Life after Mercy

Hey all! 

It’s been quite a while since I last posted, these past few months have been pretty crazy/busy for me to be honest. 

As many of you know, I will be sharing my testimony at the Mercy 5K Walk/Run on Saturday. It is to raise money and awareness of Mercy Canada, a much needed program for young women who are seeking help and hope for any sort of life controlling issue that they may be dealing with.

I took part in this program and graduated after nine months at the end of July 2016. Almost a year ago now!! Anyways, today I was doing some reflecting on my Mercy journey and I decided to look back at the testimony I had written for my graduation. 
Below is the ending of the testimony that I had said in front of my family, friends, Mercy sisters and Mercy staff for my graduation.

‘I finally got accepted into Mercy the beginning of November, my parents dropped me off and we spent some time in prayer together about what this next part of my journey would look like. I walked through the doors feeling defeated, guilty, ashamed, hopeless and embarrassed. But I was quickly surrounded by more prayer, support and encouragement, I began to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle mentally, physically and spiritually. It was a different experience to be known here as Kali, not by who my parents are, my works or my past. I learned that it’s okay to admit that I was struggling and I could say anything without feeling judged or rejected. I learned that my hurts are valid and I began to allow myself to really feel and grieve the pain of those hurts and losses. Mercy gave me the opportunity to go through each hurt, receive healing and also give forgiveness to myself and those who have hurt me. I dug deeper into God’s word and had a chance to question and discover parts of it that I hadn’t before. I learned that I wasn’t being transformed just by rededicating my life to God every time I made a mistake, I needed to make the effort of renewing my mind as well. I started to replace the lies that I’ve believed about myself for so long with the truths of what God says and thinks about me. God has taught me how to make peace and own my part and the choices I made in my past. I am continuing to find and become my genuine, authentic self, learning to live FROM the approval of God instead of FOR the approval of others. Truly following Jesus means that I won’t be liked by everyone, I have learned that it’s only God who can satisfy. I am no longer choosing to find worth in my works. It has been so refreshing to be able to be real and honest about who I am, what I’ve done and where I’m at now. God works through faith, not my perfection. I am happy and confident in saying that God restores and heals, Christ died for me so that I could have victory and not continue to live in misery. He did not intend for me to carry the burden of shame, I am called to completely belong to him. Psalm 16:11 says that ‘In God’s presence there is fullness of joy.’ I can’t express the joy that has consumed me as I’ve allowed God to have all of me and have experienced His goodness throughout this journey of healing. There is no doubt in me when I say that God is definitely present in this home, He has felt so tangible to me as I’ve spent this time in His word; worshiping, growing and healing. As I’ve learned to walk in the spirit, I have discovered that it’s JESUS in me that makes me beautiful. I believe God is calling me to be a woman of faith, authenticity, integrity, and transparency. I desire to continue being aware and lead by Him, abiding in His deep love for me and encouraging others to do so as well. I am leaving Mercy’s doors knowing that God is near, that I am chosen, strong, capable, set free, redeemed, forgiven, and that there IS hope for my future. Paul says in Philippians 1:6, ‘he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.’ I am thankful and proud to say that God is not finished with me yet!’

Reading this again after so long was such an encouragement as well as a huge reminder for me about my identity in Christ and the deep desire I had to live authentically in my day to day life. I had forgotten……..

I had forgotten a lot of those truths, those desires, the hope that I felt that day as I declared those things out loud in front of so many people I loved. 

I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous to share on Saturday because things have not been perfect since I graduated. I’ve had hard days, sometimes weeks. I’ve believed lies about myself, I’ve chosen sin over healing and truth. I’ve neglected time with God to be on my phone or watch Netflix, I’ve isolated myself during some of the most painful moments of my life when I’ve actually really needed people. 

BUT, I’m realizing that Mercy was the beginning stage of my healing process, the first step I took in deciding to choose life. I was not expected to graduate from the program and suddenly have everything figured out. I’m still learning, growing and healing. 

Mercy gave me the tools to deal with and experience freedom from depression and an eating disorder. What am I choosing to do with those tools? Am I spending time with the Father? In prayer, his word, worship? Am I seeking accountability? Continued counselling? Am I in community? What are the areas I want to grow in? What’s challenging me right now? 

In the midst of the crazyness of this year, I HAVE experienced continued healing, hope, forgiveness, strength, courage, peace and joy! It may look different from how it did while I was at Mercy but it’s all still here for me to experience. God is STILL faithful, even in the suffering. I look back at some of my blogposts or journal entries and I am reminded of how present Christ has been this year through it all, I am forever grateful. 

