experienced peace, fulfillment, and joy. I want to share my story with you to give you hope and encouragement and to testify of the deep love and grace of God. 

The first ten years of my life I lived with my single mom, aunts, and grandparents in Virginia. We were not religious, but did attend church for special occasions and I believed that a powerful God existed, who deserved to be respected. 

But after my mom married, my life got darker and darker. Many horrible things were a part of my everyday life – sexual abuse, verbal abuse, substance abuse, and violence. I began exploring the world of music which led deeper into the dark territory of the Devil. 

During my teen years, I attended a Pentecostal church – not by choice, but out of fearful obedience. I finally summoned enough courage to go to leaders in the church for help, scared to death to tell anyone of my abuse because it came from someone who was highly respected in the church. They told me that I was the problem. I was referred to a psychiatrist who also told me the same thing. Those dreadful words were stamped on my mind – I was the Problem. I began to live out what I was told to believe.  Everything was crumbling and I felt rejected, unheard, and stuck. I needed to escape – my family, the church, and even belief in God!

I will spare you the details of the horrors of the years after that, but wherever “rock bottom” was, I was under it. I feared death, yet thoughts of suicide were frequent. I was a bullet train going nowhere fast. I truly gave up, and gave in to whatever my flesh craved. There was a time that I tried going back to church, and I was broken and weeping as I walked the aisle. The members told me that I had been “saved” but there was no difference in my heart. It was an emotional experience, but not a Gospel encounter with God. I left still lost and trapped in my sin. 
"Those dreadful words were stamped on my mind – I was the Problem."

I moved back to Pennsylvania, a single mom with a custody battle looming in the near future. I lived across the street from a church, and sometimes thought I really should go seek spiritual help. But every weekend I would instead give in to the reckless living, and the sin and guilt kept me bound. 

I started a new job and met Shaun. We became friends, moved in together, and continued to live the same wretched lifestyle. But there came a breaking point. I had to choose to stop the reckless living if I was going to save my relationship with the only person who was willing to stay with me and help. So, I quit all the “bad things” and finally became sober, but I was still very much lost. 

About a year later, Shaun accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. His life dramatically changed and we began attending a church and reading the Scriptures. He came to realize that it was wrong for us to be living together, so we met with the pastor on a Wednesday and were married that Saturday. We attended church regularly, and were involved in the church, even taught a Sunday School class. Shaun was saved and growing spiritually. I was still trying to hold on to the experience I had when others told me I was saved, but I was becoming more and more aware that my spiritual life on the inside was dead compared to my husband. Something was missing, though outwardly I was conforming and fitting in at church.

"I desperately wanted God to forgive me and take away my guilt and sin."
I began studying the Bible concept of the “atonement” sacrifice in the Old Testament. As I continued to study, I came across John 1:29 where Jesus Christ was identified as “The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” The Holy Spirit began to reveal to me that I was truly not saved. I had never repented of my sin and put my faith in Jesus years earlier. Suddenly I was ashamed of the life I had lived, and the sin that had reigned in my heart.

I desperately wanted God to forgive me and take away my guilt and sin. Right then and there, on that January morning in 2001, I bowed my head at my kitchen table where I was reading my Bible and gave my life to Him. 

Now I have a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother, a Savior that is touched with the feelings of my infirmity and gives me grace and mercy in my times of need. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” God has turned my ashes into beauty and I love Him for it!

One of my favorite verses now is Ephesians 1:6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”