I didn’t want to go to Rock Nations.

Before I went, I had convinced myself that God didn’t want to have anything to do with me, that I was too sinful to call myself a Christian, that I would never be able to live a holy life, and that I should just give up trying.

I was distancing myself from family and Christian friends, reminders of my own inadequacy, so the idea of travelling in a bus with 100 Christians to be at a conference with 2000 other Christians did not appeal.

But my place was paid for, and at 5:30am on 5th August I was sitting in a bus, surrounded by people much more excited than me, and nervous about having to act as though I was one of them.

But by that night, everything had changed.

On the first night, the worship was phenomenal, Dave Niblock preached brilliantly, but it was Jesus who broke down the walls in my heart, who left me wanting not more of the world, but more of Him. I decided there and then that I would never give up trying to be like Jesus, that I would constantly ask God to “create in me a pure heart”, that I would try to carry my cross and resist the worldly pleasures I had found so inviting.

As the days went on, the focus shifted from returning to regaining a lost love for God and breaking the hold of sin to intense worship and an outward focus on reaching the lost. Indeed, this was the transformation in my heart as I went from focusing on my own inadequacy to focusing on the perfection of my Saviour, how I could get as close to Him as possible and then take the joy I’d found to a world that needed it.

The friendships made are ones I know will last and the fun we had was unforgettable. There were Colour Parties, water slides, leaps of faith, dance lessons and even a rap workshop with Guvna B. I had godly conversations, something I hadn’t experienced for a long time, and realised that other people my age struggled just like me. I didn’t feel alone anymore, but part of a group of real people who struggle but love Jesus through it all.

Having had this wonderful start to the new (academic) year, I look forward to a new season of Greater, with closer relationships and a focus on both our inner relationship with Jesus, and outwardly reaching those in spiritual and physical need.

Laura Hackett

Rocknations 2015