I grew up in Norman, OK, where my family has lived for generations, with my parents and 3 older brothers! We attended church on Sundays, but I never knew what it truly meant to have a personal relationship with God until the end of high school. My dad suffered a massive stroke when I was in the 5th grade and my parents divorced not long after. Through middle school and high school our church attendance dwindled. I got to high school and was overcome with insecurity and people pleasing because I was not finding my identity in Christ. I found my identity in drinking, smoking and relationships. I ended up in an abusive relationship that led me into deep anxiety and depression. At the end of my junior year I had lost my relationship, most of my friends and I wondered if life was still worth living. I had heard stories of people who had hit their “rock bottom” and turned back to God, so I decided I would start going back to church to see if that would work for me too. That summer I went to Kanakuk Kamps and met my first mentor who went on to lead my first small group, I wrangled up anyone from school who I though believed in God to join. This was the first time in my life that I was reading my bible daily and truly pursuing a relationship with God. My senior year of high school I was on fire for the Lord and my life looked drastically different, and in March my father passed away. This was obviously earth shattering for me, but the Lord was so gracious through it all, because if this would have happened a year sooner, I know that my response to his death would have been totally different. I ended up losing 2 grandparents and was diagnosed with epilepsy in that same year, so it was a rollercoaster of a year to say the least. Looking back I can so clearly see God’s hand in it all, and my love for him is so much deeper because of the way I get to connect with people because of the way he radically changed my life for the better.
I ended up attending the University of Arkansas, where the first week of school I ran into a guy named Hank Autrey, who I ended up dating through college and married 2 weeks after graduation. He is truly my better half and if you know him you absolutely love him, he’s the best guy I know! We moved to Dallas a week after our wedding and have loved it since! It’s a dream getting to be on the re:gen team because I got to see the transformation in my brother’s life through another 12 step program and how it changed our family. I get to hear stories of how people’s lives are made new in Jesus every week and see the miracles he’s working in so many lives. If you feel stuck, want hope or want new life join us at re:gen on Monday nights! God loves you and he can change everything.