These are just some thoughts I’ve been having today after a good conversation with a friend and reflecting on my Mercy journey. Always good to get the thoughts out somewhere (; And of course be authentic, as that was my desire when leaving the program! 

If you want to know more about Mercy, my story or just want prayer….feel free to send me a message (: I love to chat.

Lastly, we are grateful for your support in raising awareness and funds for Mercy Canada. Please do as you feel led, whether that is sharing this blogpost, donating money towards the Mercy run or taking time out of your day to pray for this ministry. It is all much appreciated!!

xo

K

Advertisements

Healing

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 ESV
I’ll start off with a journal entry that I found from my time at Mercy, April 26 2016 I wrote this: ‘Healer. I’ve grown up reading and seeing how you are healer but I’ve never wanted or asked you to heal me. It felt impossible that you could replace my ashes for beauty and mourning for joy, & some days it still does feel impossible. But then I catch glimpses or have new thoughts, realizing you are healer in my life as well. I’m not the exception in this world that you choose not to bring restoration to, healing is here and possible in my life when I’m willing and open to it. I thank you that you are doing a new thing, that my deepest hurts no longer define me. I thank you for your everlasting joy Lord! I believe for healing and restoration in my life, I choose to seek, be present and let you be my hope today. I love you Lord.’
Have you experienced God’s healing before? Physically? Mentally? Spiritually? With others? This is my story. (When I read that last sentence, I hear it in the voice of the guy who does the intro for Law&Order: SVU. Just me?!)
A day or two before my 21st birthday, I found myself on my apartment porch crying out to God. I told him that I felt broken, brokenhearted to be exact. Brokenhearted about several different aspects of my life, mostly about life in general. I told Him that I didn’t want to feel this way anymore and asked Him to help, heal, lead and speak to me as I surrendered this feeling of brokenness to Him. He lead me to a specific scripture that was quite comforting to my situation at the time but I honestly can’t remember it anymore. I moved on and didn’t think much of this a few days later. 

I was a chaperone at a youth retreat weekend at camp, spending some much needed time in prayer and worship with some wonderful teens and youth leaders.  As I continued to hear from God and draw nearer, satan began working hard to discourage me throughout the experience. It was hard not to get caught up in it and by Saturday I felt defeated. That night I was sitting in the back row while the preacher spoke, I wasn’t paying much attention to be quite honest. I was fighting lies about myself that I had begun to believe again. Towards the end, I heard the speaker ask us to stand up while he said ‘God is telling me that there are people in this room who feel broken hearted and have been speaking this out lately.’ Immediately that got my attention, my heart started pounding as I slowly stood up. (I usually shy away from moments like this, hardening my heart in fear of exposing my brokenness to those around me) He told us to put our hands out in front of us, and then to our hearts allowing God to heal them. When I put my hands on my heart, I experienced a feeling that I’ve never had in my life. It was the Holy Spirit tangibly seeping into my heart and throughout my body, healing the heavyness that I had been carrying for so long. My heart had this burning sensation and it felt like that for a week straight, it comes back sometimes…often when I’m retelling or writing out this story. Obviously I was crying (okay, lets be real…sobbing) during and after this encounter. On October 1st, 2016 God literally HEALED my broken heart.

My little brother just happened to be at camp that day, he held me while I cried and just kept repeating ‘I love you. I love you. I love you Kali. I love you so much.’ Words that I so needed to hear, that I believe were also from the Father. A mentor of mine was also there, letting me snot all over her hair while she prayed thanksgivings, that this time would be sealed and for continued healing. We joked that God flew her out to BC just to let her see Him heal my heart, I was thankful. One of my 14 year old campers came and asked to talk to me, I assumed it was about her as we sat down to chat. She told me that her hands had started burning up earlier and God had told her to tell me something. She told me that God wanted me to know that the void of authenticity I’ve been feeling lately is going to go away. I began crying again, knowing that this is something I had also spoken to God about. I was sick of presenting myself a certain way all the time, I longed to be more real, more of myself, of who God created me to be. This was just the beginning of people coming and praying for me, speaking to me about what God had told them, etc. I was blown away at how clearly God had revealed himself to me. I was consumed with the joy of the Lord and just kept saying out loud ‘God healed my heart!!’ I was in awe. I know that some of my campers had also encountered God in that way, we cried together and agreed that you couldn’t experience something like this and still not believe that God exists. It was just too real. 

Going home, I told people close to me about what had happened. I remember telling my mom and both of us just crying together, looking back at all that had happened until that point. I literally just want everyone to be able encounter God in this way!!! 

