Why Can't You Just Be Happy?

12.08.17 | Written | by DCC Story Team

Over time, Kerri came to learn and truly believe that God’s love for her was far more powerful than the inner struggles and lies she once believed.

Looking back to her formative years, Kerri’s memories are flooded with abandonment, depression, suicidal intentions and brokenness.

“I had a rather stable childhood through second grade,” shared Kerri. The youngest of four, Kerri and her siblings grew up in the church, lived in a nice neighborhood and attended a Christian school. “When I was eight-years-old, my parents got divorced and my father left us,” she remembered. Abandoned and without means, they had to move out of their home into an apartment.

“My mom remarried and I quickly found security in having a father figure in my life once again,” Kerri said. However, while Kerri found peace, her siblings wouldn’t accept their new stepfather, and her mother’s reaction to the stress became a darkness she was unable to fight. “When I was just 10- or 11-years-old, I found my mom on the bathroom floor after a suicide attempt,” said Kerri.

Kerri’s stepfather could not handle the stress and just as her father did only years before, he walked away from everything. He wasn’t the only one. Her older siblings also had enough and left. Kerri felt abandoned again. “Many times, I felt I was the only one left to care for my mother, despite my young age,” shared Kerri.

“In high school, I attached myself to an older boy, hoping to fill the void of a father figure,” said Kerri. At age 16, Kerri found herself pregnant. A little over a year later, her relationship with her new daughter’s father deteriorated, but God had plans for Kerri and her daughter, Brittnie.

Kerri met Mark by chance just over a year later. “I now know God placed Mark in my life for a reason, I just wasn’t sure why then. The stability in his life was so foreign to me,” remembered Kerri. Mark’s parents were married, had good jobs, strong faith and completely accepted Kerri and her daughter. The two dated for five years before getting married.

Kerri still struggled with inadequacy, depression and anxiety even after fifteen years of marriage, three additional children and a life full of earthly stability. “I remember Mark asking, “Why can’t you just be happy?”

Kerri was encouraged by her friend Lori to attend a Bible study and she signed up for her first Bible study at Door Creek Church. “I was so uncomfortable I wound up leaving the table multiple times,” remembered Kerri. Finally, Sherri, one of the women from the study, met her in the hallway. “I told her I needed to leave. The study was digging up so many emotions that had been pushed down for too long.” Kerri said.

But Sherri encouraged her. “God’s Word and the church are the place for the broken hearted just as a hospital is the place for a broken body. Kerri, you will get better if you keep digging into God’s Word” she said.

New friends and women of faith came alongside Kerri, prayed over her, and taught her how to pray for God’s truth instead of the lies of unworthiness that plagued her throughout her life. Though Kerri knew Jesus at a young age, it was during this new season of life that she fully accepted Him as her Savior and started a personal relationship with Him. “The void I had been trying to fill for so long was finally gone,” she said.

Over time, Kerri came to learn and truly believe that God’s love for her was far more powerful than the inner struggles and lies she once believed.

“Just because I was abandoned over and over… Just because suicidal intentions run in my family…Just because I became a teen mom…Just because I have anxiety and depression…It doesn’t have to ruin my life. God is more! Once you start a relationship with Jesus, these ‘just because’s’ all go away.”

Even though there are still occasional struggles with thoughts of imperfection and unworthiness, Kerri knows this is not what God sees in her. “He sees me as His bride who is worthy of love,” she said. “I truly know stability can only be found in Him and I’m so thankful that I found it.”

This story, and all of our stories, are from people who call Door Creek Church their home. As you contemplate this story, may your faith be encouraged and your hope renewed. If you’d like to learn more about sharing your story, start here.