Today, Karli speaks to us about the importance of a lesser read book in the Bible, control, and how she came to understand who God is.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a Christian household. My parents were both incredibly involved in the church, so naturally, my siblings and I were, as well. I grew up singing in the choir, began performing in church drama in middle school, and began speaking in youth group in high school.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: The passage I am inspired by, at the moment, is 2 Timothy 1:7. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: My spiritual growth focus right now is listening to the Holy Spirit. I am learning how important it is to be led by the Holy Ghost. He gives us guidance and wisdom.
Profession: I am a Youth and Children’s Pastor! So much fun!
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily, secular work?
As a youth and children’s leader, people automatically assume that God is in everything that you do. But, even for pastors, it’s easy to try and work without God, making the entire ministry about ourselves. However, I try my best to rely on the Holy Spirit to lead me as I lead the students and children He has entrusted to me.
“But, even for pastors, it’s easy to try and work without God, making the entire ministry about ourselves.”
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? If I wrote a memoir, the title would be, “God is Love, Love is Patient.” The reason this would be my title is because in all that I have walked through in my life, this seems to describe my relationship with the Lord perfectly. So often I feel as if God is mad at me or ready to throw in the towel on me. But thankfully, He is not mad at me. He loves me, and every single day I am allowed the opportunity to wake up and see His grace and patience on my life.
“He is not mad at me. He loves me, and every single day I am allowed the opportunity to wake up and see His grace and patience on my life.”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I believe my first real encounter with God was in high school. Growing up in a Christian home, I knew a lot of things about God, but I began to realize that I never really knew Him. At about 17 years old, I bought my first Bible. I had Bibles, but they had been given to me or passed down by family members. However, this Bible was different. I had picked it out myself and it was one that was easy to read. I began reading it and the more I did, the more I began to learn about God and about who He is. Over time, this led to me truly giving my life to Christ because I began to understand what He had done for me.
“However, this Bible was different. I had picked it out myself and it was one that was easy to read. I began reading it and the more I did, the more I began to learn about God and about who He is.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? During this season of my life, one thing that has helped me grow spiritually is spending more time in prayer. Oftentimes, it’s easy for me to dwell on problems in my life, or complain about them to others. Yet, as many of us know, those things don’t help matters at all. I have been learning to lean on God and to stay in constant communication with Him.
“Oftentimes, it’s easy for me to dwell on problems in my life, or complain about them to others. Yet, as many of us know, those things don’t help matters at all.”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently reading the Book of Revelation. Boy, is it showing me a lot! I am learning the importance of living a life served for God and sharing with others about Christ’s return. I believe that Revelation can be seen as a scary book, and to be honest, it can be. However, it is a book that prepares us for the second coming of Christ.
Top three essentials:
Okay, I feel like these need to be a bit light after all of my talk about Revelation:
1. Coffee – I need my caffeine!
2. Chick-Fil-A – I mean… it’s the Lord’s chicken. Am I right?
3. Leopard Print – This is my favorite pattern. I like to have a little leopard print somewhere on me every day! (Can you tell I’m from the South?)
How did God speak to you recently? Recently, God showed me that I like to be in control. This came after a really tough Sunday at church with some students in my youth group. I kept asking God why I felt as if I couldn’t get through to them that day. He showed me several things, but the main was this: “Karli, you don’t have to control everything.”
That hit me hard, as I saw how much I liked to try and take charge of every little thing in my life and ministry. I am praying that this is a habit God will help me get rid of.
“I kept asking God why I felt as if I couldn’t get through to them that day.”
Hobby: Reading! I have always loved reading. At one point in my life, my goal was to be a middle school reading teacher.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
2. Seek the Lord’s Wisdom
3. Read God’s Word daily.
Favorite person in scripture? I love Esther! She was so bold and brave. I want to be just like her.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? My prayer is that people would see that God is a God of love. I want to show love and grace to all who cross my path.
How do you leave your mark on your community? The neighborhood that I work in is known as one of the worst in my town. It is an urban community that has been known for much crime. My prayer is that as I am working there, the children and their families that live there would come to know Christ.
Favorite holiday? Christmas! I listen to Christmas music all year round!
A goal you have? My goal is to be confident and bold. I grew up being shy and anxious. My goal is to be the brave and courageous woman God created me to be.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: A tradition my family and I keep is always getting together with each other on birthdays. In all of my 26 years, I can’t remember a time where we didn’t celebrate with cake and ice cream for anyone in the family.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I would like to ask God to explain the people in my life that passed away or suffered horrible illnesses.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I want to raise awareness for children that are growing up in single-parent homes. It’s common, and many people know that. However, what I’m not sure people realize is the effect that has on children. It greatly impacts their development and their characteristics.
What does your morning routine consist of? When I wake up, I reach for my phone and read the verse of the day. Afterwards, I begin talking to God about my day. When I get to work, the first thing I do before I work is journal, read my Bible, and write in my prayer book.
What is on your nightstand? A book about how God speaks through dreams, a book of poems a former student of mine wrote, a lamp, and lotion.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Laying aside everything to follow Jesus Christ.
For more Karli:
Until next time, keep witnessing!