Levitating

Now to take a turn to something more serious; How does it feel to be sexually assaulted by someone you once considered your best friend?

First things first I cannot speak for everyone, but this is the account of how I felt.

(This is where the no sugar-coating thing really comes in)

Immediately after it occurred I could not stop crying. Bawling. Crying so hard that I thought my organs were getting crushed slowly with every large inhale I was taking. In fact, all I wanted to do was scrape out my insides. All I wanted to do was escape the body I was in. I immediately jumped in the shower scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing myself. Hoping to was this filth I felt off of me. Then I physically started scratching myself because somewhere deep inside, my brain was yelling at me that I needed to escape, that I could escape.

An hour after it happened I felt absolutely empty. I felt nothing to be specific. I felt no emotion, nor could I force myself to show any emotion. I honestly couldn’t stop doing things either. I was cleaning and packing and fidgeting, I could not stop moving. I needed to do things so my mind would not wander back to what had happened. So that my mind would not think about all the horrible thoughts it had been thinking earlier.

I did not want to face what had happened to me.

That next day was the day I was moving back home for the summer. It was tough, tough, tough. Half of the drive I just sat in pure silence. The other half of the time I tried to rock out so hard, to bang my head to the music so much that maybe just maybe the memories of what had happened would cease to exist. Maybe they would slip out of my ear, or my brain would rattle so much and hit my skull just right that I would lose that memory. Maybe I would get lucky and forget everything that happened because at the moment that seemed like the best scenario.

You would think that being home would help. That being away from where the assault had happened would help. Let me tell you, it didn’t. That last summer I had sat in my room countless times on the phone with him, or skyping him. I have an entire wall of cork-board that I use to hang photos, and of course he was on there… more than once. He was haunting me. He was everywhere. He was in half of the memories I had from my freshman year and some of my sophomore year memories as well. We have many mutual friends, so whenever I would think of them I would think of him as well.

My thoughts were the worst. They were a broken record of negativity. I mean how would you feel if someone who once was your best friend betrayed you like that? How much worth would you place on yourself if this person that had meant so much to you thought so little of you that they invaded you, violated you with such little thought about it or about you. At that moment in time you meant nothing to them. You were just a body, just an item, just a means to an end. And out of all people, someone you trusted your life with, someone who had been your best friend. If THEY out of ALL people could not see your worth in that moment who the fuck will.

When I was home everything reminded me of him, reminded me of what had happened. So much so that I could not focus. All I thought about is how I needed new new new. I could not escape my own body so maybe I could escape anything that reminded me of him at home. I impulsively decided to redo my whole room and go through my whole wardrobe. I painted my walls white. A clean slate. I got a new bed spread, took down all my photos, rearranged my room, and bought new decorations. I got rid of 1/2 my wardrobe. Especially anything that I knew I wore around him, or a lot during my freshman year of college. Then I bought a new wardrobe. Pathetically, how I was feeling after him sexually assaulting me cost me hundreds of dollars. Hundreds. Just because I was trying to escape everything I was feeling.

I can admit that while this helped a little bit, it didn’t help much. I did not feel like doing anything. I did not want to do anything. My bed is where I wanted to be, craved to be. My blankets were my safe zone, they were protecting me from anyone and everyone.

For the longest time I felt as though I did not own my own body. It was not my own. My body had this strange feeling that my skin was not attached to me. My skin merely was levitating around my body, not quite there, but there enough for me to know that I was a prisoner of this strange feeling. It was there 24/7 for over a month.

Honestly the only thing that made me stop feeling such a way, the only reason I am picked up out of the ditch I was in is because I started focusing on making my body my own again. My fitness was my main focus. Then there was camp. Camp helped me realize that there is so much more to life than the bad things that happens to us. I know that is crazy to say that camp, where we got yelled at and smoked all the time. Where lack of sleep was a norm happened to be the place I finally realized that I was stronger than that. I was stronger than the situation I was forced into by this wretched human. That I was stronger than letting myself just hate him. That God had made me stronger than the chains that were surrounding me. I finally realized the chains were gone before I even knew it because of God. I cannot say that through this whole journey of my healing I made all the right decisions. There are moments I would like to take back, or think over through this whole thing. Moments of weakness I had while trying to regain my sense of self-ownership over my body, but thankfully through Gods grace I am learning to forgive myself and learn from these mistakes.

