rebelling against low expectations

Why I Started Talking (And Will Never Stop)


I was never one for talking about serious topics.

I was the shy, quiet, “I’ll handle it myself” kind of girl, denying that problems existed.

I remember the lowest moment of my life happened when I was 16. I went away to boarding school, newly saved and determined to live a Christ-filled life. Long story short, it didn’t go exactly to plan. I slipped up a lot and in fact completely fell away from God, convinced that my declaration of salvation was a mistake.

I got sexually-assaulted, began to self-harm, became suicidal, and spent most of my time depressed and upset, 3,000 miles away from my family.

I returned home in the summer and completely shut everyone out, refusing to talk about any of my problems, convinced that I could handle them myself as I always had done. But I was wrong. I couldn’t deal with what had happened by myself; I needed help.

Galatians 6:2 says that we should “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

I began to talk to people about what had happened; first to my youth pastor, then to my family and friends, and what I discovered was how many people could understand and relate to what had happened.

The things that I thought only happened to me, had been experienced by so many people that I knew, and all of these people supported me, and gave me so much advice.

But the main one, was to continue to talk about my problems to people.

A year on now, I can see that there was no way I could have ever gotten to the place that I am now without talking to friends, family, and to God. The experiences that God put me through have completely reshaped my life for the better, and it only by sharing it with other people that I am able to grow.

Talking about problems isn’t a sign of weakness β€” it’s a sign that you are strong enough to admit that you need help.

And what I’ve realized is that I am stronger through talking.

My relationship with God is stronger, my friendships are stronger, and I am more confident in living for God.

And I will never go back to not talking again.

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Lianne McKeown

is a 17 year old girl living in sunny Bermuda. She enjoys reading, writing, and is currently a culinary student. She tries to be an encouragement to others in need by sharing her faith and is learning to use her shy nature to her advantage.


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  • Yes Lianne! I just discovered this same thing this summer! I went to a youth conference and I had never told “my story” before. And before I knew it I was spilling things I really don’t like talking about. And I even said I don’t know why I am saying this I had something else planned. And my group helped me realize that the devil wants you to stay silent and think you can handle it and just “forget it”. But he isn’t going to let you. And God wants you to turn it over to him! That is something I have thought about and reminded myself of a lot. And I believe it has helped me grow and mature. (At least in my opinion!) I am so happy God took your story that was tragic and turn it into something of beauty! Because only he can do it!

      • You just keep thinking like @gbingo:disqus don’t you? I mean, it’s how you broke into the comments of the Reb, you’re doing it now… great minds, I guess.

          • My very first reb comment was something similar to what I did up there – you did a two word comment “The Bible” and I said “THE BIBL….aww man!” or something like that. =P

          • His first comment on the Reb was on “What should I study if I want to change the world?”. You said “The Bible.” His comment was “THE BIBL… Aw, man.”
            And then he had the same thought as you, it seems, over here.
            And I haven’t seen you in forever! What have you been up to?

          • *whispers* I just said that… XD

            Now I’m REALLY confused because I’m talking to YOU in three different places, and I’m talking to Grant off and on over PM on Revive lol.

          • Wow… maybe we should just consolidate into one convo and make it easier for you! I hear Guitars don’t have very big brains so they can’t process well.

          • Hey!!! XD But I’m a special guitar, my brain is ten times the size of a normal guitar (which technically would me that I still have no brain 0_O oh well)

          • I’m reminded of a quote from The Wizard of Oz: “Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking!”

          • You said it first! Hey, can guitars be offended? Or is this proof that you are not a guitar??

          • *offended* yes, we can!!! *starts to cry* WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE SO MEAN!!! XD jk

          • Hahaha! Oh wait, now it sounds like I”m laughing at your pain. Well, know that I’m laughing at your attempt at pretending to feel pain, okay bro?

          • *hands box of tissues to the Guitar before realizing that this guitar has no nose…*

          • If you’re going to laugh at my inadequate attempts to comfort you… *starts crying*

          • No! I’m not calling you weird! I would never call you weird, Guitar, I just think it.
            Oh wait, did I just say that?! I think I’d better shut my mouth before I put my foot in it…

          • Wait, isn’t there a foot in mouth emoji??? There is on my phone…. =P

          • My phone has so many emojis. I expect there is one, but I’m not hunting through all of them to find out!

          • Okay, lol! πŸ™‚

            Well… Idk, I’ve been being a rebelutionary! And sometimes that doesn’t include commenting on the Reb. πŸ™‚

          • (Brett Harris upvoted this! He came out of hiding!)
            Cool! πŸ™‚ I was just wondering…

  • Amen! “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” ~2 Timothy 1:7

    So good to hear how the Lord has worked in your life! Thank you.

