Looking Behind & Ahead (2015 Edition)

God, Just Life and Stuff

What are you doing right now?

Are you working?

How are you doing?

These are a few of the all too familiar questions I’ve been asked recently. I’ve become aware that people do not know what has gone on in my life the last few months. Honestly, my people-pleasing personality would rather nobody know how I’ve been lately, but honesty and vulnerability are so vital.

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A while back, not long after graduation, I asked God to break my heart for what breaks his. I knew that was a serious prayer, but I didn’t realize how weighty that request truly was. Over the last few months I’ve gotten a glimpse, and I quickly learned that is a dangerous prayer to pray.

God answered my prayer and made me more vulnerable, emotional and raw than I have ever been. I have learned so much about ministry, communication and the lack of control I have. I have struggled with depression and anxiety to a degree that I haven’t felt since 14-year-old me faced a harsh home life and subsequent divorce. I have learned much about myself and how I don’t have it together (at all).

Most importantly, I learned that I don’t have the power to fix things, including myself. I have felt the weight of things that are far out of my control. Dealing with this been a very VERY difficult thing for this type-A-my-calendar-is-perfectly-color-coded-and-I-can-solve-all-the-problems organizer to learn. I have seen how small I am, and how I really must lean on God for everything.

Needless to say, my pride and longing to succeed have continuously taken beatings. When I felt called to step away from my job nearly three months ago, I began to feel more insecure than ever before. Me, the overachiever, stepping away from a job, moving back in with my mother and being unemployed? Cue the dramatic screams!

In all seriousness, stepping off my pedestal and away from my job was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am still terribly insecure, because I have always found a large piece of my identity in the quality of my work and in what job I hold. God is taking my idols from me. It hurts, but I asked for it, and I know He will use it for His good. Still, easier said than acted upon.

Thankfully, God has never left me during tis hard season. In fact, He has been so SO gracious as to show me glimpses of His grace through those around me. I am grateful for glimpses of His unconditional love that have come through my mom being my personal therapist and opening her door to me, my friends’ prayers and encouraging words, my sister making me junk food, people allowing me to couch surf, and an incredible guy who holds my hand during anxiety attacks and meltdowns. Without these people, I don’t know how I would have made it to this point. God gives us what we need to make it through difficult seasons, and what incredible support he has given me.

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So what now?

I’m currently on the job hunt, searching for jobs far and wide anywhere in the Southeast. The application and interviewing process is humbling, nerve wracking and not fun. Needless to say, my anxiety has not helped the affair. Even though I beat myself up about being a wreck, I know God always uses broken people (thanks RUF@UGA) and He has a perfect plan.

While I apply for jobs, I write feature articles on unconventional topics for local publications and do desk work for my mom. They are not glamorous positions, and I have been very humbled through them. After putting my pride aside, I have become grateful that God has provided ways for me to make money and build my portfolio.

My anxiety is still at an all-time worse. All too often I have difficulty breathing, sleeping and finding energy. However, God has used this time to draw me closer to him. I have spent significantly more time in the Word and in prayer as I have felt I had nothing else. I’ve been convicted of how I am so intentional only because I’m in a dark place, but I’m praying that my new habits will stick for years to come. I recently bought a new Bible, and began finding new ways to be more intentional with my bible reading and studying (if you are curious about #illustratedfaith as seen above, let’s talk about it! It’s amazing!). I haven’t made any concrete New Year’s resolutions, but I do plan on digging further into the Bible more than in any year past.

The latter half of 2015 has been the most difficult season of my adult life. However, I am excited to see what 2016 has in store. I have much to look forward to, including finding a new job, moving to a new place, strengthening relationships with old friends, meeting new friends, and becoming stronger because of the past few months.

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“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

– C.S. Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wrapping Up Summer 2015

Camp Grace, Relating Publicly, Travel

I can hardly believe that over two weeks ago we said goodbye to our last campers at Camp Grace New York. I had a great month helping to serve nearly 100 kids on 150 acres overlooking the Hudson Valley. The property and view were amazing, and the staff and kids there were even more incredible

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Many of the kids we served in New York were from Operation Exodus and had been to camp before. I love watching returning campers because they are so excited about coming back. It is obviously one of their favorite weeks of the year. We were also able to serve a new ministry partner called Born Again Disciples. I also love to see new campers experience camp for the first time. The two weeks of camp were full and exciting.

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As much as I enjoyed doing camp again, it was not always smooth sailing. I was absolutely exhausted from eight weeks of camp in Georgia and even got sick for a short period. The Lord definitely taught me about leaning on Him and pushed me to really die to self during exhaustion and weakness in order to serve. It was challenging, but seeing the fruit of everyone’s hard work was worth each second I struggled. Praise God for growing me in every circumstance!

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We saw 27 first time salvations within two weeks! The majority of the 100 campers who attended accepted Christ last year and experienced more spiritual growth during camp this year. Seeing the joy and knowledge gained within just six days was incredibly rewarding.

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I was also fortunate to visit NYC three times during my stay. I had not been in four years, so I enjoyed walking around and seeing new parts of the city I never experienced. Several of the staff had never been to the city, so I had a lot of fun being able to share their first experience with them.

Spending time in the city and working with summer staff who are from the area really helped me realize how much camp is needed for the kids. So many of them need to get out of the city to have a change of setting and a gain new perspective. They face many temptations and hard circumstances in such an overwhelming, busy setting, and having a place to escape to and grow in is huge for them.

