Those photos you see, the first image is me at just 21-years-old and the other is today. Valentine’s Day I will turn 28-years-old and as I edge closer to 30 I look back on my early 20s.

Here’s the deal with my 20s — I lost hope. Rather than running the race before me, I lost my faith to life’s tragedies from the deaths of siblings & loved ones. I remember the morning I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the face staring back at me. At 21-years-old I had completely lost myself to living a wayward life.
“Friends” and even some family excused my rebellious behavior, mind you it was completely out of character. MANY TIMES, it was even condoned while others in my life walked out. I wasn’t me anymore.

Stay with me on this part, but have you ever woken up in a shower? How about fully clothed and NOT remember how you got there? Odd, I know.
It had never happened to me either, until the summer after I had turned 20-years-old.

I found myself in the predicament of being fully clothed and having a shower head on with cold water running over me. I use the word “found” because to this day I may never recall all the details of how I got there.

I didn't know how long I had been there or even who's home I was in.

The worst part -- I was so lost (at this point spiritually, physically and emotionally) that I found it comforting.

Walking into my friend's living room with mascara running down my face was not a photo-op moment for social media, praise God there’s not a picture of that sight for you to see. The most important part though, I was truly in a friend’s apartment.

Me: How did I get here?

Friend: That's a good question.

I felt as if I were looking at one of those televisions from the late 80's and early 90's, (one of those with the dial knobs that resembled a microwave compared to today's flat-screens) and the only thing coming through was the black-and-white static.

By the expression on my friend's face my hangover stupor was obvious. My memory of the events from the night before were becoming fuzzier by the second and the smell of my breath was a clear sign that alcohol was involved.

Unfortunately, no amount of antenna adjusting was fixing my clarity.

Friend: Katie, you drove here.

The bigger question was why did I let everything get to this point? Yet, I had now found a way to literally forget life itself by becoming black-out drunk.

The repercussions of this would be monumental, but at that point I didn't care. Blacking-out seemed better than reality. ANYTHING to take me away from the real world was #winning in my eyes.

The black-outs.
The drunken stupors.
The losses of memory.

All these self-destructive actions led to events that should have served as wake-up calls, but I was too lost in my own victim mentality to care. It wouldn't be until almost a year later when my darkest pain would occur. A pain that would cause every fiber of my body to regret all my self-destructive patterns.

The point is that I have a past.

You probably have a past, too.

We all have a past and if you find that you are around “friends” whom condone your outlandish behavior I desperately ask you do some deep self-reflection.
It’s not too late, your life IS worth saving!!

Do not be defined by your circumstances and DO NOT allow life’s tragedies to tear you down. Stand firm on a foundation built on promise and purpose because if you have oxygen in your lungs, then, you have a purpose to live out.

My friend, you are an overcomer. Believe me when I say you are worth more than an empty bottle.

You are courageous and I know the light is too dim to see right now, but by a mustard seed of faith ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!

Don’t give up!! I know life is hard, but when you have hope and keep persevering God will answer the prayers of what it is you NEED.

Have faith, it will make you well. Maybe not in your time, but at God’s perfect moment He will answer. You just HAVE to keep persevering and keep your trust in Him.

Imperfectly Yours,


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