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I've been feeling the need to share some things, so I'm going to write my own little testimony for anyone who would like to read. If you're not in the mood for deep thinking, please feel free to ignore this blog. But if you'd like to hear what I have to say, please keep reading...
I've had a lot on my mind lately. My life has changed drastically in the last 7-8 months. Some of you have noticed this, I know. Some of you have no clue. But I wanted to share what I've gone through with everyone...hoping it will touch some and maybe bring understanding to those of you who are confused by the "new" me.
Growing up, I was the girl everyone called "goody-two-shoes". I rarely got in trouble, tried to never disobey, was completely opposed to anything that would disappoint my parents. I was an avid attendee of church and youth group. I was like this all the way up to halfway through college.
Then, the end of my sophomore year of college, something changed. I decided to start drinking, and soon found myself sucked into the things I'd always spoken against. I wouldn't say I did a complete 180, but I definitely acted like a different person. I began cussing, I was involved in frequent partying, and I began looking at things in new ways. I became immune to the guilt over doing things that had once appalled me.
I was in the middle of this when I moved to North Carolina. I was the social butterfly and quickly built a large circle of friends. We'd go out every weekend and meet even more new people. This is when many of my North Carolina friends met me. I loved being out on the town and going out for drinks...it let me escape from the pain and monotony of life. It made life exciting.
Then last spring and summer a lot of bad things happened at once, and I felt more pain in life than I'd ever felt before. In the summer I began experiencing a lot of sicknesses...in the fall I nearly passed out while teaching one day, and I knew something was wrong. I was shaky and lightheaded quite frequently...things would become surreal at random times...I never knew when it was going to happen. I decided at that point to quit drinking. It was more for my health than anything, because I was scared.
Things began changing for me at that point. I had to start focusing on other things in life besides looking forward to the next downtown outing. I began getting more involved in my religion and in church. I met Dave, who has been one of the best blessings in my life. I started going to singles at my church with him, and I found my life recentering itself around the things that had always been my top priority. I began changing back to the real Kara, the person I'd always been before I was lost. The more I went to church and truly listened to the messages, the more I realized how far I'd strayed from the path I'd set for myself. I realized how little I knew about Christianity, despite my Christian upbringing. So I decided to start reading the Bible. That one decision has changed my life drastically. Every day that I read it, I'm reminded of my purpose in this world, why I'm here. I'm reminded that life is not meant to be a time of pure pleasure and excitement. There are definitely moments of pleasure and excitement, but there is so much more to it...it's a trial, it's preparing for my real purpose. It's not just yesterday, today, and tomorrow...it's about eternity.
My health is slowly getting better...I just recently discovered that the problems I've been experiencing over the past year are a result of anxiety and stress. I'm getting help, and now things are starting to look up...God has blessed me with an easy summer so I have time to relax and focus on myself a bit. I need it...I was falling apart. But I've learned a lot, and I think it's made me a stronger person. And most of all, my health problems jolted me back to reality. It was a necessary breaking point for me. I had to stop and really start thinking about life. I had to find something to focus on other than weekend thrills, because they were no longer a possibility. It was God's way of waking me up, bringing me back to him. I'm finally starting to feel like myself again...it's been years since I've truly felt that.
It seems that many people who met me in the last four years think that I've changed into a new person. They think I've given up who I really am, that I've changed for "wrong" reasons. But I haven't. I'm who I want to be...I'm who I thought I'd be when I was younger...I'm trying to be who God wants me to be. The "new" me is really the "old" me. Many people just don't know it. In fact, I even had a friend from up north tell me, "Kara I was surprised the last time I saw you, when you were drinking...it wasn't you." So I just want to say to any of my friends who are confused by my new behavior...please don't take it personally that I don't want to go out to the bars or go drinking. I love you guys all just the same I did before, and I still love to see you and spend time with you. I just don't want to do those things anymore. I'm also not saying that I look down on anyone who does drink and party...trust me, I understand the thrill, I've been there. I just don't want to do it in my own life anymore.
I know my life now may sound boring to many people...but it's not. It's amazing how with the clarity, all the little things begin meaning so much more. I have a new underlying comfort, I feel secure, I feel safe no matter what may happen. Because I feel like I'm following God's direction for my life, and he won't lead me astray.
My days now center around trying to live the way Jesus would want me to live, instead of the way I want to live. It's caused me to take different views on things, to react to things in different ways. It's hard sometimes. But it's worth it. I feel more content with my life now than I ever have before. Because I have God to turn to. I've become the old, new me.
I know this may have been a bit much for some of you to read, but I feel that it's important to share how I really feel. There's no sense in hiding who I am. Because the new, old me is here to stay.
I love you all...
7 Comments -
Kara, Im soooo happy for u.. This post was very touching!! I love ya like a sister and Im glad things are gettin better. God does love u and im glad u are able to be focused again. I dont drink and I dont think it is needed to have fun! Miss u up here my friend take care and God Bless!
Posted by Emery on Jun 7, 2007 7:57 PM
WOMAN!I believe our paths crossed for a reason.... depite the fact we had several things that almost kept us from meeting..None the less, I happy for your peace as that is priceless and will get you through anything. You are a wonderful person, caring... smart... thoughtful... honest.. trustworthy... all the things you want to be, you are and we all see that!I love you very much and appreciate you sharing you heart with all of us!
Posted by Velvet on Jun 11, 2007 1:20 PM
"Those who say yes to God's call don't walk the walk perfectly-- not by a long shot. But because they say yes to God they learn to grow even from their failures" - John OrtbergI LOVE YOU
Posted by Alison on Jun 12, 2007 5:11 PM
Love ya Kara! I'm glad you have had the opportunity to find the real you and what makes you happy. I just hope you still love the real me ;)
Posted by Brook on Jul 14, 2007 3:57 PM
What a great testimony! I think that many of us who have grown up in a Christian home experience the thrill of doing things that we were so against growing up and then realize that those things aren't what God wants for us, for a reason. I'm so happy that you have realized that in your life. I think we go through things that are hard for the purpose of helping others deal w/ things they go through and to be an example of how one can change and that we all make mistakes, especially us Christians, and that God forgives and we can make things right. I'm so happy that you have found yourself again and I pray that you continue to grow in your faith and live your life for Him!
Posted by *Erica* on Aug 2, 2007 10:19 PM
I've been going through a lot of that myself over the past few years, and after the birth of my daughter finally found the focus I needed to get past just saying it and actually move forward again to recenter my life. It's funny, or I should say interesting, to point out that I wandered into this blog as I was entering one of my own little reveries. I hope you're doing well. Consider this another "cup of tea." =)
Posted by Erica on Aug 27, 2007 9:30 PM
Kara,It was so encouraging to read what you wrote. I always enjoyed being around you and have really missed the few, but great times I got to spend with you while I was dating Collin. I will always have a special place in my heart for your family, and it has encouraged me so much to read what you wrote, especially since I no longer get to see you guys.... I love how God can do amazing things in our life, even when it can be really hard to get to that point. You're a really sweet and beautiful woman, and I know God is going to use you so much.... keep reading the Bible and allowing His strength to carry you. :) ....And let me know how you're doing when you get a chance :)
Posted by Megan Jo on Sep 12, 2007 9:27 PM