My name is Kayla, I’m 19 years old and I run ‘The Psalmist’s Passion’ blog. I am a Memphis, Tennessee girl through and through! Growing up, my mama was the most devout Christian woman you’d ever meet and through my love for her, I came to know Jesus. At the tender age of four, I accepted Jesus into my heart, (although a year later I decided I needed to “rededicate” my life— I felt I’d told too many lies and needed to, ahem, recommit. Ha!)
My mama had told me so many wonderful things about Jesus and the fact that He was God’s son would sort of make us siblings made me so excited! I had so many brother figures come in and out of my life by that time and having a father who was often absent or rude added onto the rejection that I didn’t know I was feeling.
Being adopted into God’s family gave me brothers, sisters, and even a Father. I was a child thrilled by the idea of being loved. At age nine, I was baptized, and I was so happy to have made a public announcement of my dedication to Christ, but life was still rocky back at home. I was a creative child, I loved to sketch family portraits (stick figures, really), I loved to write, I wanted to dance and I loved to sing, (still do!), and my family portraits always depicted a happy family, but at the age of nine, my mom, sister and I were living in an extended-stay hotel. My sketches went from a picture of a happy family of four to a happy family of three; my dad was even more absent than before. We lived in that hotel for a few years and I picked up habits I didn’t even know about yet.
The trauma of having an unstable childhood started slowly seeping in through the years and by the time I was 13 it had manifested itself in the form of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and I was struggling in certain subjects in class. I had fallen so low, but looked like I was so high. I had made the Varsity cheer team, I was living in the suburbs and I seemed like I was so smart, but behind the scenes I was a wreck and so, so far from God in my heart. Did I love Him? Yes. Did I trust Him? No, no I did not trust that God was crazy about me. I did not trust that He would provide for me. I did not trust that God loved me. I thought that I was always the one giving out love and never getting it back and it made me so lonely and bitter. I wanted to be loved and the spirit of rejection was overwhelming, following me everywhere. I was caught up in darkness, dark music, dark thoughts, and my desire for friends to accept me lead me to a bad connection. I met a “friend” who was anything but. She came in the guise of friendship, sowing seeds that said “You know, I’m the only one who loves you. Besides, who else would want you? You can’t even love yourself.” And I believed her.
One day, when I was 14 my family and I had a sort of intervention. I was crying, my mother was crying, my sister was crying, but to heal— we had to first acknowledge that there were wounds. The road to recovery was long and short all at the same time, but to know that Jesus never left was all I needed. My family looked after me as we all look out for each other now. “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand— a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Bad company corrupted my good morals, but a lot of my bad company came in the form of negative thoughts that overrode and poisoned the good ones. I still have my days, lonely days, but in the midst of those days I know that I am Loved by Love. When you think you haven’t done enough, look at where you’ve come from! I used to be wrapped up in needing people to want me, but I trust that God will bring me who I need when I need them and that is enough. I have been adopted into a loving, imperfect family of brothers and sisters in Christ, and though it can be difficult, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve come a long way from darkness to light and I have big hopes for the future— To be a speaker, a teacher, a mentor, a worship leader, a writer, but more importantly, I want to be a friend, a voice for the voiceless, and relentless in my pursuit to love like Jesus does.