|Love Beyond Measure|
By Corinne Lindsell
I was once a very bitter lost little girl struggling to find meaning and purpose in a very chaotic life. From a very early age I feared my father, an alcoholic with a very bad temper. When I reached the precious years of adolescents I was faced with challenges that still today I know a child that young should not have to deal with.
In a nutshell; My brother was diagnosed with Cancer, my fathers alcoholism became very abusive (physically and emotionally), and my best friend committed suicide. I was only 14yrs old. On top of this I was developing an Bulimia Nervosa an eating disorder that for the most of it had nothing to do with being skinny, but everything to do with trying to deal with an internal monster that I wanted to get rid of.
At the time I was invited to a youth group of another Christian denomination, and I was ridiculed for being Catholic. Not by the youth, but by the youth leaders. I didn't even care about my faith on a personal level, but I felt personally attacked. I believe this was the start of me understanding exactly what my faith meant to me.
The idea of being a Christian and living out my faith became something that I wanted but I felt like I had no where to go. If I went to the youth group I was going to I felt derided, and there didn't seem to be anything else on offer. I couldn't even begin to paint the picture of happiness or purpose. But I knew there was something in this Jesus thing.
The following year (1999), I was invited to Antioch a Catholic youth group in my area, and I was relieved. Firstly it was able to escape the horrors of home, but most importantly my heart was drawn to cling onto my faith. There was somewhere that I could go where I wouldn't feel like I had to explain why I was Catholic.
This started a 6yr journey of preparation, healing and formation for what has become my calling for my life on earth. I was heavily involved in Antioch and everything it had to offer; the Parish life, the talks, the weekends, the outreach, the community, and even the WYD Pilgrimage to Cologne Germany.
Along this journey I met my Heavenly Father. A father who wanted to prove to me that I was worth fighting for, that I was loved beyond measure, and I was made for good things. Nothing I did in the past; to my body, my health and my family and friends was ever used against me, instead He offered me healing, protection, love, advice (the bible is awesome), and ultimately PURPOSE!
Straight after WYD in Germany in 2005 I became the Youth Minister of my Parish, where I still am today... Still loving it and still growing. God's grace has transformed me from being a very negative pessimistic hopeless person, to being someone full of hope, passion, love and peace. Every day I have to choose to live as a Christian. Its not an easy thing for me, its not something I intrinsically know how to do, but God enables me to life this life.
I am blessed, I have met my Heavenly Father who loves me, and I need to share that love with everyone. No one should have to feel unprotected or vulnerable or hopeless, everyone should know His love, and have real freedom. I was recently asked the question, "if you could go back and change your upbringing would you?" my answer surprised even myself, I said no, simply because what I have received from my faith through my God I wouldn't want to ever trade.