2017

Oh she’s a fighter.

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Okay so I let people in and I’ve forgiven but now what.

There comes a time in your life when you have to be more than your struggle and you have to be more than your testimony. I’ve forgiven my dad , I’ve taken ownership of my life and I’ve surrendered to God but who am I when I am not sharing this story? What fuels me if this is not the drive? Where am I heading if not out of my struggle?

Here I stand bewildered. Not in wilderness but feeling like a wilderness. These are the thoughts and challenges I faced up until last year. I couldn’t share my story and say oh no I was insecure and I’m learning how to be confident in myself because I was confident in myself but something strange that came along once I overcame and shared my story came overthinking.

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Every single thing I did , everything people did to me I thought about. I became fueled with this need to be prepared for whatever could happen because I couldn’t be prepared for my dad not being there and I couldn’t be prepared for my bullying. I could be prepared for tests so that made me happy because if I failed when I was prepared I knew I did the best I could do. I could prepare for speeches. But I couldn’t prepare for how people perceived me and I couldn’t prepare for the heartbreak and rejection to come.

I guess you could call the next part of my story – the after shock or PTSD (Post Testimony Stress Drive. )

I forgave, I let my walls down, focused on how being a woman was something I should be proud of and I accepted the body I was given and who I was. But how am I supposed to prepare for the plot twist? For the next mean word? For the “I love you but I’m out of here” the unexplained ending of friendships. The abandonment and the people pointing “ you have daddy issues”. How? How ? How? Overthinking ruled my life and I had to find a way to solve every possible thing that could happen to me. Whether it meant I simply didn’t let people In too close or I appear as if I am opening my heart and soul but honey you only know what I want you to know. I seem vulnerable but this a mere facade.

I became a pro at seeming un-phased and I thrived on “ look I barely have emotions “. It was a controlled situation and it made sense to me. My desire for control , my desire for being prepared , my desire for knowing … oh boy they took over. Being a Christian and wanting to be all knowing and all prepared will really mess with your brain. Being Christian is about not being able to see but still believing.

I wouldn’t put myself into situations where I thought it would result in me not knowing what to say or what to do. I became socially awkward because “hello what’s your name?” Would be the start but who knows what they could ask next. I’d be terrified of phone calls because texting was easier for me because I could control what I said and which direction the conversation would go. I had time to think I had time to process. This whole spontaneous way of living life freaked me out.

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Hello I’m Katelyn and I suffered from post testimony stress drive. Which basically means I have overcome the initial issue but there’s a new level of stress that I need to yet again overcome.

It’s a strange thing to overcome and stumble upon another battle. Like cool I just won this fight and now I must fight again? No thank you this is exhausting. I am just going to simmer in these thoughts for a while and hope no one asks what’s going on in my mind.

 

That was me – now hello I’m Katelyn and I suffer from being unapologetically me and I cry when things make me happy or when things upset me – I vocalize my thoughts and feelings and I’m surrendered to what God wants from me and I love every human in my life in a way I never have before.

How did I get here? Well it’s simple and not simple at the same time. I had to make conscious decisions that I do not need to put the stress of figuring the plan out on myself and to trust in an all knowing God. How did I stop thinking? I haven’t figured this out 100% but I think maybe 40% of the time whereas before I would think myself into a flat panic 85% of the time if not more. My vision for the year was to “ live loved” and that is how I learned how to navigate this next battle. I approach people with the thought that they won’t hate me and if there’s an awkward silence let me just look at it as a silence instead of awkward.

The approach needs to change and one has to make conscious decisions and yes you have to fight a battle more than once to win it sometimes. I still fight the overthinking battle but instead of sitting in this constant frustration I have learnt how to ask for clarity and not fear looking “too much”.

So my lovely humans – seize the day, live loved, be you unapologetically and let God lead and follow His plan it is so much less stressful.

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2017

Stand up straight.

F133E688-9C74-412F-9FF0-DA8DD0CBBAD3Feelings, emotions, tears, anger and things were spread across the floor. Words, screams and empty looks galore. I sat there begging myself to stop feeling but in the begging I only began to feel more and more…

I have wrestled with writing this blog post for years because I believed writing about the story must mean you aren’t over the story but writing this now I realise I am actually okay. So hello let me welcome you into my deepest thoughts and feelings and I must please just ask you to leave no coffee stains on my table top.

