by: Chelsi Nikkerud
Vocalist with Planetshakers Band
I was sitting on my dorm room bed - at my end with where life had brought me to. And if I were being totally honest, I found myself seriously considering what it would be like to just stop it all- I was just done with it all. It had been many years since I had truly spoken to God, or even felt Him near me. I had never stopped believing in Him, but rather I accepted the lie that He had stopped believing in me, so I ran away from Him. But on this night with no hope left, I surprised myself - I talked to Him. I asked Him to prove Himself real, to show me a sign that He was still there. I had tried everything else to heal and He was my last resort. In that moment my computer, that had been shuffling music for a while, started to play a song that I hadn’t heard in many years, the song I had been baptized to as a young girl - a song by Planetshakers. It was the first time I had felt God’s presence in a long time, and in a nutshell that was how God called me to Australia.
To cut a very long story short, within a few weeks I was touching down in Melbourne to do Planetshakers College with absolutely zero idea of what God had in store - but I knew I was acting on word from Him. I remember it like it was yesterday, walking into my first College Chapel service in the basement of our old offices. I was so nervous to be there, afraid that people would see through me and see the broken girl that I really was - a fraud. I was in many ways barely saved, newly rededicated. But the second I walked into the room I was hit by the presence of God in such a tangible way that I had never experienced before. All at once I felt His love, His freedom and His power through every part of me - and I cried for the first time in years. It didn’t matter if people could see me, all that mattered was that He did - HE saw me, the real me. I didn’t know how, but I knew right then and there that hadn’t been forgotten - I hadn’t missed my shot - I hadn’t messed up too much or fallen too far. It was in that basement that a depressed, self-harming girl with a drug addiction and an eating disorder experienced what it felt like to be loved by her Heavenly Father. I had always grown up being truly loved by my family, I was never short on that - but something inside of me couldn’t receive it. I felt constantly bombarded by the dark. It was because I didn’t believe God loved me. Deep down I didn’t believe I deserved to live in the light, so I accepted the dark - and even grew to find comfort in it and relished it. But once you feel His light, nothing could ever take it’s place. Now, everything wasn’t flowers and glitter from that day onward, not by any means. No, I went on a long journey with Father God as He began to reveal bit by bit, day by day, pieces of His character - showing me who I was in HIM.
It was at Planetshakers that I truly found Him and allowed Him to shape and mould me into what I was always intended to be - His daughter, His princess. I really believe that there is something so powerful about getting out of your place of comfort, and abandoning yourself to the will of God no matter what. I left everything I knew and everyone I loved just to find Him. He was at home yes, but I needed to leave home to allow myself to draw close to Him. And it was there that He drew close to me - something He had been longing to do for so long. Now I get to stand on stages around the world and tell people of His goodness and His faithfulness. I am nobody special - I am simply a product of His grace. And it is my joy and privilege, with this family called Planetshakers, to help others receive the same grace that saved me. It’s truly why I’m alive today.
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I came to Planetshakers from Miami Florida in the USA and did Planetshakers Bible College. God changed my life during that time! I felt God call me to move to Australia permanently and serve at Planetshakers. I became part of the Planetshakers Band seven years ago, and have had the opportunity to travel the world doing what I love, for the one I adore. I’m on staff at Planetshakers Church with my husband Rudy Nikkerud (who also travels with the band). We are so blessed and honored to do what we do!
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