Starting last year, I had been learning a lot about myself. A lot about what makes me vulnerable, what wounds me, what happened in my past to make me the way I am today. How those actions have influenced my whole life. And I started stripping them from me and that made me raw. Like when you peel off dead skin, but didn’t wait for the skin underneath to gain strength. I saw the sin and lies and was like, “I want it off of me.”
But, two things happen when you do that.
A) you get disappointed with yourself for not being able to take it all off at once.
B) you now no longer know how to defend yourself.
You see, I was a kid who became smart and observant and made my words matter because at least then when people didn’t like me, when I didn’t have friends, when I got rejected, it was because they were inferior.
But last year, I learned that that was a sinful response I had created to cope with a deep wound and lie of not being good enough. So, what does Kate do? She uses her big brain and stops that defense. She peels it off and says it isn’t a part of her anymore. But what did Kate not do? She did not heal from the wound of not being good enough. And she did not put on the God given armor I talked about in my last blog.
Then, I come to Kenya. And it’s more than obvious that I was supposed to come here and meet DOOR. Jesus was fully in that decision and I stand by it. But what’s that thing they say about great heroes? Great heroes have great enemies? Something like that. The Enemy saw me, walking in a path Jesus had for me, with no armor on. No protection. I was like the lead character in a cop show who doesn’t wear a helmet in the house raid because TV.
So, the hits started coming. And then they kept coming. And then they got worse. My team didn’t instantly like me. Then they still didn’t like me after weeks. Then one bluntly turned down my invitation to come watch a movie with me, “I don’t want to.” Then another decided he couldn’t understand me. “You sign like these cheesy JWs. Only worse.” Then, they doubted all my capabilities. “Kate, you should practice in front of all of us so we can watch and make sure you did it right even though you just practiced with that guy.”
And I was hurt. And I was angry. And I was bruised. And I was judgemental. And I was lonely. And I was hurt. And you know how feral a wounded animal gets? That was me.
But, I am not the daughter of the most high King for nothing. I am not abandoned. I am not alone. Jesus comes to your rescue. Jesus breaks your chains. Jesus heals. Jesus sets the captives free. And Jesus calms the wild beasts.
Jesus sent me gifts and constant reminders that he was there. If I would have been calm enough to see them and bask in their glory. He brought me brownies. And a girl who loved me the second she saw me. And a 5 year old with an imagination the size of C.S. Lewis’. And he brought me excellent internet for a whole weekend where I got to call so many of the people who do love me and talk for so many hours. And he had me bring Live Free by John Eldridge with me. And he was able to calm me down and help brush me off and put the breastplate of righteousness on. And patience. So much patience.
So, maybe you’re feeling defeated. Maybe you’re feeling like the world is over and there’s no point. Maybe you’re feeling the angriest and the most hurt you’ve ever felt. Look for Jesus. He’s there. He loves you. Put on a piece of armor and live in it. Then get another one. Ask Jesus to heal your wounds. Then ask him to change your responses. And remember, you’re never alone. You aren’t fighting alone. I’ll fight beside you. And Jesus, oh Jesus, he’s at the front, he’s got your back, he sends his angels to guard you and he has conquered, will conquer, forever conquer your enemies.
But, we have to remember, people are not our enemies. The Enemy uses people. He uses their wounds and their sinful responses to hurt us. Idk my teammates wounds, I don’t know their hurts, but I know they have them. So, I don’t only pray for Jesus to heal my wounds, but to heal theirs. I don’t want to curse them or judge them. I want to lift them up. So, I put on the sword of the truth, and I go meet them again and again. You can, too.