woman on bench

Change doesn’t happen overnight and is ever evolving. However, I’ve learned that there are moments that we must decide where we want to go and take a leap of faith in hope of change. In my journey of change I’ve realized that we must make choices.

Summer 2011 was the first big choice I made.

I chose to truly focus and live my life around God. I decided to quit cold turkey from my five-year addiction of self-harm and surrender my pain from past circumstances to God. The biggest piece of advice I was given that day was that emotional and mental wounds are like physical wounds. “Just like a paper cut verses a bad cut in the kitchen while one is cooking, the deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal. It won’t happen over night.” This is the one truth that helped me push on.

Summer of 2012 was another big choice of change.

I was going to go to the Art Institute of Dallas for Commercial Graphic Design and had a timeline for life. That summer I felt God telling me to go to school for music and ministry a month before moving to Dallas. I followed Him to Visible Music College in Memphis, TN. After my first year of Visible I also chose to go to my current home church, Highpoint Memphis, and began serving right away. During the summer of 2013, I decided to pursue ministry full time and to surrender what little I had left of my ‘timeline’ to God.

However, this past year has shown me that change starts with big moments but truly develops and makes a difference in the small choices.

I chose to start going to therapy my second year of school. I chose to not only surrender and admit I still had pain from my childhood, but also decided to work through it. I chose to start taking care of myself and learned how to use the word, “no.” I chose to be honest and transparent with my struggles and who I was, am and want to be. I chose to fight thought processes I’ve had since I was young and renew them. I chose to fight even when I wanted to give up and run back home and into old habits. I chose to believe God and His word. I make these choices daily, sometimes with joy, other times with doubts.

In all of these choices I can finally say I have found myself. I have also found people who love and support me unconditionally for the first time in my life. What is even greater, I have truly started to learn to love myself. These two coincide because until I loved myself and was honest with myself, I couldn’t let others love me and be honest with them.

It doesn’t stop there, though; God is greater than that. These small choices helped me start finding who God desires me to be vocationally.

This summer I have seen how my story of change is a story of gain. I had the amazing opportunity to intern in Cambridge, England, at New Life Church. I gained confidence in the woman God is creating me to be and finally have felt like a changed person with my time overseas. During my time there I found a love and value for myself I had never had before. I was challenged to not be content with where God and my journey have brought me but to keep pushing on, knowing God has even more in store for me.

The other way I felt changed and excited for the future was while at the youth camp called New Day. I felt God tell me he wants me to sing, speak and be a part of rising up a generation that is reckless and abandoned for Him. I found confirmation and challenges to where I have been heading in ministry. A big part of that is being honest and sharing my testimony.

One way that happened that week was in a one-on-one meeting with one of the youth girls. She has a story of brokenness that resembles mine. When we had our meeting, she opened up about her struggles with anxiety and other things. I was then able to share my story with her and where God has brought me. As I shared not only where I had been but also where God has brought me, she broke down crying. I gave her a hug and asked her what was on her mind. She said for the first time she didn’t feel alone in her thought processes and she felt hope. That night God began the process of healing for her later in the Big Tent meeting following the message and she gave and surrendered her life to Christ. God showed me clearly at least one part of how He desires to use me in the future.

In “Pulling the Thread,” Jen Hatmaker said, “God can take your worst moment, the thing that about broke you and turn it into your greatest ministry. He can turn it into your life’s passion, he can take your sorrow, heal your broken heart, and use your story to effect the lives of so many people that suffer in the same way.”

This is the best way to explain my story of change and why it exists: to help others find hope and their story of change in Christ, too.

Katrina, 22
Memphis, TN
#storyofchange

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