A Wretch Undone

March 4, 2024

{Pictured is Nykki with her husband Korey and their children}

“I was a wretch undone!” 

Dramatic much, Nykki? 

Seriously, though, if you have ever spent time in a traditional Baptist church you may have heard someone stand up to testify about God’s goodness in saving them and begin by using that exact phrase. If I had such an opportunity today to stand to testify, I might also use the phrase because that was me before the Lord saved me—a “wretch.”

One dictionary aptly defines a wretch as a miserable or unhappy person. That definition absolutely tracks with the state of my soul before being redeemed. Of course, from all outward appearances I was thriving and doing well. Yet, beneath the surface of the apparently fun-filled life of a 21-year-old woman, I was seriously in a state of substantial wretchedness. It drove me to seek comfort and relief from the dormant sadness and grief within through toxic romantic relationships and partying with friends. It revealed its death grip on my soul through my quick temper and outer shell of toughness. It manifested its pervasiveness through my unsuccessful attempts at trying to be less quick-tempered and less ready to fight when hurt.

I grew up in a nominal Christian home and only attended church as a younger child on Easter or when I visited with friends. I learned a lot about Jesus but had no relationship with him.  Somehow, I also knew something about prayer. I found myself praying on several occasions as a teenager if I was in particular distress although, paradoxically, I was sure that I did not have nor did I want a relationship with God. Nonetheless, when I was 22-years-old I began to sense what I now know and understand to be the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

I suddenly began to really care about my quick temper. I began to feel a sense of guilt when I retaliated against someone for doing something that hurt me. I literally started to think to myself, “I should get saved.” On one of the frequent occasions where my mother talked to me about what it means to have a relationship with God through Jesus, I stopped being argumentative and difficult.

During this period of time, my mother gave me a little card with my name on it along with its meaning. On the back of the card were Bible verses with the Gospel message along with a brief prayer of commitment to Jesus. When she later asked me what I thought of the card, I matter-of-factly told her it was fine and that I “did what it said to do” on the back of it. Of course, behind the scenes of this softening of my heart, my mother and sister, other believers in my family, and many of my mother’s church community had been laboring in prayer for several years for the Lord to save me.

One day several months after a visit to my mother’s church for their Family Day, I received a follow-up phone call through one of her church’s ministries. A sweet woman asked me if I was interested in visiting again. I said, “Ya know, it’s funny you called and asked me that. I have been thinking I need to get saved so, sure, I will visit again next Sunday.” (Providence much, Lord?) That next Sunday I visited the church, heard the clear message of the Gospel and, by his mercy, saw his love for me and, like the prophet Isaiah, was “undone.” God saved a “wretch” like me. Hallelujah!

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