Born July 8, 1971 / Lives in Cogan Station, PA / Married Dec. 1, 2007
Overcoming schizophrenia and moving forward with hope, peace, and joy is an ongoing thing for me. My faith in God and my relationship with Jesus Christ is the only thing that has pulled me through. Since late 2015 I have been writing Christian poetry, and I would like to share a little of my testimony with you and what brought me to that road. “I believe that God turned what I went through toward good.”
My childhood years
I went to a Private Christian School for 4th or 5th grade. I don’t remember hearing about God before 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 a school Pastor telling me, “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 draw close to anyone
Many years went by. I had my Bible, (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.
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.
Hospitalized for schizophrenia many times since 2000, it used to take a long time for me to come out of episodes. Over the years, they got significantly worse, but I would recover sooner. And each is like a movie. I used to think 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 Bible.”
I look back, taking comfort that as it’s written, God uses all bad toward good to those who love Him, and who are the called according to His purpose.
My past has been filled with fear; confusion about Jesus, and fear of commitment due to possible persecution. I had one thing going for me I realized later, ever since I had first heard of God, I believed. Same with accepting Jesus to be the Son of God and God with us.
My relationship with Jesus
Baptized in the late 90s.
I called myself a Christian , but saw I was living a life that didn’t glorify God.
I was like an incomplete puzzle. Later (in more recent times). I had so much confusion about God, and Jesus, commitment, and the like and uncertainty about the different doctrines, and practices, that I thought others might.
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. 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 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 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 that led up to a One month and two weeks 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’s good. There’s evil.
-Neutrality is not an option I choose
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 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 others.
Are my episodes over? Likely not. 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 anymore. 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 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. He will meet you where you are, take you as you are and transform you toward hope, and joy. His, “no one can take joy.”
I learned I wouldn’t be a puppet, and It does require effort on my part. I use the Word to continue to learn. But from my point of view, it has all been worth it. And I look with hope and excitement toward tomorrow.
Want to connect with me at 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. GreenawayConnect with me!