Welcome to CoCo’s Chitchat! Today, we are continuing our “Meet the Church” series with another sister in Christ, Kimberly Grace. I pray God blesses you through her story today.
1. When did you accept Jesus, and what was that experience like for you?
This is sort of a complicated question. When I was eight, my parents say I gave my life to Jesus, and I was baptised. I have no doubt that I did choose to follow Jesus. I had never doubted that God was real, and that He was Jesus Christ. I knew almost all the Bible stories, and could answer many questions about the Bible. I enjoyed talking about God and learning things about Him. My parents and others had me memorize things from the Bible ever since I was four or five.
But, when I was twelve, I started doubting everything for the first time. I started reading books I shouldn’t have. I started doubting God existed. And I thought about what the point of life would be if God didn’t exist…
If Jesus was not God, there was no reason for there to be right and wrong. It would not be wrong to murder someone, and it would not be right to save someone’s life. There would be no point. Life would just be a black pit, with no meaning except to live for ourselves and die. (Sort of like the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:32; 15:12-34)
I floated in darkness for a long time. I had depression, badly, but I was too scared to tell anyone. I was too scared to ask anyone my questions about God, too scared to show people that I doubted everything, to let people know I’d considered… killing myself.
I didn’t want to hurt my parents. So I stayed silent.
A lot of other things happened in that time, and I thought a lot about things. But… Christmas came. I had no excitement when my sister jumped on my bed and pulled me to help her wake up our parents. I didn’t feel happy when I saw the presents, or heard my sister’s laugh. I watched it all like a spectator, and smiled for my mom as pictures were taken.
Presents were unwrapped, and my sister squealed with delight over several things. I sat at my dad’s feet, petting our dog.
He looked down at me, quite out of the blue, and asked, ‘What’s happened to you Kimmi?’
It was the first time anyone had seemed to notice I’d changed. And it took my breath away. I’m not sure why… but… it was like a fog lifted, and I was able to breathe for the first time in a long time.
For some reason, those words opened a door. And I chose to believe that Jesus Christ was real, and that He was our Creator.
I chose to believe there were answers out there, even if I didn’t have them yet. I chose to believe it was real, even if I didn’t know why. And God has been good to me.
That is the day He stopped being my parents’ God, and became my God.
He is good, and kind. He teaches me new things. He is awesome. He is God, and I love Him so much.
2. Who or what has had the most impact on your spiritual journey?
Reading autobiographies and biographies about Christians who served God with their whole selves has always inspired me, and made me want to do the same.
Like George Müller, Mary Slessor, Richard Wurmbrand, and Brother Andrew, to name a few. All three of the men were staunchly against God at one point in their life, then gave their whole selves to Him no matter the cost. Their faith is incredible. Mary Slessor is just inspiring. It reminds me that following God will likely cost me everything, but that is good, for God never let them down.
To rest completely on God is a wonderful thing. I smile now, thinking about it, though I’m still learning.
Praying, talking to Jesus about everything in my life. Going to Him with my pain. I tell Him everything. He is my best friend, though I fail Him.
And reading my Bible! That has had an amazing impact… Genesis, Ecclesiastes, Daniel, and Matthew in particular. Perhaps the Psalms and 1 Peter as well.
3. Why do you personally continue to seek Jesus? In what ways has He changed your life?
Why do I continue to follow/seek Jesus?
He has never turned His back on me. When I spat on His face, He loved me. When I cursed Him, and only planned to, He died for me.
The way He loves, the way He lived, and the way He died, is what I want to follow. He is the one who formed us in the womb; He loves us.
He is the reason I am alive! The reason there is a point to living at all. All my hopes and dreams rest on Him… If He was gone, my life would crumble. And everything I want to do with my life in the future would not exist.
He is good to us. He is my Friend, and for years, my only Friend.
He is my Mentor, Redeemer, Strength, and my holy Father. He is Truth, Righteousness, and Love. He is gracious, but He also requires much from those He gives much.
He is Love. And I love Him so very much.
How has He changed my life?
From the time I was five to ten years old, I wanted to be a rancher and raise horses. Then God told me He had a different plan. He wanted me to do something I had no desire to do.
