Just after my 18th birthday, I decided to do a 6-month internship before I left for college. I never made it to college. In January of 2006, I went to IHOPKC to do the OneThing internship. Once there, I was fully immersed in a new ideology and people who constantly told me how amazing I was. I was hooked. My entire theology changed to Jesus as a bridegroom, the end times were imminent, and I was praying for a violent Jesus to return and start waging war on the world. I remember crying when I realized I had to leave and go back home. I was a different person when I came back. I no longer had anything in common with high school friends. I only wanted to be around other people who shared my new beliefs. In my hometown was a tiny House of Prayer where I would spend the next 5 1/2 years of my life a full-time staff. We had live musicians sometimes, and the rest of the time would livestream the IHOPKC feed. I was given no stipend, instead raising support through donation checks, living off savings, and barely able to buy food. I now was the one leading internships: teaching the same theology I had been taught to people slightly younger than me. The psychological impact of the IHOPKC theology can’t be understated. I was told that my “heart was deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked”. It turns out that spending years telling yourself that you deserve nothing good because only Jesus is good takes a toll on your self esteem. It opened me up to several abusive relationships, because I didn’t know I was actually valuable and worthy of basic respect. Because these circles were so insular and elitist, the trajectory of my whole life was affected by it. I married someone within these circles. I fasted regularly and that has had a lasting impact on my body. I struggle to sing and play my instrument because they were used for “prophetic worship” for so many years. I don’t know how to do things just for fun, because it is so ingrained to always be doing something for a higher cause. I still haven’t finished college. I never traveled or fulfilled any of my own dreams for my life before I joined IHOPKC. I was too busy being holier-than-thou and sitting in a room worshipping. I don’t have anything good to show for it. Only pain and regret.

- OneThing Intern2006