Hello all you lovely ladies out there! Welcome to Kintsugi Christian blog. My name is Julieann, but you can call me J.C. or Julie if you prefer.
I grew up on a native reservation in northern Wisconsin(yay cheese curds and frybread!), but currently live with my hubby, our three adorable kids, and his brother and parents on a couple acres in the beautiful Arkansas countryside. When I am not chasing my kids around, arting, crocheting, singing, dancing, or generally being a nut, I’m an author/blogger.
It is my hope that by sharing my stories, my struggles, and what I'm learning along the way will help you with your own journey with God.
I’m going to be real transparent with you. I’ve struggled with this. I believed that I didn’t really have a testimony, because I couldn’t point to the exact time I ‘got saved’. But I do have a testimony. My story just doesn’t involve sudden ‘aha!’ moments or the voice of God booming into my life. Looking back, I can see how He walked with me even when I didn’t know Him, a patient whisper in my heart. I’m going to try to keep this short, but let me start at the beginning.
I was ‘raised Christian’ by Mom. Sort of. We said we were Christians, but alongside the Christian radio station listening and semi-regular church attendance, were less-than-biblical concepts and attitudes that made our faith dubious at best. I knew of Him, but I didn’t know Him.
By the time I was 5, I was convinced by horrific, recurring nightmares that I was cursed to go to hell and because of a misunderstanding, my sixteen year long addiction to self-gratification had already taken root. By 7, I’d become a lying manipulator.
I was 8 when Grandpa died. After the funeral, my confused and grieving mother thought his spirit was trapped in her and wouldn’t move on till I was saved. Repeating ‘the words’ after her, I started seeing colors flashing on the wall, which stopped when the prayer ended. The whole ordeal was… terrifying and disorienting and I came out of it believing that God was a ‘heavenly telephone line’ to my grandfather.
By 12, I thought I was saved… except for the days I believed God didn’t want me at all. I lived on a teeter-totter of belief and living an angry ‘why the *bleep* not?’ lifestyle. I got into mistranslating cherry-picked verses of the bible, was having sex, reading dirty mags, and pretending demons were my friends... it was complicated, but long story short, I was a mess.
Yet, He was still there, warning me with whispers, even though I was too proud and bitter to listen. At 14 He’d led my mom and I to a new church and at 15, one night of ignoring His warnings had me crossing paths with a mini-van while on a crosswalk. It could have paralyzed me or worse… but it didn’t. I still have memory problems and a knee that doesn’t always cooperate, but He was gracious. Even after that, I didn’t change, though I said ‘the words’ many times, all the way up until I was an adult.
That new church I mentioned? I married the co-pastor’s youngest son when I was 18 and one night at 19, I cried through a confession of my self-exalting, pity-begging lies to my husband, then his father the next day on a trip to the store. Maybe that was when my salvation came alive, but the truth is, with all the facades I lived and backslides I’ve taken since, I’m not so sure. Perhaps I’d just strangled myself so long with falsehoods that it’d become too much to bear.
Approximately a year later, I picked up a Christian fantasy book. Didn’t know what it was, I just liked the medievalish cover. That story, about a drug-addicted assassin who was called by God, taught me that God was a judge, but also loving and gracious, able to save the worst of us. That day, I rededicated myself to God and was on fire with ambitions of writing stories for Him. Unfortunately, this wasn’t followed by repentance of the sin in my life and the passion faded and I fell into depression.
Fast-forward to 2011, I was a mother of a toddler and pregnant with his brother. One day, while in the shower, mind set on perversions, my train of thought derailed. I started thinking about the example I was setting, the shameful, pain-filled road I’d lead them down if I continued in the same way. That day, something changed.
Since then, it’s been a slow, difficult journey full of convictions and struggling toward righteousness. I’m far from perfect, but my old sins, that still tempt me at times, are no longer addictions. After six spiritually-dry years, I’ve found a new church family to be a part of and it has made all the difference in my growth and my walk with Him.
I may not be able to tell you exactly when the farce finally ended, but what I do know is that I am not the same and I am His, by His grace and grace alone.