Saturday, July 21, 2012

Who Am I?

Every person has a story and every person's story is different.  It's what makes them who they are.  There are many times I walk down the street and think to myself about the woman passing me, "What's her story?" I can't help but wonder if people even know mine? So, I am here typing this blog post to you to express and give a short story of who I am.

I grew up on a farm in Milroy, MN which is about 20 miles east of Marshall. I spent my childhood on that farm and have lots of great memories there.  I remember dad taking the bucket tractor and making a huge mountain of snow that was taller than the house.  All 4 of us kids got to spend hours out there making tunnels, playing king of the hill and whatever else our little minds could come up with.  Come spring, summer, and fall brought with us the work seasons.  Dad would be gone most of the time out in the fields, and so would we.  We spent our whole summers rock picking and weed picking the many fields dad owned.  We used to own the field that was right next to my school, I often would wave anxiously at my daddy during recess. School was great, I remember the times in gym class with Mr. Goltz. Choir with Mr. Carrera, our principle Mr. Hammond, and class teachers Mrs. Frashier, & Mrs. Seblen. I had one really close friend, her name is Alissa.  She lived on a farm about 2 miles away from us.  We often spent so much time together.  I remember going to her house and just playing and playing and playing.  She would show me all the new animals that were born, and we'd feed the bunnies.  We'd have sleep overs and talk about horses, she'd read a few chapters of her book and we'd fall asleep giggling.  I still try to keep in contact with her to this day even though I moved away in 5th grade, after all we've been best friends since preschool.

After passing 5th Grade my parents found a really nice house in Marshall and we decided to take a wild adventure and leave the farm.  Marshall was an interesting place, we had neighbors that were right next to us.  At one point my neighbors consisted of a doctor, a pastor, & a sheriff.  My mom often joked that if anything happened, we'd be in good hands.  As I kept growing older in Marshall, I grew more in love with music.  My mom, sister & I often sang trio's at our church.  I had picked up on learning the flute, and piano.  I watched with envy as my sister entered high school and was in the marching band.  I dreamed of the day I could be old enough to be in that marching band.  I remember going to my sister's concerts and counting down the years.  Marshall is known for having a great music program.  I'll never forget that day as I passed 8th grade and was finally able to go to high school and join the marching band.  Yet, my parents had a different plan, my dad found a job in Sioux Falls, SD.  That summer we were on our way towards another adventure.  I honestly didn't want to move, but I kept my mouth quiet as I secretly said goodbye to Marshall high school and the marching band I had dreamed about for so long.

Sioux falls was another interesting place.  I spent my high school years there.  We met a lot of good people and we had awesome neighbors.  I was quickly known around the neighborhood as the babysitter.  High school was high school, which meant there were the ups and the downs as my teenage self quickly tried to adapt to growing up and the social pressures that came along with it.  When graduation day came, I had been asked to sing a solo during the ceremony.  I was so excited.  I'll never forget that day as I stood up there in front of all my peers as they watched me sing.  I looked at some of the guys who seemed to be extremely shocked I had a voice.  Yet, as I looked at some of the girls who were crying from the song, I knew right then and there why I loved singing.  I was able to reach people in a way I never could normally and touch their lives through singing.   I graduated, and decided right then and there I wanted the big city life in Minneapolis.  I moved 3 months after graduation to live with my aunt, Elise in Richfield.  She hooked me up with a staffing agency and I started my life in the corporate world.

Throughout my life, I had always been overweight.  I didn't seemed to be as heavy as I thought myself to be, but every year I seemed to get just a little bit bigger.  I had all the tendency's a typical emotional eater has, hiding and sneaking food, eating fast to avoid people seeing you eat, fast food, you name it.  When I lived in Minneapolis, It seemed to get worse.  I was a full-blown food addict by 2006.  My mother saw what was happening and referred me to a christian place called, Mercy Ministries.  It's a place where girls ranging from 13-28 can get help for their emotional needs and addiction.  It took me a while to really get myself to go.  I kept applying partly and backing out.  It wasn't until my 3rd time applying that I finally realized how much I needed this, how my life had been out of control.  I was eating myself to sleep every night, I couldn't pass a fast food place without stopping.  I was trapped under the misinterpretations of my own thoughts.  I thought everyone could only see how big I was, and not who I was.  I could have sworn that if someone saw me eat, they would judge me.  I tried and I tried, and I tried even harder to break free on my own but it kept leading to failure.  I was at the highest weight I had ever been.  So, in 2008, I gave up everything to go to Mercy Ministries.  I gave up my job, my apartment, my friends, and my family to get help.

