Friday, January 2, 2015



It's 2015. The year of my college graduation. The year I start grad school. The year of "lasts" and "see-you-later's". 

And in 2014, so much changed. 

It's pretty funny to look back at my first post on this blog, which I wrote the year I graduated from high school. I liked that version of me for a while, but I'm really glad she grew up a little and learned a few things. 

This has been a "growing" year. This has been a challenging year - more so than any other. I gained friends, lost friends, spiraled out of control, put my worth in futile things, trusted God more, questioned God, walked with friends who doubted all of existence including God and walked away from faith, walked away from faith a few times myself, and experienced unparalleled, overwhelming anxiety in the midst of it all. 


I learned things. I grew up a little bit. And even though the aforementioned scenarios all completely sucked, the wisdom and experience that came of them creates a positive net gain. So as glad as I am to see 2014 go - and stay really really far behind me - it wasn't all bad. 

I don't think I have time to go into all the details; that would take approximately forever. So to get to the point of all of this: I learned to love the Process. 

Well, what does that mean? 

You may have noticed if you exist in the context of western culture that we as a society are very goal and product oriented. Everything is about the "next" thing; bigger, better, more, blah blah blah... Yet rarely does anything end in fulfillment in this lifestyle. Not to mention, when we focus on the end result with such fervor, we have a greater tendency to compromise and try to justify the means, which can mean any number of things: dignity, ethics, happiness, honesty, loved ones, and the list could go on for a while. 

I've realized that to live in this world of "End Result Only" is to only place worth and value on a very few small and sporadic moments. This is not something I'm interested in. That's not the kind of life I want to live. 

I believe in the inherent value of each human life. I believe every person has worth based on nothing other than pure humanity. For this reason, I have no desire to live in a world where I'm defined solely by my End Results and accomplishments and arbitrary milestones. No one else should have to either. 

Now don't get me wrong; if you accomplish something big: CELEBRATE IT! You deserve to celebrate success! This past semester I presented my "Junior" Recital for piano where I had to play about 40 minutes of solo music, almost all memorized, and let me tell you: I was TERRIFIED. I was so so nervous. It was a big deal; it was an end result, a goal I was working toward. There was a lot of weight on this one event. So many of my friends and family came to support me and listen as I performed my heart out, and afterward I was celebrated - it felt really good! I would do it again in a heartbeat. 


I worked my butt off essentially for the last 3 and a half years to get to that point. That work was not in vain; it was not solely for that one recital. It was actually through music that I learned how to begin enjoying the Process that is Life. It's about having big goals and big dreams, and setting smaller goals that are stepping stones, and analyzing (and enjoying!) mistakes and failures knowing that you're closer than you were before you messed up - you're doing something. 

Problem-solving and creativity work in this vein: the route you take to get where you're going becomes much more meaningful than the destination. That may not be super clear or practical, but that's what I've learned this year. 

I have learned to ask questions. I have learned to critically evaluate my own beliefs; why do I think/feel/believe what I do? How did I get here? What have I assume and taken for granted and never truly questioned? This happened with God, Jesus, religion, church, faith. The more I learn, the less I know. This is beautiful to me. 

The Katie that started this blog after high school graduation was born and raised in an evangelical "Christian Culture", and she clung to that for hope. The Katie that is writing today no long ascribes to some implied social construct that dictates how and what I believe. But God is the same: yesterday, today, and forever. To think that somehow I know all of the answers to anything is insane. What human has the power to know absoluteness? I believe the answer is: None. So I'm contented and convicted and committed to learning for the rest of my life. I will ask questions. I will be okay with not having all the answers. I will hear from other people. I will listen to every possible perspective and background; every human is worth being heard. I will love people as my highest call from God with the love He first showed us all. 

You could say I'm "liberal" or "crazy" or "blasphemous" or whatever you want. Those things might all be true. But until I know for sure, I'm just going to try to trust and love God, love people, and always enjoy the Process until the very end. 

Happy New Year.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Oh hey look I still have a blog. Weird.

I feel very blog-y lately, probably because I had to start blogging for class. Also, I feel okay bearing part of my soul on this type of page because it's slightly more organized instead of partial thoughts being scattered throughout notebooks, word documents, phone memos, iPad notes, etc. Plus since no one REALLY pays attention, I figured what the heck?

So I've decided that it's okay to be sad for people. I mean we're called to mourn with those who mourn, right?

So, what if we're mourning for someone who isn't mourning? Are we happy for them even if it's for something we would be sad for? Am I being vague? Good.

I'm a very overly compassionate person. My super snarky outer shell doesn't always give me away, but it's true. I feel very deeply and very passionately and very much for people.

What happens when compassion gets out of hand? What happens when you try to fix people? What happens when you try to solve problems that aren't yours to solve? What happens when you start trying to do God's job for Him? Do you know the answer?

