My conviction for today… Christine Caine talking to a few of the women she rescued from trafficking, reassuring them that she came in the name of Jesus Christ. One of the Russian survivors reprimanded her by asking “If what you are saying about your God is true, then why didn’t you come SOONER?” 

Wow. I cannot imagine hearing that from someone. I feel convicted for all the times I’ve questioned my God and myself… I may not be directly involved with trafficking or rescuing victims, but I am involved in offering freedom to women and children. And I cannot wait. I can be the Samaritan that walks across the street. I can be the light that intentionally finds the darkness, that craves the brokenness to interrupt my life. Caine’s talk begs me to answer that question. Why haven’t I come sooner?

If we are the Light of the world, why do we gawk in fear and tremble with nervousness? Because we are human? I would suggest that many of us are just not willing to sacrifice our happiness, peace, and lives. Phew. So much to process today!

"Surely God wants to use rescued people to rescue people." How did I not recognize this before? As if I needed extra conviction today, Caine reminds me that I was not saved for the sake of being free, I was saved to free others. Others whose pain and suffering I can relate to. Others whose lives are not just numbers and tags. 

Lord, please give me strength and peace and enough love to keep standing and holding my candle into the world. I pray for those lost women and children (and men) who crave a Maker they’ve never known. I pray for those who do know you, but are too afraid to save others or embrace the freedom you have provided for them. Bless your sheep and keep them, God. Please please keep them. Have mercy on us and grant us compassion to uplift one another and let no one journey alone. 

Amen. 

"it happened"

Here is the tidbit of my past I had promised to you yesterday. I am posting it today not because I am dwelling, but because today I remember where I came from, and where I am going in Christ. My prayer is that you would read this and be filled with hope.

It doesn’t matter how you begin the race, but how you finish it. 

Morning

I hear the door close and the hum of my grandma’s van fades into the nothingness of the night. For a moment I hold my breath, wondering if his footsteps will trail towards my room or his office. I hear his snickering and brace myself for the day. These mornings usually mean I won’t be able to stretch my luck very far. His footsteps pound the floor loudly and land just outside my bedroom door. He peeks through the hole where the doorknob would have been, had he not broken it just days ago.

Kathryn, he whispers. It’s time to get up. I play dead. Maybe if he thinks I’m in a deep sleep, he won’t try to move me. Just like your grandma, he says. Always have to get your way. I feel cold hands and arms lift me from my bed. I try with every ounce of my being to be asleep, to be dead, so that I won’t have to feel this anymore. He brings me over to his bedroom, and lays me on the bed. Still “sleeping,” I feel him ripping off my nightgown. Another situation to have to explain to my grandma.

            Frigid hands peruse my body and I get chills from the fear and shame that so often overwhelm me. He revisits old bruises and fondles them without concern. He inserts fingers and pins me down without remorse. I would fight, but I’m sick of fighting. When he satisfies himself, he leaves me on the bed still lying as lifelessly as possible. He wipes the one tear I’ve reluctantly let go, and he snarls. I know you’re awake.

 


Sometimes I struggle to read my own words, especially when I am reminiscing about my childhood. But I surrender all of that to Jesus, especially today. He is washing away ALL of my insecurities, fears, and failures. He is cleansing me of my past and clearing my conscience. And reminding me that I am His no matter what. 

 

Today I begin a new life. One that ushers me into companionship and intimacy with Christ. One that reassures me that I deserve love and affection without earning it. One that transforms me into a merciful, gracious, forgiving woman of God. Let the scared little girl inside of me die in those waters, and let the courageous woman rise with her Maker. Amen.

Today is only the beginning of the healing and growing. Are we ready for this adventure?

Be blessed. 

"…and the word of our testimony."

I am fasting and praying and preparing for my baptism tomorrow in Lake Michigan. I have a bazillion emotions and thoughts scrolling through my heart at this very second, but one of them seems to be the most prominent. I feel compelled to share this ounce of wonder with you. 

As you hopefully know, I have been a Follower for about five years now, and if you can believe it, I’ve been a part of ministry for at least seven. Through high school I was actively involved as a student leader for youth group and became a small group leader for middle school girls. I began a ministry in April of 2012 called Mai to help women overcome sexual violence. Since then, I’ve partnered with a few women from Michigan and we’ve become a part of each other’s journeys.

