Here are 10 basic things you should probably know about me…
- My name is Tatiana Blackburn (but you can call me Tat)
- I’m 19 years old
- I love Jesus
- I was born in Ontario, Canada
- I currently live in Cambridge, Ontario and attend Heritage College and Seminary
- I speak English and Spanish (but Spanish is by far my favourite)
- I’m always down to eat cheesecake, take pictures, laugh, have a deep theological conversation and dance (even though any of my friends will tell you that I am a terrible dancer)
- Having coffee dates is one of my favourite activities (bonus points if that date includes cheesecake)
- My dream is to travel the world and help people
- I love writing almost as much as I love eating cheesecake
I’d love to get to know you!
Feel free to comment, follow me on Twitter or Instagram or e-mail me.
For those of you who’d like to know my entire story, here it is.
I found out about Jesus when I was four years old. My dad had recently decided to follow Jesus and our family began attending church. I don’t remember it but I have multiple sources that tell me I prayed the “sinner’s prayer” in a Sunday school class one morning. I think that started the journey I’ve been on for my whole life.
Looking back now, it seems like my life has constantly been about Jesus pursuing me and pushing me into a deeper relationship with him.
When I was younger, this seemed awful and painful but looking back now, it’s so beautiful.
So this journey started when I was four years old. I grew up in the church, in fact I don’t ever remember a time when we weren’t apart of our church in Barrie. It was a wonderful place and I loved it there but as I grew up, I loved it for the wrong reasons.
Sunday mornings became less about learning about Jesus and more about socializing with my friends. I cared more about what I would wear to church that week than about what Jesus would teach me that morning.
It got pretty bad.
I was really comfortable and felt great but if I’ve learnt anything in these past 18 years, it’s that Jesus wants us to be so much more than just comfortable.
It was the 6th grade when everything started to consume me. I was in a relationship and I had amazing friends, I thought I didn’t need Jesus because I already had everything I needed. I fell deep into this trap and I had no desire to get out.
Three and half years later (yes, I know that is an incredibly long time but I’m stubborn, okay?) I attended a leadership training program at Circle Square Ranch, a summer camp in Brantford, Ontario. The program was two weeks long and in those short fourteen days, Jesus complete changed my heart and made me realize what I was doing wrong.
I wasn’t making him a priority.
I didn’t care about my relationship with him.
I was focussing on things that were all going to go away one day.
Coming home from that summer I was determined to change. But the second I got back, I decided I wasn’t going to and sure enough, five months later the things I was focussing on left my life.
I was devastated and had no choice but to turn to Jesus. Ever since then, he is the only thing I’ve trusted in because I know now that if he’s not the only thing I have then I’ll never have anything worth while.
That was 2013 and now it’s 2017.
In these past four years, Jesus has pushed me deeper than I ever could’ve imagined he would. He’s asked me to go places, he’s asked me to stay, he’s asked me to reconcile with people and He’s asked me to trust him with my whole life.
He asked me to move to a new country and learn a new language and culture. He’s asked me to give up my entire life to serve him and to do things that seem crazy to other people.
He’s asked me to do all this in only four years and I can’t wait to see what He’s going to ask me to do in the years to come.
I’d be honoured if you’d want to join me on this journey. It’s crazy and wild and usually unpredictable but when we decided to follow Jesus, we don’t sign up for anything less than that right?
4 thoughts on “Meet Tat”
Dearest Tat, what a beautiful Blog. I wish I had the opportunity to meet you. What a beautiful girl who is now resting in Jesus’ arms. Please watch over your family, send them signs. They need to feel your presence. I know you will be so missed, you family will be so heartbroken to not have you here on earth. A beautiful soul, gone too soon. Sending your family many prayers. Please, if you see my boy Cody, please hug him for me and dance with him xxxxxxxxx
God’s richest blessings in your loss here on earth for your family and friends. May your love be a legacy for all that have been touched by your practical God lead deeds.
Gosh, Tat. I don’t even know where to start or even where to finish. I remember hearing your name for the first time at college and thinking that it was cool. I remember hearing you speak Spanish with a guest speaker in Missiology and mention that you lived in Peru. I remember wanting so badly to talk to you about my love for Peru and to ask what you experienced there, but all I could do was stare. I’m not a social person, you see, and I thought that you might just brush me off politely like everyone else. Reading your blog has me realizing that we could have had a great friendship with so many similar interests.
I remember attending your father’s talk about what your family does in Peru and hearing about your influence on them. I wish I could convince my family to be as selfless as yours.
I remember seeing your tattoo of the world and thinking it was so cool. I remember seeing someone at CSR have the same one two years later and I immediately thought of you. I met your best friend at camp and she told me about your engagement the day that it happened, but I was not to tell anyone else about it until you guys shared it online. It made me happy to hear that another pair of strong Christians were going to glorify God together.
But I also remember my last week of camp when I was looking for a camper who had stormed off on me. I remember seeing your best friend shattered and lost as her father tried to comfort her. Somehow I knew it was related to you, but I figured that it wasn’t as serious as it was.
I remember the words streaming out of Andrea’s mouth a day later as she told us the news. She said your name and the word “died” in the same sentence. I thought it had to be another Tatiana. Then she mentioned Matt and that we needed to pray. My mind broke for a few hours that day. I couldn’t believe it. Shock is the only word to describe it.
That was one of the worst days of my life, and I didn’t even get to know you. I can’t imagine what your loved ones must be feeling.
I remember attending your funeral, hoping that it would help. It didn’t. It made things worse.
I think about you every day and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because you died young. Perhaps it was because we had similar interests. Maybe both. But I now fear that the same could happen to me and that I will not have as great potential as you.
Gosh, everything relating to Peru and myself seems to be crashing down to the ground. There’s you. There’s a leader whom I admired and went to Peru with who committed suicide just two days before you left. There’s the man who was in charge of leading our churches down to Peru (who gave me solid advice) who got arrested for something awful. There’s the dreams about the people in the dump I visited down there and how unfair their lives are. And even my good friend who got married to a Peruvian and is moving down there shortly… I can’t even look at them without having a mental breakdown. I’m scared they might die too.
I’m sorry to make this about me and make this so negative, but I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed of what I’ve done and who I am. I’m ashamed that I lost the vision of where I was sure God wanted me. I’m ashamed of being too ashamed to reconnect with Him. I’m ashamed of wandering through time not knowing what to do. I’m ashamed of listing to satan. And Tat, I’m so very ashamed that I never got to know you. I’m ashamed that all I could do was stare at you when I first saw you, and I’m ashamed that all I can do now is stare at the “In Loving Memory of” picture of you that sits on my nightstand.
I guess I’m writing this here – even though you can’t read it – to get some peace of mind. To vent, maybe. I guess I’m hoping that this will prevent me from having another existential crisis tonight. I just want to stop feeling so lost and scared.
But God is holy and good. No matter what, to Him be the glory.
Dear Lost. This is Tat’s dad we maintain her blog. I’m so sorry I didn’t see your comment before today, we are working at some new guest bloggers and I was looking through some areas I’ve never gone before and came across your post. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I’m sure Tat would have loved to get to know you. Please know that if there is anything we can help you with or if you are planning another trip to Peru drop us a note. email@example.com. We would love to chat more and we are here for you! Hugs and Love