Now? I can’t see myself doing anything else. If I consider refusing to do it, to give my life doing what He has not told me to, I feel a burning in my chest. It’s what I want to do now. I love the people He has called me too. So very much.
4. What is the hardest struggle for you about being a Christian and/or believing/obeying the Bible?
The hardest struggle? Has likely been forgiveness.
There is someone in my close family who has hurt me and those I love time and time again. They usually would come and tell me they were sorry, or that they would never do it again. They would always say that they loved me, and tell me God would not forgive me, and I’d go to Hell if I refused to forgive them.
This person also told me that to forgive is to forget. They told me that they were unable to forgive someone, unless the person apologized first. This person hurt us almost daily. With words I won’t say, and sometimes actions.
After years of this, I realized I hated them. I was bitter toward them, and couldn’t think any good thoughts about them. I realized that was a problem a short while before I turned fourteen.
Forgiving does not mean you have to forget.
It took me almost an entire year after deciding I wanted to forgive her, to actually being able to. There were times I screamed into my pillow that it was impossible, or times I gave up hope. Every time I would seem to climb a few steps up the mountain, I would fall again.
But my youth pastor, Mr. Smith, said this in a sermon once-
“If the Lord Jesus Christ could forgive that person, why can’t you? Is your moral standard, your justice, higher than God’s?”
That struck me hard. If this person asked, Jesus would forgive them. I wrote that in the back of my Bible.
Then there was this verse I read at some point:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
This was another breakthrough moment for me. I didn’t have to trust this person to love them.
I just had to trust God. He would guard my heart and mind. He would give me peace, I just had to trust in Him. I just had to keep asking Him for help… He loved me.
There is also a man I know, who I talked to a bit. He told me that forgiveness is a daily choice. And it was that for years. Because the whole time I was learning to forgive, we were all still being hurt at least weekly. I thank God for him, and His word, and my youth pastor. Truly.
Jesus is good. He loves us. He has guarded my heart. Yes, the words still hurt… But He has helped me forgive.
5.What characteristic of God do you appreciate/connect with the most?
His faithfulness. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He doesn’t leave us in this life alone. Laughing when we laugh, and weeping with us. He will walk with us through it all, never abandoning us.
6. What are your favorite books of the Bible and why? Any specific verses that are special to you?
My favourite book in the Bible is Genesis, and likely Matthew.
Why Genesis? Genesis has everything. It shows us that God is our Creator. It shows us that He is just. Genesis shows us that He is merciful. It shows us that He loves us, and cares about us. Genesis has the first promise of a Saviour who will come and free us from sin.
It also is just a beautiful book. I love how it is written. When I read of Esau and Jacob meeting after so many years, and embracing, and weeping on each others’ neck, I almost cry with them.
And the account of Joseph is one of my favourites in the entire Bible.
Matthew is incredible. It tells the story of Jesus from His birth, to His death, to His resurrection. It ties in many Old Testament scriptures and prophecies that spoke of Jesus, and His coming.
Matthew is also beautifully written. It has one of my favourite accounts as well, of the centurion and the sick servant. It touches me every time, for I am a Gentile. Just like that centurion. And still Jesus chooses to look at me.
7. What does spending time with God/reading the Bible look like for you? Any resources you’d recommend or advice you’d give to someone struggling in this area?
Every morning when I wake up, I usually pray for certain people. Then I will read at least a chapter of my Bible. While reading, I sometimes like to have a notebook handy, so I can write down questions I have from what I’ve read. Or so I can write down what I believe something is saying.
That’s what I do as a routine. I might pick up my Bible at different times throughout the day, and I do pray throughout the day. But that is the time I make sure I do so.
There are certain things that remind me to pray for certain people. I have a star-of-David necklace I wear most days to remind me to pray for my best friend.
Every time I hear the word ‘waterfall’, or see a waterfall, I pray for another friend.
Every time I see a sunset, I think of another friend.
Yet another, I think of every time I see yellow flowers, and I pray for her.
There are just small things like that, normal and semi-normal things that remind me to pray.
Every time I see an American flag, I pray for the U.S.A.
And I have a picture of a Muslim woman in my room, that reminds me to pray for the Muslim people.
