Read Kelly’s story to hear how she is able to say: “God had not walked out on me,” even when she lost her faith through some of her darkest seasons. This portion of her testimony is a powerful picture of the Lord’s redemptive grace.
Struggles with Addiction & Identity
If someone would have asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grow up, my answer would have been very different than what I became. If my parents were asked what they hoped for me to become their answer would never have been for me to become what I did. A Heroin Addict.
No parent wants to see their child suffer, and no person wants to be an addict. As I grew up, I became someone I am not proud of. I became a liar, a thief, someone I couldn’t even face in the mirror. Someone my family didn’t even want around. For ten long years, I struggled not only with the addiction but with my own identity.
Loss of Faith
I lost myself somewhere along the way, and I lost my faith too. In the past, I used to pray every night. I would kneel with my kids and pray with them as well. We went to church, and we lived accordingly. Yet somehow when my marriage took a turn and ended, I couldn’t handle the sorrow or the pain. I didn’t know what to do with all the guilt and shame. The hurt on the faces of my babies and parents was more than I could deal with. I found a way to make all the emotions that I didn’t want to feel anymore disappear. Or so I thought. Little did I know that those feelings and pain were still there lingering in the numbness, and would come out when the drugs were gone.
I finally woke up one day three years ago this past April, having a moment of clarity (a rare but amazing occurrence) and I begged for help. I realized I had stopped praying and I couldn’t remember the last time I spoke to God. So, I hit my knees and I prayed. Never had I prayed so hard in my life as I did at that moment. I begged forgiveness even though I felt in my heart I surely didn’t deserve for the Lord to even listen to me. I begged for his help just one last time, and I would never ask for anything for myself again.
God Had Not Walked Out on Me
The fog lifted inside me something shifted that day. I saw for the first time the person I used to be and the monster I had become. I felt in my bones and my soul that God had not walked out on me. He was simply waiting for me to see in myself what he had always seen in me. He never left my side all those years: he was there loving me until I could love myself.
There is a book called, ” The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery,” by David G. Benner. This book changed my life. I had to take a deep look inside of myself, and I realized so much of what I read has happened for me. Now any doubts that I may have had and any questions that I couldn’t find an answer to I found. It put my life, my experience, and my transformational growth into an amazing perspective. I know now without a doubt that my Lord has spoken to me in the depths of my darkest moments. He has walked beside me through the depths of hell, and helped me find my way out.
Purpose in Christ
Through my transformational knowing and finding of my hidden self in Christ, I know what my purpose in life is. I have seen in my everyday life what living for Christ is like. He has made it abundantly clear what my calling is. I was given this life because he knew that once I found myself in Him, I could let him in and fully accept the amazing things He has for me. I believe I am meant to be a Chaplain, and to counsel and help those who are suffering.
Also, to give back what I was so freely given, and to bring others to the amazing understanding and knowing of Christ and themselves. I am aiming to work in Hospice Care or as a Hospital Chaplain. However, I have also considered Life Coaching, because I want so badly to show others the way. I can’t wait for the next chapter in my life. Without my transformational knowing or finding my hidden self in Christ, I never would have known my true potential. I would still be lost, and still be trying to figure out why.
I thank God for Christian Leaders Institute and Christian Leaders Institute. With their guidance, I am now able to accomplish exactly what I know I am being called to do. I have loved every class I have taken thus far, and until I am able to pay CLI fees in full for Associates/Bachelors in Chaplaincy I am continuing to take classes with CLI. I have learned so much from the Counseling and Life Coaching classes, and I am so excited to continue to learn more on counseling those in need.