I was baptized here at Sojourn in 2014. Growing up in church, I knew all about God, but in the way you know a lot about your favorite celebrity. I’d heard of Him but not from Him.
In 2016 I faced my first test of faith. My dad got a job 600 miles from the only place I’d ever lived. We left Louisville, family, friends, and home. This was my first experience with loss and was tailgated by years of crippling depression, self-harm, and anger at God.
After high school I spent 2 years in an abusive relationship. I moved across the country with him in an attempt to outrun my shame. I pushed away friends, family, and God.
Once I decided to leave the open cage that was Washington state, I came back to Louisville. 10 days after coming home I was raped. My car ride home was the first time I ever experienced God's presence. He drove me home.
Shortly after, I was diagnosed with a heart condition and have since fought chronic vertigo and often loss of consciousness. When I became too sick to work, I felt led by the Spirit to move back to DC with my parents. During the last year of my life God used tragedies like relapse and heartbreak to reveal to me that while I may have believed in him, I didn't think He believed in me and I didn't have a relationship with Him. I'd been floating through life waiting for him to show up instead of opening my eyes to meet His gaze.
On June 6th 2023 I found out I was pregnant. My heart was full of fear and shame. I’d quit talking to God months prior because I was once again trying to be in charge of my life. Yet despite the inner twistings of my heart, Christ convicted me. I was devastated by my sin and made aware of my need for Him. On June 30th I lost the child. Her name was Fern.
I used to think you had to have a moment. An immediate “Aha! I’m saved!” For me it was being shown over and over again that God’s love is the antidote to my shame. I walked out on God and ever since, I’ve been pounding, begging to be let back in. Not only is the door unlocked, but God followed me out! There are no walls surrounding my make-believe entrance. It’s just a door in a field, and now I'm walking around it into the arms of Jesus.