I grew up without a dad. He did not really leave he was just simply not there and this is something I came to terms with before I was even born because having a mom and not a dad made sense in my brain because that is all I ever knew until someone told me that because I am who I am my dad left. That sentence embedded itself into my DNA and left my world absolutely shattered. The words that came after that left me even more numb and begging the person to stop telling me these things… I was called ugly,stupid, worthless and abandoned. I had statistics of how growing up in a single parents household would just set me up for failure. My world was rocked and my heart was aching.

The years following on from that statement just led to me hating who I was more and more. I could find things to hate about me everyday. Oh you didn’t get that right? You are so stupid. The bullies left the playground but their words became echoes and screams in my head and I no longer needed others to throw words at me because I was more than capable at being my biggest enemy. I no longer needed people to tell me how awful I was because I was more than capable at telling myself how much of a failure I was. Self-harm does not always have a razor pressed against your skin with blood pouring out… Self-harm can also be when your cutting happens internally and because no one can ask you did your cat scratch your arm?

I had to learn how to forgive those who wronged me and then I had to learn how to forgive myself.  Sure the forgiveness wasn’t easy but I managed to forgive my dad and the bullies but forgiving myself was the next huge mission… Girl you tried to kill yourself? How much can you really hate yourself to get to that point? I locked myself into a castle that was protected by so many dragons that I alone was stuck in the highest room seeing all the happiness around me but all I could feel was coldness. If  I stay in this room I won’t feel anymore pain. Blocking yourself off from sadness blocks you away from happiness too. The mind is a powerful thing and fighting with the wilderness of the mind is probably one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.

How could the one person who was meant to love you leave you ? That is something I struggled with and came to terms with that everyone left but I was still stuck on the thought of how could those who love  you leave?  Wilderness. I became a wilderness. An uncultivated, uninhabited and inhospitable region. I pushed people away and I become a pro at running away from things that seemed like they might hurt me. I preferred pushing away happiness and feeling sadness because I was in control of that feeling. It took me a while to realise that I could choose joy and that I am actually in control of how I feel.

Without God I would not be writing this blog post and I would be dead. God wanted me as His daughter alone and I realise now that I had to go through that to appreciate love more and to understand that no one is perfect but my body still saw love as a threat. I did not let anyone close to me and did not see the point of having great friendships because everyone leaves in the end BUT I forgave myself. I saw the beauty of loving people so unashamedly… I understood that feeling happiness so deeply was worth whatever pain may come. The prayers you pray in the wilderness come to fruition in the promise land. God did not give me a sense of happiness, peace and comfort in the wilderness I created for myself until I stepped out of the wilderness and into His promises. I overcame my self-hate and hate towards my dad in 2013 and life improved so much sense then.

 

Until heart break and overthinking knocked on my door when I had enough courage to love someone without running away. I saw myself slipping into my old ways and walking back into the wilderness where I begged God to take me because the heartache became too much and I sat back and was astounded at how the challenge that previously took me into my wilderness came in a different form this time and I was so easily led back into the wilderness…

 

 

I guess you can say that your overcoming will be tested again and again.

 

Any recovering addict will tell you that you aren’t just clean from your addiction but it is a daily decision to overcome again and again and to remain clean. I am addicted to overthinking and addicted to thinking that I am better off on my own. But this is a trap and whether your addiction is relationships, love, cutting, hatred, bitterness, drugs, alcohol or whatever it is a daily overcoming. It is not a clean break. Its a daily walk and a daily decision… Your prayers in the desert need to continue in the promise land. The stance of your prayers may change but the enemy knows where to attack and aim and if you leave that area unguarded.

I am not saying you need to be negative and think that you will slip into your old ways again. No. All I am saying is that if you are set free from the wilderness but you keep the same attitude in the promise land you will never be set free from the wilderness stance and the wilderness hunger for more. The thirst you had in the wilderness will remain and no matter how many wells are around you wont drink from it because you still living in the sense of unanswered prayers and the sense that you haven’t gotten far at all. The prayer from the wilderness may change when in the promise land but the prayer changes from asking to thanking but the requests stay the same and your thoughts become bigger.

 

I have felt the addiction to run very recently but I needed to remind myself that I am not the ten year old little girl who was abandoned, bullied and wanted to die but I am the nineteen year old woman who is chosen, resorted and loved.

 

The posture needs to change or else the deliverance is null and void.

 

 

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2017

Cherophobia

IMG_5553“And there it was. Happiness just a shot away from me but here I was overthinking it to the point of being miserable.”

