A Blessing in Disguise

My name is Kody Paul and I am from Rabun County, Georgia, a beautiful mountainous area in Georgia. I currently work at a boarding school and we help create unity with musicians and make teams with like minded people. I'm also in a  Christian rock band called BEyond THE SurFACE. I have always felt an overwhelming calling to help those that are hurting and broken - the ones that the world looks upon as outcasts. I have alway had a positive outlook on life andliving a great life and my family is wonderful. They have shown me so much family with much love and support throughout my childhood and into my adulthood. Life was great I was in a band that I love. Singing was my gift to lift people's spirits and I felt so alive because I was leading people to the light at such a young age, but somehow through all of my happiness I found myself questioning why do I even exist and my zest for living was nearly gone.

I refelect back I had just graduated highschool. I went from knowing where I was going to be 5 days of the week for 8 hours to waking uo not knowing what my future was going to look like. The one thing that I knew I could alway count on was my church and my leadership role that I had poured my heart out to fulfill. But the started to surely but slowly crumble. I felt that some of the people closest to me that I love and respected to much saud some very hurtful things about and I could not understand why this was happening to me. My role as a worship leader  became a little stressful for me because I felt like I was being obedient and doing the right things but I didn't have the backing from the people that I thought were going to support me.   Everytime I would go to lead and do my calling I felt like I was on pins and needles with everybody. I was so torn of walkig away from people treating bad and staying and fulfilling my duty. The stress continue to moung and I started to become sick. I even started vomiting; I eventually found out that I had a stomach ulcer. It just seemed like the stress and depression kept building. It just seemed like negative things kept happening one right after the other. I just ended my highschool role and my church role was falling apart and I just wanted to lay on the couch. I laid on the couch day after day, which led to month after month.

I always felt like I knew who I was growing up, but then one day it just felt like I didn't know who I was.  It felt like I was scattered in a million pieces and I had to try to pick up all the pieces and try to put myself back together, but as I started to pick myself up I struggled trying to put the pieces together.  It felt like the pieces didn't fit.  Before my depression, I thought I had it all together. I had my band going and everything seemed to make sense and now I was feeling kind of lost and confused.  I started questioning what I had going on. I wondered why I was doing what I was doing and was this what I was supposed to be doing.  Then, in the midst of all this, I received a call from someone asking me to go to help out at Camp Jackie.  At first I was scared because I have always felt drawn to work with special, needs but I am the type that gets attached to people very easily and I was afraid that I would get attached to one of these individuals and something might happen to them. Then I met one of the people who attended Camp Jackie and she was in her 70's or 80's and I realized there is no reason to worry.  I realized that my thoughts were kind of selfish over getting attached.  I was scared that I would get attached and they may pass away, but I realized that even if I was able to spend even a few days with someone, it would be worth it. So, I decided that I really needed to be a part of this wonderful opportunity.

Little did I know, that I would learn so much more from this experience than what I ever imagined. My biggest blessing was the day I met Charles. Charles attends Camp Jackie and has down syndrome. He just walked right up to me and gave me the biggest hug.  

It was almost as if he knew how badly I needed him at that time. It was as if God had sent him to me on purpose. We have since become the best of friends. We have our own special relationship and we have lots of fun together. Camp Jackie has been a true blessing for me. It has brought me out of my depression and has taught me a lot about myself.  Life is exciting again and I fill needed and wanted again!  I'm stoked my band is going to perform at a youth concert in a couple of weeks!

I hope you enjoy one of the ways how I like to express myself to the world.

This was our latest performance at the 2014 Winter Renewal:


Tom Gauthier's picture

Thanks, Kody, for your inspiring story! I'm so happy for you that you have found meaning and satisfaction in reaching out and sharing. I love your music, and so happy that you can share this gift. Tom