Hi. My name’s Mallory. I’m 20 years old, and I’m what you might call
a “baby Christian.” That means I’ve only really made Christ a
priority in my life for a short while. Here’s something surprising to
tell you: I fall more in love with God every day. I know, that
doesn’t sound surprising coming from a Christian, does it? Well, it’s
surprising because I spent the majority of my life hating God for the
life He gave me. To be where I am now is a true testament to His
unending love and pursuit of the hearts of His children.
I was born with a very broken physical body which led to a broken
spirit. Before my 19th birthday, I had had 19 surgeries. Fifteen of
those were in 4.5 years. Nine of those were in thirteen months. And
on top of the health issues, I had to deal with my dad dying right
after my 7th birthday, my sister’s diagnosis with severe mental
issues, and constant bullying at school. I didn’t understand how a
God that was supposed to love me could let me live in that much
physical and emotional pain.
When I was little, I went to church. It was just what you did. But
when my dad died, I decided I was done with God. Try explaining to a
7-year-old that a God of love would take away her daddy….yeah, it
didn’t go over well. My mom forced me to go to church and join the
youth group, so I went through the motions so she wouldn’t nag me. In
November 2003, my 7th grade year, I went to a weekend retreat with the
youth group. I remember breaking down there on the beach, and I
consider that the day I got “saved”, for the first time, anyway. I
never really changed my life around, though. I just told people I was
a Christian. Looking back, it doesn’t really feel like it counted. I
was still angry, I was still bitter, I still didn’t trust God.
When I got to high school, everything sort of spiraled out of control.
I was bullied every day, I was sicker than ever (the 15 surgeries
started the spring of my freshman year), and I felt like I had no
hope. In my sophomore year, the bullies at school, who also attended
my church and youth group, essentially kicked me out of my church. At
that point, I gave up entirely. I fell into a dark hole of depression
that left me contemplating suicide on an almost daily basis. If I
hadn’t had my best friend, my only friend, Matt, those contemplations
probably would’ve been attempts.
My lowest point was the fall of 2009. Just as I started climbing out
of that hole as I graduated high school, I fell down even lower than I
started. I had six emergency brain surgeries in two months that left
me in Duke Hospital for a total of 49 days. I lay in hospital beds
begging God, if there even was one, to just kill me because I was so
tired of fighting. Then, in May and July of 2010, I had foot surgeries
to fix birth defects and then contracted a massive MRSA staph
infection in September.
At that point, I was just mad. I told the doctors that under no
circumstances was I going to miss another semester of school as I had
the year before, so I went back to school with a PICC line in my arm
giving myself high dose antibiotics twice a day while dealing with a
full class load. I thought that it would be easier than the brain
I was SO wrong. It was the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. By
November, I hit my breaking point. I realized that if I kept trying
to handle everything on my own, I was going to kill myself, whether I
intended to or not. An epiphany of sorts hit me in that I realized
that there had to be a God because my strength by itself was getting
me nowhere fast. More than that, though, I realized I had so many
times when I should have died, but I didn’t.
I just knew. I had to have survived all of that for some reason. So
I started praying that God would show me that reason. Within months, I
had people telling me how much I had taught them. And it hit me – He
was using me to teach people. I met a band from Nashville February
2nd, 2011, and I poured out my story to one of them, Bruno, at a
crowded lunch table. He was the first person I’d ever told every
detail to. I’ll never forget his response: “You’re going to do big
things with that testimony, bigger things than I’ll ever do.”
Over the next year, I formed deep friendships with the four members of
that band. I love them like they are my family now. This April, I
flew to Nashville to spend a week with them, and I ended up getting
baptized at a worship service with Bruno and his brother/bandmate,
Taylor, present. That was the first night I was ever sure I heard God
speak. I have learned more about God, what Christ did, and what it
means to be a Christian in the past 3.5 months than in the rest of my
life before that.
It’s inspired me to tell my story. I want to help people. I want to
show them what God can do. I am living proof that there is no limit
to the magnitude of miracles God can perform if you let Him. I spent
most of my life away from Him, and now I am living my dream in DC this
summer. He loves us SO much, no matter what.
Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine….to Him be the glory…”
I was broken, but now I live.