My writing is mostly fuelled off of experience and how I managed to deal with what was given to me and lately I have been… happy. Genuinely happy. However, I have not been enjoying this happiness. I have been figuring out how this will all leave me. How I did not deserve this or that maybe this is too good to be true. No not in a I walk around with a cloud of darkness over my head but if happiness was a couch I was merely sitting on the edge getting ready to be asked to leave my seat.

I did not rest in the comfort of happiness. Still struggle with that. I realised that I view breakthrough or joy as something that will be ripped from me and be yet another challenge I must face. But when the couch of happiness is in your face you really cannot keep ignoring it not allow anyone to sit on it in fear that it will be taken away. The what ifs will ultimately be the death of some of us. Changing your view on happiness is important. I know I have been guilty of not enjoying a breakthrough, good times and utter joy because if I did not enjoy happiness as much surely I wouldn’t be in the same amount of pain when sadness comes? I know right how sad are my thoughts sometimes.

 

I am here just to say that we should not have a fear of happiness and that we should jump onto that couch and cuddle right in it with a pillow of laughter, a blanket of love and be dressed in clothes filled with affirmation. Happiness should not be a guilty pleasure but it should be enjoyed. Fully. Happiness isn’t something that will stop coming around and while it is here I think we should be grabbing it with both hands.

 

” He fills my life with good things so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.” -Psalm 103:5

 

Take your happiness back into your own hands. Silence the thoughts and celebrate once again. You know that you want to. That relationship you have been so scared of because you fear you aren’t good enough? Sit on the couch of happiness because you are good enough and you deserve love. That trip you have been terrified to take? Sit on the couch of happiness because you deserve to explore. That smile you have been scared of smiling? Sit on the couch of happiness and show us those pearly whites.

 

Cherophobia: The fear of gaiety, happiness, joyfulness or rejoicing.

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2017, Uncategorized

Isolated inclusion.

 

The wilderness is not a place of fear or a place of failure. The wilderness is a place where you see trees that have been uprooted by the wind because their roots weren’t deep enough and where you see other trees standing the test of time. The wilderness is a place of finding your “enough”, your happiness and enjoying the journey of discovery in the maze you find yourself in.

 

I found myself at a crossroad. The one road led to a place that made complete sense to me. A place where I could logically make sense of where to go to next. The other was the wilderness. Where I did not know that if I took the next step would it be safe or would I be falling into a hole and twisting my ankle? Constant anxiety and fear because none of it made sense to me and I could not explain it to anybody else. I have answers for days. If I don’t have an answer I could make you think I had the answer. When I found myself at the crossroad- I went the logical paved out road. Went to University and did a degree I was passionate about. Met incredible people but something within me did not feel right and half way into my first year I came towards an off ramp that led to the wilderness I did not want to go on at the beginning of the year. I stepped into possibly one of my scariest decisions. I put my studies on pause and stepped into working at a church I have been attending and serving at for the past 10 years. Nothing made sense, I was filled with anxiety and needed to know what the next step was at all times.

I promise this blog post has a point to it.

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I have never felt so much isolation from people I stood with firmly until I made this decision. The wilderness, unfortunately, has narrow paths and involves a lot of walking and not being sure. I personally am not a fan of hiking in nature so I cannot blame people who did not want to hike this new journey with me. I looked at all this isolation from people who did not understand why I made this decision and felt as if their rejection meant that I made the wrong choice. I felt like I should go back to the logical because did I really know if this was what I was called to? But if I took my eyes off of the isolation. I felt so much inclusion at the same time. Love, support, and hard work. God puts you in a place that does not make any sense but in that place, you find so much love. you love yourself differently and you love others more. Hiking is not a thing you should really do alone and when I began inviting people onto my walk instead of shutting them out- when I tripped there was someone to help me up. Tripping still hurts even if someone helps you up but having someone there in the journey makes the journey so much more rewarding. The best conversations probably happen in the wilderness and you hear things so much clearer. I am not saying God is screaming into my ears “go hear next” but you know He is there. Every step and He sees.

 

I am not saying drop out of varsity and start working at your church. I am saying that you should find the happiness in yourself. Things that sit right with your soul and forge towards that with everything you have. You know what you are supposed to be doing- You know the wilderness you ran away from but walking by sight will make logical sense but walking by faith helps your soul see things so much clearer. Believe me, if you told me that I would be working with kids even just one year ago I probably would have laughed and brushed you off but now that I work with kids every single Sunday I have become a gentler me.

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We so often disregard what God can do in our life simply because what God often wants to do with us makes us feel uncomfortable and doesn’t really suit our schedule. The wilderness is where there is limited communication but clear communication at the same time.

