I have always had a nice life. My family loves me, I have good friends, and most importantly, God has been with me. Even though I was aware of God, I didn’t know He wanted a personal relationship with me. I accepted Christ and was baptized at 6, but I didn’t fully understand my decision. It wasn’t until I moved up into youth group that I realized that God was more than that big guy in the sky and I wanted to know more about Him. I was so happy because God was my friend and I felt like He would always be there when I needed Him.
As God was at work in my life, so was Satan. I would have periods of time when all I could think of was the negative things about me and everything around me. My defense against these phases was to just wait until I felt happy again. Because I knew that I would feel better in a few days, I never really asked God to help me or make things better. I also assumed that He would make it better without me asking. Gradually, the phases of sadness got longer and longer until they meshed together and I was never happy anymore. It was then that I asked God to help me make things better, but I felt like He wasn’t listening to me. When I asked Him to help me, I wouldn’t hear anything.
All I could think of was, I am so ugly, I am so stupid, no one actually wants to be my friend and no one will ever actually love me. Feeling like no one would ever love me was the biggest one for me. I thought that God didn’t love or care for me. I thought if God doesn’t love me then how could anyone else love me? I begged God to make my pain go away, but I stopped asking when He never answered. I became so mentally and physically tired that I shut everyone out and in my sadness I resorted to cutting. I was angry at God for letting me be so sad and I stopped trusting Him with my life. I was scared to tell someone because I thought I would be judged, and that no one would care. I thought I was on my own.
Last summer I built up some courage and shared just a little bit of what I was going through at the Red Lake mission trip. I thought that if I told someone, it would relieve me of my sadness and pain just enough so that I could get back up on my feet. Unfortunately, it did the opposite, and I don’t know why. When that didn’t work, I decided that I didn’t want to tell anyone anything else, because it obviously wouldn’t help. I felt so weak because I thought I should’ve been able to get over this phase. I also came to the conclusion that I couldn’t do anything right because I only saw the negative in everything I said or did.
The email for the 2009 MEA retreat came into my inbox and I deleted it. I hadn’t gone to a MEA retreat since my first year in youth group and I wasn’t planning on going to this one. But Luke kept telling me to go, and soon other people were telling me to go too. So I decided to go, but I wasn’t expecting anything out of it. During the trip, I would ask myself, what am I doing here? I wasn’t connecting to God. On the last night, Luke told us to go somewhere and just listen to what God had to say to us. I went to this huge field and looked up at the stars; the camp we stayed at was in the middle of nowhere, so all the stars were out and it was breathtaking. I told God, wow, this is absolutely amazing, and it was then that God spoke to me. He said, “Katie, I love you. I made everything you see; you think I can’t fix your problems? I’ve always been with you and I will always be with you every step of the way and I love you.” He just kept saying I love you, over and over again. I almost started crying, because for the first time in too long, I felt loved. It was the first time in my life that I heard God talk to me. That night I felt like I accepted Christ for real, and I felt so full. Now that I look back, I think that I should’ve seen something coming. A whole bunch of people telling me to go on the retreat, and my parents lent me the money to go. (Which they never do)
Since then, I have still struggled with cutting and feeling unloved, but Kathy Collier and Luke have both helped me greatly to identify when Satan is attacking me and how to resist him. I thank God constantly for loving me and giving me people who love me. In some ways, I’m glad that I went through all that pain, it taught me to trust God even if I can’t always hear Him. I might not be as close to God as I am now if I didn’t go through it.
My favorite verse is Romans 8:39 and it says, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.
God was with me the whole time and it makes me so happy to think that He accepted me with open arms, even when I was angry at Him and ignored Him. I always love to hear what God has to say to me, because its always what I need to hear, and I love Him for that.