Kylee Barnette

Denton, USA

Looking For Love in All The Wrong Places

I grew up in a very broken home. In some families the word "broken" could mean divorce, fights every night between the family, or someone they love has passed away. For me, the word "broken" stood for absence. Just a few short months after I was born my parents were incarcerated, and my sister and I were sent to live with different family members. Living with my grandmother, although a blessing, was hard. For as long as I can remember the only thing I wanted as a child was to have my Mom and Dad around to watch me grow up and show them what a great kid I was.

As I got older, I quickly realized that they werent coming home and I made it a mission to prove to the rest of my family that I could overcome anything; I wanted to prove to my family that I was better than my parents. This idea of "needing to be better" feuled all sorts of desires to be accepted, wanted and loved. Throughout my childhood and teenage years I found a passion for competitive cheerleading and music. In high school, I got involved in Church, clubs, and work just to keep myself busy, because to me they weren't just activities that made me happy or took up my time; I needed them. For me they were a saftey net, because at least when I was performing I knew all eyes were on me, and because I was a "Christian" already, I didnt need to look to God. I convinced myself that the friends I had and the guys I dated were enough to make me feel like I didnt need my family to accept me; That they were enough to make me feel like I wasnt alone. And as long as people saw me smiling and happy then I would never have to share with them how much I was really hurting.

When it came time for me to go off to college, the only thing I was sure of was that I couldn't wait to get away. College gave me a chance to start over and redefine who I was because the way that I saw it, College gave me a whole new food chain to climb to the top of. I was my own creator and no one was going to stop me from proving to everyone that I was the best that I could be.

My first semester I got involved in with a guy, who introduced me to the whole new life of college. Big partys, Bid days, fraternity and sorority life and so much more. I quickly made close friends with girls in the "top" sororities and ended up joining one soon after. I was falling further and further but still somehow convinving myself that I was happy, when in reality I was alone and lost. That first semester in my sorority brought a whole new whirlwind of things that made me feel loved and accepted. I started holding a position in my soroirty, and letting the guys I dated and the girls around me define who I was. I was someones girlfriend, I was someones best friend, and I was "that Alpha Phi over there" and no one ever knew me for me. As soon as I began my sopmore year I was broken, lost, and empty. My need to be "accepted" had taken over my life and blown up in my face. I was in a black hole and no way out.

My first semester back as a sophomore I reached out to a good friend of mine who I knew could help me point my life away from myself, and help me find my way back to God. He then connected me with a staff member of Cru who listened as I told her my feelings of heartbreak, lonliness, and brokenness. How was God ever going to accept me after all the ways I ran from him? How can God bring me back if I felt so far away? Michelle shared with me that the emtiness I was feeling couldnt be filled with boys, or friends but it could only be filled with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. She also helped me understand that I didnt need to look for accepance anywhere else but with God, and that I wasnt living the life that God had for me because my sin was seperating me from having a relationship with Jesus Christ. I made a decision to have a personal relationship with God instead of relying on my own personal stubborness and self-will. Now realizing that I am a child of God, although not perfect, I no longer feel a need to look for love and acceptance in the people around me because I find full acceptance in my relationship with God. This decision also showed me that the plan God has for my life is bigger and better than anything I could have made on my own.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback on my story or you would like to know more about how God filled my need for love and acceptance please feel free to message me! Thanks for reading!



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