“My childhood was shaped by a lot of lying, brokenness, and addiction in my family,” said Krista McCoy. “My mom looked at me as someone to confide in, even at my young age. I thought I had to fix the problems that were surrounding me at home.
“Growing up, I was introduced to the Lord when my family would periodically go to church. We never talked about God at home, so I didn’t understand my need for a savior. I did know that God’s Word was a source of comfort, and I turned to it when my home life felt chaotic.
“The experiences I had as a kid forced me to grow up a lot quicker than those around me. I felt like I couldn’t relate to people my age, so I often gravitated to older friends. The disconnection from my peers mixed with my unstable life at home made my time in middle school and high school really difficult. I struggled with depression and temptation with self-harm because I desperately wanted my hardships to end. I thought in some ways my actions and existence contributed to my dad’s struggle with addiction. Most days I felt like a burden.
“My teenage years were filled with instability and inconsistency, and I blamed myself for my parents’ struggles. I felt like I failed as a daughter, never having the right answers or being enough for my family. After a season of poor choices and using alcohol and drugs as an escape from my chaotic homelife, I knew I had to stop living the way I was. I began praying for godly people to come into my life. I decided to start spending my time at my local church serving and investing in the relationships around me. People and leaders at that church really encouraged me to have a deeper, intimate relationship with Christ.
“During my senior year of high school, the instability at home became an emotional roller coaster for me, and I eventually was forced to take on the role as an adult in my household. Many times, I felt hurt and abandoned, but I knew I had to make sure my younger sister was safe and cared for. I couldn’t do this on my own; My only option was to trust in the Lord.
“For the first time, I was able to watch the church body come together. People at my church were willing to help in my time of need. Families welcomed me and my sister into their homes, housed us, fed us, and even gave us gifts at Christmas. The completely undeserved love I was given was a true picture of how God loves His children. In that season, the Lord’s faithfulness was so apparent in His provision for my life through His people.
“When I graduated high school and joined Watermark, multiple friends suggested re:generation, Watermark’s 12-step biblical recovery ministry, after hearing my story. I was very hesitant to be open and vulnerable with people, but I wanted to be obedient with what the Lord was asking of me. It was very apparent that there was a lot of healing needed in my heart.
“Through re:gen, I learned what it looked like for me to grieve my own sin. The Lord showed me the sins in my life that have hurt other people. I began to understand my desperate need for His grace. I’ve seen the Lord pull me from sin and into freedom in Him. Because of this great freedom in Christ, I can feel emotions, be vulnerable. I don’t have to find shame in my story anymore, because it is God’s story written in my life.
“Although I loved my family, I didn’t think I could forgive them or see that we would ever have a relationship again. In the re:gen process, I was able to see that in Christ I have been forgiven, so I should also forgive others. An unforgiving heart was hurting me more than I realized. As I learned more about Christ’s love for me, I realized that Christ asks all of us, as His followers, to be ministers of forgiveness and reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).
“It took me a while to see any good that came from my upbringing. I always thought I did something wrong for God to raise me in the environment He did. But reflecting on what I’ve experienced, I now trust in the Lord in such a deeper way. Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’ Even when I think He is withholding something from me or is being unjust, I know God doesn’t withhold good from His children, and I can trust in Him.”