My story starts when I was baptized as a baby in a Lutheran Church… from what I can remember we were a church going family, my dad was very religious.
When I was about 6, I remember waking up to the alarm system going off and was told everything was okay and to go back to bed. That morning my mother told my sister and I that our father had passed away in his sleep…I feel like I didn’t really understand that as much as I do now, I just remember people in our community church helped put up Christmas lights and planted a garden.
I think that’s when we stopped going to church.
As I grew up I was blessed to be able to move around the world from Maryland to Virginia, Kentucky, Washington, South Korea, and my longest home Missouri. Missouri is the longest I’ve lived anywhere. That’s where I met a lot of my best friends still to this day. I had previously struggled with low growth and was always in hospitals and doctors’ offices from being sick. I got teased a lot by my friend group for being so small but thankfully, by the grace of God, I started catching up after middle school. The last year of middle school kind of dragged me down because my mom had told me how my father had died. He had ended up being a multiple drug user since his high school years; I don’t remember ever dealing with this, other than the fact I resented my mom for keeping this from me for so many years.
That’s when High School started. I’d say my Freshman year was average and I loved it because my sister was a Junior! My sophomore year I started dating a boy and that lasted until the end of my Junior year. He broke off things with me because I was waiting till marriage. (This is where my feelings wrecked me.) I really didn’t think I was waiting until marriage; but little did I know God kept that promise for me. Around the time that break-up happened one of my closest best friends and I stopped being friends…all I can really understand is that we were both just rude to each other and it wasn’t a healthy friendship.
At this peak in my life I was very unstable and didn’t really know how to deal with all this change. I was very sassy with my mom and she eventually married my step-dad who did not put up with my rudeness, so I got in trouble a lot. I always had my phone taken and was grounded from doing anything, but all I know is this put a strain on my relationship with my mom. But I continued to act alright for the public and go to my school activities and be the bright bubbly person everyone knew me as…maybe a bad choice. At the height of this I decided to go to church; I don’t know what had gotten into me but I just wanted a relationship oh so badly with Him. I got involved with my church’s Youth Group and went to North Carolina - the summer after Junior year. Jesus came in and wrecked my heart and showed me what it was to be surrounded with love.
Senior year came, and this was the time for all the fun, “they said.” I didn’t quite know what this year had in store for me because my previous boyfriend had started dating a girl…it was hard for me to deal with it. I kept those feelings bottled up but I was always asked by others how I felt about it, and created drama with my words of “I don’t like her.” I kind of talked to some guys but I always ended up telling them I just wanted to be friends. I don’t really know why but I’m glad I did. I remember being so exhausted from being around people, sometimes I’d just lock myself in my room and cry. Or sleep, there was a lot of sleep happening. All this depression hit me like a brick my senior year, making this the worst year of my life. I still consider it to be.
One October night I was cheering at one of my school football games and was expecting to hang out with my best guy friend after. He ended up canceling on our plans while I was driving home and I saw the text. I guess I was just feeling really, really alone. I was thinking in my head how there was no point for me to care anymore if no one cared about me. I ended up running my car off the side of the road. Then calling my parents crying saying I just swerved into a ditch because of a cat. I ended up going to the ER but I was fine; just craving the love my family showed.
Around December I decided I was going to tell my friend what I did. So I did, and she cried. But nothing changed after that, I still felt alone. She was mad that I wouldn’t tell anyone. One day at cheer practice I was sitting because I think I had an injury or something. I could just really feel the loneliness and ran to my cheer coach and said I had to leave. I ran home…crying…saying mom I want to talk to someone. She was kind of confused but she let it happen. I turned my phone off that night and slept until morning where she took me to the hospital to talk to the Behavioral Health center. That’s where I finally admitted to what I did-driving my car into a ditch. This wrecked my mom’s heart. They decided it was a good idea for me to get some help so I went to a place far away that felt like jail, with no phone. No one knew where I was, I mean neither did I. I ended up staying for a week… and was there on my birthday. What a great 18th birthday, huh? I can remember my feelings of embarrassment heading back home, thinking my best friend is going to think I’m crazy. She was very accepting - but I still felt a hole in my heart as I continued on this year. Now I know; it was Jesus I was looking for.
Coming to UK was something I needed to do and wanted more than anything. First semester was pretty rough. I remember getting hurt and having a complete full force panic attack of not knowing how to handle myself. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone with me and this was hard because I didn’t know anyone and I physically felt I couldn’t talk to people I didn’t know. I grew so anxious that semester, I would have almost up to an hour-long panic attack a day where I would have to seclude myself from the world and calm down. I would get so sick during them and not be able to eat. I lost quite a bit of weight…then Christmas break came. I was introduced to a few Godly people through social media and grew reliant on their love and friendship.
Coming back to University of Kentucky was nerve wracking after being away so long; but I made it with God’s help. I got involved with my Sorority and CSF, which has helped me become the social butterfly I am today. Which in my case is amazing because if anyone met me last semester and compared me now…I’m a completely different person.