My home group meets on Thursday nights. We shook it up last week and shared our testimonies. I could have talked for two hours straight and not told my entire story, but I condensed mine into a tenish minute tale. The whole time, I kept talking about moving and being abandoned and all of the junk that I went through and I could feel myself getting so hot and flushed.
But He was there.
I started with growing up in a relatively non-Christian home and how we went to church very rarely, usually only on Christmas Eve at random churches.
He was there.
And then we lived with some really awesome people who gave me my first Bible. We lived in their mobile home outside of their house and it was cramped and not fun, but I have these vivid memories of reading the Bible out loud one day when my belly was aching from hunger.
And He was there.
It was around this time that I started going to youth group at the church where the owners of the mobile home went. I didn’t go very long, maybe a year at most, but in the midst of my crazy life, I could count on that couple’s oldest daughter to pick me up from the motel where I lived and take me home when it was over on Friday nights. I had two hours of escape each week.
He was there.
And years later, I had moved on to an unhealthy church and my life kind of fell apart. Like, not kind of. It did. I had a terrible boyfriend and made a lot of awful life decisions about my body and my heart and things were so dark. But even though I was at an unhealthy church, I was semi-regularly reading my Bible and spending time with an accountability leader.
He was still there.
Oh, and then we enter my last years, my wandering years. The years I wondered and hid and fought for myself and the Krista the world encouraged me to be. I was vocal and angry and at times hateful, and I lashed out at people and God and religion but through it all, I still have good Christian friends who loved me and fed me…
And oh my, He was still there.
A friend told me about this cool timeline she did years ago as this weekend therapy getaway. She plotted out all of the significant events in her life, and when she looked at the whole timeline, she said it was so, so clear that God was still in all of those events (many of which were difficult things). She saw how He protected her and kept her.
I’ve always known God has been with my in all of these details, but it’s so hard to think about sometimes. Maybe it’s because I am now with God, in a healthy church who teaches the Bible, that I can see how He has always made it so He was with me. I see the picture fully now when there’s no way I could see it fully in the midst of the pain. (Well, I actually don’t see the picture fully. Maybe I will see it that way in Heaven. For now, I can see the past more fully.) There has never been a moment in my life, aside from when I was really young, too young to remember, that I haven’t had at least one Christian who truly loved and loves God in my life.
He has been here all along.
And it gives me so much hope and encouragement as I look ahead to the unknown because I know if He was with me in all of that junk and darkness, He will be with me as I walk with Him in light and in truth.