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Katelyn J.

Today, Katelyn speaks to us about her focus on Psalm 139, and how God helped her come out of an abusive relationship.

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Katelyn J.

Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in the church. My parents were youth pastors and elders in our church, and I was the baby and little girl that was at church every Sunday, all youth meetings/trips, missions trips, etc. Basically, anything that related to church, I was the kid that ran around waiting for my parents! All in all, I had a fantastic childhood and was a complete daddy’s girl that was always outside finding something adventurous to do. I am thankful to have parents that always taught me so lovingly about the Lord, prayed with me daily, taught me the living Word, and pointed me to Him in literally everything we did!

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Psalm 139 has been on my heart the last few months! I love how it drives home how close the Lord is to us, and how He made us each so intricately and intently.

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Personally, at the moment, I’m focusing on growing in my prayer life. I want to be real with God because He knows me better than anyone else. Just like it says in Psalm 139, He knows every word we will say before we even speak it! I want to be raw, real, and honest before the Lord knowing that: 1) He knows; and 2) He is patiently waiting for me to lay it all before Him.

Profession: Photographer!

If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Beauty from Ashes! God has taken my messy, broken, painful past and turned it for His glory into something absolutely beautiful.

When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I was in an abusive relationship with someone that I had been with for SIX years. Things were getting so bad between us I really thought I was going to die. We got into a terrible physical argument one day, and I just broke down.

I cried out to God for the first time in a very long time and said if He was real, like my parents taught me and I grew up knowing, to please get me out of the relationship. I begged Him for about 15 minutes, as I sat alone in a room broken to my max. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own strength as I had tried MANY times before. Exactly a week later, God moved and told me to “Come back home to Him” and that He had great plans if I turned away and surrendered all to Him. I heard God loud and clear, and He made a way for me to leave the abusive relationship. That was my first encounter on my own faith as an adult!

How has your relationship with Him changed you? I’m not even the same person that I was before Christ in any way, shape, or form. After God literally rescued me from a long lasting, abusive relationship and toxic place, I made a decision to die to myself, pick up my cross, and follow Him.

I started going to church, actually reading and studying my Bible, watching what I filled myself with, stopped partying, doing drugs, having premarital sex, etc. Now, I’m not perfect in any way, but I am not where I used to be (Thank God!) Even something as small as my attitude and actions towards others. I have a kinder heart now than I ever did before! He’s done a great work in my heart and my life and continues to work every single moment in my life, even though I’m not deserving. He is still good.

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Surrounding myself with those who are walking in faith as well as leaders in Christ to help point me to Him, and getting plugged in to my church! Also disciplining myself to read my Word, worship/praise, and pray daily has helped SO much! It’s not always easy, but I do notice when I discipline myself in those areas that I grow a ton spiritually!

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I just read The Battle Belongs To The Lord by Joyce Meyer. It teaches on worshipping God through the day-to-day struggles of life. It has given me new perspective on fighting the enemy and gaining my victory in every situation through Jesus Christ.

Top three essentials: My Bible, my journal, and the YouVersion Bible app.

How did God speak to you recently? With the new year, I’ve been praying for words God wants to give me for the year, as well as what God wants me to work on throughout the year. So essentially, instead of making my own new year’s resolutions, I pray and ask God to reveal them for me! For 2020, the words I’ve gotten so far were strength and perseverance.

Hobby: Photography, reading, writing, anything outdoorsy/adventurous and hanging out with my three dogs!

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Surround yourself with fellow believers, journal everything in your spiritual walk, and pray without ceasing / reading the word! Also, be willing to be real, raw, and honest!

Favorite person in scripture? Job! He experiences an immense amount of pain and suffering. He lost absolutely everything. Then after all that, his own friends even make things a little worse by bantering back and forth! He goes back and forth with his emotions (understandably so), but after he hit a certain point, he called upon God himself. God then meets with him in a mighty way and after that one meeting, he immediately humbled himself and realizes that God is good, always will be good, and works in majestic ways that we don’t see or even understand. I applaud Job for his life and faith in the Lord.

