Today, Kiley speaks to us with resilience about this dark season in her life and how God is getting her through. You don’t want to miss it.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: Honestly, I don’t remember much of my childhood, even though I’m only 18 right now. I’ve grown up in a Christian household. We went to church every Sunday and went to about all of the church activities. My dad is an FBI agent and my mom is a teacher.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Jeremiah, it has really been speaking to me lately. It has been whipping me into shape.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I need to spend a lot of time listening to Christ instead of always just talking. I am a big talker and anyone that knows me would agree. So, I need to listen to God’s response to what He really wants me to do. It is a big challenge, but it’s worth it for sure.
“I need to spend a lot of time listening to Christ instead of always just talking.”
Profession: Currently, I am working towards what I think God is calling me to do which is to share my story. I am working towards being a Christian motivational speaker.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? But God, Hills and Valleys, or Jesus Above Everything. This life is not about me. It is about God and growing His Kingdom.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I grew up in the church, so I always knew about God, but I vividly remember encountering Him at my church camp after my sophomore year. I had been doing things that I wasn’t proud of, and I really felt convicted by the Holy Spirit. There were a lot of tears, then. When I went home, I told my mom everything I had done and really started walking in my faith. I began leading a group of middle school girls. I found a Christian mentor. I started a Bible study. I just really felt like I was growing in my faith and love for Christ.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? He has given me so much hope in the midst of my suffering. He has given me so much comfort and peace in the midst of the chaos.
“He has given me so much comfort and peace in the midst of the chaos.”
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? I am currently living in the darkest time of my life. It started in April 2019. I lost a friend to suicide. We were all praying and hoping that she would come back to us, but on Easter of all days, they declared her brain dead. It was really really difficult to wrap my mind around. About 3 weeks later my dad was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a terminal brain cancer. We found out in June (on a Tuesday) that he would have 2-6 weeks left to live. Then, on Thursday of the same week I had a big seizure. The paramedics thought that it was a result of experiencing a traumatic experience, but I went and got tested and scanned the next morning anyways. An MRI showed a huge tumor in my left frontal lobe. The doctor told me I would need surgery. So, I went in on July 2nd to have it removed. About a week later I was told I had the same type of cancer as my dad. Currently, I am in my 5th week of radiation. Then I will start a chemo pill. But God gave me hope, peace, and comfort in the midst of my suffering. I said in a sermon I preached the day before my seizure, “If more people will come to know Christ through my life, then let me live. If more people come to know Christ through my death, then take me home. But if more people come to know Christ through my suffering, then let me suffer.” I see God providing me with opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten if I didn’t have this incredible story to share. Opportunities to lead people to Christ and to be bold in my faith.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? My army of family, friends, and other supporters have really helped me in this season. I know I am not alone. I have an army holding me up and the commander of that army is God. I feel so blessed. We have been getting meals, cards of encouragement, prayers, and more. Everyone wants to help in some way and I am just at awe.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am working my way through Jeremiah. It taught me that God has a plan for us before we were even born. We can’t escape the plan God has for us, He already has prepared the way. When God calls you to do something, don’t hesitate just do it. There is also no fault in God. We should seek Him with all of our heart. It is important that we don’t abandon God while He is still leading us. Pay attention to the word of the Lord.
Top three essentials: God, family and friends.
How did God speak to you recently? God wants me to share my story and help people learn about the salvation that is freely given to us all.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Surround yourself with a strong community of believers that you can lean on and that can keep you accountable. Read the bible. Worship God. Worship comes in many forms; prayer, singing, journaling, dancing, etc.
Favorite person in scripture? Currently, it is Esther and Job, I really look up to them in many ways. Despite their circumstances they still praised God. They still listened to Him and were obedient.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? If God walks you to it, He will walk you through it. God won’t leave you astray, He won’t leave you in the dust. He won’t leave you all alone. God will carry you through your battle if you let Him.
How do you engage with your community? I am really involved at my church. I serve on the worship team with both students and adults. I have a small group of middle school girls. In high school, I was super involved in clubs. I just like being social and giving people something to smile about.
Favorite holiday? Valentine’s Day- I know, I’m weird. I love seeing other people happy and I love love. It has a different vibe than the rest of the holiday’s and you can just do the littlest thing and someone will smile about it.
A goal you have? To share Christ with as many people as I can, until the day I die.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why did my dad and I have to get cancer?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: God and Glioblastoma.
What does your morning routine consist of? I have a goldendoodle named Angel that I got after I was diagnosed, so I take her out first thing in the morning, and then I do all the normal stuff (brush teeth, shower, get dressed, eat, etc.)
Define Christianity in a sentence: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
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Until next time, keep witnessing!