I was lost.
I was alone.
I was rejected.
I was broken.
I was empty.
I felt comfort in guys.
I was so desperate for love;
understanding. companionship. trust.
I sometimes did not want to live.
but now am found.
I am never alone.
I am accepted by Him and my sisters and brothers.
I am complete in Him.
I have a purpose.
I am comforted by God.
I never again have to fight to earn love. to have love.
I am understood.
I am never let down by Him.
God rescued me.
Hi, my name is Katherine, Katherine Huynh. I’m a twenty-one year old college student who’s life has been a collage of mixed media littered with nuances of loss. Beyond the bright and sunny exterior that I often portrayed, there was a insatiable hole that no one and nothing could fill. My tales of love and the lack of has provided a strange bread crumb trail to ultimately, my greatest love of all.
My first memories of love was not a romantic love, it wasn’t even with a boy. I had one of the truest forms of love, friendship. I met my best friend in the second grade, we both had the same teacher and the same haircut. We looked almost identical aside from my round harry potter-esque glasses and her adorable beauty mark. She easily assimilated within my family and they adopted her as their own. We experienced many firsts together and remained fast friends for the next five years.
I admired the way she handled her self and her confidence that exuded off of her. Her charm and intelligent was incomparable to none. I was the more awkward one, the one that was quiet and bashful. My teachers even put my into ESL because I was so soft-spoken. My best friend was the one that taught me what the love between friends was; a love that was very sacrificing between two peers. I could honestly and earnestly say that I loved her.
Mid-middle school was when things shifted. The friendship that we both shared, she rejected with a swift verbal withdrawal.
“Sorry Katherine, but I don’t want to be friends anymore.”
She even had one of my other friends repeat that same phrase with her. With no hindsight and no reasons behind that apology, the shock shook my foundation. The one person I thought loved me, now rejected me. I felt utterly alone and unloved. My worth that depended on her years of love and approval was flipped upside down. I became worthless in my own eyes. I constantly asked myself “Why did she leave me?” turned to “What is wrong with me? What did I do wrong? How could I have changed? Am I that hard to love?” and finally into “Would she miss me if I was gone? If I died would she come to my funeral? If I killed myself, would she even care?” I wrote countless suicide notes and kept them hidden inside my jewelry box and hidden from everyone. My happy mask was just so easy to wear.
I sought comfort and stability with guys instead.
The biggest difference between friendships and relationships was the level of commitment that surrounded the bond between us. With friendship, there’s a non-verbal commitment that I equated with uncertainty and dressed up with insecurities because when did anyone ever ask to be your best friend? Friendship usually goes unexpressed. On the other hand, in a dating relationship, If the guy wanted to be a relationship with me, they had to explicitly ask me to be theirs; to pick and choose me. My mentality was that if they choose me and wanted me in the beginning, they would never do what my best friend did to me; to leave me without explanation.
I never wanted my heart to hurt so much again.
For every year since I started high school, I have had a boyfriend or someone I’ve been involved with. I placed unrealistic expectations where they had to fulfill my need, every desire. To say the perfect words to comfort my insecurities and doubts, to be on the same page with me every step of the way.
To love me the way I wanted to be loved.
In exchange, I gave them my heart to be consumed by theirs. I wanted them to be my everything and for me to be their everything. I was desperate for love and to be loved. Unfortunately, every relationship consists of two flawed human beings, each with their own broken souls. Neither of us could save ourselves, nonetheless each other. We could not be each other’s saviors and I felt so empty after all of these relationships. I cut myself line after line to feel the physical pain which distracted me and relieved me from my emotional pain. I was so lost in my own worthlessness. At the end of the pursuit of love, I simply wanted someone to understand me and tell me I was not alone.
I started to go to church because of this guy I was dating. In all sincerity, he was different from all of the other guys I have ever encountered. There was a light that seemed to emanate from him. His eyes were gentle, his manners were humble, and his laughter stirred joy into my heart. I have never dated anyone before that was Christian. I knew that his family was steeped with faith, his father being a missionary and pastor and his mother having a heart that feared God was something that slightly turned me off, yet intrigued my soul. My mind flitted from question to question to what shaped this man I was dating, why he was so different to anyone I have ever known.
