Stories of Brokenness and God’s Healing Power: Kelly Wilson
I grew up in a good home with a loving family. My mom took myself and my 2 sisters to church every Sunday while my dad stayed at home. I don’t think I ever met Jesus at the church I grew up at. I hated every second of church and couldn’t wait to get out of there. As soon as I was old enough to make that choice, I walked away. Or better yet, I ran away. I turned and ran as fast as I could.
Years later, I was better introduced to Him at a Christian summer camp that I worked at. It laid the foundation for my faith, but the timing wasn’t quite there yet. At home I was loved, supported, and provided for by my parents but there was always this gigantic hole in my life. I hated my life. I felt like I had no friends. I felt all alone. I even felt like I didn’t fit in with my family. I was depressed. I struggled to connect. I struggled to find any reason to even live.
I was 13 years old when I first tried to kill myself. I wrote my suicide note and tried to slit my wrists. I failed at my suicide attempt but accidentally discovered relief through those cuts. Self injury became my way to survive. Cutting gave me a tool to get by. I didn’t have to sit with all this hurt bubbling inside of me now. I had discovered a very unhealthy way to let it out. And life just spiralled further and further downhill. More cutting. More brokenness. Repeat.
When I got to college I fell head first into the world of binge drinking and drugs. I was in school for my dream career and I ended up failing. I failed my dream. Life was hopeless. Empty. Purposeless. More drinking. More cutting. More suicide attempts. Repeat.
I thought I had finally hit “rock bottom” after I stole my mom’s car and fell asleep at the wheel. I wrecked the car but I walked away from the accident alive. This left me filled with so much self hate though and pushed me even farther into the dark abyss I had fallen into. More cutting. More suicide attempts. More brokenness. Repeat.
I couldn’t escape. I took off and tried to rebuild my life in another city far away. Life would seem to get better: Like when I met a boy who made me feel like I finally mattered to someone. And then it would get so much worse: like when he broke my heart and stomped on the shattered pieces. I would rebuild again: like getting into college, doing everything right this time and perusing my dream. And then I would hit another rock bottom: failing my dream again
I realized that the bottom can just keep falling out and send me down further and further. At my lowest, I had no room on either arm or hand to cut. Fingertip to elbow. Not a spot. Like an addict, I kept a container of broken glass in my bedroom “just in case” I needed to cut. There was always something waiting just around the corner to knock me down. The brokenness continued. Things were so hopeless. Finally, with my tail between my legs, I returned home. Shattered. Broken. Hopeless.
A nudge from God
Being back at home was a mixed blessing. It had highs but it still had lots of lows. I had connected a little bit with a church while out of town and although I was not saved, the community aspect of it was really helpful. As such, every now and then I got the urge to hunt for a church. I had been unsuccessfully church shopping on and off for many years. At every church I tried, I was looking for three things: Music that I could feel and get into, a great sermon I could learn something from, and community. The last one was so important to me. I was all alone and desperate to connect with people. I kept finding churches that met the first two of my requirements but I could never get plugged into the church community. I just couldn’t connect. I would try a church, become disappointed, give up and a few years later try again. I was sure this was the solution to my brokenness. People. Friends. Community. If I just had people in my life then I would be fine.
Life was going a bit better at this point. Something was still missing but I was more held together on the outside. I still struggled with many things. I still turned to cutting when life got too hard. I shoplifted often. I was still searching for that something to fulfill me. And that’s when it happened. That’s when God gave me my nudge.
I was walking through a book store when God nudged me into the bible section and I found myself buying this Daily Walk bible. I bought that bible and read it for about 2 days when I got my next nudge. If I was going to embark on reading the bible in a year, I needed to find a church. It was time to go church shopping once more.
Like most millennials, I began with a google search. I googled churches around my community and narrowed it down to two possibilities. It was crunch time though. 1030 on a Sunday morning and I still hadn’t figured out which church was the one. I could only try one. I still had no idea which church I was going to check out when I began pulling out of my driveway. I realized in that moment that I needed to stop looking for my three requirements. I needed to lay to rest my hunt for music, message, and people and look for God instead. I said a quick prayer and asked God to lead me to the church He wanted for me. I didn’t care if it had none of my requirements. I just wanted to find Him.
A few minutes later I found myself pulling into the parking lot of Fellowship Pickering. I walked into the school and was trying to find a reason to not like it. I was immediately greeted by a handful of amazing young adults. They connected to me so easily. I went and sat in the gym and tried to hide but Matt, the pastor, walked up to me and introduced himself and then introduced me to the other young adults. I sang some incredible worship tunes, I listened to and learned from a great sermon and I had connected with people. Lots of them. I went out for lunch with five people that day. This church had everything I wasn’t looking for.
I kept coming back to Fellowship Pickering. It was so incredible. Something I had never experienced before. Community like I had never had. I jumped into everything they offered. I joined their Lifegroups and got connected with their discipleship program. I got involved with their guest services and worked hard to offer new guests the same incredible welcoming that I had received. I got involved in children’s ministry and have used my gifts and skills that God has always been building in me to serve in this ministry.
Eight months after I walked through the doors of Fellowship Pickering I was baptized and officially gave my life to Christ. Through this church I have found another family. I have found a place of accountability and support. A place of friendship and guidance. I have found myself and who I am through God’s eyes. Fellowship Pickering has been my on ramp to the life that God has wanted me to live. They have been there for me to love and support me throughout my journey. They’ve been there to encourage and build me up as a leader, and to carry me and support me when I am struggling.
God is so great and just incredible in how he waits for us to yield to Him. I needed to lay down my own expectations before He would fulfill them. My life is still broken, but it’s a brokenness filled with hope now. It’s a brokenness I know I can get through. I know He can get me through it.