“God then meets with him in a mighty way and after that one meeting, he immediately humbled himself and realizes that God is good, always will be good, and works in majestic ways that we don’t see or even understand.”

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? He is a redemptive, loving, powerful God! So many times we believe we can’t be fully healed or redeemed from our past. The things we may have said or done just have pulled us too far apart from the Lord and that we’re “too far gone” for His grace. IT’S SO NOT TRUE! God loves us so much, and He gives grace so freely which frees us from the chains and bondages of our past and thrusts us into the arms of a loving, POWERFUL, and mighty God!

How do you engage with your community? I’m currently in an internship that my church has been doing for about 30 years. Within this program, we learn and apply biblical principles such as service, prayer, etc. On top of that, I am not shy about my heart for God in my photography business. If God gave me the talents, skills, and wisdom to be a photographer and run my own business then you better bet I’m going to give it back to Him and the Kingdom! To God be the glory!

Favorite holiday? Easter! We celebrate the resurrection of Christ every day, but to be able to celebrate it in a recognized holiday brings me so much joy. I love the newness of spring– how everything is bright and joyful, just as it should be because He conquered the grave and gave us life!

“I love the newness of spring– how everything is bright and joyful, just as it should be because He conquered the grave and gave us life!”

A goal you have? Go deeper with Christ. Every day, I want to take steps towards deepening and strengthening my relationship with Him. It’s a constant goal because I will never “arrive” at this goal, but I pray it continues to grow bigger each and every year.

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Bedtime prayer and Bible study. Ever since I was a little girl, before bed, my family would gather around in the living room and read the Bible (or a devotional) and then share our blessings/praises and prayer requests. This tradition has carried on into my adult life, as we still call each other almost every night to share and pray.

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I honestly don’t think (at least at the moment) that I’d have any questions. I believe that I’d just want to bow in awe of the King of kings and the Lord of lords and thank Him, praise Him, and worship Him.

Sometimes silence is better than speaking, that would be what I feel is one of those times. It would be a special, intimate moment where I look into my Father’s eyes and instead of asking questions, I’d be at COMPLETE peace. A level of peace I don’t believe is even possible to grasp here on this earth. And in that moment, I wouldn’t even care to ask anything, but just to be in His presence and glory, knowing that I made it to my eternal home with my creator.

Thing you want to raise awareness about: Healthy relationships with Christ as the center. Coming from an abusive and toxic relationship, I want others to know that that’s not what God intended your relationship or marriage to be. Of course, no one is perfect and relationships will have their ups and downs, but a healthy relationship with God FIRST is key. There are so many abusive and toxic relationships in our world today, Christian or not and I want people to know that God loves them more than any other person can and ever will, and that a healthy relationship with God as the center is possible.

What does your morning routine consist of? I’m working on getting better with my morning routine as I am not a morning person (yet! haha), but so far I wake up and try to speak a verse or two out loud. By speaking the word and declaring it over my day, I always notice a difference in my attitude no matter how the day goes. Then, I drink a cup of coffee and read my Bible and a page from whatever devotional I’m on. After this, I pray and meditate on whatever God illuminated to me through His word and just have a quiet time with Him to speak to me about whatever He wants. Next, I’ll get ready for the day and while doing that I will put on my favorite worship playlist on Spotify and hum along as I finish getting ready! As I get into my car, I thank God for the day, for the rest I got that night, and give the day back to Him / lay it all at His feet.

What is on your nightstand? Usually my Bible, whatever book I’m reading, and my phone! I like to sleep with my Bible near as I do have PTSD and struggle with nightmares/flashbacks, so having my Bible there ready to yield its power as the sword helps a ton! Also, my radio is there because I play the Christian radio as I sleep!

Define Christianity in a sentence: A true and divine relationship with the one living God while choosing to seek and walk with Him each day, no matter what.

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For more Katelyn:

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/katelyn.elizabeth.photography_/ (business)
https://www.instagram.com/kateloooo/ (personal)

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/katelynelizabethphotography7/?ref=bookmarks

Until next time, keep witnessing!

XX

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