A year ago, Kamia K’Nuckles was trying to manage depression and anxiety after a failed suicide attempt. A voice in her head said, “Go to church.” She had no idea then it was the Holy Spirit or that her life was about to change.
K’Nuckles googled churches in Louisville and zeroed in on Southeast Christian Church’s Crestwood Campus. It seemed a “chance” choice on a turbulent day, a last-ditch effort of sorts.
For years, K’Nuckles juggled a pressure-filled job in the hotel industry with high expectations. Her car, apartment and wardrobe showed evidence of success. She had come a long way from her childhood in St. Louis.
“I come from a troubled past,” K’Nuckles said. “I didn’t grow up as great as I wanted to grow up. Not the family life you see on TV. Our family struggled. There were times we had no hot water. I remember coming home from school and seeing all our stuff on the porch when we were evicted.”
When K’Nuckles lost her job, it felt like a terminal blow to her identity.
“It was like I’d put all my issues in a box on a shelf,” she said. “And one day, the box fell off the shelf. Prescription drugs mellowed my depression, but I still felt dead inside. My anxiety kicked in full throttle as I worked a temp job to pay the bills. Buddhist meditation didn’t work, either. It was crazy to try to meditate harder. Even that was another pressure as I tried to meditate harder. I had no plans past age 30.”
The night she decided to end her life and swallowed a handful of pills, K’Nuckles sent a group message to her sisters and mother, telling them how much she loved them and how grateful she was to have them in her life. They texted back, telling her how much they loved her, too. But alarms went off. They sensed K’Nuckles was saying goodbye.
The next thing she remembers is paramedics taking her to the hospital.
When the doctor asked her how a bright, beautiful young lady ended up attempting suicide, K’Nuckles had no answers.
“The big question was where to go from there,” she said.
K’Nuckles decided to visit the Crestwood Campus to silence the “voice” in her head. One greeter after another welcomed her to the church.
“I remember going in, singing, communion, the screen coming down and the sermon with Kyle and the pastors from all different locations. It seemed like an introduction, a tour of the campuses,” she said. “It was different than the churches I experienced as a kid.”
After the service, Crestwood Campus Pastor Greg Allen mentioned a gift for visitors, and K’Nuckles headed to the atrium. She talked with Allen as she filled out a connection card. He asked what brought her to the church.
K’Nuckles plowed right into her story.
“I tried to kill myself in November, but that didn’t work out,” she told him. Allen connected her with Crestwood Campus Women’s Ministry Leader Susan Wilder.
Over cups of coffee at Starbucks, K’Nuckles told Wilder about everything she had been dealing with. Wilder asked if she wanted to ask Jesus to be her Lord and Savior.
K’Nuckles didn’t hesitate to say “yes.” Wilder baptized her a few weeks later.
K’Nuckles continues to work at a temp job, picking up food for those who order online, but life looks different now.
“I finally have peace. I stay faithful in Bible study, reading my Bible and praying every morning, giving the first hour of my day to God,” she said. “I want to use my voice to encourage young women that life can be different.”