First Real Week

it's the first real week of 2014. after the hell of the last few years, i can honestly say i have a real HOPE in what this year will bring. one reason is a bit silly - 14 is my favorite number, but it can't hurt, right? the real reason i have actual, real hope this year and actual, real resolve to set and accomplish certain goals this year is because i have been wrecked by the absolute love of my Savior.

i guess some back story would be appropriate. this is something i wrote when i joined my awesome church a three years ago: "i guess i always thought i was a "christian" since i was raised in church. i was baptized after summer camp when i was 10 (in 1992) by a neighbor who was a retired church of christ preacher. i spent most of middle school, high school, and college going through the motions of christianity. it's not that i didn't believe in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, but i don't think i really got what believing meant. christianity was a convenience at times. and an inconvenience i was happy to ignore at others. again, i never doubted God or that i was meant to be His, but i also never surrended to Him completely. i'd give Him bits and pieces of my life and my soul but i wasn't ok with letting go of all of it. when law school rolled around i ended up in a small virginia town at a great school, but i knew no one. God, however, had big things in store for me there. everything worked out in a matter of days as far as my living situation (i was wait listed and was notified of my acceptance just 2 days before i had to leave to move up there), meeting friends, and even ended up living just 4 houses down from a couple who grew up in a nearby town. about a month into law school, satan creeped into my head and caused me all kinds of doubt. this was the hardest thing i had ever done. i begged my parents to let me come home and they said no - trust me, my daddy saying no to his tearful and terrified daughter was probably the hardest thing he ever had to do - but thankfully he did. at that point, i was on my face, broken, scared, self-doubting and i heard "ok kate. it's You and me. are we going to sink or swim?" i swam because He was my life-preserver. that's when i think i truly "became" a Christian. something clicked. i'd love to be able to write that since this point i've been obidient. faithful. joyful. but i'm guessing smoke screens isn't what you're after. the past 3 years have been really hard. i've made awful, awful decisions that have led me to some very dark places. i thought i had met the love of my life 2 years ago, only to have him break up with me, meet someone new, and marry her this past december (2010). after that i met another man. he started out as the guy. he was a christian, prayed before he ate, when to church, was smart, loved his mom and sister, etc. almost immediately though there were red flags. i was so desparate for love after the devasting break up a few months before that i rationalized his behavior. he isolated me from my friends and family. demeaned me. called me all kinds of names. and finally became physical with me on 2 occasions. i stayed despite the abuse and despite the fact that he had been continuing his relationship with his on-again, off again, college girlfriend that actually resulted in their engagement after he'd spent Christmas day with me. i've been truly and honestly free of him for about 2 months now and it has been amazing. i know without a doubt the only thing that saved me was the Father. i had looked to others to do it and they couldn't. i'm finally in a place where i can say i am happy and content and excited about life again. i'm not scared anymore."

once again, i would love to say that after that post i really did surrender my life to Christ, but i didn't. i still held on to the things i wanted most. love. marriage. kids. i went about every wrong way of trying to get those. from dating a guy who was so arrogant and conceited he "jokingly" poured beer on my brother the first time he met him, to trying to force relationships at any coss, including my own beliefs. i've said before that i never knew someone could alter your soul and the guy i mentioned in my statement to church did that. he changed me. but, as much as i've wished to go back and unmeet him or something, because of him i have found true intimacy with my Savior and true Hope. Something i've wanted, thought i had at times, but never really did. i really had to go to hell and back to find the woman i am supposed to be - although she is still a work in progress :). i finally sat still long enough to show up for my precious Father who'd been waiting all along.

this year is already so much better. here we go.