MaKenzie's Story

When you grow up in church like I did, choosing Christ is an easy choice to make. Everyone else is doing it. It just seems fit for it to become who you are. That's what I thought at least. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized I had to choose for myself what I wanted to believe.

Although Christ is in my heart, I attend church regularly, and do not participate in things deemed horrifically bad. I'm still susceptible to messing up and getting off the path God has set for me.

I dealt quite heavily with depression, anxiety, and self harm throughout my adolescent years. It maintained a secret because I feared what all the "church" people would think of me. From the outside, my life looked perfect. Which was the norm for a perfectionist like myself. I was athletic, academic, and a social butterfly, but struggling so significantly inside.

One day it came to my attention that I couldn't fight this battle alone. Even though isolation is what I craved, I needed people. Not just any people, but someone who genuinely cared about my well being. Through prayer and meditating on what Jesus says about me, I was able to overcome my battle of self-loathing tendencies. Some days are harder than others, but Jesus' words are truth, and I trust in that.

I believe Christ allows trials to happen so we can rely on Him and His church. If our life was perfect all the time, we wouldn't be able to recognize the need for Christ and His grace. If you're struggling, I encourage you to reach out to a caring adult. A pastor, teacher, family friend, or a parent. They are there to love you through issues like this.

—MaKenzie - age 18

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