By the time I was three, I had already been deserted by my mother. I moved in with a loving grandmother and a kooky Papa. I began a double-life that year, being a doting granddaughter and a victim behind the scenes. I spent years pretending to be happy around family, without a single soul knowing I had hidden in closets and been deprived of food. I became an actress and even believed myself from time to time.

You see what I’m doing here? I’m sharing my story with you. Because the more I tell it, the free-er I become. Because the more you hear it, the more you will understand Christ’s lordship in my life. All too often people begin ministry with the wrong impression of who Jesus is, why we serve Him, and how we are to serve Him. I want to share not only my story, but Christ’s story. Here’s a bit of Scripture that has helped shape much of my ministry mind-set: 

"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." Revelation 12:11

Christ has already sacrificed Himself on your behalf. Nothing we can ever do will ever reverse that. He is yours. You are His. 

Does it say anything in there about overcoming Satan by following laws or doctrines? No. Does it say anything about doing good deeds to defend ourselves from evil? No.

Read it again.

My heart’s cry is that you would understand that sharing your testimony is  your biggest weapon against Satan besides the power and Blood of Christ. Satan will do everything in his power to ensure you a life of disaster. But we both know he cannot win. My ministry is a cultivation of God-given love, compassion, and hope. I can no longer think of my childhood as “my” story but as Christ’s testimony of redemption. 

For about nine years I was abused by my grandfather. I gave up my childhood, I gave up my development, I gave up my trust. I tried to find fulfillment in relationships, achievements, and sometimes even alcohol. But nothing gave me the satisfaction and wholeness I desired. Until Christ picked me up and cradled me in His arms. 

I’m not saying it was an instant fix, but that the battle is far from over for me. I am blessed and thankful for how “normal” I am after having gone through the things I have. But there are still wounds and triggers that reside in me.

I know I can only rely on Him to remove the shrapnel from my soul, but there are many others who don’t know that. Satan is going to attempt to overpower them and wreck their lives, if he hasn’t already done so. How can I sit here and withhold the peace and compassion of a Father by not sharing my testimony?

I met with many men at a rehab center in Moncton, NB while at school in Canada. Most of them began their addictions because of wreckage in their lives. They were abused and mistreated. They were perpetrators and cheaters. They were humans. I shared my testimony with all of them the very day I stepped foot in that facility. And you know what? I met men who had done the same things to their families as my mother and my grandfather had done to me. It was difficult for me NOT to forgive them and offer Christ’s limitless love. I may have gone there to disciple them and encourage their dependency upon Jesus rather than substances, but in time I was growing and trusting more in my Savior. All because we spent time together in the Word and shared our lives with each other. 

Most people won’t know hope until you SPEAK it. Until you LIVE it. I am asking you to keep me accountable. If I am ever acting or speaking in a way which is unedifying, please (lovingly) reprimand me. I am human and I run on emotions just like the rest of them, but I find my strength in Christ. And I wanna portray that always. 

This baptism marks the transformation of a young lady into a godly woman. Here is a prayer for you. Please remember to lift others and myself up to our Maker. Be blessed!! 

Lord, let every molecule of my being be used for your glory. Let every word I say advance Your Kingdom and herd your sheep. Let every action I take convey my utter devotion to You. I pray over your hurting babies right now, Christ. The ones who know You but are still healing. The ones who don’t know you, and are tumbling around in the sea. Please have mercy on us, oh, God of love. Have mercy on our aching human hearts. Pour your love and redemption in us and through us. Empower your ambassadors, those who are willing to fight for You. Give them the Spirit. And do not let the evil one overcome. We share your story today, Lord. And we rejoice in it forever. We love you because you first loved us. Amen. 

Tomorrow, on the day that I publically profess my faith and surrender to Christ, I will post a snapshot of what I experienced in my abuse. It will serve as a reminder of where I have come from, and where I am going. I certainly appreciate you being a part of this adventure with me. <3

"What’s a girl to do?"

Tonight I am very discontent. I have been struggling to find scholarships for school, and have come to find that there are little to no resources for childhood victims of violence. I am sorry for those of you who have missed opportunities because no one could or would support you. I guess our society doesn’t see how difficult it is to cultivate a woman from a scared little girl. It doesn’t see how blinded we become, how shattered our hearts are… so it expects us to just dust ourselves off and make something out of nothing. And you know what? That’s exactly what we’ll do.

