Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Struggle Is Rewarding

I got asked the question today when I was going to blog again, and I said that I really didn't know!
I'm not the typical blogger that posts every day, well, not anymore at least, (thank goodness I didn't tie myself to another 365 day blog!) so I never really think about when to blog. This person then asked, "So Katie. You've had a long engagement, you're getting married in a little over two months...what's been going on in between? How are you doing? Have there been any 'the struggle is real' moments?"


To be quite honest, this is something that has been on my heart and mind for some time now, but I didn't exactly know what to say or really how to even begin to explain-- until tonight.
As some of you may know, or I hope you grasp as you read my blog, my goal in every post is to be completely transparent about my life, my struggles, my highs, my lows, and everything in between...but what exactly is the "in between"?
I've shared some of my darkest times, I've shared my dreamy fairytale of how I met my now fiancĂ© , I've shared my struggles with long distant dating, and even the details and photos of my very intimate marriage proposal.
In all of this, my heart's cry is to remain genuine and transparent.
So here, at 12 am, by myself in a hotel room in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I attempt to write about what's tugging on my heart strings--
the "in between".

Let me catch you up (long story short) on what's happened and where I'm at now.
I was engaged in October, took a short trip to Tennessee in November, came back to Washington, flew back to Tennessee in December for a couple months (so Ken could train and workout with other players), flew back to Washington in the end of February, two weeks after that I flew to Arizona (for Spring Training), two weeks after that I flew back to Washington (PS. I graduated college around this time), two months after that I flew to Oklahoma (where Ken played this season), stayed there for three weeks and flew back to Washington, close to two months later I flew back to Oklahoma, stayed for two weeks, tomorrow I'll fly to Charlotte, North Carolina (to watch one of my Maid of Honors get married!!), I'll spend two days there, fly back to Washington, and after that, I literally have no clue where Ken or I will even be in two weeks.

My life's not as crazy as some others', let me tell you,
but here's the thing...I wouldn't trade it for the world.
I think it's important to be very transparent about the "in between"
... because without that, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Like I said, I was engaged in October.
Our first months of engagement were amazing. I was so happy and excited to get to spend the rest of my life with literally the man of my dreams (insert 500 heart eye emojis)
And then... after four months of being engaged, I had never been more tormented by the enemy in my entire life.
The stress of wedding planning, finishing my senior year in college to graduate, working, and the stress of a long distance engagement was overwhelming.
The devil loved it, and went to work.

For some reason, I started feeling really unworthy to even be engaged to Ken.
I felt like any mistake or thought that I had done in the past made me "un-marry-able".
I struggled with the heavy burden of my sin whether I viewed it as
"small" or "large", a thought or an action.
I kept counting strikes against myself, beating myself up, trying to remember any good that I ever did and I just grew tired and weary because the struggle of good and evil deeds in my life was immeasurable on both sides, and quite frankly the bad, selfish sinful nature inside of me kept outweighing any glimpse of the "good girl" that was supposably in there too.

I struggled to find my identity in Christ, and struggled even more to believe that He not only replaced my sins with Himself, but also all the shame that comes with that.
I struggled with the way I thought Kenneth viewed me.
I thought that in order to feel better about myself, I had to tell him every sin I had ever committed, and if he accepted me I was good, but if he got hurt, judged me, or was taken back at all.. well I was simply doomed beyond rescuing.
The enemy had me so convinced that the label of my past or the struggles I've faced or still face would ultimately wreck my future marriage, that Ken deserved way better, and that there was no way I should get married.
And, if I'm being completely honest?
That I should even call off the engagement.

Maybe you have felt this way, and maybe you haven't.
You feel wrecked by what you've done, and you think there's no way you could ever change.
You think you're good for nothing, and that you have most people fooled on who you really are.
Often times you feel like you don't even know who you are because of the lies or facades you have put up to impress people, that you've even started believing about yourself.
Now, you're stuck in this limbo of whether or not you're worthy of someone else's love or I would even say this... if you are worthy, good enough, or even capable of loving someone else.

All I know is that at one point in your life, if not even right this moment, you have felt completely unworthy of a great destiny or influence.
Women, you feel unworthy to be loved because you have been promiscuous in your past- or even last night- have a deep hidden secret that you don't want anyone to know, or you just can't say no to your influential friends.
Men, you just keep battling and going to war with lust, cravings, and addictions that satisfy for a moment but leave you guilty to the point of absolute torment.
So.. what do we do?
Is there an answer?


I will be the first to admit that I saw a therapist, and got counceling by my pastors.
So many times our problems seem too large to handle.
I know for many of us (including myself), we bottle these things up out of fear that people won't understand, will judge us, or will tell other people.
I am a firm believer in seeing a therapist.
Don't be embarrassed about that.
You're not embarrassed to go to the doctor when you have a physical wound, why should you be embarrassed going to someone who can help with your emotional wounds?
Just do it.
Trust me.
(I know and work with some amazing therapists, if you need recommendations PLEASE ask me.)

I told Kenneth all my struggles, my thoughts, my worries... and all the in betweens through this whole process.
He was the one person that the devil convinced me would reject me.
But guess what?
He was the very person that helped (and continues to help) heal my deep emotional wounds.
He treats me like Jesus does.
When I do wrong against him, he is quick to forgive.
When I am scared, he assures me and imparts faith in me.
When I feel unworthy or tormented by Satan and his schemes...he pulls me close, holds me tight, and affirms me exactly how Jesus would.

Do not be afraid of rejection;
Bond with someone who has grasped the grace of Jesus.

Watch this video.
It's 8 minutes long, but I promise
it helped me through my darkest shames, guilts, and anxieties.

I watch this video whenever I feel attacked by the enemy.
God's love for me is greater than anything I've ever done or will do.
The fact is that I did nothing to deserve his love, and I can do absolutely nothing to undo it.
I don't care if you feel your reputation will struggle, you won't have friends, or that you'll lose someone close- I have felt this way to my the very core and in the worst way imaginable, and God proved faithful to rescue me, assure me, accept me, and proclaim me as free from every torment, shame, and guilt.
Now, I get to help you.
Then, you get to help someone else.

The struggle was real.
There were many 'the struggle is real' moments.
And there will always be struggles.
But you know what?
It was really rewarding.
I've now come to a place, not even three months later,
where my anxiety is no more,
I feel confident that Christ takes away the shame and weight of my mistakes,
I know I will be an amazing wife and someday mom,
 and all that struggle?
It is rewarding.
Because I get to blog about it.
I get to help other people.

I've learned to look at every struggle as a method that God uses to draw me closer to him, and in turn, help other people...which is all my heart longs for.