I asked him to take me to his home church, to listen to others speak about this god that seemed too good to be true and to learn more about this faith that I knew the bare minimum about. I liked church simply because it urged me to become a better person, to be more reflective of the person I have been and am. The sermons were inundated with words like forgiveness, love, goodness, strength, joy, and hope that made my heart light and started to pull me out of my own darkness.
Before that summer I started to attend church, all I knew about Christianity was that it was a cold, calculating religion that weighed between right and wrongs. It was a religion that sifted between the saints and sinners and condemned those who didn’t believe and obey blindly to hell. I had very few friends who were christians or even those who labeled themselves as religious. Meanwhile, I proudly labeled myself as a Buddhist and honestly did think myself as above a religion who’s followers were weak and ignorant enough to invent a god that did nothing for them, because he didn’t exist. I was merely intrigued by the mechanics and reasons behind such a religion, though my budding relationship definitely softened my distaste for christianity. I even joined a christian fellowship at my college after the summer passed and read from the book of proverbs everyday with him.
One day, I began to question if this God that all these christians at the church and the fellowship talked about and loved was real.
Was God real?
Is God, the god in the Holy Bible?
My first real step began when I prayed, out loud. Feeling nervous and uncertain, I quietly whispered these words during my morning shower.
“God. Hi. My name is Katherine.”
Feeling foolish when my ears caught the words in-between the pounding warm water, I sheepishly smiled and washed those silly notions away along with my hair.
On a particular friday, the fellowship gathered at a local church and at the end of large group the praise leader led us into a time of prayer for each other. My background of prayer consisted of patches of routine prayers at the buddhist temple to my timid, shaky prayer in the shower to a god that I did not remotely know.
I was in no place to pray for others.
Fortunately, a friend I met a couple of weeks before asked to pray for me. I consented, while thinking about a time just a year ago where a kind-hearted stranger from the busy walkways of VCU asked to pray for me, but I brusquely turned him away and rejected him.
She spoke tenderly about the love that God has for me and asked God to encounter me so I can know that I am his daughter, that I am His. Something deep inside of me shifted and broke my heart as I sat there silently listening to her genuine requests before this god. As we stood to conclude our night with praise, tears upon tears slide down my cheeks as we sang “Forever Reign.” I wiped away my tears, utterly confused to why I was even crying. I was neither sad or angry, the only word that I could describe how I felt was “overwhelmed”. I could not help but cry. I looked to my friend with a furrowed brow and questions in my eyes wondering why I was crying. She simply said it was the Holy Spirit. I had no clue what that meant, but sought no more answers and wiped my face dry.
However, every large group and service I went to afterwards, I could not help but cry. Each time it was empty of sadness, but left an interesting aftertaste of peace. Even at the parties I often attended and drank at, the songs and melodies of praise songs floated in my mind when there was a calm during the storm.
A few months later, on November 14, 2010 God shared with me a little secret that transformed my life. I cried out in desperation to be loved and rescued from my pain and sadness, that I really did need someone to rescue me, to be my hero, my Savior. And Jesus Christ answered. All the puzzle pieces I’ve been hearing at church and my fellowship, just suddenly clicked and created a bigger picture. In John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”. I have always had to work to earn love and worth from others, why else would someone love me then? He showed me that He loved me in my own brokenness and fear, that He not only wanted to heal my broken heart, but to give me a new whole heart and a new Spirit. Jesus showed me that when He was nailed to the wooden cross and crucified, that I was even worthy of someone worth dying for. Those are the hands that reached out to me that day. All because He loved me and wanted me near enough to see it. Jesus promised that I will never be alone again, that He will never leave me nor forsaken me, His love will never disappoint me. That I never have to be scared to feel His love. Knowing God and living for Him won’t make your life perfect; you’re not guaranteed the riches of the world nor a life without hardships. But God does promise that He loves us completely. To this day, He has never broken His promises to me. I was the lost sheep that He found.
Kermit the Frog said something quite wonderful and quite true, “Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, you know, maybe you just need one person.”
For me, that one person is God.