I am making a promise to myself (with God’s provision of course) that I will someday found and maintain scholarships for women who have experienced sexual abuse as children, and are willing to turn those experiences into light. Christ says that what we do for the “least of these” we do for Him. If you’re reading this, maybe you’ll help me. Maybe you’ll apply for one. Either way, we’re gonna be the lighthouse for many. 

What’s a girl to do when she’s got nothin’? She’s gonna shine. She’s gonna polish herself off, look back only once… and she’s gonna light the way for others to do the same. 

All the joy I’ve seen is a waste…

So this song has been playing on repeat in my mind and in my heart throughout this entire week. It’s even seeped into my dreams. I dreamt last night about some random guy on campus, about being over at his house and pacing around in front of him, ranting and blabbering on and on about every ounce of anything welled up inside my heart. It was crazy because I kept telling him to shut up and and I also used language that I rarely ever use. He just watched me walking and waving, nodded at some things, while shaking or scratching his head at other parts. I finally told hold him I wished I was seen as a human being. 

He was baffled, and asked me what I meant (the only time I allowed him to speak). I told him that other men in my life had only seen me as a toy [to get off on] — those are not the words I chose — but that I was a real human being. With emotions, with passion, with the capacity to love and forgive anything. But no one has ever appreciated that in me. He simply nodded and kept staring at me.

Then I was swept up again by emotions and contemplation. I must’ve talked for almost an hour before I finished and just stood in front of him, the stickiness of previous tears coating my cheeks. He opened his arms to me and said “You’re human.”

Now, I don’t mean for this to sound like some cheesy love story. Really. I mean for this to sound like what it is, a reflection of what I am learning and allowing God to do in my heart. After sharing this dream with a few friends, I have been able to process the fact that that guy, though he may be someone I could see myself with, he is not what I really want. What I really want is to be heard. And pondering over it now, I believe God has been trying to show me… show me that he is hearing me. He is the perfect companion and confidant I’ve always been searching for. He is always sitting on the back of a pickup truck in the middle of nowhere, waiting for me to unleash all the frustration and triumph I have to share with Him. 

I am a creature for His love. His love only. Someday I may pour that love into a man whose heart connects with mine, a man whose eyes see me as the pure and whole woman Christ is creating me to be. Being pure doesn’t mean I won’t make mistakes. Being whole doesn’t mean I can’t be vulnerable. It means I’m trusting and learning to live again. The chaos is bound to become overwhelming, but I have a Creator who’s much more dependable than any human being. He also knows the depths of my heart. 

And when I’m ready, even when I’m not ready, I can step out of my safety pen and into His open arms, where there are no looming expectations or judgments. “You’re human.”

"Another thing I am convincing myself is okay."

Oh how easy it is for us to put up walls. To block people from partaking in our lives, to seclude ourselves from pressures, to prevent circumstances which may or may not ever happen. 

I am probably the world’s best wall-putter-upper. I have become so great at building walls, that I can make other people do it for me and convince them that it was their choice in the first place. 

My biggest fear is that I will enclose myself in some crazy labyrinth of walls, so intricate that no one will ever be able to reach me. If I acquire some more skills at creating walls, then maybe I will block myself so well that I won’t even be able to reach myself. Oh boy. What a travesty that would be. 

What I’m learning this week is that it is more than alright to make boundaries for myself. Fences. Not walls. Others don’t have to understand why I am placing them, and I don’t have to give them the power to change them. Fences allow me to protect myself without closing people out of my life entirely. I deserve to have healthy interactions, and people deserve to get to know me in good timing. 

Short and sweet: fences are a great thing. Now, I just have to believe it. 

More tomorrow… or when I actually have time. SO MUCH WORK!

Be blessed!!

"day two of not blaming myself."

Feels good. I woke up today and decided that I am no longer going to justify my actions to people. Because having to explain it all means that I am 1) using it as a crutch, which keeps me in the “victim” category, and 2) not releasing responsibility. I deserve to control my own actions and emotions, without having to worry about what other people think. Today I am going to start looking at myself as Kathryn, not other people’s view of Kathryn. 

This is not, never has been, and never will be my fault. 

Gotta believe it.

"this week’s revelation"

And when I say revelation, I mean revelation. I have been reading many articles about healing from childhood sexual abuse (as always) and for some reason, things all clicked into place on Sunday. We started a series at church called “Satan’s Sex Ed,” and talked about all types of exposure to sexual immorality. My pastor kept alluding to the many people in our church who have been assaulted or abused, and he said this would lead to us having a skewed view of reality. Okay, I already knew that. 

