In With Jesus, Out With My Will By Marina Scofield, Volunteer Storyteller
If you know Nikki West, you may be a client of the tiny but fierce powerhouse, enduring weekly personalized fitness training sessions, or sweating through her Monday night Women’s Boot Camp class where the cool down includes her hallmark phrase, “In with Jesus, out with my will.” Or maybe you’ve become acquainted through her recent advocacy work for a local homeless man, where she’s rallying the community and local government for change. Nicole is active in the community and church. She is a regular at AA Recovery meetings dedicated to unburdening herself from a past of addiction, and she currently works at Mariners as their bookkeeper, also having served in the Break Out children’s ministry as a mentor to 3rd and 4th grade girls for the past two years. Wherever the place and whatever her mission, you’ll know Nikki to be fully engaged with a genuine determination to make a difference in the lives around her.
Like many young coastal families Nicole was introduced to Mariners through the day camp program, using it for youngest daughter, Sierra. But it took another 2 years before she began attending Mariners and committed to serve in the children’s ministry (for 3 years), as the devoted wife and mom of two still had worldly battles to conquer, requiring a few miracles along the way. Reweaving a New Life in Christ Nicole’s childhood is as dynamic as she is, having been born in Nairobi, Kenya, her father was an Economist that worked with underdeveloped countries, bringing the family to various parts of the world like England, India and Costa Rica before settling in America when Nikki was just 12.
But later at the age of 14 Nicole had begun a long battle with addiction, ultimately landing herself in prison from a DUI and 2 Hit and Runs for 9 long months. “It was there that I became aware of the Bible. I became more spiritual, not religious, but I began to seek.” By 2001 she was on a better path and married her husband Craig in 2004, who was supportive of her sobriety and forgiving of her past. One of Nikki’s favorite memories is when the family settled on the coast in a home that seemed to just miraculously appear. “It was strange,” she said, “I found a rental with a picture but no description or address.” Obsessed with this rental she drove around determined to find it, and did. “We ended up renting the house on the spot from the property manager later to find out the owners had attended Mariners!”
Nicole credits such events and friends like Debbie Gehret for playing a role, patiently nudging on their hearts. Within six months of attending Mariners, the family was baptized together at the Harbor, with oldest daughter Kayla (now 24) joining them later in her journey and own baptism. A Health Centered Ministry One of Nikki’s passions is fitness and influenced by husband Craig who competes in body building, she was inspired to join him, competing in the Women’s Figure Division in 2014 and 2015, winning several trophies including two 1st place titles in her 45 and over and open divisions. Transforming lives on the coast is a ministry the couple shares, opening up their home gym to church members offering training as well as free youth sessions for high schoolers. “I train people so they can get to know and feel comfortable with gym equipment, learn proper technique, and help them achieve their fitness goals.”
In 2016 Nicole was approached by the High School Moms LifeGroup who was seeking to form a group boot camp class. It unfolded quickly and still remains a success. “Each Monday night at 7 pm we exercise, laugh, and pray.” she said. Since then other Mariners women have dropped in for the modest fee of $10. One of Nikki’s biggest dreams is for her and husband Craig to own a gym/fitness studio of their own here on the coastside. “I hope to grow the ministry and ultimately fulfill that dream.”
Nikki’s favorite biblical verse is Ephesians 6:10-11: “A final word; be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor, so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil”. This is a daily reminder to Nikki to have faith and always trust in the Lord as she still has worldly battles to conquer, still requiring a few miracles along the way.