Kristin is another one of my most cherished best friends. We became close through one of the hardest seasons of my life when my boyfriend (now husband!) went on a relationship break and my best friend moved to a new state all in the span of two months.
Kristin can light up room wherever she goes and she has a light that bonds. I have had the privilege of seeing Kristin grow in her relationship with God, to be an advisor in her life, have her in my wedding and witness her dance moves.
I am honored she wanted to be a part of my devotional series.
Kristin is currently going through a recovery process and counseling. Here is what she is learning through it all!
I am in the midst of heartbreak.
Hi, my name is Kristin Levis! I’m a 22-year-old graduate student getting my masters in Elementary Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. I’m two semesters away from graduating and can see my dreams of having my own classroom on the horizon. My life is so full of joy.
I became a Christian my freshman year of college, about 4 years ago. Since then, my life has been so full of incredible friendships and relationships I would’ve never imagined having, amazing memories, endless love, and a continual sense of security that I am safe in my eternity. Everything is right, yet; I am heartbroken.
Recently, I began counseling and started facing the truth about my past and present. I endured a lot of trauma growing up, things including alcoholism, love addiction, emotional abuse, abandonment, neglect, and invasion. Before this year, if you would’ve asked me, I would’ve never said those words. I would’ve said “Oh, that was hard, but I’m fine! Others have it worse,” or “You know, I don’t have many memories of childhood.” For 21 years of my life, I had been suppressing and ignoring the trauma and pain I went through; or at least I thought I was.
Little did I know, those things couldn’t be ignored, but instead seeped into my everyday life, laced through my actions, and gave me this faulty filter perspective of the world. I saw everything through the lens of the written and unwritten messages I had heard growing up.
One of those messages was about love. Ever since I knew what love was, I was in love. Starting with Disney princes’ whisking me away in my mind, to giving my entire self to my high school sweetheart who I swore I was going to marry.
Not a moment in-between was I ever not occupied with love or the idea of it. It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I ended things with my high school boyfriend and was actually physically single, but it didn’t stop there. My heartbreak over him led me to many emotional “relationships” that never held the title of dating but put me in a mental and emotional space of dating. I couldn’t stand the idea of being alone, so I always made sure to have at least one man in my court, pursuing, chasing, or providing me with attention and security.
I was constantly in the pursuit of my “next meal.”
And I cannot even tell you the amount of people I’ve hurt in this process.
I recently started reading the book Facing Love Addiction written by Pia Melody. She quotes:
“When we put a pleasurable picture in our minds and think about it, we can stimulate an emotional response to it that may lead to the release of endorphins into our system. Endorphins literally relieve emotional pain and create varying degrees of euphoria. Such children come to believe that by connecting with such a hero, they, like Sleeping Beauty, will come alive and be safe and valuable at last.”
This is consistently what I experience, and what I have been experiencing since I was a child. My heart was relieved after reading this:
“Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me and I would give you living water.”
There are so many special things that stick out to me about this. One is that Jesus broke down boundaries, came to her in “need”, and surprised her. He found her, and made special time for her to bring her salvation. And wait until you hear what kind of place this woman was in
“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband- for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth.”
Okay, when I first read this, I was like “Dang Jesus, didn’t have to come for her throat like that! She probably felt so humiliated and ashamed.” But that’s not the case.
Jesus asked her the truth, she told a little, and he spoke it all. He took her hand, and guided her to face the painful truth. That’s what he does everyday, and through his love and devotion He gets us there.
I relate a ton to this woman, and can just picture Jesus doing this for me in my life currently. The message that Jesus is communicating to me from his actions here is: ‘
- He breaks down borders and boundaries to find me where I am at I am valuable and worthy to be fought for.
- He stands by my side and doesn’t make me face the painful truth alone: I am precious to Him and protected by him. I am safe by his side. I am not alone, and not in need of a “hero” or “savior” to fix me or tell me I’m valuable.
So, although I am in the midst of facing the truth and healing, Jesus is speaking to my heart and easing me through all of it. He is by my side, holding my hand, guiding me through this pain.
To anyone that’s reading this and can relate to my story, I want you to HEAR ME when I say Jesus values you beyond anything you can imagine. I see this is my life by the way he has continuously meets me where I am at and has rearranged my circumstances.
Thinking back through my history and where I should’ve ended up, I can only think of how much God has brought me from. I shouldn’t be where I am at and I shouldn’t look like how I look. When I glance at myself in the mirror and feel like I’m not enough or feel like I’m missing my value, I am able to say
“No, Jesus broke BOUNDARIES for you, and still does every day. He’s right by your side and will never ever leave you.”
I hope you can do that same as you continue to grow in your relationship with Him.
– Kristin Levis, @kristinlevis