Then, as I was reading in my book by Jones, it felt like a fly swatter whacked me on the cheek. After so much research on the “healing stages,” I finally realized the two stages I have always mentally left out. The first one is “Releasing Responsibility.” I didn’t recognize this, but I have always, always blamed myself for both my mother leaving, and my grandfather abusing me. I blamed myself for being a girl, for being weak, for tempting my grandpa. I blamed myself even beyond that— for allowing myself to be abused, for allowing myself to hurt, for allowing the past to drive my decisions. I have this running list of memories in which I have concluded that I am the cause for what has happened to me. And I am terribly wrong about all of it. I’m trembling as I write that out. 

The second one is “Finding the Inner Child.” I have realized that abuse ages people fairly quickly, if not instantaneously. Jones writes in her book, “I was 18 going on 25.” That’s exactly how I feel. Not because I have this incredible knowledge of the world, or because I have experienced more than the average young adult, but because I have had to become so apt to people’s intentions. I honestly cannot remember a time in which I was not constantly questioning someone’s intentions, whether or not it was someone I should have been able to trust. An uncle could become a predator, a friend could become an enemy… all within in mind and before they even had the chance to prove themselves trustworthy. My heightened intuition has caused me lose a lot of my social and mental and emotional development. I was shot into a place where my thoughts have always revolved around survival and not being hurt. And again, I must convince myself that none of this has been directly my fault. 

I need to cultivate relationships (with God’s perfect grace) that will allow me to have moments of pure childishness, so that I can learn to trust again. To trust myself as a child, and to learn to trust others as I meet myself. This will be a marvelous and momentous journey for me.

My abuse was not my fault. What happened to me was disgusting, immoral, vicious, selfish, degrading, etc. etc. etc. How my mind & heart have reacted to my abuse is not my fault. I’ve learned to protect myself and to establish myself as a victim, but now it is time to regain control over my emotions and to allow God to transform me, from a victim to a survivor

Today is officially day one of not blaming myself. Here goes nothin’.

Kathryn

"love:
the last step to taking the “I” out of “us”"

One thing I’ve noticed about transformation in my life, is that it all seems to happen at the same time. I decide to fast from something for Lent, and every form of temptation forces me to just kneel before God and cry out. I decide I would be okay with meeting my biological mother, who I have not seen since I was three years old, and I find a message on my facebook from her family member who has been looking for me. I decide I want to actually start loving myself the same way God has been loving me, and we start a series in church about Satan’s lies about sexuality. And I am forced to acknowledge how unloved sexuality has made me feel… How bout we just transform every aspect of Kathryn’s life all at the same time? Sheesh. 

During this time of transition I am constantly being reminded to humble myself and to look at things from all different lenses. What I’ve come to realize is that the one thing that really holds me back from loving people is love. I have too much love for the things that don’t matter— like relationships that will never work, friendships that I cannot replenish, even material things that I cannot afford. And I don’t have enough love for the things that do matter— relationships that just need more effort on my part, opportunities to do better ministry, myself. 

Maybe you are kinda like me, always afraid that there’s some sort of end to all this love. Maybe you’ve been abused and neglected and you’re holding onto that love for the sake of still having control over it. But instead, it has control over you. 

Don’t let your love of love put distance between you and freedom, between you and healing. Don’t let it wedge between you and your spouse. Your children need your love to be endlessly poured out. Your friends need your love to wrap them up when they seek you. Your own heart needs to know what it feels like to give love and to receive it again. It may be intimidating and first, but I promise the process will free you. 

As God is reworking so many things in my life, I gotta step back and ask Him, “Am I putting my love in all the right places? Or am I investing it in all the wrong things? Am I even willing to give any of it up?” If I sincerely wish to take “I” out of “us,” I gotta start by taking the love out of my heart and giving it out. My hope for you is that you can take that first step of unlocking the door to your heart, letting some of that love flow into the lives of those around you, and allowing others to pour back into you. Then you will truly understand the intimacy and truth behind relationships. 

May you be blessed today as you figure out how love is keeping you from loving others. <3 

Kat

p.s. I will keep you updated on how things unfold in my life. Feel free to share your stories on the facebook page or email me at kcorona.mai@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!

cliffhanger?!

I realize that I left the previous postings at sort of a cliff hanger. Having some crazy changes happen in my life these past few days. Will update you all as soon as I feel up to it. Until then, know that the last step in taking the “I” out of “us” is love. 