But I still have my hard days, I find myself doubting God and what He has and wants for me. That’s when I usually try to remind myself to read my journal entries from that weekend, to put myself back in that moment of complete and utter surrender to God. I realize I will continue to have dry periods and times of silence from God, but what am I going to choose to do during those times? I don’t want to sink back into a pit but to instead be encouraged by the hope for continued restoration in my life and those around me. I want to choose life and peace in those moments of despair. My prayer is that as we seek Christ, our ears would be inclined to hear from Him and our hearts would be softened to experience Him. Healing is available to all of us. 

xo

PS. To anyone that is still reading….tomorrow I am speaking about my Mercy experience at a church in Langley. It is a service focused specifically on eating disorders, to help others understand and learn how to help those who are struggling. I will be talking about my life before Mercy, during it and after I graduated.  Please pray for the congregation and me as a I speak! 

Sin

This past week, God has given me a distinct awareness of a few areas in my life that I am very prone to turn to sin. If I’m not struggling in one area then I am most definitely struggling in the other. Why is that? I don’t completely know the answer but I do acknowledge that when we are hurting, we have the choice to numb that pain with our sin or to turn to God…the one who forgives, heals and comforts. 

This morning I was listening to a podcast (it’s called InDoubt, geared towards Christian young adults) and they were having a discussion about sin. They talked about the difference between guilt and conviction. One of the girls speaking defined guilt as being condemning and conviction as being HOPE filled. It made me realize that I carry a deep sense of guilt after sinning but no conviction, and that is why these sins are so easy for me to go back to. 

I always thought that the feeling of guilt was what conviction felt like, it made me feel bad enough to stop sinning in that area for a while but I never understood why I kept going back to it eventually. So I took some time to ask God to truly convict me in these areas, my desire is pursue holyness and to FIGHT my sin. I don’t need to give in each time, I asked God to give me HOPE instead of a longing and love for my sin. I realize it’s not simple, that it takes time. But I want this to be a daily prayer for me, I want a holy reverence towards God that is stronger than my desire to sin. 
Are there areas of sin in your life that you just keep going back to? Ask God to convict you in those areas, seek holyness, seek accountability, continue to pray. I have realized that overcoming sin is not easy to do on your own, reaching out to others and being vulnerable and honest breaks the devil’s grip. Also if you have a chance, read Psalm 51 pictured above😊I always love how raw and real David is. 

xo 

This will not be titled ‘New year, new me!’ 

My #oneword365 for 2016 was seek, and oh man was that ever true. I sought God whole heartedly, probably more than I had in my whole entire life. Which resulted in me experiencing Him in the most tangible and incredible ways. I sought truth as I read my bible, I allowed myself to question things instead of just taking what other people said around me and believing it. I sought help and healing through Mercy Canada, counselling, accountability, family and friends. I gave myself permission to open up, to feel, and to hurt….seeking God’s comfort as I did instead of temporary comforts that would normally be my go to. I learned what it looks like to live a healthy lifestyle, physically, mentally and spiritually. By all means, these are all things that I have in no way perfected. I am on a continued journey of healing, figuring out my relationship with God, myself and others. I still have to reread my journal entries from those significant days to remind myself of just how present God is in my everyday life.

I spent some time in prayer about 2017, what would this year look like for me? What are my goals? My desires? God lead me to Psalm 37:4 which says ‘Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.’ As I continue to seek God this year and my character becomes like His, He will place His desires, the right desires in my heart. God has made it clear that this will be a FOUNDATIONAL year for me, solidifying what He has already taught me to be able to build and grow on top of those things which will lead me further into His will for my life. The word steadfast came to mind for my #oneword365 of 2017. Why? Firstly, I believe that God wants me to be reminded of His STEADFAST love for me this year. He is and will continue to be my one constant, I can rely and trust in Him fully….doubt shouldn’t be a factor in our relationship. (Still something I’m working on, to be quite honest!) Secondly, my desire is to remain steadfast in my faith this year…to solidify, committ and devote myself fully to following Christ. Within my job, my church community, my friends, at home, etc. I am not putting unrealistic expectations on myself, I know that there will be times of wavering. I will allow myself room to mess up but also choose to remind myself of my desire to be steadfast in those times. Thirdly, the word loyal stuck out to me when reading the synonyms for steadfast. I want to be a loyal friend, mentor, daughter, sister, to those around me this year. I’ve struggled with loyalty, I don’t belive I’ve been the greatest at it and I haven’t always had the most loyal people in my life either. But that doesn’t mean that I should completely write it off, loyalty is something that I can continue to learn and grow in as my relationships grow and change as well. 

I was inspired to write about this after reading Sarah Bessey’s blogpost about her #oneword365 😊 What is your #oneword365 for this year? You don’t have to tell me why but I’m genuinely interested in hearing it! I will be praying for you as you start this new year with this new word as your motivation, you are loved! xo