Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Playing the part ~By Nick Whitten

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home or Church at all, in fact far from it. My mom battled a substance addiction and got in trouble (legally) and had to go away for about a year. My stepdad liked to try different types of whips (extension cords, cutting boards, and something called Chinese torture). I didn’t meet my biological father in person till I was 10.  He seemed to be the most normal one of the bunch.

Where we lived there wasn’t a lot to do, so the kids my age got involved with drugs, drinking, etc... I thought that life would be better living with my biological father. So I packed my bags and decided to try life away from Kentucky.

Now let me say this I didn’t know who God really was. I was the one that just went with the flow.  I had a friend that said that he was a Christian, he indulged in drugs and drinking… the sad truth is he was only 13, how he got it I will never know; but it is out there.

I moved to Joplin… my stepmom, at the time, was attending a church but I didn’t know what to think. I went. I met a lot of nice people and I wanted to know more about God. I wanted to see and be touched, but I didn’t want to be looked at weird cause I was the new kid. So I just played the part (Lip service).  Then I heard something about this thing called church camp, so I thought to myself that if God was going to be a part of my life I would see it then. I started to get excited but something happened. In my free time I rollerbladed on ramps. I had dropped in on one of the ramps and came off of the ramps sideways and fell from about 5 feet in the air on my hip. Later at the ER I found out that I had chipped off a piece of my pelvic bone about the size of a half dollar. This was about 1 week before Church Camp. The doctor came into the room and told me that I would be in bed for 3 weeks and then on crutches for another 6 weeks after that. I spoke to my youth pastor and she said that we just need to hook up in agreement, and that if God wants you at this church camp you will just have a healing like you have never seen.

That night at church I thought a prayer wouldn’t hurt, so I asked for prayer (that was Wednesday, camp was Monday). I didn’t know what God was going to do, or if he could even heal me.  By Saturday I was off my crutches and by Sunday I could walk with no pain or limp. I went to church camp still just ‘playing the part’, but a part of me was hoping that there was more to God than what I knew; part of me was hoping that he even wanted me.

On the way there the Church van broke down and we had to get another ride there. At this point I was thinking, “Ok God doesn’t want us to go so let’s just go home.” But we finally make it to camp, about an hour or two late.  Once we got to the first service it seemed like nothing else mattered… I had finally realized who God was, and at that service I asked Jesus to come into my life.

I finally saw that it was not God that was trying to keep me from getting to camp… He knew that I was stubborn and that it would take a lot for me to believe. But I will tell you, it didn’t take much after I saw his love and grace. While I was at that camp I saw things that I didn’t understand like people get healed from injuries, and people dancing…I thought that was weird. When I got back to my room, (and by the way, I got paired up with a Councilor where everyone else was paired with a friend, God again), I asked about what I had seen and he brought me to the scripture where David had Danced before God in his underwear!  Then it kind of made sense; it was an act of worship.

When I came back from camp I was changed. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have struggles, but now I have a power that is bigger than me to help me through it.

God is waiting for you.  JUMP in feet first.

Nick and his beautiful (inside and out) wife Sarah and their two children, Alex and Alyssa, live in Joplin, Missouri and are cherished members of Abundant Life Christian Center.  Nick plays lead guitar and rhythm guitar on the praise team and he and his wife Sarah also help in the nursery.

~Note from Ronda~

Dear Nick,

I am so grateful for you and your love for God.  It is so awesome to get to praise God with you on Sunday mornings.  You always have a good attitude and are happy to help in anyway you can.  You and Sarah both volunteer a tremendous amount of your time to the music and children's ministry and storing up treasures in Heaven for yourselves.  I know that is not your goal, but it is his promise for your faithfulness.  You are such a blessing to so many, including me.  Thank you for putting up with my occasional whining (gasp, me...a whiner?  no!) up front.  God is working with me to have an attitude that is pleasing 100% of the time.  And to you and Sarah for watching our kids in the nursery. THANK YOU!

Thank you for sharing this testimony of what God has brought you through and how he continues to grow you.  Lord bless you brother!

Your Sister in Christ,



  1. Nick I have so many memories of you growing in your faith. The biggest one at the very beginning is during Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames. You were the one who beat Jesus. That is when I first came to know you. You were so upset about that part, but it was the beginning. I am so proud of you and Sarah, and love all four of you very much. Scott and Loralee

  2. nick, i have know you since we were 14 and it was u and chris inviting me to alcc, yes i was going to church but it was easy to play lip service and thru that i got saved. u and sara are such a blessing and i love you both..thank you