  • This is so true. Me and a friend of mine have had the same problem. At first it was only ourselves who we talked about our problems to. And sometimes we forget to look at God when we face our problems. Opening up to others gave us a chance to look at things from different perspectives. Especially on God’s perspective. We shouldn’t be alone. We aren’t and we should not forget that. God is with us.

  • Wow. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve experienced, but I’m so glad to hear how God has taught you and brought you closer to Him through it.

    I’ve experienced this myself. The more I open up and share my problems, I find that not only am I encouraged, but often, the people around me can relate and are encouraged as well.

    Recently, I was at a Christian youth camp and I sat down by a girl I didn’t know and we just started talking. Eventually, I shared my problems and she shared hers. Strangely, they were almost the exact same problems! At the end, she said, “Wow, I’ve really been encouraged by this conversation.” And so had I!

    Thank you so much for writing this and sharing about this difficult time in your life. I’ll be praying for you!

  • Thanks for sharing your story, Lianne. I’m also super shy and quiet. If talking about your problems really helped you like it did, then maybe it will work for me. πŸ™‚

  • im also very reserved, and i dont like to talk about my problems, this article was very encouraging. thank you.

  • Beautiful. Thank you for your encouragement! “Talking about problems isn’t a sign of weakness β€” it’s a sign that you are strong enough to admit that you need help.” — So very true!

  • This is a very encouraging post! Thank you so much for sharing your story, Lianne πŸ™‚ All you’ve said is so true. Now i have to ask myself, “What am i gonna do about it?”

  • God doesn’t cause or plan bad things to happen, but I am so glad He works all things together for good to those that love Him.

    We all have problems of our own, and we can choose to let them depress us, (usually leading us into more problems), or we can choose to learn from the bad things we do or that others do to us, making stronger in Christ and weaker in self.

    God bless you, and great post! πŸ™‚

    • I disagree with you on your first part of your first sentence… God is on the throne, reigning omnipotent over everything. Nothing is outside of his control though, and there I agree. Jesus says that not a hair of our heads can be touched without his permission. If God is omnipotent, he can do anything. If God is sovereign, he rules all things. If God is omnipotent but not sovereign, God can be hired out and there is some authority above God, or at least equal to Him (not true — Job 1:6-12, Even Satan needs God’s permission to do anything). Since God is omnipotent and sovereign, he must foreordain whatsoever comes to pass. God meant for something to happen to you, but His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, as far as the heavens are above the earth. Honor God with your strength, everything that you can, and He will bless you. Remember, Gold takes a lot of fire and heat to be purified, and God calls us his gold He is purifying, therefore we can expect trials.

      Not to make it all depressing — God works everything for the good of those who love Him, therefore we can rest in him. Trust him, flee to him, and honor him, and he will bless you! Wishing you all the best!

      • Just to make my view known, I agree with Danny’s comment. God is ALL knowing and COMPLETELY sovereign. God does cause things we view as bad to happen. I mean, that’s found all over the Bible. But God is still good. The amazing part is that He works through our bad times to make things more good than we could ever imagine.

        • But, @DannyLyn:disqus, @a_haylie:disqus does God inflict(on purpose) cancer, death, and suffering on Christians?

          Think about this… Does God cause bad things to happen?
          If God does… then God’s nature includes bad?

          Point out where I am wrong, If I am wrong, and in what way logically.
          Because if I am wrong, I want to be corrected.

          Thanks for the input. πŸ™‚

          • Umm, well, have you ever read Job? Ya know, in the Bible? God allowed bad things, horrible things, actually, to happen to Job. Yes, the Devil was the one who inflicted those things, but God, ALLOWED it.

            That doesn’t mean God is bad! We, as humans on earth are bad. There is bad today because we decided to put it there, way back when in the Garden of Eden. But God uses death, cancer and suffering that WE have caused, and turns it around to bring glory to His precious Name.

            God also promises to work all things together for good to those who love God and are called to His purposes. (sorry, i don’t remember the reference)

            I know that many Christians disagree on this issue. This is what i believe to be true, but i respect your opinion, and would like to hear what you think. πŸ™‚ I hope this doesn’t seem rude πŸ™‚

          • I guess, it is a little like the difference between inflicting harm and allowing it. Shooting someone or letting someone else shoot someone, to give an extreme example.

            I guess, maybe, that suffering can be good as a consequence of evil, but this seems as a moral paradox to me. Is suffering and death necessarily bad or is it good as a necessary consequence of sin?

            In thinking this out, you both may have a good point.

            God gave me cancer because of sin(the fall) or God allowed cancer to infect me because of sin(the fall).

            Maybe this is splitting hairs, but they seem just a bit different…

            wow! This is a complex topic!

          • Yes it is complex, isn’t it! I’m glad to have someone to talk to about it though! I went looking in my Bible for verses about the topic, and found that Job 2:10-12 (i think) seem to support my point, if you want to look it up πŸ™‚ Sorry i’m to lazy too google it and post it πŸ˜›

          • Let me get a few things strait:

            I do believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, and free will, I do not see this to be in any way conflicting.

