By Kim Satagaj
“Happy Kim.” For much of my life, that is how I have appeared to family and friends. From a worldly perspective, things seemed to be going great: I was blessed with an extremely close family, lots of friends, a successful college education, and financial stability. All of these worldly things and experiences seemed to be enough to make me happy, but that wasn’t the case.
I found myself completely consumed in a very unhealthy relationship with someone I thought for sure would eventually be my husband. For five years, I found my identity through my relationship with him, rather than my relationship with Christ. I saw my future with him: the house, the kids, the whole “white picket fence” dream.
When things began to crumble, my security and my happiness began to disintegrate as well. I didn’t want to feel the pain or heartache from the breakup I saw coming, so I decided not to feel anything at all. I began taking anxiety pills, depression pills, and sleeping pills to numb everything.
As my life visibly spiraled, my family and friends were very concerned because I wasn’t the “Happy Kim” that they had always been used to. Instead, I just shut everyone out. It wasn’t until I finally felt as if I had hit my personal rock bottom that I reached out for help from my parents and sisters.
From Happy to Joyful
My sisters had always encouraged me to go to Watermark and get plugged in to the body of believers there, but I always seemed to find excuses. Now that I was single, not traveling every weekend to see my boyfriend, and lost with no direction, I figured there was nothing left to lose. I longed for something to fill the hole that I felt in my heart and for the loneliness that I was experiencing to disappear. I believed the story that Christ died for my sins, but I never had an intimate relationship with Him, and never quite understood the meaning of His love.
Finally stepping out of my comfort zone, I went through GroupLink and joined a community group with six complete strangers who, three years later, I've come to know as amazing sisters in Christ! That is where my transformation began. I also started attending services at Watermark, serving in childcare on Sundays, and attending The Porch. But God wasn’t done with me yet.
I still felt as if something wasn’t complete inside of me. In reality I was only checking the boxes of what I thought was expected of me. My actions outside of church still seemed to align more with the world instead of the Word. Taking another jump out of my comfort zone, I decided to start serving at The Porch, and wow, did Jesus take over! I had no idea that there were so many young, faithful Christian adults out there that were going through the same daily struggles that I had. I felt my life changing drastically, and for once I was finding my identity not through others, but through my Savior. I finally felt that hole in my heart closing, being filled with the love of Christ. That intimate relationship with Him that was once lacking is now present and has made me not just “Happy Kim” but “Joyful Kim.”
Who I Am Meant to Be
I experienced first-hand how God loves each and every one of us, regardless of our past. We have been made new through the blood of Jesus Christ!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
I have discovered who I am meant to be in Christ. I am joyful and confident through the love of Jesus Christ. I surround myself daily with brothers and sisters in Christ who spur me on and encourage me through Scripture. I know that I will have trials and tribulation, but one thing that JP said at The Porch resonates in my mind: “God will give you more than you can handle, but he won’t give you more than you can handle through him.”
When those trials and tribulations come, I am ready to overcome them by walking with the Lord.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6