Yep, love. Because sometimes we have a picture in our hearts of someone we love, or think we love… and it holds us back from actually loving them in real life. I’ll explain later. May you be blessed this evening and forevermore!

Kat

"the fear: part one
the (almost) last step to taking the “I” out of “us”"

I will be the first to admit (out loud, into the cyber crevices of the universe) that I am terrified of relationships. The very idea of them makes me so anxious I want to crawl up into a ball and sleep away the stress. I’ve tried to figure out why this happens to me, why I push away every good man that tries to be close to me, every good friend that knows me too well. I imagine that it has to do with vulnerability and not having anything left to give out…

When speaking/thinking of marriage, I actually overwhelm myself with so many thoughts that I usually exhaust myself. I think of all the possibilities (both good and bad) and run them through my mind over and over again. Often times, I deny a relationship from continuing because of my disappointment in something that hasn’t even happened yet.  I can never seem to find a guy who seems compassionate and patient enough to bear even the first layer of my sociological issues. And it hurts me to think that maybe it’s too much for anyone. I begin to lose hope that I’ll ever even understand love and never let someone love me.

I have been trying to gain some perspective by talking to God (and Paul, as you can see from the last post). He  has always reassured me that there is nothing to fear, especially when I am trying to fulfill the Command given out by His Son. But why is it still so scary?

I can hardly imagine what it would feel like to completely devote myself to someone by choice, and be hurt by them. Being hurt by people I barely knew has been traumatic enough… So now I am going to just offer myself to someone and pray for the best? 

Precisely. If you think about it, Jesus did exactly that. He offered Himself to strangers, was beaten, mocked, persecuted, crucified. And still He drove on until the very end of His time here. He still works His way into our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirt. (That’s some hardcore love right there.) I pray that I can someday reach that point to which all I think of is Him and remember my purpose. The day in which I am carrying the cross as He once was. 

For those of you who would like something more than the story of Jesus, look into 2 Samuel 13. The passage talks about one of David’s sons pretending to be sick and luring his beautiful sister into his room before raping her. (Yes, the Bible talks about rape and abuse. God doesn’t leave ANYTHING out!) She is ashamed and he instantaneously regrets his actions so much that he loathes even the sight of her. She is kept away from Him, and though her other brother attempts to console her, she is no longer the same.

There are two ways to look at this story, to look at our own stories. 

We can hide away forever and fear relationship to other people because of something one human did to us, or we can muster up some of our precious courage and deny Satan his fulfillment in “winning.” Now, I doubt that the Lord of the Universe has forgotten this story, nor do I think He will ever forget you and your story. 

Part of learning to be relational again is to assess who we are around. Since David was king at the time, and notorious for his righteousness and devotion to the Lord, I imagine that he did not let his daughter suffer for the rest of her days. Look around you. Who is trying to win your heart? Better yet, who do you think is deserving of your heart? Maybe it’s a parent you have yet to bond with, a friend who is looking for a confidante and supporter, or a man whose prayers envelop you every night. 

Sexual violence is a disgusting thing, and though I suffer through fear of sexuality and relationship, I know that it is not part of God’s plan for His children. I may never know why it happens or how all of our stories will fit together, but I do know that He weeps when we do. He yearns for us to be in relationship. With Him. With each other. Because that is how he designed us. And when we let experiences deter us from one another, He weeps even harder. 

I will pray for any and all who read this post. There are millions of reasons we fear relationship, and I will have the audacity to tell Satan that He has no power over us any longer. May you find peace and understanding through Jesus Christ. May you find healing and people whose hearts encourage you and relinquish your fears. 

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NLT

Blessings

Kathryn

p.s. Remember that if you keep your purpose to love Jesus and love others, God will forever direct your path. And the more you commune with Him and call upon Him, the less fear will have a hold on your heart. Let Him heal you and redeem you.

John 14:27 NLT

 

"focus:
step two to taking the “I” out of “us”"

1 Corinthians 7: 32-25

There’s a very good reason I included the Scripture at the beginning of this post. Paul and I have been talking with each other for a while now and I figured it would be a good idea to incorporate our conversation into the blog and let you have a war of your own. (Not really, a war… just posting to give you something to think about). So Paul thinks that every person is put here on the earth to share the Gospel with someone else and carry out God’s works. That’s easy to comprehend, right? Well, maybe it’s not as black and white as we think. Just kidding, it is. The problem is that we often choose to forget our purpose. To love God and to love others.