Well, I do.

You fail.

You fail because you are not God. I cannot save anyone. I cannot fix anyone or anything. It is not my responsibility to convince people of something that can't be perceived by mere logic. I just can't.

So what can I do? Well, I can still love people. But what does that even look like?

Every time I ask myself this question I go back to 1 Corinthians 13: patient, kind, not envying, not boastful, humble, does not dishonor, selfless, even-tempered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth, always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.

I'm here to tell you that I suck at this. I don't like to wait, I'm easily angered, I hold grudges, and I'm proud.

One of the most painful things I have experienced is someone I love so dearly turning from God. I guess you could say I've taken it personally. It's devastating to know the most powerful and wonderful hope and love, and watch as your loved one gets lost in confusion and doesn't want to believe that a hope like this could be real.

So what's compassion both for a person's expressed struggles and pain, and for the implicit things like not having hope look like? Heck if I know. But I'm trudging full speed ahead through the craziness of discovering what it looks like to love like Jesus every day. I know I'll never learn everything there is to know, but I'm confident that the One who knows it all lives in me and shows me His grace every day, and that's good enough for me.

I will always have compassion, and I will try to go where God leads.

This is all very random, but sorry not sorry.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Draw Near to God

Upon reading James 4:6-10 (for like the billionth time) it has never made more sense to me than it does right now.

I'm letting my laughter turn to mourning, my joy into gloom, in order to humble myself to the Lord. My pride tells me to keep up the facade of happiness all the time, but God is wrecking that. I am so grateful.

I've been trying to make sense of the funk I'm in, and I'm learning to continue drawing near to God and resist the devil. Satan is at work, but God is stronger. I have to rest in Him. I can't do anything on my own.

"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."

Jesus. Lord, I need You - every hour I need You.

"Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Currently: Avoiding School Work

Also I'm listening to NEEDTOBREATHE. I just love them.

Okay so there are weird things happening to me. I have no idea how to express them.

I'm a very... how do you say it... guarded person. Typically speaking, that is. I have this idea (this lie) built up in my head that I'm not actually supposed to burden people with my problems and feelings (which is exactly opposite of the notion I wrote about a few days ago - yesterday? I don't remember.).

I'm currently in a funk. I'm usually really good at hiding my emotions, EXCEPT FOR WHEN I GOT TO MY PIANO LESSON AND I DON'T KNOW WHY. My teacher has some weird power over me that breaks down my walls and makes me vulnerable. Darn you, DTC! (Just kidding, I love you)

Today that happened. Then I realized that I hadn't cried in a long time. Then I realized that I'm typically pretty aware of how I feel and what's going on inside me, but I'm not any more. It's scaring me. My emotions are pouring out of me in weird ways at weird times and in weird places and I can't seem to control it. Could this be God trying to reiterate to me how much I need Him because He is in control and I am NOT?

I usually like to have an idea of how things are going inside me. Granted I don't do much self reflection or anything, so it's a little hard. What's going on? What do I feel? Why do I feel? What is God teaching me? What about God am I resisting? How am I being stubborn? Am I being a good witness to people? Am I obeying God? Am I seeking His wisdom and His will? What is my life? Who are my people? Who does God want to be my people? Am I ignoring Him? Why do I suck at Matthew 6:33? What is wrong with me? What is my brain even doing? Why can't I let people in? Why can't I take anything seriously?

I got to an answer for that last question and I'm gonna roll with it. I'm afraid of being hurt, I think. I think I know the value of emotions and the truth that we are going to suffer this side of heaven, but I don't want to face it. I've been hurt in the past, and grown up with a negative association with emotions and expressing how I feel. It's a hurdle I haven't gotten over yet. My friends are so great, and so encouraging. I encourage them to be real with me, and yet I can't seem to do the same. I try to practice and it is so hard. Ugh I'm in such a weird place.

I am hoping for peace and clarity. I pray that God directs my paths and opens my eyes and heart to see His faithfulness. It's dark in the valley, but I know that He is good.

"From the ends of the earth I will cry to you, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thoughts, Questions, and Ramblings on Life & the Christian Community

These thoughts originated from spending a lot of time with a friend of mine who is particularly guarded about basically everything. Because of that, I don't really know her as well as I thought I did, and long for a deeper connection because of it. Also, a talk given at the retreat I went to this weekend was on inclusion and understanding that each human is equally human. We are all called children of God and He loves us. They two kind of tie together, though I did a poor job of explaining it. However, these are just some questions/ideas/thoughts I began to write down yesterday, and here we are. I pray God will reveal Himself through this and give you (and me) wisdom. 

