I’m Terrible at Being Vulnerable

Camp is over! That brings mixed emotions, because it was a crazy amazing summer. I have so many awesome stories, so many memories, and so much that God taught me this summer. But it is also a relief, because I’m pretty tired. Plus, now I have EUROPE to look forward to in a few weeks!!!!!

One thing that happens at camp is all the staff takes turns sharing their testimonies. In case you’re not aware, a testimony is basically the story of a person’s journey with God. It is probably my favorite part of chapel, because it really opens your eyes to how God works in real life. I’ve decided I shall share my testimony with you guys!

.  Here goes…

For me, I can’t really pin a time when I became a Christian… I sort of melted into it.  My dad is a pastor, I was home schooled, and I’ve grown up going to church 2-3 times a week.

Don’t hear that and think that’s why I became a Christian. Sure, maybe at first. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve doubted so much, asked a bajillion questions, and studied other religions. I have experienced Jesus for myself, and that is why I am a Christian today, not because my parents think it’s a good idea.

I also don’t want you think that because I have a great family I am perfect or holy, or that my life has always been great, or that I haven’t struggled with sin. That is just not true.

I remember feeling depressed and lonely and having suicidal thoughts when I was 13 or 14, because I didn’t have a lot of friends and there seemed to be this dark hole trying to swallow me.

The first time I remember experiencing God was at a Starfield concert. It was like the room melted away and it was just me and God. I remember hearing God speak to me, in almost an audible voice… He told me “Kendra, I love you. I am all you need.”

About that time I started going to a youth group hoping to find some friends that loved Jesus, but instead got rejected. They would stand in tight cliquey circles, shoulder to shoulder. I’m a fairly outgoing person, so I would attempt to go join a circle or talk to someone, but they would ignore me or barely acknowledge me. Somehow, one of the youth leaders found out I played guitar, and put me on a worship team, probably to keep me coming. It worked… but I would come and then leave feeling completely empty and alone. This is the first time I can remember thinking that people didn’t like me for me, they just liked what I could do for them.

Another really hard time was moving from Ontario to Manitoba when I was 16. I had literally just found a group of about 20ish solid Christians who loved Jesus, music, camping and other stuff. There was a guy I really liked, and lots of music opportunities. Then we moved to the middle of somewhere secluded… Swan River. That year was probably the loneliest time of my life.

Stuff got better when I started going/working at Madge Lake Bible Camp. I met my best friend there as well as many other awesome people. After high school the camp director asked me to be his youth intern and work at a church, which I did for the next two years. It was some of the most growing and stretching years I’ve had, and it was SO GOOD!

Moving on my own taught me lots (that’s referencing an earlier blog post…). I also struggled a whole ton. Here’s a few ways…

Lust. Seeing a boy and only being able to think of sex. I started making some poor media choices, watching movies and youtube with some inappropriate stuff in it. I didn’t think it would effect me, but it sure did! For a long time I thought something was seriously wrong with me, because we don’t talk about girls struggling with lust or masturbation or whatever.

Self hate. I found myself hating the mirror. Wishing I had a different body and struggling with the idea that culture tells us that women are only worth something when they look a certain way. I would compare myself to anyone and everyone, and  only be unsatisfied with myself. I know what the Bible says, but sometimes it’s still very hard to believe.

Honestly, things only got better once I believed Hebrews 5:16, which says “confess your sins one to another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” It’s amazing the feeling of release that came once I was honest with someone! I found a lady in my church who I trusted and asked her to go  out for coffee with me every once in a while, and I would be brutally honest with her. I also decided to keep my phone out of my bedroom, because that’s when temptation is the strongest. I’m trying to choose to believe what God says about me, and not what the world would say. All a work in progress.

That brings me to last week. After 10 weeks of camp, I hit a bottom point. I was so spiritually exhausted, and Satan was assaulting my brain with a barrage of bad thoughts… ‘I’m just a dumb ugly girl”, “I suck”, “I’m alone”, “Nobody likes me for me, they just put up with me”, etc.

The pull from the pillow was bigger than my desire for God, and instead of turning to people for help I did what I’m good at, which is trying to do it alone… and failing.

Finally four of my friends sat me down and pestered and prayed for me until I took off my mask and was just honest. It’s crazy how that little lie Satan put in my head when I was 14 was still effecting me big time 6 years later.

I have found God to be reliable! He has met me and again filled me with a desire for Him and a joy at serving Him.

So again, I struggle a poop ton, but I’m learning to go to God and others for help.

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