In the Beginning…
Life growing up on a Texas cattle ranch as a home-schooled girl for many years was all I knew. I loved music, singing, piano, dancing, and hiding away with books reading them as fast as I possibly could. Originally I had planned to go to Pensacola Christian College after graduating from high-school, maybe get a degree in education so I could homeschool my future children as well, find a handsome boy to marry, and live the life that every other girl around me grew up planning to do. Except I knew I would love to do it in a city where I could go to places like Starbucks and a mall more than once a month. 🙂 Besides I also knew I would make a terrible farmer or rancher’s wife, as I hated things like bugs and all the outside manual work ranching and farming requires. Farm animals were more something I liked from a distance.
When I was 17 however, a new opportunity presented itself to me. When I was 14 my family had moved churches to a small non-denominational church with strong roots in the Assemblies of God and charismatic side of the American evangelical church circles. This was a new Christian circle for my family. Through this new church my parents got involved with a new statewide church network that would get together monthly for prayer meetings and conferences. At these conferences other surrounding states would often send pastors as guest speakers. It was through one of these conferences, that my parents and I learned about a post-high school ministry internship that was being offered at a church in Colorado Springs. As I was sitting there listening to the team of speakers from that year’s internship class, I felt like God was calling me to lay down every dream I had, had for years of going to college in Florida, and trust him to go on this crazy adventure in Colorado. I was even further convinced it was God, when my parents who I was sure would never agree to it, came out of the session feeling exactly the same thing as I did. So with the full support of my parents I moved out of the house to a different state at the young age of 17.
That next year would bring a whirlwind of changes that unbeknownst to us would kickstart a set of chaotic events in my life and my families’ lives for years to come. For me I like to describe my first year out of the home as Kallie’s trip from mars to earth. I never knew just how different my childhood had been until you put me into a group of my peers, who to be honest were at a loss of what to do with me. I was the 17-year -old girl that was more comfortable carrying on a conversation about the Bible and doctrine with one of the senior leaders in the church then I was carrying on a normal conversation with my own peers — male or female. I was clueless to every pop culture reference that came up in conversation. I had pretty much missed anything of note from 1990 to 2006, besides Y2K, 9-11, and the 2000 Superbowl. I dressed in clothes that the girl’s mothers’ wore to church on Sunday. I wore very little makeup. I was completely oblivious to swear words, pick-up lines, and remarks sent my way–joking or otherwise. So you throw me into a mix of a bunch of other young adults also trying to figure out their future — and you get a lot of drama. My people-pleasing, fit-in-to-be-accepted personality kicked into high gear. That year was full of laughter, tears, craziness, funny memories, highs, and lows. I lived with a host family, whose loving ability to embrace me with all my oddities still remains with me to this day. I was forever changed by this family, through their love, support, and encouragement for me to dream big and trust myself in learning how to make healthy decisions. I would not be who I am today without them, and they will always hold the place of family in my heart and life.
(Part 2 Here)