This is Why I Worship
Hi, I’m Kate Koning, this is my story.
I have my mom, Jackie, my dad, Scott, and my sister, Rachel, who is 7 and a half years older than me.
Like many people, I grew up in a Christian home. Church twice on Sundays and Wednesday nights. We prayed before every meal, and every night before bed.
My dad worked two jobs for a majority of my young life–his main job was being a corrections officer with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s department. While it was cool to be able to say “Yeah, my dad’s a cop,” the job took a toll on him–he was stressed. My dad is interesting because he might not be mad, but somehow he usually still sounds mad when he talks. There were times I didn’t want to talk to him about things because even if he wasn’t yelling at me, it still sounded like he was. But he also wasn’t getting a lot of sleep. He left home in the morning before I woke up, probably around 5 or 6am, and he came home for maybe an hour after I was home from school, and then he went to his other job, returning home after I was already asleep around 11pm. His second job was at Costco, so my mom and I would visit him there a lot (I once ate their food court pizza three days in a row and I’ve eaten their pizza enough over the years to be able to confidently say that you can get one slice of pepperoni pizza and a drink for only $2.73 after tax, and a frozen yogurt dessert for only $1.43 after tax). Costco grew to be almost a second home. It also ended up being my dad’s only job when I was in Junior high.
My dad left his job at the Sheriff’s department after about 14 years there. God was calling for a change. We didn’t know what would happen with our finances, whether bills could be paid, whether we would be able to stay in our home. Ultimately, God provided. We stayed in our house, there weren’t really any drastic steps that needed to be taken. My dad is happier now. He is well rested. He’s easier to talk to. He’s one of the greatest men I have ever known.
My mom has been one of my biggest supporters my whole life. There was a time that if something went wrong, usually if I did something wrong, whether it just happened, or it happened even two years before, I didn’t feel okay until I told my mom. I woke her up at midnight a few times to confess things and talk about them. It got to the point where she told me that whatever I’ve done, she forgives me. I don’t have to tell her what I’ve done before. If I was right with God, and asked for His forgiveness then that’s all that mattered.
My sister and I didn’t really like each other growing up. I was annoying, and she was moody. Or at least, I thought that’s all it was. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I learned that there was more to her story. My dad came into our living room one day as I was sitting on the couch. There was something he had to tell me, and it seemed pretty serious because he looked almost in tears. If you can imagine my dad, a 6’2 cop for a good portion of his life, he wasn’t one for crying, unless it was from laughing too hard at one of my hilarious jokes. My dad told me, “You won’t be able to see your sister for about a week.” Part of what I learned that day is that my sister wasn’t just moody, she had Major Depressive Disorder. My sister wasn’t just anxious sometimes, she dealt with parts of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. On this day, my dad said I wouldn’t be able to see her because she was admitted to Pine Rest, because she almost committed suicide. I was 14, and she was not yet 21. But, God was faithful yet again.
My freshman year of college was a bit rocky. Both of my dream colleges had rejected me, so that was disappointing. My walk with God was not the best first semester. While I was finding out reasons why I believed what I did, I wasn’t living the way I should have. I had a lukewarm faith. I experienced my first ever breakup with my first ever boyfriend–who eventually would tell me that he stopped caring about me. He was someone I thought I’d always have as a friend, and now I usually avoid eye contact with him. This breakup hit me really hard. I had times that I went to bed crying, woke up and cried in the morning. I didn’t have an appetite the first few days after. I would cry in the middle of hanging out with some of my best friends. I cried a lot, to say the least. I eventually found Campus Ministry, with the help of a coworker and good friend, David Bowman. I found some of the greatest friends I could ask for. I joined a life group, I became very involved, and I was getting some of my priorities straight.
God helped my family during financial worries, God gave me a great support system for a family, God healed my broken heart, and God saved my sister–now, my sister has become one of my best friends, something that wouldn’t have happened unless my sister had listened to the Holy Spirit encouraging her to continue living.
This is why I worship.