Today, talking about the situation still gives me quite a bit of anxiety. I no longer feel as though my skin is levitating, with the exception of my hands though this only occurs when the topic is brought up. I am in the process of forgiving this human. I am not, and cannot do it alone. Which is why I have seeked out a few amazing friends, and Gods word of course. I am not afraid to answer any questions that one might have about what has happened to me. And I am finally happy that I have finally built up the courage to get this horrible incident off of my chest. God Bless.

Reso-late-lutions

Yes yes I know it is the first day of March, and you are probably thinking, “Karly you missed the time allowed to talk about resolutions!” And in a way I agree with those who think that, but then again the two resolutions I am going to mention in this blog are incredibly important to me so I want to use this post to be a reminder.

The first resolution I have is to trust. Trust God. Trust my friends. Trust my family. Trust my heart. Trust my knowledge.Trust myself.

The Bible repeatedly tells us to trust God. Maybe not bluntly, but in many passages the message is to do so. I understand this. I understand the fact the he has unconditional love for me. I understand he sent his only son to die for MY sins. Yet why can I not fully trust him? I have this constant battle between surrendering it all to him, and only letting him help me with half of my struggles. He who created the universe. He who makes all things right. He who will love me and comfort me far more than anyone I could come into contact with. Gosh why cant my brain just hook onto that and feed off of it. I understand it, but my resolution is to let this consume and fill me up. I need to trust in his plan for my future, and trust he will provide what I need whether it be money or a confidence boost ; Trust God with my whole being.

Not many people realize this but I have major trust issues. I will go day by day pretending I trust the people around me so they do not feel insulted, but I confess I do not trust many people. Even if you might think I do. That sounds rude, but I cant help it. I cannot help the fact the I have been living my life with the same people for 6 months and there is only one person I can say I semi-trust. I see this as a problem. How can I fully be myself, or let out my emotions when I am feeling overwhelmed if there is no one I trust around me? I mean, yes, I can call up one of my best friends who are hundreds of miles away, but nothing could beat having someone right there next to me eating junk food and getting sad with. So my resolution is to let people in and trust them, because like Earnest Hemingway said “the best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

Then trust myself. Oh boy, oh boy. Do you ever just feel super insecure? Not just about appearances or how stupid you sound when you talk, but about your intelligence or social skills? Well I do. Sometimes I will be talking to someone and I just think to myself, “Why would anyone in this world care about one single thing I say.” Then other times I will be writing about a topic and I think, “Wow this is only something someone who is smart should be writing about, I bet anything I write will not make sense, oh great.” This semester I want to apply myself so much that I cannot deny the fact that I am intelligent enough to be typing about the topic given to me. I also want to just let go of my expectations for myself, as in how I look or need to act, and trust that I am good enough.

My second resolution I have is to remember every second might be my last.

The other day in one of my classes my teacher mentioned this. She spoke about how she tries to live in every moment, and outing she gets. For example running errands with your mom, though it may be a silly task that is a necessity you may never get to create those memories again, so make the most of it. Be in the moment. And live it up, because how much would you regret just going through the motions of something with someone if you found out that was the last time you got to do that with them, or just flat out get to be with them. We are not guaranteed any amount of time in life, so expecting to see someone tomorrow, or be alive yourself tomorrow isn’t realistic. Make the most of every moment, and make every moment a memory for other people too 🙂

Gods Purposeful Miracles

God performs a lot of miracles, but most of the time they get thought of as just that, miracles. The part where it was God’s work goes unsaid, and it’s been weighing on my heart to give God credit for me being alive right now.

Buu4LrmCAAAtuA4 Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 1.24.14 AM  Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 3.01.12 PM

Some may know that on July 10th of this year God decided I was worthy of one of these miracles. To be specific; As I was at the river for a friends birthday, I climbed up a cliff and on top of a giant tree root in front of a rope swing. Then as I had one hand on the rope swings handle, I was looking to the right of me as I discussed with my friends if I should take the leap or faith or not. Well lets just say my body made the decision that I should before I actually knew I was going to do so, because I somehow slipped off the tree trunk after I spun my head around to look at the river in front of me. And before I knew it I was swinging in the air with one hand on the handle, which eventually couldn’t hold my body weight anymore, slipping to my doom. (So people say) When I slipped off the handle I ended up falling about 20 feet down to the beach. I hit my butt, then back, then my head, knocking myself out for 30-45 seconds. Which explains why I remember nothing after the moment I turned my head to view the river before me.