It’s just… I would set up reminders in your home. Things that will remind you of certain people you care about, to remind you to pray for them at different times.
That’s just something I do. It might be a bit weird…
Do any of you ever do something like this?
Resources, or advice for reading your Bible/praying/spending time with God more…
Don’t push off reading your Bible till the end of the day. You might be able to do it, but by the time you’re about to go to bed, you will likely be tired. It will be easier to not read, or not remember what you read. (Please do read before bed if you want!!!) Just… do not make it the time you have to read.
You should read your Bible right when you wake up. Are you too busy? Could you wake up five or ten minutes earlier so you have time to read, or pray?
Something I did, when trying to form the habit of reading every day. (Yes!!! It took me months to get into a steady habit, when I just immediately went for my Bible every morning. And… I still fail sometimes. Other times I cheat with a really short chapter. There are a few that have just three or two verses.) What I did, was find something that was very important to me. For me, it was reading or writing. I promised God I wouldn’t read or write anything for pleasure until after I’d read at least a chapter of the Bible. (So whatever you are required to read/write for school doesn’t count.)
Does that make sense?
Just some thoughts!
8. What are some unique ways you’ve found to connect with God?
I love to go outside during storms. I’ll just sit, and feel the thunder in my chest. And listen to the rain pelting the metal roof. And watch the lightning blanket the sky with a glow, or a spidery crack.
I’ve stayed out there for hours before. It’s so humbling. Looking at all of it, and knowing God is glorious. Knowing He is all powerful. I sing to Him during those times, a lot. So many different songs.
He is great, and greatly to be praised. But He looks down on us, and He sees something worth saving. I sing in thanks… For He is good, and His mercy endures unto all generations. His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever.
9. Can you share a time (or two) you’ve experienced an answer to prayer, or seen God in your life? Any particular moments you just knew He was there? Nothing is too small. 🙂
The storms, in all honesty. I usually feel God then.
Other times, when I was struggling to forgive, I would just cry in a corner, feeling alone and lost. Talking to Him. Telling Him I didn’t know what to do. Though He didn’t speak to me, I knew He cared.
There have been times when I know He has told me to do something. If I do not obey, I’ll get a burning inside my chest. It’s painful almost, and I’ll feel guilty. (Though He forgives, it doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences.)
But there are other times I know He’s asked me to do something, and I do it. A warmth fills my chest, and my arms and I know He is with me.
10. In contrast, can you share a time in your life when you experienced great fear/doubt/opposition in your walk with God? If it was in the past, what helped you get through it?
Probably when I had depression. I won’t go back into that.
What helped me get through it? The fear of Hell kept me from committing suicide. The love I had for my sister and father also helped keep me from doing it.
But… I didn’t really seek God at all through it. Even though I was doubting He was real.
But God helped me out of it. And He’s kept me out.
11. What has God been teaching you and/or been doing in/through your life in this season?
He’s been trying to show me there is hope.
The person I mentioned before? That I am forgiving? I had given up hope of that person changing. For them to stop hurting us, and love us.
I decided it was impossible. That there was no way for it to be mended. That their heart was too hard, and they didn’t care enough to change.
But… there is hope.
God can do anything, and where it seems impossible to me, He can do it. I’m just learning to believe that.
And I keep praying. For them, and us she hurts. That we can continue to love her, and pray for her. That God will help us all grow closer to Him.
He can do it.
12. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the person reading this? Any words of encouragement or advice?
I don’t think so, except to say- There is hope!
It is okay to laugh! God loves you.
It is alright to cry, He will ache, and weep with you.
He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
13. Where can our readers connect with you?
Email list: https://wondrous-hustler-5885.ck.page/32ab1b7178
Hello! My name is Kimberly, and books have always fascinated me. I write mostly historical fiction, though I love trying new genres as well! I write to show stories to people, to hopefully make them think or warm their hearts. I write to honour God, Jesus Christ… for He has saved me and loves us.
I love to colour, play with my little sister, and learn more about Islamic and Jewish culture. Someday I wish to marry, become a published author, and have oodles of kids! Right now, I’m a student working to graduate from highschool, and writing books everywhere I can squeeze it in!