Mercy was amazing.  We were on strict routines daily, I liked to say we were "spoon fed" Jesus daily.  I loved it though, I loved who it made me be, happy.  I loved what I learned there, how I have worth, that I am beautiful, and how amazing God truly is.  That He loves me.  It was the happiest I had ever been in my life.   My mercy sisters are girls I will never forget and pray for consistently.   I love them with all my heart, and we share a special bond having been through Mercy together.    When I graduated after 6 months in that home, I came back to Minneapolis a conquered woman.  I suddenly had victory over my life, and Jesus by my side.  God gave me something while I was at Mercy, it was Him.  I realized for the first time how much being a christian is actually a relationship with Jesus. Not just acquaintances, or that void of space you pray to once in a while.  Since Mercy, He has shown Himself to me in so many ways.  The trials he has brought me through, the victories He led me through, and the everyday moments I soon cherished.  Everything good I have done, was because of Him.

I admit, I still dabble with the emotional eating.  There seems to be seasons.  Yet, God brings me through every time and shows me something new, another vital revelation that brings me one step closer to ultimate freedom.  It's close, I can feel it, and for the first time, I believe it.  God has never left my side, not for one second, so I am here with hands wide open waiting for the next step, the next journey life brings me through and God delivers me through.  I can say with 100% complete honesty that if it weren't for Jesus Christ, I would not be here today.  Oh, how I love Him so.

So, here I am. Now you know, now you have a little bit of insight into my life and the life I've seen.  I had to shorten it quite a bit, as a blog post can only go so long, but... this is it, this is me, and this is who I am.  I am Kelley Welu. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Freedom Comes With A Price

When I think of seasons, I think of Fall, Winter, Spring, and summer.  Lately, I haven't been thinking about the weather, but about the seasons in life.  I find it so interesting that one day, week, month, or year in your life can be so great, phenomenal perhaps. Yet, the next year can be so opposite.  I want to start out by saying, I have so much to be thankful for.  I am blessed beyond measure.  My life has been nothing short of wonderful.  Still, there are times when one just wants hide in the corner because she just doesn't think she can do it anymore.  It's the weakest moment in a person's life.  When all strength, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually have been drained.  What happens then? I find the obvious answer that comes to my head is, "Press into God, He will supply your strength for you." It's so true, yet so hard to do.  It's in those moments where I am the weakest, pressing into God is the least thing I want to do.  I want to cry, wine, whimper, and pout.  Fortunately, crying, whining, whimpering, and pouting are not in my immediate vocabulary.  I have never been one to cry, although funerals get me every time.  Still, I find that my sense of rebellion is heightened when I am weak and tired.  Wanting all the fighting to be over, wanting more than ever to say, "I AM FREE!!!" Yet, I find myself trapped to the person of my past.  It's like a sneaky lion, preying on me when I least expect it.  Always there, persistently telling me that who I once was, who I fought so hard NOT to be, was better.  That it made me happier.  I remember those days, how could I not? Trapped, depressed, lonely, and scared.  The only time I was remotely close to happy was for those few short moments when I would fall prey to the sins of my addiction.

One thing has kept me going, a promise.  A promise of freedom.  That there was light at the end of the tunnel through Christ, I would not be in this season of life forever, because God would get me out of it somehow.  Even when I think I had lost all hope, there was still a little flame burning inside of me that gave me that extra grip to hang on.  It wasn't just any promise, it was something I could believe in, someone I could trust in.  One in whom I knew whose words have always been kept.  God saw me that day, a 22 year old girl bringing her white slip of paper to the cross.  An exercise where we were told to write what we came to church that day for and give it to the Lord.  Only one word could I think of,  and one word only, "Freedom".  I want freedom from my eating disorder.  I'll never forget when Pastor Tom came to me a few minutes later and said, "I really feel God wants me to tell you, 'Yes.' I don't know what it's for but I keep hearing, 'Yes.'" How could he have known? I told no one? But I knew. It was most surely from God.  

I'm here to tell you amidst my own doubts, that one day I will write on this blog in big bold caps, "I AM FREE!!!" I will tell everyone how God has saved me, and gave me my life back because I know that when God speaks, his words never come back void.  Pray for me, for I have a journey ahead of me.  As the our nations Independence Day draws near, you very well know that Freedom comes with a price.  So does mine.