Triple Dog Dare

As we move forward together, it is important to explain that, when I speak of Jesus and His role in my life, it is because I am sharing my life experience in which He plays a vital role.  Having said that, I will never criticize anyone holding different beliefs than mine.  I am not here to pound my beliefs into anyone, nor do I expect anyone to live their lives according to the parameters that I have chosen for myself. I have a deep Love for people, care about who they are, where they are and how I can help them to know their true value. My heart is for people…ALL people. My passion comes from a heart that has never lost the connection with that lost and broken, 15-year-old girl that was homeless. I know extreme loneliness, heartache, and hopelessness, and will do whatever I can to be sure that, anyone feeling like that, knows they have a friend in me.

When it comes to walking alongside a victim of domestic violence, it takes a lot of Love, patience and understanding. Although it pains me to see them being hurt, the decision to begin the escape process must be their own. However, for them to find the courage to even start to think about escaping, they must be surrounded by people they know they can trust 100%. Many of the victims that I have worked with have shared their struggle and why they didn’t trust people not to abandon them. Unfortunately, much of their hurt has come from the Christian community. They felt judged because of the situation they found themselves in and belittled for being weak. A person in an abusive situation has already been beaten down to the point that they feel completely devalued. The last thing they need is someone else telling them that they are worthless. They need to be built up so that they can begin to see their value. If we, as Christians, can’t show them the Love that Jesus has for them, then who will?

Speaking of feeling worthless and devalued, and picking up on my story from, And so the Breaking Begins, my life definitely took an unexpected turn. I had finally saved enough money and was about to move into my first apartment. However, the word on the street was that, in the next three days, we were going to experience uncharacteristically cold weather. As you can imagine, the homeless community was very concerned about surviving in the freezing temperatures. I chose to humble myself and ask my mother if I could stay at her house for those three days. I had heard that she had become a Christian, but I wasn’t sure what that meant or why it mattered. I also didn’t know that my younger brother had given his life to the Lord too.

The first night was a Tuesday and it was uneventful. On the next night, however, my brother opened my door and here is how our conversation played out:

Brother: “Hey, we are going to church, you want to go with us?”

Me {With an incredulous look on my face}: “Why the hell would I go to church?! Especially on a Wednesday! Who goes to church on a Wednesday?”

Brother: “We do. Come on, I dare you.”

Me: “No, I am not going to your damn church.”

Brother: “Come on, I double dare you.”

Me: “I said no, I don’t do that church crap.”

Brother: “Oh, come on! I Triple Dog Dare You”

Me: “F***! I can’t believe you did that! Fine, I’ll go!”

And that is how I got forced into going to church…on a Triple Dog Dare! I mean seriously, you can’t lose a Triple Dog Dare.  At least, not in my day you didn’t!  But God certainly uses every opportunity, because I ended up giving my life to Jesus that night, over thirty years ago.

My journey as a Christian has been a mixed bag, as I have had both very positive and very negative experiences. I guess the best way to sum it up is with a phrase that, anyone who has known me very long, has heard me say, “If it wasn’t for Jesus, I could never be a Christian”.  Sometimes, I find myself frustrated with the Christian community. I don’t hate Christians by any means; I’m just not a fan of many.  I am a firm believer in Jesus and He is my entire life. But when it comes to Christians, I have been judged more times than I can count, lost relationships simply because I did not fit someone’s idea of what a Christian should be, gossiped about endlessly, and hurt often.

Thankfully, I have a very strong relationship with Jesus, Himself and I know that He has my back and Loves me like no one else can. I have also learned quite a bit from being involved in the church and have met phenomenal people! For eight years, I served as the Service Producer/Program Director for a local mega-church and that was an incredible time for me. I Loved meeting so many different people, working with multiple teams, pouring into people’s lives and having a large role in helping to provide a beautiful church experience for others. Unfortunately, because the last four years have been tough, I needed to get away from traditional Sunday services and lean on the relationships I had built. I have an amazing, loyal, caring and supportive community that knows me and Loves me for my authentic self. I made most of these connections during my involvement in church and I trust every one of them to have my back; and they all know that I have theirs.

The way that Jesus lived His life has taught me the depth of His unconditional Love and that is how I desire to live my life. I want to spread His Love, not by shaming or devaluing others, but with genuine and honest motives. For me, the key to flourishing in the Christian community was to find like-minded people. When I say that, I don’t mean people who think like I do. Rather, my goal was to surround myself with people who are serious about Loving others the way that Jesus does, whether we agree on everything or not.  There is something healthy about having genuine conversations about the differences we have without being concerned about losing the relationship.  Disagreeing does not have to be a negative word.  I want to be stretched in how and what I think, and I surround myself with others who want the same thing.

That openness, unconditional Love, and choosing not to be judgmental toward others, is what has fueled my success in working with victims of domestic violence. Any person who is being abused should feel safe around someone who is offering them assistance. You are only safe for them if you are an accepting, understanding, patient and loving person. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing but, I had Love, and that was enough to keep me learning and growing throughout the process.  As I mentioned in my last blog, Fast Forward to Now, domestic violence has no filters and is wide spread amongst different genders, colors, races and religions. Refusing to discriminate against others just because they see the world differently, or have different experiences than we do, is an integral prerequisite to loving people and helping them in their time of need.  If I hadn’t made sure the victims I was helping knew that I would Love them, no matter what choices they made, I would never have had the opportunity to walk them into their freedom. Love always wins!

Until next time, Love unconditionally and be safe!

3 responses to “Triple Dog Dare”

  1. Oh Kris 💕 thank you so very much for sharing your story with me. I am humbled beyond measure. I trust that you know how much I love and respect you for who you are and for what you have learned and shared in this blog. Hugs and prayers for continued growth for all of us. 🤗🥰🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kristine Ouwenga Avatar
      Kristine Ouwenga

      Miss you and Love you!


  2. […] having this same discussion about God’s role in our struggles and sufferings. As I mentioned in Triple Dog Dare, I have been a Christian for over 30 years, and I have heard the phrase, “God will never give you […]


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