Today, Kathryn speaks to us about a move that gave her unexpected gifts.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I was very blessed and fortunate to grow up with two loving parents and four siblings. I was raised in Tampa, fell in love with dance and music at a young age, played sports and spent most of my childhood outdoors with friends and family.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: At this point in my life, Psalms 23 has been speaking to me on a deeper level, specifically, verse 6. “Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.” With all of the uncertainty I’m facing right now, I can be certain that God’s love is with me everywhere I go. This verse is powerful because it’s a reminder that He hasn’t left even for a moment, and that I don’t have to wait to get to heaven to dwell in His love; it’s here now.
“With all of the uncertainty I’m facing right now, I can be certain that God’s love is with me everywhere I go.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I’ve struggled to focus on God and spend time with Him during this hectic year, but I am choosing to let go of my excuses and fix my eyes on Him again. I am spending a lot less time on social media, and I feel so much happier. Avoiding the negativity around me and choosing Him instead is how I find true joy. I find peace in saying no to my idols and yes to God’s word, and I’m being reminded of how powerful and beautiful it is to just spend time with Him.
Profession: I am currently a marketing coordinator. I’d love to be a writer or anything freelance.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Probably something like “I don’t know what I’m doing”. Humorous and real at the same time.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I grew up in church but wasn’t super involved until my teenage years. My family moved to Nashville when I was 12, and I felt very alone and insecure. I didn’t like being the new girl and felt rejected by the girls in my church class. My friend invited me to her youth group retreat at another church, where I first encountered God. I had always believed in His existence, but I remember standing there surrounded by people worshipping God and I saw some people start to cry. It was the first time I had really worshipped Him and truly felt His presence overwhelm me. Then I was baptized at 13 and really started pursuing my faith.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? My relationship with God transformed me. In middle school, I was sad all the time and always felt very insecure. But because of God’s presence and His word, I started to see myself in a new way. I couldn’t believe someone loved me so unconditionally. He’s shown me that I’m beautifully and wonderfully made. He’s shown His faithfulness by providing for my family during our two big moves, protecting me from things I thought I wanted but would ultimately harm me, and by leading me to better things. I am still a sinner; I mess up, I get anxious, I feel anger and sadness, but at the end of the day, I have hope. He’s given me hope that I can hold onto forever.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? The move to Tennessee was very difficult for me because I left behind an amazing life in Florida. I lost a lot of my friends, gave up on pursuing dance, and started feeling a huge weight of sadness and loneliness. I rarely ever felt happy and didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t feel passion for anything anymore. Now, I look back and see how faithful God really was. If I hadn’t lived in Nashville for three years, I would have never met my best friend. I also might not have ever learned to play guitar.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? It has been hard not going to work every day, having less things to do, not being able to go out with friends, missing out on study abroad, concerts, and other exciting things. But as hard as it’s been, it’s given me the chance to reevaluate myself, my choices, and my faith. I was so busy before everything shut down, but now I have more opportunities to slow down and be still. I am trying to look at this difficult season as an opportunity, not a hindrance.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I’m not currently reading a book because I have five classes to stay on top of! However, I’ve been reading a bible plan about uncertainty, which is teaching me to trust God and deal with uncertainty in a biblical, faithful way.
Top three essentials: Bible, laptop, AirPods.
How did God speak to you recently? From my Bible plan: “What if your current limitation is actually an invitation for people to partner with you in the God-glorifying story He wants to tell through you?”
Hobby: Write, play guitar, play piano, take photos, use Lightroom and Illustrator.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
- Stay in the word
- Communicate with God daily
- Seek positive community of believers
Favorite person in scripture? Paul.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want people to see how loving and accepting He is. Many people reject God because of the way they’ve been treated by Christians. I want people to know that God is so much more loving and gracious than anyone who’s ever hurt them. I want to be an example of the grace and love that He offers to everyone.
How do you engage with your community? Right now, I am searching for a new church to join, so I feel a lack of community right now, especially with things being shut down. I usually engage with my community through social media, but since I’m taking a break, I have been more focused on my family and my boyfriend, just spending time with the people closest to me.
Favorite holiday? Definitely Christmas.
A goal you have? I hope to spend lots of time traveling after college and find a job that gives me that flexibility.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: We spend a week at St. Augustine Beach every year.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I’ll probably have a million questions but when I see Him, I feel like I would just say “Thank you”.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: With all of the important issues going on in the world, the one that keeps being censored is human trafficking. I want to do whatever I can to raise awareness, give victims a voice, and be the generation that puts an end to human trafficking.
What does your morning routine consist of? I usually get up, make coffee and watch TV to fully wake up before starting my day.
What is on your nightstand? A Bible, notebook, candle, ibuprofen and usually water or coffee.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Acknowledging your sin, accepting God’s unearned grace, and proclaiming His name.
For more Kathryn:
Until next time, keep witnessing!