            God knows what we will choose, but does not choose for us. God did not create Adam and Eve with the intent of them choosing to sin, but He knew they would sin.

            Is God responsible for our choices or are we responsible for our own choices? I think, we are. However, God manages the consequences.

            There are consequences for sin, and God is sovereign over those consequences.

            Does God personally afflict people with illness as a consequence of sin or does He control nature(that He created and is sovereign over) to afflict people or both, because they may be one and the same.

            So does God “bless people with cancer” or does God work it together for good even though it is a bad thing and a consequence of sin? I think, the latter.

            We may be arguing over schematics.

            Are we by any “chance” arguing the same point?

          • Hmmm. We just might be. I’m so sorry that i’m being confusing! In your first comment, you said,

            “God doesn’t let bad things happen,…”

            I think He does. But there is no need to keep going around and around when essentially, i think we believe mostly the same thing. Thanks for being gracious and informative! God bless! πŸ™‚

          • Your right. That was poorly worded(I was going to change it.), but I felt it would make @DannyLyn:disqus’s post look awkward. I meant God doesn’t do anything bad or evil, consequences are good.

            I guess what I am more opposed to is the whole idea that God “blesses” people with a sickness.

            Can sickness be used as a blessing?
            Maybe, in some cases, it can.

            However, is the sickness itself a blessing?
            I just can’t say yes to that.

            Thank you, I think, we are done here then?

            God bless you too! πŸ™‚

          • I thank God that I don’t have cancer. Sorry for confusing you. It was a hypothetical example. God bless you! πŸ™‚

          • I think that God does not inflict bad things on people, everythig good comes from God! But we live in a fallen world, and God allows us to have free will, and sometimes we make the wrong descisions and that leads to war, famine, and sickness. But the point is, that God is NOT dependant on our circumstances! He works our mistakes for our GOOD and His GLORY!

        • Definitely. God uses the bad times to make the good times even better. And he always brings us through them as well.

  • Just wanted to ask, how is it that one can use their shyness their advantage? I used to be extremely shy, still am a bit, but I had to learn to step out there.

    • Although I’m not Lianne – obviously πŸ˜€ – my understanding is that there are opportunities which are ideally suited to shy – quieter, less talkative – people. πŸ™‚ I’m an extremely talkative, outgoing person, which I really appreciate! … However, other people don’t always don’t. I need to work continually to keep myself from being overwhelming to people, to be quieter, more gentle, less ‘wordy’, and in many situations I have been in, a shy person (if they are willing to let the Holy Spirit lead and step out a bit) have a definite advantage in beginning a friendship with, replying to questions from, or being a safe place for, someone who is quieter. πŸ˜€

      • Yeah. Thank you. I have to work toward being loud enough. My voice is very soft, besides my usual shyness.

        • That is a beautiful thing in it’s own right! Quietness and gentleness often get where ‘might’ (or a very forward person) cannot – Prov 25:15 πŸ™‚ God bless you Ella! <3

    • When you feel shy, you can relate to others who are shy and also notice them more. I get shy sometimes, but then you are in their shoes and can love them in a way that impacts them. God has created you perfectly for a specific purpose. He will use shyness as long as you don’t let it hold you back!

      • Thank you. My cousin said that to the extent I was shy, it was a almost scary. However, that was said slightly jokingly, so I don’t take it too seriously. I just considered it. πŸ™‚

  • Very encouraging and challenging post Lianne – I am praying that God will continue to encourage and bless you as you have blessed others, and as you follow Him. πŸ™‚ I am a very bouncy, outgoing person, but had shut my real feelings, needs and personality away from very soon after I became a Christian – and pretty much completely stopped all conversation about my spirituality, my walk with Christ and my struggles for six years. I had a very emotionally painful experience two years ago (with a broken friendship) which was a similar catalyst for me to begin talking about things, and although it’s been a tough and often painful road, I have finally built the friendship and openness with a number of mentors, and my parents, to be able to openly talk about how I am really going, and be vulnerable. It’s an incredible blessing, but as you also mentioned, I’m not going to take it for granted – I’m committed to keeping on talking about the things that matter, and walking in fellowship. Together we can stand, through the grace of our Saviour. πŸ˜€

  • i used to be suicidal. i used to self harm. people started praying for me. last time i self harmed was 1 year ago. I’m doing better now. glad you are too

    • I’m so glad you’re doing better. It’s amazing what God can do in our lives and just how drastically he can change them for the better.

  • “Talking about problems isn’t a sign of weakness β€” it’s a sign that you are strong enough to admit that you need help.” So true and such a great reminder! Thanks for sharing this, Lianne!

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsβ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More β†’