Open, honest and vulnerable: one blogger's journey

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of articles over the next few weeks exploring the world of LDS blogging.

It all started with a divorce.

One day in the summer of 2012, Kenna Christensen's husband texted to say he was leaving her. Although their first year of marriage had been difficult, the news that day was completely unexpected. It was the beginning of a heartbreaking nightmare.

More than a year and a half later, Christensen has moved on. She has sought peace and healing in the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has also found strength and offered hope to others through another source — her blog.

The blog, ileftmyheartinnz.blogspot.com, isn’t about uncomfortable details, blame or retaliation. It’s an open, honest and vulnerable approach to how the gospel saved her from a painful experience. It’s an example of how sharing personal trials can spark missionary conversations about the gospel and bless lives.

"I thought I was the only 22-year-old in Utah County who was divorced. However, not long after I started writing, I started getting emails from people, young and old, who were going through or had gone through a divorce … people who are not of my faith, but who wanted to know about the religion that was giving me so much strength," Christensen said. "Once I realized my faith and testimony could touch other people, I really started getting excited."

‘A loss of love’

Recalling that night, rehashing that story... it feels foreign, it feels wrong. It feels like a dream. It feels like a lifetime ago and it feels like yesterday. Was it yesterday? What is happening? How is this my life? There are questions — millions of them. There are feelings — too many of them. There are promises — promises I thought so sacred — that were broken in a few seconds. There is betrayal — betrayal I never thought I would have to feel. There is anger. There is resentment. There is confusion. There is bitterness. … Everything is broken. (Kenna Christensen’s blog, Oct. 5, 2012)

On July 4, 2012, Christensen and her husband attended a barbecue with her family. They enjoyed fireworks and celebrated America’s Independence Day. The next day she awoke and went to work, unaware of what was coming.

Then her phone buzzed with that life-changing text from her husband. She became physically ill and despair overwhelmed her. In time he remarried and she tried to carry on with her life.

The blog

I've been told to blog about something other than the church, because I know, it is all I talk about. But it’s all I talk about because it truly has become my life. (Kenna Christensen’s blog, Dec. 15, 2012)

In the months following her divorce, friends and family encouraged Christensen to start a blog so she could write and put her feelings into perspective. She questioned the wisdom of such an idea. She didn't consider herself to be a "tech-guru" and wondered how people would respond, she said.

“Divorce in the Mormon culture is a little taboo, and pretty scary to talk about,” Christensen said. “Obviously, I was a little worried about what other people would think.”

Even so, Christensen gave it a try, choosing her words carefully while still baring her soul. She didn’t want to portray a negative message. She wanted to talk about her experience in a way that would offer hope and inspiration to others facing similar challenges. To her surprise, readers responded with an outpouring of love and understanding.

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