 

“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.
It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

 

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber…. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:3, 5-8)

The wilderness looks different to everyone and if you did the brave step of just jumping and trusting that the plan unravels on the way down- You are not crazy. You need to stop listening to the doubters and listen to a different voice.

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So embrace your wilderness experience as it is part of your growth.

“God knows things we don’t. We can trust His perspective instead of our own understanding.- Lysa TerKeurst

 

 

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2017, Uncategorized

I think my head might explode.

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“but there was nothing I could do to dim the supernovae exploding inside my brain, an endless chain of intra cranial firecrackers”
John Green

Hi my name is Katelyn and I am an overthinker.

Hi Katelyn”

 John Green described it best and maybe that is why I didn’t write for a while… because there is a supernovae exploding inside my brain. Overwhelmed, anxious, scared. I don’t know.

Have you ever been at a point where there is so much happening in your life that you actually cannot keep up so you just sit and absorb it all and feel permanently tired. I am understanding that feeling a bit more lately. Friends leave- I know that Life gets busy- I know that. Disappointments happen- I know that. So why am I allowing myself to be defeated by all that is happening instead of confronting it?

“I had some terrific experiences in the wilderness since I wrote you last – overpowering, overwhelming,” he gushed to his friend Cornel Tengel. “But since then I am always being overwhelmed. I require it to sustain life.

Everett Ruess”
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

The controlling bit of me cannot understand why I am allowing myself to spiral. Not spiral as in I am having a meltdown and shaving my head and doing things I would not normally do. Spiralling to the point where I feel I have no voice. If you know me personally you would be shocked because if there is anything I use a lot it is my voice and my opinions. I think that me being overwhelmed is a sign that I am not looking to the Author and Perfector of  my faith. We are told to cast all our anxieties unto Him and to speak to our soul but honestly do we even do that? Prayer starts to become a habit and reading our Bible gets brushed off. We become overwhelmed when we internalise the world and not His Word. I am guilty of being so busy that I am all about me. You did that to ME. You hurt ME. This is hurting ME. Blaming and finger pointing is just like unforgiveness. A bitter pill that we choke on.

“If you are too busy to pray, you are busier than God wants you to be.”
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Cookbook: Desserts

Before you shut down and stop reading my blog I want you to know that this is not a blog post to bring pity or for me to sit here and ask for loving and kind messages. This is a blog post about seeking The One who calms the storms and to speak to your innermost self. I have been obsessed with the song “It is well”- By Bethel Music for the longest time and I did not realise why it was so intune with my soul until I started writing this blog post again. We are not supposed to internalise the pain but to speak about it and understand it. Stress causes many health issues because we keep it inside and make dramatic grunts instead of figuring out a way to minimise our stress and prioritise what really matters.

“Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.”
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Love Finds a Home: 3 Historical Romances Make Falling in Love Simple and Sweet

You can either decide to let life happen to you and sit back and feel overwhelmed or you can let life come with all its might but you are ready for the fight that is about to come. Rest in knowing that God is still in control and that you have a lot more within you that you do not realise. Grow through what you go through. Writing this blogpost did not immediately stop me from overthinking and bring a sense of calmness to my soul. You need to realise that peace is something we have to work on daily. We need to stop the seeds of thought  before it  grows into a tree and has a lot of ripe fruits of negativity. It is a daily process. A work out regime and diet for your soul if you wish.

These thoughts and feelings of isolation came make us feel rejected but I found this amazing quote that brought some comfort to me.

“Rejection is an opportunity for your selection.”
Bernard Branson

“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” –Billy Graham

“Endure. In enduring, grow strong.”

Chris Avellone

The walk is not easy but it is filled with rewards in forms our mind cannot comprehend. Trusting that things will get better and allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a daily walk.

Through it all, through it all. My eyes are on You.

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2017, Uncategorized

I should be there.

“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.”
Shannon L. Alder

The comparison game is a nasty game but a game so many of us play. It starts off with an innocent joke like “Oh I wish I had your hair” and deepens to a “let me destroy her image so I appear better”. I used to be a pro at playing this game. I was the girl you would compliment and I would immediately say no I am not pretty, no that is not true or no you are much better than I am. I did not want to say those things about myself but I unfortunately just began picking up this bad habit which took years to shake off.