{Pictures above // Left:Me thinking it was all a big joke as I posted to my snapchat story HAH Center: Getting some work done by awesome firefighters. Right: Tree/cliff I fell from.}

After firefighters, 2 ambulances, a cat scan, an MRI, and 3 nights in the ER; I was given the verdict that I had a bruised tailbone, a concussion, and 4 sprained ligaments in my spine. But within those 4 days, and 3 nights in the ER I heard countless stories about how I shouldn’t be walking, yet alone alive. Everyone else who had come to that hospital after going through a fall like mine, and, or a fall from that exact rope swing, never walked away from it. Yet there I was, alive, and walking out of the hospital. There is no other explanation for this other than that it was a miracle from God.

Not only did God give me this amazing miracle, he gave me a support group. People surrounded me and loved on me. They came to visit me in my four days of being there, and sent me messages filled with love. Though I attempted to keep it from as many people as I could my friends wanted everyone to know I was struggling and deserved love, which caused more people to contact me with the same worry and love they had. I never realized before that moment I had actually impacted peoples lives to the point that they were afraid of loosing me, and worried about the fact that I was in pain. I unintentionally left some sort of mark in others hearts and lives, knowing this warmed my soul almost as much as Gods loving miracle he gave me did.

I cannot explain why God chose me, or what I’m supposed to think about the fact that he did. But I thank him every day for the fact that I get to live this life that he has blessed me with. I constantly struggle with the question of “Why me? Out of all the incidents like mine, why am I the one walking away from it?”. And as of right now, God has decided that its not my time to know this answer, but to know I’m supposed to dwell on the fact that he did it for a reason.

Knowing that there was a reason behind it has caused me to constantly search for possibilities of why, and I think I have found a hint of what it could be. Recently I was talking to this guy about how he knows so many people, and his simple response was “well people are the single most amazing thing on this earth”. The truth behind that hit me hard. People are amazing. So many of them have beautiful souls that I want to get to know, that I want to help. These beautiful souls are hiding, or confused, or suffering and they need our help. Our help to not only show them the love of God and all he can do, but to show him the love that overwhelms us causing us to want to love on them as well. We need to overflow with kindness and selflessness. So that is what I have discovered. I am called to make a difference in the lives of others, and help them and much as I can.

At least that is as much as I can tell for now. I will still be asking God with a patient heart to reveal the answers to me, but I know in time he will show me and open the doors to get me where I need to be as long as I stay faithful to him and work to be all he has called me to be, because we need to never forget that “We are the clay, HE is the potter; we are all the work of His hand.” Isaiah 64:8

Romans 12

Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function

Romans 12:6-8 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

In our society it is more common to condemn those unlike the rest rather than to celebrate their astonishing gifts and differences. Why must everyone fit into this cookie-cutter image, acquire a lengthy list of personality traits, and have certain talents to live an “ideal” life and to be accepted by most? The Bible is so clear that not everyone can be alike, and not everyone can fit into a box. Different gifts are a blessing, even when this world treats them as a curse, these gifts are all for a reason. Each person in this chaotic world is unique, their gifts are used to relate to others and help those in need in a variety of ways. Your reasoning behind discrediting the gifts you may have should not be just because society does not mark them as ideal, every gift is important in such ways. Search for those ways. Society has such an ordinary bland look at life and how people should be, break out of that box and be the bizarre person they may see you as, because you will make a difference in someones life regardless if your gift is out of the ordinary or not.

Mexico 2014 – Heartbeat

How could one put into words a trip that impacted one’s life? It is difficult to do so, but I shall try anyways.

This year was my second time going with Bayside Church to Mexico for a mission trip, but this year was FAR different from last. Both happened to be touching and eye-opening on opposite spectrums, and in opposite ways. I can’t lie, last year was irreplaceable. I mean it was the year I rededicated my life to Christ. But with all that said, this year deeply affected my character in a way that last year did not.

Most people will tell you the little niños are what impacted them the most on these sorts of trips, and normally it is true. For me though this year was different, the other high schoolers and adults impacted me more than the niños. This was shocking to me because I did not expect that to happen at all. Approaching departure day I had multiple doubts about whether or not this year would affect me in any way. I was convinced my team was filled with duds (people who had zero fire for Christ and no desire whatsoever to be friends). I drilled into my brain that the only way to not be judged by them was to be sheltered. I was scared, and told myself “everyone on your team hates you, just stay quiet”. Man oh man how reality struck me on that first 8 hour car ride. As everyone among me let their walls crumble down, I saw what truly lied beneath. My eyes saw opened and willing hearts for Christ, they saw vulnerability, but most importantly they saw a longing for love. Almost every one of my team mates was broken in a different way. Brokenness is not something that can be explained by the lips, but only by actions that paint a picture of who they truly are and what their hearts are missing. I encountered various pictures, among which nearly all managed to touch my heart and clear my blurred vision. My Impact team was full of broken people gathering together with a similar purpose, and craving for Christ. We referred to ourselves as The Band of Misfits, yes cliché I know but it fits us perfectly.

