God’s Transforming Power
My name is Kristine. I have much to share about myself. Hopefully, what I am sharing glorifies God and how incredible God’s transformational power and grace is upon His children. It starts with my experience of what my life was like before I knew the Lord, my process, and who I am today.
I was brought up in a dysfunctional family, where there were addictions, alcoholism, adultery, physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse. As a result, I had some behavior problems as a child because of my experiences in my environment. I experienced mostly rejection and abuse.
As I got older, I discovered that I am dyslexic. It was the reason I had so much difficulty learning in school, especially reading, writing, spelling, and math. Because of my learning disability, I was ridiculed, and I felt more worthless and useless. I believed the lies I heard. Today, I know that a learning disability has no reflection on intelligence. I just have to work harder. I’m so grateful for spell check and the calculator, what lifesavers!
I ended up in a Catholic school on my second try for the second grade. The idea was that Catholic education was better with smaller and more intimate class size. However, it was worse; I got pushed along and skated by. I never really got a strong foundation. While at St Peter’s, we had “religion” class and Mass weekly, more during the holiday seasons, and I also went to church on Sundays. But my perception of who God is and who Jesus is was skewed.
I asked God what I did to deserve such an awful family. What did I do to make Him so angry with me? But I was also mad at Him for all the terrible things I went through as a little girl. I didn’t understand mental health and addiction. I was just a kid. All I knew was I was not loved; I heard hateful, painful words, and much more.
By the time I was 16, I had enough and left home. I would rather live on the streets then under that roof. I lived in cars, tents, and friend’s basements. Meanwhile, I was working full-time and going to High School. I tried hard to do the right thing. But I would fall asleep in class because I worked 3-11 as a waitress to survive. Eventually, I became a Certified Nurses Assistant. I got done with work and studied until I passed out. However, I was a distraction to the teachers and classmates because I couldn’t keep my eyes open. They made me drop out, so I did. The school never asked me what was going on or tried to help me. But, I ended up with my GED a few years later.
My Addiction Struggle
Between the ages of 16-28, I fell into the generational family curse. I became an alcoholic and an addict. It started with drinking, smoking cigarettes and weed with friends, and experimenting with some other drugs. By the time I was 18, I was into hard drugs. I ended up in and out of mental hospitals and detoxes as well as chronic homelessness.
There was a medication that stabilized me, but I still used less heavy drugs. I decided I wanted a change, to do better, to be better. Art school was my first choice, but I went to a technical school instead. I attended the New England Institute of Technology, and I graduated in 2002.
While a student there, I worked in the final aid off for work-study. A woman, Lynda, who was a secretary, was so kind and compassionate. She would ask me how I was, if I needed anything, etc. She also invited me to church a lot. I always declined, but she persisted. I was suspicious about the whole thing and didn’t want anything to do with God. He was never there to help me all those times I was hurt.
God Enters My Life
Christmas eve 1999, I was alone in my basement apartment feeling sorry for myself. I called her, and I told her I didn’t want to be alone. So, she picked me up. She took me to her small Baptist Church. It was different from the Catholic Church. It was kind of strange, but not as dull to me. I felt love and acceptance by all the members and the pastor that Christmas Eve. I felt at home but scared too. By the end of the service, I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord. The people touched me.
I continued to attend church. I fell in Love with Jesus and wanted more of Him. My desire was to be in an intimate, personal relationship with Him. The whole world needed to know about Jesus. If He could love me, He could love anyone. I wanted everyone to feel what I was feeling — unconditional love. I never felt that love before. The love of Christ was much more than what any person could offer. It’s awesome! I brought friends to church and shared the gospel and the love of Christ with everyone. I was on fire for God!
God’s Transformational Power
Still, I continued using drugs. I knew it wasn’t what Jesus wanted for my life. So, I cried out to God for help. I humbled myself and asked my church for help. I went to Teen Challenge New Haven Woman’s Home in 2003. God changed my life. I was emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually broken when I entered those doors. That home was a place where I could be in the presence of God. I was open for Him to do what He needed to do to change my life, my heart, my mind, and soul. All to Jesus I surrendered and the Holy Spirit filled me.
Teen Challenge is a Pentecostal Bible Boot Camp! It was the most challenging thing I ever did. There were many tests and trials, character changing challenges. God uprooted and healed the things that were not of Him. I persevered through this program as a student for 21 months. Needless to say, I am still being sanctified. (Philippines 1:6)
Healing and Calling by God
While I was a student at TC, I found out I had endocarditis a damaging infection in my heart. However, six months later, through prayer and obedience, I received physical healing. Not only did God heal my heart emotionally but physically. It was a miracle, a testimony of God’s transformational power. Jesus gave me a new heart that was rich and prepared for His Word.
I was also delivered from depressed, anxiety, and childhood wounds. I learned to forgive all those who harmed me. God’s transformational power is what I share with others now. I love the Lord with all my heart soul and mind. My desire is to spend time with Him continuously and in His Word. The Lord put a fire in my heart for Him, for the lost, and for His Word and ministry.
After TC, I went to InterCoast institute and became a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor and mental health worker. I also attended the University of Southern Maine School of Social Work and am a Mental Health Worker on a locked ward. My job is with the very people who represent who I once was. The Lord uses our pasts to create change, to show love, compassion, and mercy to others. I have to minister to others where the Lords leads me to and show the love of Christ to others.
At 5:00 am, I get on The Boot Camp Prayer Line until 6 am. Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, I go to a church from 9 am to 10 am for morning prayer and worship. Wednesday morning, my church meets at our pastor’s house for 6 am-7 am prayer. God called me to intercede in Prayer.
I attend Sanctuary North Church in Providence, R.I. It’s a church plant, and I was part of the launch team. We started this neighborhood church about three years ago. We believe in serving the Lord and the community around us. I am a youth leader, part of the woman’s ministry, attend services, and occasionally lead our weekly Bible study and homegroup. Teaching, sharing the Gospel, and evangelizing are important to me. I started our Church outreach this summer.
More to Learn at CLI
Full-time ministry and being open to whatever God calls me to do is where I am at. I knew I needed training for ministry, and I found CLI. I believe the Christian Leaders Institute will open doors for me in my future. While I learn, I can love others, share who Jesus is, what He has done for me, and what He can do for them. I am discussing with my Pastor about starting a Celebrate Recovery group. May my testimony and my life glorify God!
I believe that all that I went through was not in vain. The Lord uses what I went through to be a witness to His grace, mercy, and unconditional love. The Word of God transforms my life through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.