Section 038 Who is Kiara Steele
Growing up, I did not start going to church until I was about 10. When I turned 10, a lot of things happened to me in my life that still affect me to this day. I started out a good life. I was a navy brat, my dad was deployed all the time, but when he was home he spent a lot of time with me and my sister while my mother worked. I can think of many things that have shaped my life, but two things that shaped my life are my parent’s divorce and church. I say this because without my parents’ divorce I probably would not have found God and wouldn’t be the person that I am today.
I was about nine years old when I found out my parents were getting a divorce. Though I saw the signs leading to it as a child I didn’t want to admit to myself. All the arguing mixed with alcohol led to a lot of the sadder parts of my childhood because I saw my family drifting apart right in front of my eyes. There was a time where my parents got into the biggest argument I’ve seen. I remember our family friend coming over to make sure things didn’t get violent. When they were done arguing I went upstairs to check on my parents and I saw my dad crying over the dresser. As a child seeing this is odd because usually your parents are the strong ones, but at that time my father needed support and I felt like a hug would make things okay for the time being. Eventually, around August of 2009 my parents delivered the message that they were getting divorced, I didn’t know the true meaning of this until I got older and started to see the trend become a lot more common around my friend’s parents. It was a very sad thing to see my friends go through the same thing I went through as a kid in their teenage years because in my opinion that’s when you need your parents the most be it financially, emotionally, or for whatever reason. My parents’ divorce is what taught me how to be more of an independent person and not to rely on anybody for anything.
Though having separated parents was a huge adjustment I learned to cope with it slowly. To this day it’s still tough to truly understand why my parents let go of each other being that they were married for so long but that’s just what I personally had to deal with. At this point in life I started to realize that I was a strong, independent person for I had to deal with this divorce myself. Yes, my parents talked my sister and I through it, but anything big like this has to be dealt with alone within one’s self. As my parents were going through their divorce, my mother started to take me and my sister to church. The first church I ever went to was New Calvary Baptist Church, the pastor was Robert Wilkins. I remember seeing Pastor Wilkins and my initial thought was he was young. Most of the time you think of pastors and preachers as old men who have grey hair and are preaching the bible at you, but not Pastor Wilkins. The way Reverend Wilkins preached was in a way that he would go through a story from the text that he read, and he’ll take that story and go about teaching. I say teach because when you’re in church it’s a class, except in the form of spiritual lessons. So, Pastor took these stories and then eventually tied them into how we can use this in our lives. As my grandma used to always say, “we all could use some more Jesus’. As I started to go to church more regularly, I learned that everybody has a purpose in life and that we have a God given gift that needs to be used correctly. Being in church it helped me not become depressed about what I was going through. Church allowed me to evaluate my life and bring into perspective that things could be worse. When I say worse I mean I could be homeless, sick with an illness, or even dead somewhere but I wasn’t and that is what brought in a drive for me to be a better person.
A few months went by and I am now a regular church goer, but one day my mom got my sister and I up and said, “get ready for church.”. Of course, being a child, I ask why she says because we’re going to a new church. It’s funny because I didn’t want to go to a new church for I liked the church I was at, but I had to do what I was told. So, we leave the house and end up at a random building with a sign in front that says RAW Ministries Christian Fellowship. To my surprise the Pastor here was Pastor Wilkins, turned out that Pastor Wilkins left New Calvary and moved here to preach. The church wasn’t exactly a church it was a building, but I didn’t care my pastor was here and that was all I needed. The church had white fold out chairs, choir stands, a baptizing pool, a fellowship hall it was good for a startup church. Being in church really has allowed me to be more open as a person because at first, I was very shy and didn’t talk to people. But being in church it makes it okay to be vulnerable and open about feelings. Church for me has become a safe spot for I know for me it’s the one place I can’t get judged by my peers. As said in Garnette Cadogan piece Black and Blue he stated “ One definition of home is that it’s somewhere we can most be ourselves” (p. 77). Church for me is equivalent to a second home for I have grown to have a family there and it has people there that if I were to ever get into any other trouble would help me in my time of need. I feel as though what happened to me has molded me into a more mature than most people. For being that I dealt with this situation for a while I had to grow up in a sense and not act naive to what was going on.
From living a very happy life to suddenly being told your family is breaking apart was the biggest milestone to get through yet. But with the help of God and him providing me with an awesome church family I feel as though this chapter of my life was almost a blessing for me.
Cadogan, Garnette. Black and Blue. Essay.