This Band of Misfits taught me numerous lessons. This Band of Misfits built me up. This Band of Misfits loved on me. This Band of Misfits changed me. There is no possible way I could thank them for everything they unknowingly did for me.

Jameson revealed to me what confidence looks like; he helped my step out and be myself in confidence.

Gabby is a true model of what it meant to be obedient to Christ in all you do. She put gasoline on the fire I had for Christ.

Alyssa showed me the importance of staying true to who you are. She is my constant reminder to not chip away who I am to mirror society.

Both Ali and Chloe were mirrors of true strength. They are perfect examples of what it means to trust Christ in everything he does and in all his plans for you.

Chris revealed to me the importance of silence. And taught me that silence creates a mood of peace and comfort, which is necessary during certain times.

Cole showed me how necessary it is to be open to new friends. He also opened my eyes to see our world is drowning in judgmental people, thus teaching me the importance of not judging others.

Blake showed me true passion and determination. I have never seen someone with such drive, especially in furthering his knowledge of Christ.

Ellie was the one person who bluntly told me I need to build more strength. Strength: to defend myself, to be able to carry others burden, and strength against the enemy. I cannot describe how overly joyed I am that she did this for me.

Although I did admit that my team impacted me more than the niños did, I never said they  have no effect on me. Two niños in particular touched me in a way they could never understand. Cesia was a 4-year-old young lady who had eyes you could get lost in. Just the sound of her laugh alone could put a smile on anyone’s face. By the third day my Impact team was on site, Cesia knew only my name and was introducing me to her mom. Just the sheer honor of her knowing only my name was touching, but her introducing me to her mom was heartwarming. Then there was Monse. Her simple, silent presence pulled me in. She was a girl of few words, yet I couldn’t find myself ever wanting her to leave my side. Luckily she never wanted to anyways. I will never forget her wrapping her arms around me, looking up with a giant smile, followed by the biggest squeeze she could give me. We broke out into laughter every time. Finally, on the second to last day she opened up to me. Monse held a full conversation with me where she told me all about herself and her family. Within that conversation alone I had watched her eyes brighten far more than they had been on any other day. Little did I know at that time, she had never spoken to anyone else on my team. To be honest I never knew how much I meant to her untill I was saying goodbye to her. While I was hugging her I looked down at the treasure chest craft she had made, surprisingly instead of looking down and seeing the chest filled with the signatures of my entire team… I looked down and saw only one signature, mine.

My favorite moment on the trip:

There were many amazing moments that I could never forget, but to be honest affirmations was by far my favorite. Pathetic, I know. We had two twins on our team, both of which gave me an affirmation. They told me how memorable I made this trip for them. Then continued to compliment my laugh saying how someone could walk into a room where I was laughing and immediately start laughing too because my laugh was so contagious. One of the twins told me that I was an example of someone who stayed positive in every situation and found happiness in the little things. Sweetly, the other told me I was one of the people who made them crave to know more about Christ. Ellie was another person who gave me an affirmation, though hers was definitely out of the ordinary. She explained that she was convinced she could not like any girls whatsoever, but I gave her hope that she can not only like but also be friends with girls again! Though Blake, Cole, and Ellie all gave me very heartfelt affirmations the one that affected me the most was the affirmation I received from our translator, Oscar. Oscar went on telling me I reminded him of his sister, explaining that compliment was the highest compliment he could give anyone. This man who had become my friend complimented me saying I was so full of happiness and life that I create a chain reaction to those around me. But lastly, to top it off he told me I helped him find his fire for Christ again, and straightened his priorities in life.

I never knew just the raw version of myself could make such an impact on those around me, even when I’m not trying to. Hearing those affirmations truly opened up my eyes to see the truth. The truth is: who I am does not matter as long as I am obedient to Christ, and as long as I have a relationship with him. How others define me lacks importance, and how they view me should not be a worry in this mind of mine. This truth has set me free.