Last weekend a family I have grown up with and considered a second family the majority of my life, lost their son in a tragic way. The details are still hard for me to comprehend, but you can read a little about the incident here. I’d just like to first and foremost ask for all your thoughts, prayers, and love to be sent to the Hallmans during this time. I know blogging about this is a little out of context to what I normally share, but I have the feeling that David’s life and death is going to have a significant impact of how I go about the rest of my journey here on Earth. He was such a bright and fun-loving kid, and I can’t even begin to understand why he was taken at a time like this. I know that everyone involved in the situation has come out of it stronger, more thoughtful, and more appreciative of life than ever before.
With this, I want to share a little part of myself that I’ve been keeping quiet about for the past couple years. This week has showed me the importance of saying what you feel when you have the time to do so, and it just seems right. Thanks for the courage David! This sounds all scandalous, but I promise you it’s not ;)
I grew up in a Christian household, going to Christian and Catholic schools until graduating high school, and I had considered myself agnostic throughout all of these experiences. When I was making wrong choices at home, I was punished by going to youth group Saturday afternoons — I never felt like I fit in with the kids there, and I honestly never really gave them a chance. When I went off to Iowa, faith was something that I rarely thought of. I had these years of my life to explore on my own terms, I made some good decisions, and I made even more wrong choices. All-in-all, these choices led me to Savannah to pursue my masters degree, and this is where I started to feel a pull towards exploring a Christian faith on my own for the first time. I met a good friend who opened up to me about her faith in a way that I never thought was possible for myself. She was a passionate, artistic, caring, and fun. There was a part of me that envied her ability to trust in God, go to church, and still live this amazingly fun life full of her personal passions on her own terms. My background made me feel like I had to be one way, or the other. I could be Christian, and follow all the rules, or be agnostic and live the way I wanted to. Meeting her, and becoming her friend sparked a new interest in faith that I have held inside of me for the past couple years. Those close to me knew I was exploring a relationship with Jesus more recently, but I still felt a little weird talking about this is general. It just didn’t seem like me, you know? I was still living my life the way I always had, breaking ‘rules’, and going on my own path — but suddenly, I had a little guidance. I had my faith to lean on a little more, to help me through some of the tough times, and to rejoice with me when things were working out. I always thought I needed to have someone to talk to about for all the little things going on in my life. With this new found faith in Jesus, I feel like He has been taking over, guiding me to where I was meant to be next.
I’m still the same old Kelsey, but I have a little more pep in my step, and I know that I have a wonderful support system behind me now. Serendipitously, I met Katie a couple months ago, and she has been re-inspiring me to live out my faith in an out-loud way. She does this so well, and is an inspiration to me in that sense. For the first time on my own accord, I went to church with her last Sunday. I’ve been struggling with feeling at home in a lot of ways in my life recently, and I can honestly say, I felt at home there that Sunday. Being back in my hometown this week, with so many close friends and family for the preceding events and funeral for David, was truly a lesson in life and faith in a way I can’t even begin to express. I’m so proud of how the Hallmans have been dealing with this tragedy, and how they have been leaning on their faith to make it through. It’s seriously inspiring, and I am forever changed by this experience. Even from the other side, David is using his gifts to share faith, love, and laughter. With these passing events, I thought it was about time to just throw this out there and be proud of my journey. Again, thank you for the courage David, love you buddy.