Our #IKnowHim story today was submitted by Kali Peddy, who one day found herself face to face with a truth that saved her life. Even in the trenches of depression, she knew that God was ever present, waiting to redeem, and longing to restore. Just as the sun continues to rise each day, she continues to experience God who is faithful to show up in the valleys, along the mountaintops, and every step of the way in between.
**Help us share her story and if you were inspired by her story be sure to leave her some encouragement in the comment section below!**
Chocolate milk saved my life! Well, not literally, but in the most important way, this is wholeheartedly true. Let’s back up…
I grew up in the good ol Texas Panhandle, splitting time between Canadian and Canyon in the all too familiar world of broken homes; my parents had divorced when I was 7 years old. I grew up with a preacher for a grandpa; I knew about Jesus. I went to church regularly until I was 11 years old. I was baptized in a pool in a New Mexico hotel during a youth ski trip with a church that I attended, mostly alone, during my entire high school existence. My mom and stepdad had long since quit attending, my brother had no interest, my younger half sister just did what my mom did, and so that left me, 15 year old Kali, to decide if going to church alone in a small town was worth the whispers and gossip and humiliation that I felt almost every time I stepped through those doors. I knew at 15 that I knew who Jesus was, wanted to be saved, was obedient through baptism, but nothing significant remains in my memory from that event in my life. I could point out dozens of moments in my life and claim that that was my “salvation moment.” I attended church camp every single summer for six years when I would visit my dad in the summer. I “knew” all the things to say and sing and believe but I had THE hardest time living it out. You could characterize my high school and early college years in the words of Johnny Lee: “Looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in all the wrong faces….” Yup. Guilty. Horribly so.
Until chocolate milk saved me. On a stateside mission trip to Branson, Missouri with Campus Crusade for Christ at Oklahoma State University, a chocolate milk demonstration finally revealed the all consuming, life giving, irrevocable love of Jesus. I was completely enraptured as chocolate syrup (representing Jesus and his Holy Spirit) was poured into a glass of milk (my life), and we were challenged to try to separate the syrup from the milk. It all made sense in that moment: when I proclaim to follow Jesus, declaring him my savior, surrendering my messy broken heart to his will, ain’t no amount of sin gonna separate that syrup from the milk. Lamentations 3:22-23 says “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” LIBERATING! FREEDOM! RELIEF! I felt it all. That was such a monumental moment in my spiritual journey and what I consider my “salvation” moment. I knew it then, I had no doubts that I was saved; that I wanted to live for Jesus. It was amazing.
But we all know that life doesn’t always stay on the mountain top. There are moments and seasons in the valley. In a season of fear, and desperation, and loneliness shortly following my time on the mountain top, I hit absolute rock bottom.
I attempted suicide my junior year of college. My biggest secret; my darkest shame; my ultimate lack of trust.
My syrup was still there, but I was watering it down with all my might. For some reason, a full bottle of aspirin and alcohol seemed more attainable and fulfilling than my Jesus. Oh but his mercies are new every morning. Jesus crawled in my nasty, dark, broken life and pulled me back to the mountain top. Great is his faithfulness. He loved me through the shame, and heartache. His mercies never come to an end. My story didn’t end on the mountain top in Branson, Missouri. My story didn’t end in the darkest valley in Stillwater, Oklahoma in November of 2010. My story is new every morning.
Being a believer, a Christ follower does not guarantee a straight path from mountain top to mountain top; but it does guarantee a God who will walk with you, search you out, call you back, open doors, straighten winding paths, and wrap us up in love when we find ourselves in a valley. I will never stop loving my Jesus, I will never stop serving my great God, I will never stop being grateful for the steadfast love of the Lord.
Has God ever met you in a hard place? When did you come to understand that there is nothing that can hinder His love for you? We want to hear your thoughts! Tell us about your experiences in the comment section of the blog!
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