Chloe W.

Chloe W.

from KS
Story #575
So my story starts off pretty generic: I grew up in the church, knew all the right answers, was baptized when I was six, etc... but I was also homeschooled. My family was probably that sheltered homeschool family and on top of that we kinda stayed in our Christian bubble, so I always felt left out because I wasn't a normal teenager that did normal teenage things, mainly just hang out with friends a lot (cuz i am a proud extrovert). We also didn't live near anybody and that made me feel even more out of the loop. This caused a lot of problems with contentment in my life.

When high school came about is when things started getting hard. There wasn't one main factor that made it hard, it was just a bunch of little things all piled up at once (and the little things have always been my downfall). My friends at the time all left youth group, school was really overwhelming so I did the bare minimum, I was lazy and procrastinated, I had 0 motivation and there wasn't any meaning in doing anything so I stayed up late and in turn got up late, which made everything so much worse. It wasn't ever like I was even watching anything bad per se, I stayed up late on Youtube or Netflix and I, for the most part, watched pretty enjoyable stuff. It's just that i used it as a means to run away from everything I had to do. My responsibilities were way to overwhelming so the only thing I felt like I could do was back into a corner so that I wouldn't disappoint everyone, including myself, if I messed up. I knew it would be easy once I got started, but taking that first step was way to difficult.
After a while I kinda started figuring out that being lazy really wasn't doing anything for me, but I didn't wasn't to ACTUALLY start doing stuff either, so it was a while before I started trying to do better. But of course by that time, I was in too deep to handle it myself. And rescuing myself by sheer will power wasn't working. I don't remember the exact moment I started feeling bad for myself, but it was not good. I blamed myself for not being the person I wanted to be, and truthfully, yeah, it was my fault, but I was way to hard on myself. Instead of giving my feelings I had about myself to God, I chose to be upset about how lazy and weak I was, and those feelings turned into pity...and a lot of it. I was eventually consumed by pity for myself, and the thing was, is I began to like it. I knew that I shouldn't be pitying myself, especially for something so little and fixable, so it just kinda made me mad that I was being so dramatic, but that anger somehow turned into more pity. So I basically dug a hole for myself and no matter what I did, it just seemed to get deeper and deeper.

Eventually nothing else was a problem in and of itself, I just still pitied myself and that made me miserable all the time. So at this point I just did what was comfortable, which was be depressed and lazy.

After I was going through this for a while, I finally figured it out! All I needed was a REASON to trust in God, and this kind of thinking not only caused me to become very discontent very fast, but it also uncovered some very dark places in my mind. I wanted a "real" problem so that I could rely on God for it. If I had a big problem...well God sees big stuff all the time so surely He would help. But, I didn't want to have a problem with more sin, and that is why it was so easy to be discontent. I didn't know exactly what I wanted, so nothing satisfied me, not even in that fake way. My biggest mistake through this time was thinking that my problem was too small for God, that I couldn't be saved because this stupid little self-pity thing was not worth dying for. It felt small enough to be missed on the "Sins I Have Covered" list, and for that, I was embarrassed that I had such a hard time with something so miniscule. In my head I knew that none of this was true, but at the time it was so much easier to stay comfortable and do the easiest thing, blame myself. I never realized that all these feelings were rooted in pride instead of guilt like I thought, and that was the reason sharing about what was really going on was so hard.

In my family I am also probably the most emotional person, and no one else really had strong emotions. Now I know that is not a bad thing, but I just wasn't used to being around people that actually understood how emotions work, and that also made it hard to be open with people, because I wasn't used to it. Another reason I didn't tell anyone about what I was going through was because I was tired of hearing the "Great Testimony" talk. you know the "God has a purpose" "God still loves you" "God is still on the throne" "God can get you through this" blah blah blah. I had no doubt in my mind that God could help, but (still to this day I cannot explain how much this frustrates me) I didn't want advice, I wanted someone to listen, I didn't want a mentor, I wanted a friend. I didn't want to hear how lucky I was, I didn't want to hear "be glad you don't have those other problems" I just wanted someone to know what was happening and leave it at that. No one saw that anything was wrong because whenever I was around people I could've shared with, I was genuinely happy because I was around people, so it wasn't hard to mask and it didn't seem like a big deal at the time (even though deep down I knew it was).

There wasn't really one point where everything stopped. it was a very slow process. in my life God was never very loud. He was quiet and just kinda there. But he always made himself clearly known when I needed it the most. I don't remember exactly when I stopped feeling bad for myself, but I do know that it was all God. When he said it was time...well who was I to tell him he had the wrong person. Using prayer God taught me how to recognize his voice, so that I could come when he called me. And the weird thing is how much I prayed through this whole experience. I prayed myself to sleep so many times. I always knew that I couldn't hide from God so it was easy to be honest with Him and that made it easy to pray, even the selfish prayers. I was that person always complaining "God why aren't you there?" when I missed the biggest thing he did to show me he was there. Even so, he still somehow was patient. he never turned away. he saw what I would become, and because of that he did and will do what needs to be done.

After I was finally out of my rut, it was so amazing because I started to finally grasp-just a little-what Jesus did. And it was fairly recently so I can't say much about how being in the light has changed me yet, but I can at least see how God used that time in my life. I grew up in the church and thought that I had become null to all of the stories and verses, and truthfully I'm still that way with most of them, but I am so thankful that that was the way God chose to plant his seed in me. the only reason I prayed so much through this time was BECAUSE I heard all of the stories. It sucked so bad in the moment I am not gonna lie, and I hardly ever felt God during those 3 years, but he planted his spirit in me long before I knew it was there, and that was pulling me to move forward and to keep praying even though I felt nothing.

Now I know that a lot of these stories have a nice conclusion that's all wrapped up in a neat little bow, but as I said it's a slow process and I can't really conclude when the process is so far from being over. So I guess I am just ending it because it's up to date...

I know this was kind of long, so thanks for reading regardless. I hope it wasn't to unbearably cheesy, but with God like ours it can't not be cheesy, right? P.S. I hope my picture made you laugh :)