What you allow is what will continue. I allowed myself to be treated badly (I am not saying that being bullied was my fault- I am saying that I could have put an end to it sooner). I had words thrown at me that apparently described me and I took these words to heart and basically repeated it to myself day in and day out. My primary love language is Words Of Affirmation. Meaning that to me – actions don’t always speak louder than words. Compliments mean a lot to me and criticism- when said harshly – can hurt me a lot. Unaware of “love languages” when I was much younger I did not understand why the words I heard hurt me so badly and why I took it to heart.  (http://www.5lovelanguages.com )

It took years for me to overcome these hurts and struggles in my life ( this is to come in a later blog post when I can properly retell the story) but insecurities do not just go away. Insecurity is like an addiction if you do not guard against it, it can come back and take control when you least expect it. The words you say to yourself sit deeper than words others tell you and fortunately I caught this addiction of mine early enough. I was sitting next to my mom the other day trying to take a selfie with my epic rainbow under lights hair and when I took the selfie I looked at it and immediately told myself, oh my word look how chubby my face looks, my eyes look funny… my smile doesn’t even look genuine. Sure the selfie would not have been put in a collection of my greatest selfies of 2017 book but it really wasn’t terrible.

Lighting impacts many things and when the source of the light is not from within the spotlight can taint your view.

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This picture may not show my face but it was taken the same day I felt very down and angry. Posting this picture was me taking a stand against all those negative words and this post is not just about me and me patting myself on the back. It is me showing you that bad days will come, you might have a sad day, sad month but do not tell yourself you are not worth it. Do not enter into the pit of overthinking. Treat yourself the way you would treat someone you really love and respect.

I should be further in my life, I should be married, I should be in university, I should be able to drive, I should be there… The reason those words are the title of my blog is simple. You should be where you are right now. You should be focusing on growth and happiness. Shower yourself with love and compliments without being filled with pride. You should not be where she is and you should not look like him.

…Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?… – Esther 4:14

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2016, Uncategorized

Disillusioned hallucinations

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My soul leads me into the desert, into the desert of my own self. – Carl Jung

I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day about different seasons of life and she brought up that there can be a season of complete stagnation… I never really thought of a season of “nothing” but that is when I realised that I am in fact in my desert season.

The desert is super hot during the day and super cold at night and without water hallucinations begin to take over your mind. I entitled this blog post “disillusioned hallucinations” because no other words described this season (in which I find myself )any better. When you get stuck in a desert experts would tell you to keep out of the sun as best as you can- which runs true in a figurative desert- you have to protect yourself from others spotlight because if you focus too much on it your mind will begin to become dehydrated and you will thirst for something that is not within your reach.

At the first sign of thirst you are advised not to drink all your water at once. You need to ration yourself as the days go on. So basically when the first sign of success comes or the first sign of movement comes along don’t indulge yourself in it. Take small sips and remember this is the reason for the desert season. DO NOT PANIC when you are stranded in a desert- When we find ourselves in the desert we usually find ourselves walking in circles or into bigger trouble simply because we want to get out of this dry dry dry area… Staying put in a desert is what experts encourage. You need to calm yourself in order to truly assess who you are and how you ended up here. Once you have calmed down and are certain you know where you are going – it is important to make your mark. You are encouraged to focus on a distant landmark and to follow it to wherever you are going. So in your figurative desert it is important to keep your focus on where you want to be even if you do not know where you want to be you still need to focus on a future where you are happy and satisfied. Keep your eyes on God and remember that walking through this desert is not only for yourself but it is for whoever happens to walk in a similar desert- your journey will be the path they follow to their version of a happy and fulfilled future.

In deserts you are encouraged not to speak as it results in your body losing water. In the figurative desert I think that you need to know WHEN to speak. But being silent (basically not complaining that nothing is happening in your life) is the best option. When you speak make sure that what you say says huge amount. In your figurative desert it helps to listen and ponder more than it does to yell and complain. Remember that a desert isn’t just hot… it gets cold…super super super cold. So in a “nothing happening” season remember that happy moments can come and you can feel safe and secure but sad moments will come too and you would want nothing more than shelter. But in the desert you need to brave the weather conditions even if you are going nowhere. When the temperature drops you need to be secure and know that you will be safe- basically when the stagnation results in panic know that God has you regardless of what you are feeling.

 

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides – Hillsong, Desert Song

 

I cannot tell you when or how the desert season ends but I can tell you that harvest is on its way. Keep sowing seed into yourself and others and it will eventually come to a bountiful harvest. The desert is when you learn about yourself and who you are trusting in. The first few days – even months are torturous but you need to remind yourself that they are mere hallucinations.

 

“Something will grow from everything you are going through & it will be you.”

“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…”

 

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

 

The desert tests obedience and you will discover who you are without any challenges and without any success.

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