Now, if I break it down to the basics, our first step is loving God. And though it shouldn’t be very hard, humans have knack for forgetting the spiritual and dwelling on the physical. Jesus continuously calls us to the Cross, and we deny him because we want to be held, hugged, and loved by others. Literally all He asks us to do for Him is to worship Him above anything else, come to Him in times of need, and love Him beyond our own imaginations. Basically, He wants us to have a relationship with Him. 

So Paul is telling me not to get married because God needs my undivided attention.

And I’m like, why?

Doesn’t He want me to be with someone to make me happy?

Paul says, not really. He does, but He would rather you look to Him to fulfill your needs.

I say, fair enough. 

Then Paul goes on this long tangent about being “concerned about the affairs of this world” rather than about the “LORD’S affairs.” He tells me that my purpose in life is to do ministry (I know…) and that my partnership with another human should be prayerfully considered and be shaped around ministry as well. 

Hmmmm….

There is so much truth to what Paul is trying to tell us in 1 Corinthians. Not only should I not live in expectation to get married, but I should also not even consider the idea of marriage unless God has specifically called us together and we are on the same page to do ministry (maybe not in the same field, but ministry nonetheless). After talking to Paul, I don’t wanna be with some shallow man who hasn’t consulted the Creator of the Universe and asked if he would be a perfect fit for me. I don’t wanna be with someone whose life doesn’t include ministry whatsoever because that is a sign of little faith, and a man with little faith does not call upon the strength and patience of the Lord. 

Maybe you are single and are feeling lonely or left out because friends are getting married. That does not concern you because God needs you to be one-hundred percent focused on Him so that He may cultivate you and train you into the woman you are supposed to be. And above that, it is your duty as a woman and a human to worship Him at all times, and be called upon to do whatever works He expects of you. Honestly, I have had to check myself and consider how much I really love Jesus. Because it takes a lot of love and faith to set aside my selfish ambitions and be where He needs me to be. But is it worth it? It always is. Now that I am beginning to understand what real relationships are supposed to look like, I can see couples around here who claim to be Christian, and I don’t feel they are really embracing the true capacity of love which God shares with us. And when they are too caught up in each other to minister to others, I have to kneel down and pray for them because they are completely missing the point. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad they are happy. But I am bummed that their focus isn’t on the One who laid His life down for them…

If you are married, maybe you should take a look at your relationship. If you are having a difficult time with your spouse, maybe it is worth looking into this passage together and defining your purpose as a team, an ambassador team for Christ. Realigning your focus could lead you both to tap into a reservoir of love you didn’t know existed. 

Wherever you are, your focus should be on God. Always. I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say that, and I realize it’s easier said than done, but that should be your number one goal no matter what. And I promise (well, God promises) happiness and fulfillment will come to those who seek it wholeheartedly. Jeremiah 29:13

Blessings

Kathryn

p.s. The next few posts will conquer the second command from Jesus to love our neighbors. What stops us from loving our neighbors? Fear… and love.

"the checklist:
step one to taking the “I” out of “us.”"

This week especially, I have decided to take “me” out of my relationships. I’ve realized that 1) I don’t own my life or my body— Jesus does, 2) this is not my story, it’s God’s story of how He is constantly redeeming me, and 3) nowhere does it ever say that God owes me anything for what I went through, and that especially means that humans cannot fulfill whatever justice I so crave. Now honestly, part of me gets very angry at these facts, but for the most part, He is guiding me through it. Realizing that I don’t own myself is fairly easy to me. He created me, I am His and He takes care of me according to His will. The second part is a little harder to swallow, but I can still embrace it. God has done some amazing things in my life, like taking away the overall pain of abuse and abandonment, and I cherish those feats every day. Part three is where it gets tricky, and I imagine it is the same for many of you. 

I would not change a single second of my life, had I the opportunity to do so. Please do not get confused. What I mean by justification is that for a long time, I assumed God would bring me a wonderful man and an amazing life here-on-after just because I endured the traumas I did. Never did He say that to me. Never did I read that. Actually, the only reason I can think of for my thinking this way is that I was selfish. I wanted justice for myself because I DESERVED IT. I thought I earned it. But the reality is that Jesus has already given me more than I could ever repay and I am a fool for trying to squeeze more goodness out of Him. Ha! 