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Roadtripping up with my #MediaTeam was a blast, and the boys did an incredible job capturing camp in just two weeks. You should definitely check out the CGNY Facebook and watch the video at the bottom to see some of their hard work! I’m so thankful for them.

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Since my return almost two weeks ago, I have been easing into my duties for the off-season while also recovering from the 14 weeks of summer camp hours. I still have a lot of support raising to do on top of my fundraising, social media and design duties. If you would like to join my support team, click HERE. I could not be a part of this ministry without you!

Thank you for your prayers and support! I am so excited to see what God does next at camp.

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June Update

Camp Grace, God
Forty-one. The number of days since I started working at Camp Grace full-time. They have easily been the 41 busiest days of my life, but also some of the most incredible. This morning I spent a few hours just being with Jesus and meditating over the past six weeks so I could gather my thoughts for this update. There was much needed filling up after weeks of pouring out.
 I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have at camp. I love my job. I love watching kids with heartbreaking stories join a family with eternal hope. Witnessing heart changes makes 16 hour work days worth each second. I’m tired, and Galatians 6:9 has been a reoccurring theme for the summer. Although I am called to work hard, I also know that there is a time for everything, especially rest.
 I have felt overwhelmed lately with the amount of roles I have at camp. Publicist. Designer. CIT director. Social media strategist. Supporter of leadership staff. Camera(wo)man. Head of the #MediaTeam. I would be lying if I said I never grow weary. However, I am reminded that I am nothing without Christ, and my true identity is in Him. When I fall short in my jobs (which I often do), I’m reminded that I’m free to fail because I’m defined by Christ’s actions, not my performance.
Some days I am still discouraged, but God is faithful to remind me what a gift it is to serve here. My favorite reminder was given to me on Friday. I had just finished shooting an interview with an urban partner, when my boss, Carrie called me over to the high zip line.
“Michael is about to conquer his fear. I want you to film it.”
I sat on a platform for 30 minutes while several of us encouraged him to jump from the top of the tower. It was not pleasant. The heat index here has been around roughly 110 degrees, so sitting with my camera aimed up was uncomfortable. Lucas, our camp director, sat on top of the zip talking to Michael. Things got quiet. Carrie looked at me and I realized that the child was praying a very important prayer on top of the tower. After he was done, he jumped, and I gained a brother in Christ as we all sweated at the high zip. I was also able to interview him right after, and it was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve ever had behind a camera.
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I wish I had time to type all of the stories of life change that we witness each day. It’s surreal and an honor to help be the eyes of Camp Grace that show the public what we do. Thank you for your support!
  • Please pray for the hearts of the hundreds of children who will come through camp in the next month.
  • Pray for this next week, as we will host over 90 foster children. Pray for the staff that they will show grace and love amidst brokenness.
  • Pray for the strength and energy of all of staff as we enter the second, more difficult half of the summer. Pray that we will always remember the ‘WHY’ of camp and that we do everything for Christ’s glory.

SUPPORT KATIE AT CAMP 

MICHAEL GUNGOR On The Problem With The Christian Music Industry

God

There is a lot of truth in the wise words of Michael Gungor. I’m not a huge fan of a lot of today’s Christian music, and this piece expresses what I couldn’t put into words.

AWAKEN GENERATION

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT !!!!

READ MICHAEL GUNGOR’S FOLLOW UP BLOG TO HIS POST ‘THE PROBLEM WITH THE CHRISTIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY !!!

 

Date: Monday, December 9, 2013

Hey Everyone,

As promised earlier, after the incredible buzz around his blog post below in the past week (there have been more than 360,000 views of this blog post in the past 7 days) Michael Gungor expressed to me a desire to write a follow-up blog post to this original post he wrote almost 2 years ago.

I am excited to announce that Michael emailed me his follow-up blog post that he just finished two days ago, and you can read it immediately, by clicking on the link below.

Michael Gungor: A Follow-Up To My Blog Post On The Problem With The Christian Music Industry

 

Regards,

Hervict

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When you are in a touring band, there is a lot of time that is…

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The Camp Grace Experience.

God, Relating Publicly

The past six weeks have been crazy. They flew by so quickly, but I have memories of long days full of hours of taking pictures and updating websites, social networks, drives, etc. I have to say, these memories are also of the best summer job I’ve ever had.

Camp has impacted my life in more ways than I will ever know. This was my first paid PR job, and I must say, I LOVED it. I feel like my job was God’s way of confirming that I chose the right career to pursue. I loved spreading the word about camp. I loved seeing the numbers rise on our Facebook page. I loved starting the camp blog and updating it for hundreds to read each week.  I loved taking pictures and choosing which ones to use for publicity. Most of all, I loved seeing many kids’ lives being changed because of camp, and knowing that I’m helping people on the outside realize that lives are being changed is a beautiful feeling.

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I will never forget the kid’s smiling faces when they reached the top of the rock wall, or passed the swim test, or rode a horse without help. I will never forget camp wide cheers, my coworker’s hilarious  skits, or huge group games. I will never, EVER forget my first Thursday night CrossTalk in the amphitheater with the sun setting over the lake. That night was the first night I watched through tear-filled eyes as fifty campers opened their hearts to God for the first time. That alone made the exhausting work week worth every second.

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Now camp is over, but I still get the opportunity to live on campus and do marketing work for a little while longer. Summer camp may be over for 2013, but that means its time to raise support for 2014. I’ll be working with camp as long as they need me, and I cannot wait to see how camp will continue to grow in the next year!

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  – K