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My Journey to here

Written by

Nikita Rodgers

About author

Nikita leads the Ruakura Campus 10:30am Gathering and is our church Communications Coordinator. She has a heart to see people living a life full of freedom and purpose.

My Journey to Here

Nikita Rodgers


I guess it’s true when people say “be careful what you pray for”. From a young age I always knew I wanted a life full of purpose, so I used to pray simple prayers at night along the lines of… “God, I pray that you would use me, and that my life would have purpose”. God hears even our simple prayers, sees the desires of our hearts and uses them to sculpt the plans and purposes He has for us.

 

I was brought up in a Christian household and it was routine to attend church every Sunday. I always valued God in my life, I had been to a few churches, and you could say I wore Christianity well, but I didn’t have a personal relationship with God and I didn’t know what living in faith really meant.

 

There was a time in my High School years when life started to feel shaky, soon becoming a significant challenge. As this shakiness grew over time, I eventually found myself struggling with crippling anxiety. On one of my lowest days, I remember waking up feeling completely on edge, my heart racing and finding it hard to breathe. I remember being so upset and betrayed by God, and was asking “God, If you love me so much, why would you put me through this?!” I wrestled with this question a lot, as I felt like my life had fallen to complete rock bottom.

 

The anxiety grew to the point where I couldn't last longer than 15-20 minutes in my morning classes. I would end up excusing myself to go to the bathroom, where I would really be messaging my Mum to urgently come and pick me up before I spiraled into full blown panic. This was my pattern for several weeks… months… I would get up to get ready for school, get dropped off, find myself panicking again, calling Mum to pick me up, or racing to the school counsellor if Mum couldn’t get me soon enough.

 

I reached the point where even going anywhere would be a struggle; shopping centers, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, and even church. I couldn’t calm myself down enough and would get anxious at the thought of going into any place that wasn’t home – I was sure I’d have a panic attack there and not be able to escape fast enough, so I ended up avoiding these places altogether.

 

However, during this period I persisted in my thoughts around God, even though I couldn’t fully understand at the time why… (why would a loving Father put me through this?) As I pressed into God out of desperation, my personal relationship with Him began to grow. I soon began to realise that there actually is an enemy out there trying to steal, kill and destroy. I began walking closely with God and came to understand that this wasn’t the Fathers intention for my life at all. As I began reading The Bible and spending time with God I felt a shift mentally. I would often feel an overwhelming sense of His presence and even though the storm around me felt so real, God would bring the raging storm within me to ease so I could praise Him in the middle of it.

 

In year 12 I met Jay at Activate Church. He came into my life at the perfect time and began walking this journey alongside me. I did so many things with him that I had been avoiding for some time because of the anxiety. To be honest being so distracted by being in love probably helped! But at the same time I was so curious and excited to learn more about God with him, and found myself improving as I gleaned from his wisdom and experiences. Not long after Jay and I started dating, we got engaged, married, and are now expecting our baby girl!

 

Since being at Activate I have dived a lot deeper into my faith, not just having an intimate relationship with God, but outworking it in ways like learning to hearing God’s voice, prophesying, praying for healing and so much more. I was surrounded by people who uplifted and encouraged me, and who saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself. As a young girl out of High School with struggles and insecurities trying to navigate herself and her direction, I found it so encouraging to have people around me calling out what they saw on my life. This helped me immensely with the confidence to serve in church, from youth leading and helping where needed at events, to working at church on staff in the communications team, and now leading a gathering with my husband. I can truly say without the God encounters, without people speaking life into me, without trusting God through the process, and saying yes to opportunities even though they felt out of reach - I wouldn’t be where I am today.

 

I have such a big heart to see the lost brought back home. I long to see the ones that feel broken, who are hurting, and who are walking their own struggles to be brought into the light so they can start living a life full of freedom and purpose, as God intended for us all. I’m still walking this journey, but I can say hands down that I couldn’t do it without Jesus by my side.

 

I pray that through this you would be encouraged with where you're at with life, and know that God doesn’t need a polished ‘you’ to outwork the incredible plans and purposes He has for you. Nothing takes Him by surprise, and He loves you - for you.

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