Kendra McClelland is the Prayer & Encouragement Leader at our Santa Clara University chapter. We are so blessed by her sweet spirit, she continually overflows with love! Here she shares her heart about wearing the mask of perfection, a fear of abandonment, and how her loving Father rescued and redeemed her!
As long as I can remember I have always been the girl to take control of situations, help my friends with anything they need, and be the one that people can always count on. I take pride in the fact that when I say I will always be there for my friends, I actually mean it. I toss aside homework and other tasks if a friend is hurting or in need. This past summer I would stay up praying for hours into the middle of the night because I could not bear to let go of the pain and suffering my loved ones were enduring. Yes, these may be attributes of a friend, but also of someone who cannot let Our Father step in and let his mercy heal.
In the most difficult time of my life, I successfully shut everyone who cared about, blamed myself for situations that I had no control over, and broke myself down to a point of desperation. Fear of abandonment and failure overruled my heart and took over every aspect of my life. I insisted on being in complete control of my life. I found myself crying every day to and from school, and before I got out of the car I would tell myself to be the happy, girly, preppy Kendra everyone knew. I literally created a persona that was “perfect” while in reality my heart and soul were broken. Although it is still difficult to admit, I entered into a state of depression that was a complete secret to everyone around me, and for the most part still is. Eventually, when I reached a point that I did not recognize myself, God stepped in against my will and carried me in His arms to safety and redemption.
A short time after, I began to deny this time of brokenness. After being abandoned and rejected by the few people I opened my heart to, I put all my hardships in a chest, locked it and threw it to the bottom of the sea. No one knew it was there, especially with the transition to college. A new start meant that people did not know my past, and I could pretend like I had always led an untainted life.
God knows my heart and my deepest desires. He knows that I long for something more, and ultimately to believe that I am worthy of His forgiveness, and of my own. He has continuously knocked at my door inviting me to mend the past and unlock that chest. He has revealed to me the beauty of His creation through my Wonderfully Made sisters, and in that I have made progress in understanding our worthiness and value. By bringing this incredible message to girls around me, I believe more and more that I am precious in His sight and that He will carry me even when I am reluctant or afraid. I have also come to learn that by refusing to let Jesus take control, I am saying to our all powerful God that I can handle every worry, hardship, and task and that I do not need His love or assistance in my life. When I say that out loud I just laugh because how crazy does that sound?!
Trusting in our Lord completely is still not an easy thing for me to do. The first Bible verse I learned in my life was the first week of Kindergarten, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5. It is hardly a coincidence that this verse has stuck with me to be my confirmation verse and the same verse that I read incessantly in hard times. God knows this is my weakness and He fully accepts me as I am and works with me each day to grow in trust and be able to surrender not only to Him but to my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I love all the quirky obsessions and creative projects I am compelled to do for loved ones, but I love them as desires that Christ has planted in my heart. I do not want them to be a cover for insecurities or weaknesses, but rather a pure expression of God’s love working through me for the happiness of others.