Mini Testimony + Nice To Meet You
At the ripe age of five, I committed my life to following Jesus. I knew nothing about theology, hadn’t studied the intricacies of evolutionary theory versus creationism, or taken issue with the Ancient Near Eastern mythologies threading their way through Genesis 1 and 2. All I knew was, God existed and he really loved me.
As it goes for many of us, the sweet innocence of childhood melted into the hell-fire of adolescence. Unpleasant interactions with classmates and teachers inflamed insecurities about my weight, intelligence, and worthiness. Unfortunately, things only got worse from there.
During the first years in middle-school, my mom became seriously ill and my dad left our family. In my broken state, the rejection of my classmates stung deeper. The need to be accepted became an all-consuming goal.
By the end of middle-school I would do anything to fit in.
Grade ten arrived. I had friends but hid behind smiles, cute boyfriends, and a carefully curated wardrobe. By then, my outrageously ambitious eating disorder had whittled me to the bone. It plucked away at my muscle mass and eventually scored me a very-not-coveted bed in the Calgary Children’s hospital. ‘Twas a crappy start to grade eleven, the gateway to adulthood. Worse of all, the God whose love was so available had dissolved into thin air.
In the dimly lit hospital room, I remember laying on the white sheets and wishing I could smash through the bleached floor, burrow into the ground beneath, and stop breathing. After countless therapy sessions, medical prescriptions, blood tests, and humiliating weigh ins, I was broken, exhausted, hopeless, and very ready to die. That evening, through moon-lit tears I stared up at the stars and asked God to, “heal my brain or take my life.”
Spoiler alert, I’m not dead.
As I lay there, fully prepared to leave the planet, God reminded me of a verse: Psalm 139:14. I picked up the Bible I hadn’t cracked in months and started reading.
“I [King David] praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”
The words hit me like a hundred pounds of swinging whale blubber. Even if other people didn’t think I was beautiful enough or valuable, God did. I was intricately planned, from my unsightly birthmark to the smallest gap in my teeth.
The healing was slow but powerful. After leaving the hospital early, I leaned on God for everything. Every morning I would spend talking to him, journaling about my fears, and feeling his peaceful presence. These times were pivotal to our relationship. When insecurities would come up, he would remind me that he never left.
When my middle-school friends ditched me for being “ugly” and no one wanted to be seen with me, God refused to bail. He hung out at the back of the classroom where the weird kid with the bad haircut sat writing modified Greek mythology. Not only was he there, he was into it, the first fan of my writing. Even better, he didn’t love me for what I produced, he loved me just because I was Katie.
Now, a student of Theology, I am astutely aware of God’s presence in emotional and the logical. Mining Scripture’s ancient languages and contexts is like a treasure hunt that doesn’t have to stop. My relationship with him and acceptance of myself, and understanding of my purpose in this life is by no means perfect but we’re working on it, together.
Since starting my Masters a year ago, I’ve found myself quickly sliding into deep interest in egalitarianism (the case for equality between women and men in Christian ministry and beyond the church). That’s what a majority of my posts will probably be about.
All that to say, “We have an amazing God and aloha! It’s super nice to meet you. What’s your story? How did you meet God? Wanna nerd out over books and theology with me?”
Anywho…I’m going to be using this bloggie thing to share some of the stuff I’m learning in my classes at Acadia Divinity College and hopefully connect with people who are as hungry for theological truth as I am. I LOVE meeting new people, so please never hesitate to reach out.
With truckloads of love and prayers for anything overwhelming you in this moment,