We believe the lie that no one cares about us unless somehow they are getting something in return. This simply isn't true. And yet how do we, as disciples of Christ, create a counterculture of selfless love? The Gospel we preach is inclusive. We believe that Jesus was radical because He hung out with the "unclean" in order for us to understand that He doesn't call us to judge who is unclean and who is not. It's the story of Cornelius and Peter in Acts 10 - give it a read.

Sort of a tangent. Sorry.

The point is, what will it look like for our generation of Jesus-lovers to combat the "me" generation we live in with the lasting truth of the selfless, mercy-loving Gospel? If we really are living in the name of Jesus, then we must be living to love His people. And we are all called the children of God.

What if we (I, you) made the decision to take responsibility for the state of your Christian community? I don't have very precise answers, really, but I'm praying to God for wisdom to discern how to act. It's hard, scary, overwhelming, and probably awkward. But it takes faith that with God all things are possible.

I care about people. I love relationships and I value them - they have worth. Relationships are hard. If you don't think so, you're wrong, delusional, or in an unhealthy relationship, or perhaps in none (which is doubtful).

Who decided that emotions were weaknesses? Who said you're a wimp if you ever cry? Who said weakness is even a bad thing? But rather, "most gladly I will boast in my infirmities, that the power of God may rest upon me." (2 Cor. 12:19)

I think it's about time we plunge into the waters of getting real, and continue finding the balance between that and guarding our hearts.

Let's break down the walls and be willing to bear one another's burdens.

James 5:16 says this:

"Confess your sings to one another & pray for one another that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."

My prayer is that God would being to grow real, authentic, genuine relationships among Christians, and that we will begin to see each other as equally sinful, wretched, weak, small human beings, who by the grace of God are able to be so much more through the power of Christ in whom we find our identity.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Acts 17 & Eagle Eyrie

Tonight in my Bible study we talked about Acts 17 - the differences in how the Gospel message was received in Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens - and what it looks like for us to share Jesus with people in our culture today. We found that we were a lot like Athens in that people like to "talk the talk" and entertain everyone's idea all day long, but rarely do we see many people firmly stand up for any particular thing, because our society is all about being politically correct and not hurting anybody's feelings.

So, what does it look like for us to share our faith in our world? Well, it looks like we're going to have to offend some people. OH NO! But wait... Jesus definitely offended His fair share of people - religious leaders, even - and His message was clear: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me." We need a Savior, and most people are offended by that. We are in the midst of the "Me" generation (and by 'we' I mean the 20/30 somethings and younger) and we want to think we can do everything on our own. We don't need anyone's help, and if you show even the slightest hint of weakness, you're considered less of a person.

Well, I'm here to tell you that the Gospel is going to hurt the pride of all of us who think that way. We are not good people. It is in our nature to sin and do bad things and only look after ourselves. Paradoxically, it is also in our nature to be drawn to and seek community. Hmm...

The truth is, we need someone to save us. We need someone to care for us, to give us strength, to love us unconditionally, to accept us for everything we are (and everything we're not), to forgive us in abundance, and to extend everlasting grace for everlasting life. This is the tragedy of our humanly finite situation.

BUT HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS: Jesus is all those things we need. God is sovereign above all our hopes and dreams and best laid plans. Praise Him! The hardest part about sharing this with others is that they don't think they need it. Who doesn't need Hope? We are in desperate need of it. We are battling the constant forces of pride that reside in us all. But God is bigger, stronger, more powerful that it all. Praise!

On that note, I'm going away on a retreat this weekend to spend lots of time with God, in community with people who love Jesus, and refocusing my heart and mind on this Gospel Truth. I can't wait to share what I take away, and I pray that God is glorified in our gathering this weekend.

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

1 Corinthians 1 (part 3)

I want to let the Scripture do most of the talking tonight. It's really beautiful.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31
"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are migthty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption--that, as it is written, 'He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.'"

Dude. This gives me so much hope - hope in the fact that God will use me for His glory despite the fact that I am not worthy, not good enough, can't do anything on my own. Not that just that He will use me, but He will use me because I am weak but trust in Him. His strength is perfected in my weakness because I am humbling myself to Him and not boasting in my own abilities.

It takes me back to the book of Judges which we studied at the BCM for part of last semester. Each judge we encountered was weak, doubted God, failed, stumbled, and yet God used them to bring salvation to the Israelites. The parallel, of course, was that one day God would send The Judge to redeem the sins of all people so that there was no other name by which anyone could be saved. This man, Jesus Christ, was perfect and yet was humbled to a sinner's death. That humility that was modeled for us by the only being worthy of boasting in Himself, therefore who are we to say we are mighty in ourselves?

God is humbling me daily, and blowing my mind all the time. Be encouraged, that we never grow where we're comfortable, and God will use those who humbly seek Him and yearn to glorify Him.