I think we all go through this phase, the angry phase when everything and anything that has happened to you becomes part of some intricate checklist, and we go down the list telling God He’s gotta make up for some of this junk. I have to giggle now because my checklist was long… and my priorities were all outta order by thinking this way. I love Jesus Christ, and assuming that He owes me anything is like telling my best friend that she is responsible for my pain. Doesn’t make sense. Would you tell someone you love that they are to blame for something they never took part in, something they maybe can’t even comprehend? (I think we have all done that as well, but we can imagine how our loved one would feel…)

God was never okay with what happened to me. He still feels my agony when I try to sort through all this stuff. And to ask Him, no, demand Him to justify my childhood is the most inconsiderate thing I think I could ever do. I must apologize to Him, and to anyone who reads this or has spoken to me about this. I must write a new checklist that excludes myself and my selfish endeavors:

  1. Love God with all my soul, mind, body, strength.
  2. Love others MORE than I love myself, including my grandfather, my mother, and those who will hurt me in the future…
  3. Love myself because I am His, not because I think I can fix myself.

For me, step one is realizing that He has already justified my past by giving me many opportunities to share my story and to constantly be a teammate with Him as He transforms the lives of broken women and children. He has given me a call that not many people will live up to, and that in itself is the most flattering and encouraging message of all. 

From now on, I’ll live to serve you and the Lord. Forget about the checklists. 

Kathryn

Here’s a passage that always encourages me to live for the others and reminds me that God is always rooting for me: 

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

Blessings to you all!

"I don’t know that to feel…"

So I’ve been praying, wondering, feeling. And I’ve decided that it’s time to actually confront some of my deepest struggles. And on top of that, I need to start focusing this blog on the true issues that I’m facing. For your sake and mine, let’s start being really real. I’ve been reading many books and articles about sexual violence, from trafficking rings being discovered, victims being mutilated for speaking, to the effects on the minds of those whose innocence has been denied. For much of my life I pretended to be healed and “over it,” and for the most part, that is true by the grace of God. But after hearing/seeing/reading these stories and constantly messaging women who need me and need Truth in their lives, I have discovered that my definition of “healed” was completely wrong. It wasn’t until I read Dawn Jones’ When A Woman You Love Was Abused that came to terms with just how real my abuse was. It’s one thing to live through it, but it’s another thing completely to let it run your life. Although I have taken some great strides to finding freedom, I have realized that there are hundreds, perhaps millions of little things adding up in my mind/soul/heart that just aren’t right. My perspective on relationships and (dare I say) sexuality, my fear of driving, my little bouts with depression and anxiety. Those are not normal things. I shouldn’t have to walk in fear or shame of things that I didn’t do or becoming someone I will never become. I hate to say it, but I’m almost angry that I have gone this long being a “textbook survivor.” I despise reading things that someone else has written about me, knowing every intricate detail of my pain, every last drop of agony I have endured and the side effects for each one. 

But at the same time, I am blessed. Because someone has taken the time to analyze that survivor’s heart, and probably against the favor of the mass majority of people. It hurts, it stings, it continues to wedge my heart further and further apart, but i NEED it. I have a God whose love and mercy doesn’t cease just because I think it does. And He has provided willing and able to HELP me overcome the adversity of which I thought I could overcome by myself. The more open my heart becomes, the more He can change what is going on in there, and the more I can open up as a woman to other people. Maybe in the midst of this, I can actually find who Kathryn is. Not Kathryn who was abused. Not Kathryn who is afraid of everything because of her abuse. Not Kathryn who cannot trust because her mother left. No. Kathryn Rose Amparo Corona, who loves God, loves others, and, most importantly in this case, loves herself. 

My prayer this afternoon is that when you read this, you get angry, worried, confused, and outright upset. Because when you come to a point where the only thing stopping you from exploding is your own fear, something like this post will (hopefully) bring you over the edge. It will be a battle of which you cannot go alone, but you must start. Only you can finally open up and let it all out. And trust me, when the hurt’s out, ain’t no way we’re gonna let it back in. We are gonna be free. 

Let’s start a revolution, ladies. 

This song makes my heart melt for all the women out there living in fear; of their safety, of their identity, of their love. “I will become what I deserve.” You will become what you deserve. Loved and loveable. Strong and radiant. But you’ve got to believe that! Do not “live within in the confines of fear.” 

~Ben Harper: The Fear