My childhood years
I went to a Private Christian School for 4th or 5th grade. I don’t remember hearing about God prior to that.
Not being a child to show people that I cared for them, I was mostly
stuck in books and somewhat reserved otherwise. I don’t feel like I loved as a
child. I remember, (or so I think I remember) being told. “If you love
someone more than God, He will take them away.” I tucked that nugget
away and kept it locked up into adulthood.
During those times, I don’t feel that I loved God, no. I feared Him. I
also did my best not to love anyone.
Many years went by…I had my Bible still, (A King James Version), and
there were scriptures that I knew by heart. A remnant of that one year
at the Christian School. Funny, I don’t remember a lot about Jesus,
except hearing. “He will never leave you nor forsake you,” and “Jesus
loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.” But I didn’t know Him.
Our stepfather would, on occasion take us to different Churches. I
recall stubbornly refusing to go in at least once. I shied away from
anyone who tried to talk about Jesus to me. And just kept on reading
any chance I could. Horse stories mostly, then Historical Romances in
my teens. I could travel to England, and Scotland, and visit with the
Indians. I was obsessed with reading, (except for my
Early adult Years
I don’t recall praying much, until I got to be in my late 20’s.
Trouble led me to pray, and then I finally realized that I didn’t just
want to pray when I was in trouble, but during other times.
I have been hospitalized for schizophrenia many times since 2000, and it used to take a
long time to come out of those episodes. Over the years, they got
significantly worse, but I would recover sooner. And each is like a movie.
I used to thing that God was chastising me.
One thing was for sure, an episode guaranteed that I would turn to
God. I used to say, “My episodes always bring me closer to God and my
I look back now and take comfort that as it is written, God uses all
bad towards good to those who love Him, and who are called according
to His purpose.
When I look back I see confusion about Jesus, fear of commitment due
to persecutions and other things. I had one thing going for me I realized later, ever since I had first heard
of God, I believed. Same with believing Jesus to be the Son of God, and God with us.
My relationship with Jesus
I was baptized in the late 90s.
I called myself a Christian , but saw that how I lived my life didn’t glorify God.
There were pieces of me that were separate, like a puzzle that is not
put together. Later (in more recent times). I thought, if I have had
so much confusion about God, and Jesus, commitment, and the like and
confusion about the different doctrines, and practices, why might not
I do know and believe one thing. God is able, where I am not. I trust
Him, and His promises. After the year 2000. I went from being a total
bookworm to only reading in my Bible. I trusted only my Bible. If it
wasn’t in the Bible, I didn’t believe it.
Married: December 1, 2007
On my wedding day, I didn’t wear something borrowed, something blue. I
wore a white wedding dress, and carried my Bible. The only thing I
could bring to my marriage was myself and my belief in
God’s Word, and my trust in Him to make this marriage right.
Late In 2014 a new hope started in me. I started reading other Christian
books. (I love Robert Hawker’s, “Poor Man’s Commentary.) It had been
near 14 years of only me and my Bible, and it felt good to finally be
reading other views and perspectives. The Bible is still my ultimate
authority, but I am allowing myself to read again.
Schizophrenia and poetry
In August 2015, I had another major schizophrenia episode in Puerto Rico and ended up in
one of their hospitals for almost a week. It was one of the most
bizarre that I had ever had. I wonder and occasionally smile when I think. God,
I can’t imagine how You will turn any of that to good, but I know You
will, and I praise You!
Then on December 15, 2015, another episode. This led up to a
One month and 2 week stay at a hospital. Many more
bizarre happenings, and memories. Still my trust in God, and my faith
that He will turn it all toward good. It was during this episode that
I started writing Christian Poetry.
Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.
-There is a God
-Jesus is the Lord (Him crucified & risen from the dead)
-You can tell a gentleman by the way he acts
-I believe in the Bible 100%
-There is good, there is evil.
-Neutrality is not an option I choose
Sometimes I have concern because I look back at those times. Still so
raw and fresh in my mind. Why? How? Why? But I continue ever onward
with the wind in my sails and the sun at my back. Because I know that
I am stronger in the Lord, and I want Him to direct my paths.
I am coming to know Jesus in a real and personal way.
In the past, I was not a people person. I was more of
a hermit. (Reading trained me seclusion, and episodes taught me
loneliness.) Now though, I want the Lord to lead me to those in need,
and to be an active participant in the community around me. Nurturing,
comforting, lifting up.
Are my episodes over? Likely not. Yet I don’t ask them to be. It is
odd, but they are a comfort in the long run. And when I look back, I
think, “If I could go through that, then how much stronger am I now?”
I normally end up closer to the Lord, and have a deeper understanding
of the world around me. Scary? Yes. I take my medications, and try to live life “normally.”
These days, I believe that Christ will get me through any and
every trial and persecution, so I don’t’ sweat it any more. But the
road has been long, and I have been a long-time coward.
Thank you for your time, and for reading part of my personal testimony. Trust
God to open up opportunities to know Him, and the love He has for you.
Know that Jesus will not push His way into your heart, but awaits your
answer to His gentle knocking at the door of your heart.Do not put off
until tomorrow the perusal of your own soul, and search with an eye
towards hope until you find what your heart has been needing. He will
meet you where you are, take you as you are and transform you towards
hope, and joy. His no one can take joy.
Caution, you won’t be a puppet, you will need to use effort, and His
Word to continue to learn. But from my point of view it has all been
worth it. And I look with hope and excitement towards tomorrow.
Want to connect with meat a local event? Here is the link to my calendar. Spoken Word/ Poetry Readings / Book Signings
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength, and my redeemer
Thanks for reading
~ Kari L. Greenaway