My (Unfinished) Story

Thursday, October 3

It's been almost seven months, since I began Simple Grounds (it's gone by so fast!) Within that time I have told you story upon story. I have poured out my spirit through words, I've written through anger and fear, I've written in joy and hope, and I've even shared the stories of other inspiring believers. Although I've written words upon countless words, I have not yet shared my story with you.

So here it is; this is my story.

I believe our life, as a believer, is a process of sanctification. After being justified, in that glorious moment of salvation, we are then daily sanctified. We are tuned, refined, and fixed, sometimes delicately through a moment of stillness, and sometimes rough through harsh Truth and sufferings. I find this process absolutely beautiful; the way a mere human can be restored by its Creator. I am one of those many humans, being daily reconciled, daily changed, daily moved.

I grew up in a home that spoke about God, but no one in my home truly followed the Lord, nor did I witness anyone surrendering their life to the calling of the Kingdom. If you asked me a story about Jonah, or Abraham, or the Sermon on the Mount, I couldn't tell you a thing. If you asked me what ministry, baptism, or even worship was, I couldn't tell you. Although I knew of this God and I knew of his Son who died for me, looking back, I would never consider myself a believer. Prayer was a routine, mostly for safety and thanks, and church was one of those things you did on Christmas, kind of like a light show or Christmas party. I only regarded God as “something or someone,” but never as the personal Creator of my heart.

I grew up in a broken family. Drugs destroyed, I witnessed family going to prison, death, fights, my family in pain, and souls completely lost, including my own. I didn't really know the extent of the damage and brokenness, until I was old enough to even spot what brokenness appears to be; what its nature is, what is does to someone, and what it can do to yourself. Until I was seven years old, I was an only child. In 2002 my brother was welcomed to my family. He was precious and sweet. A little blessing in the form of a human, but he passed away at the age of one in 2003. I didn't understand death, nor did I understand why it happened this time. I had experienced death, but nothing shook the core of my bones like his death. I had seen grief and pain all my life, but never like this. This time I felt that pain tear at my little heart. I was confused, I felt abandoned, and I remember being eight years old and telling God, "I hate you.” I didn't know why I hated him specifically, but I just remember thinking If he's God, then why did he let people we love die?All by the age of eleven, I had experienced and witnessed a great deal of suffering. That grief from my little brother's death blossomed into hidden pain, bitterness, and anger, most of it towards this 'god.' Again, I didn't even recognize the extent of my own damage until stepping out of that picture and looking in. Pain is evident, and man is it ugly. By eleven years old, my parents were divorcing. We were packing our things, removing our band-aids, and separating. Although it was my parent's divorce, I felt like I was being divorced from the only comfort of family we really had.

Fast forward: When I was in seventh grade, I had moved to a new town to live with my father. Somewhere along the line someone invited me to church. I don't know who, I don't remember how, and I don't remember why. At this point, I had no reason not to go so I did. This idea of church was never scary, just another youth event to make some friends. At the time I was living with my father, who was hardly around, being more of a friend then a parent. The fact that I even got to church was God’s doing in and of itself. God, being the true Father he is, miraculously showed me His powerful, beautiful, healing love. And goodness, did that grace overwhelm my soul. It was as though I had drank water after a drought. My soul was aching of thirst and of hunger, and I finally received. For months I craved to read the word, and experience that presence of Christ that so perfectly fulfilled me and healed my wounds. I surrendered my life to the Lord in February of 2010, and that same year in the summer I was baptized in the river at Camp Eagle.

My life has been nothing but a continuous process of sanctification. I have experienced every avenue of faith; my doubts, my questions, my church "highs," and moments of stillness that far outweigh any other experience. In these (almost) four years of passionately following Christ, I have seen the beauty of His love and grace that still captivates me and does not run dry. That same grace that He won my heart with still woos me. It drives me to know Him more. Three and a half years is only such a fraction of time, but in that time I have learned to seek. Not just seek, but to receive. He found me as I was, broken and stained, and began to move.

Another aspect of my faith that has increased my understanding of the Lord in the past year is the relationship I have with my earthly father. Because of my parent's divorce when I was eleven, I have been distant and separated from my father. A relationship that has been tied with mixed feelings, half-made commitments, and a whole lot of hurt. Guilt would be a word you could use; guilt on my part of not being the kind of daughter he needs, not being the understanding helpful one at my father's side, not caring enough. Other than the brief year we lived together when I was thirteen, we do not speak to each other or spend time together. He's almost like an uncle that calls every so often to make small talk. He does not believe in any god or religion, and it has been a difficult journey. My heart has been broken again and again by confusion, but I am learning to let go of these earthly expectations we can store up. The hurtful relationship with my father has only increased my trust and desire to know my heavenly Father. The Lord has begun to fill all the wounds  my father left behind, and He continues to redefine my heart towards him. In light of that pain, the Lord has taught me grace, compassion, and the forgiveness of those whose souls are lost, just as the Lord had such compassion, grace, and forgiveness in spite of my brokenness.

I can only count my past as a blessing; for God, in all His glory, loved me as I was, and showed me the true essence of who He is. Through trials, through sufferings, and through grief is how I've come to understand Him. And that understanding has only lead to joy, an overwhelming, contagious joy. The knowledge of the dire need for my Creator cannot leave me now. My soul thirsts for Him. This (little) chunk, of what will someday be the whole story, has slowly started molding my heart to be more like Jesus. My Spirit is being filled in light of who Jesus is, and I all I desire is Him + Him alone.


  1. Thank you for sharing, beautiful lady.


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