Everybody’s got a story. We’ve all got a “lifesong,” as it were. This is my testimony. This is my song.
I was born into a Christian home, with loving parents and 5 siblings. Busy house, all the time, of course. It’s crazy sometimes, but you get used to it after a while. Anyways. I went to church with my family every Sunday and Wednesday – if the doors were open, we were there. When I was 4, my parents talked to me about the Christian faith, the concept of salvation. I made a profession of faith that night, but it was mostly because I felt my parents wanted me to. I knew the story of Jesus inside and out, but knowing isn’t the same as believing.
We moved when I was 7 years old, and I began my third school – if you count homeschool, and I do – in second grade. I was the new girl, I didn’t know anyone, and even in second grade people had already formed their little groups. Everyone else knew each other, everyone else had friends already, and I was left sort of on the fringe of things. I was there, I was a part of things, but on the outside of the groups. In that year, I made one friend, and it wasn’t for lack of trying.
I was something of a rebellious little girl. I mean, I was the good girl in public, I got good grades in school, and so on and so forth. But I often resented my parents for telling me to do things I didn’t want to do. I had many dark days, especially as I got closer to my teen years. It was a hard time for me, and I still didn’t have many friends to lean on. God seemed far away from me, and I didn’t know what to do. I began to fake sick to skip church – which wasn’t hard, since I was actually diagnosed with horrible migraines, and my parents were easily convinced. I know what you’re thinking: “Everyone fakes sick sometimes.” But in my house, lying was always a cardinal sin, and I suppose that’s probably why to this day I have to “suck it up and tough it out” if I get sick on a school day. Whoops. Kinda ruined that one for myself, didn’t I? But anyways.
I started going to a summer camp called Camp Chetek when I was 10. At least, I think I was 10. Whatever. I loved it there, and the godly atmosphere helped me convince myself that I was in fact a Christian, and I had nothing to worry about. Until the summer I was 12. That year, I felt convicted of something. I didn’t know what, but I was unsettled the entire week, positive that something was wrong, but not quite sure what it was or how to fix it. Then I talked to my counselor. She was the sweetest girl on the planet, I think, just a little older than I am now, but much more mature, and much more sure of her salvation than I was then. All that week, I’d been thinking about that night 8 years ago, thinking that maybe something was off. On June 26, 2009, I finally got it, and that is the night I truly accepted Jesus into my heart. I’m so glad I did then, because I really needed Him in the years to come.
I’m the second child in my family, and my older sister is crazy smart. Our whole family is, I guess, but I’d always felt overshadowed by her, and that feeling grew as time went on. I never felt like anything I did was good enough, that she would always be better than me, that people were constantly comparing me to her and I didn’t measure up somehow. I still struggle with this sometimes. Mostly I think I’ve made peace with it, but many a tear was shed before that happened. I’ve been lonely a lot, the “third wheel” (or fifth wheel, in my case), the one that was often merely tolerated and not truly accepted. I turned to my God, my music, and my poetry when times got hard, and I still write a lot about how I feel. I’ve found some really dark poems from a really dark time, times I was depressed or hurting, times I felt forgotten and disliked. I wandered from God often, sometimes feeling that He didn’t care about me – why would He? But He was always there for me, and I discovered a quote that’s stuck with me, one that I have to remind myself of often. “Even when you feel forgotten by everyone else, you are remembered by God. You are loved by God.” Wow. Crazy. The God of the universe, the One Who made the stars and holds the earth in the palm of His hand, loves me. Me, the girl who has built up walls to protect herself from other people, the girl who was broken beyond repair, the girl who is so scared of getting hurt she won’t let anyone in. Me. That really hit me hard, and it was a turning point in my life.
I’m still scared, I’m still scarred, I’m still lonely at times. But in the end, this song is not about me. It’s all about Him, and I truly believe that somehow, some way, He’ll be able to use the trials I’ve had to help someone else. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I know He will.
“Everybody’s got a story; I’ve got mine and you’ve got yours, and I will listen if you let me in. Tell your story.”