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Chasing False Peace

“I remember going to kindergarten and I would be the last one picked up on a – on a regular basis. And so, it just – sometimes I just felt, that I didn't matter.”

Katie’s parents worked hard to provide the best for Katie and her sister.  But the pressures of running a business and other obligations commanded much of their time.

“I know how much they loved me and despite them doing the best they could, I don't feel like I was a priority. I was so hungry for attention.”

A child with boundless energy, Katie excelled at gymnastics, and later cheerleading and beauty pageants.  They brought her the attention she needed.  School, on the other hand, was a different story.   

“Despite my greatest efforts, I did not excel at school.  Grades were very, very difficult. I had a younger sister who did very well, very easily. She did get the praise and the reward for that. It was beginning to paint a picture of my identity.”

She was a teenager when she had her first glass of champagne – she liked how it tasted, and how it made her feel.

“I felt some false peace when I had champagne or liquor. Even if temporarily, I enjoyed it and I wanted it again.”

By high school, drinking was also a way to get noticed.

“If I could be like everybody else and do what everybody else is doing then maybe I’m not weird and broken and wounded, and so I’m just going to do what this whole crowd of people is doing, and uh and then I’ll be okay.”

Despite her average grades, Katie got accepted into college, and studied journalism. There she was diagnosed with adhd, and prescribed Ritalin.  It worked, and Katie finished college as a straight ‘a’ student. But doing well in school wasn’t enough.   

“I started taking it when I would go out.  I started taking it all the time.  And I would take double the dose cause if one's good, let's do double.  And that’s how it was for the next ten years.”

After college, Katie landed her dream job as a TV reporter. To her it would make everything right in her life. But the pressures of the job only deepened her dependency.

“I started off with Ritalin but then it went to Adderall and Adderall went to Dexedrine. And these are gradually stronger versions. I didn't stay at that job a year, and I just walked away.”

That would set Katie on a self-destructive pattern that would last 7 more years.   In that time, she quit several jobs, started a business that failed, and call off two wedding engagements.  

“I'm just searching for anything to make the hurt go away.  Cause my brokenness and my pain level at this time, I was – I was hurting badly. If I stopped some of the prescription pills, I seemed to drink more.  And if I stopped drinking I did more of the prescription pills.”   

In 2007, less than a year after taking a job as a state lobbyist in Georgia, Katie was fired.   

“Being able to function was really just snatched away and mentally I went into a place of just literal torment. I'm drinking heavily. Smoking a lot of marijuana because that's just something that really was an escape. And I just looked in the mirror and my eyes were so empty.”

With no money, she moved into a small cabin on her parents’ property in Georgia, and decided to end her life.  

“I didn’t have any hope, I didn't see a way out.  And-and-and the level of anxiety and torment that I was in was so-so heavy, and I wasn't in my right mind.  But when I made that decision it sounded like a good decision.”

That night Katie had a dream.

“The ceiling like disappeared and I was underneath the most beautiful starry sky, and the room was just electric. God began to speak to my heart. What I felt was loved and treasured, extraordinarily valued, priceless, a princess he showed me that. // he made me feel like, like I was his only daughter.”

Katie gave her life to Christ and spent the next two months in the cabin reading the bible, praying and, with God’s help, overcoming her addictions. She emerged with her new identity in Christ.

“And he saw the best in me when there was nothing good to see.  He reached down out of heaven to pick me up out of my mess.  I felt important! I felt valued! And it was awesome.”

Katie is now married to Aaron, and raising two boys of her own. She wants them, and others to know about the unconditional love and acceptance that comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

“Jesus saves! He saved me. He saved a wretch like me.  His amazing grace reached down and saved me and delivered me and set me free.  Jesus is the answer, he's what satisfies. Nothing else satisfies, but he does.”

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