I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we launched this fun little campaign over here on Searching for Lovely! Girls Moving Mountains has been SO inspiring for me, and it’s brought me closer to each of the girls that I’ve had the opportunity to interview.
In case you’re new (hello!), Girls Moving Mountains is a series on this blog about girls I know who are really on fire for God, girls who truly delight in Him and who are moving mountains with their faith. I started it last January in hopes that it would be an inspiration to myself and to others as we strive to seek God more! I am so excited to start year 2 of this series!! Each girl featured so far has had amazing words to share (you can check them all out here) and I can’t wait to be inspired by the beautiful ladies lined up for the next year!
And today we are starting 2018 off with a bang! This is my darling friend Katilynn and she is INSANE in the most wonderful way! I’ve been trying to get her on here for months because she is seriously one of the most mountain-moving girls I know. She has a huge heart for people and she loves and gives and serves everyone she meets with the most genuine, funny, and authentic spirit. In fact, she’s kind of the reason this whole thing got started. At the beginning of last year, she created a Facebook group called Positively Empowered to give women at Freed-Hardeman University an outlet to teach others about the Lord. Positively Empowered meets every week with a speaker that has expressed interest in sharing something empowering (Freed ladies, check it out here). Katilynn asked me to speak one week and guess what my devo was about—faith that moves mountains!! And thus GMM was born.
Katilynn is 19 years old and a sophomore at Freed. After graduation, she has decided to commit to long-term cross-cultural missions. She says, “I want to do my part in sharing the gospel to the many unreached people groups of the world. I don’t know when, where, or how I’m going to get there at this point in my life, but I’m trusting God to use me as He sees fit.” I know without a doubt that she will continue to influence so many people for good for years to come.
Katilynn has some real and powerful words to share with you today:
Her faith story: “My life has been crazy from the very beginning but, whose life hasn’t been? I came from a broken family, we were living paycheck to paycheck, I had no friends, I was suicidal, I was depressed, and I pitied myself so much. I felt like the world was against me and like no one understood me. I believed in a god— the god I thought was in the Bible, but I never really read the Bible by myself so what did I know? The god I once thought was the one true God was anything but that. I would pray to it and beg, “Oh, please Lord let me ace this test!” or “Please let this guy like me.” I would pray and I believed if I prayed hard enough it would happen. If it didn’t happen, I would pray again, but this time I would pray harder. I’m ashamed. This god was who I went to when I wanted something. This god eventually let me down because this god didn’t exist. I went throughout life going through the motions knowing that once I turned 18 I would never step foot in a church again. I went to church and I acted like I was such a good believer, doing service projects, and going to devotionals, and memorizing scripture, but the truth was I was rotten on the inside because I did not know who God was. I was dead in sin! I struggled with depression for years (I still sometimes struggle with it). I did and said so many things I’m really ashamed of. I went on like this until Emily Arnold befriended me. (she’s a gem, y’all -A) At the time I had no Christian friends and I hung out with the wrong crowd, but she was there for me. Because of her influence and love I read the Bible on my own. I discovered Christ’s love and for the first time I believed it was true. I left all the friends I had been hanging around for years, and started to build a Christian life, a life centered on God. God works in mysterious ways. I might not be where I want to be in my walk with God, but I can say that the real one true God has completely changed my life. I now know that Christ’s love is for me and when I pray to Him He is listening, and He cares for me. My life has been a series of crazy events that led me to where I am now: at Freed-Hardeman University, still best friends with Emily Arnold and believing in the one true God.”
Her favorite passage of Scripture: “Psalm 16 is a passage I find myself turning to every time I am unsure, or when I feel myself falling away. The title next to the passage in my Bible says, “You will not abandon my soul.” This means so much to me because it reminds me that if I keep the Lord always before me He will not abandon me. The chapter starts out by saying, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” I have to remember that I am nothing because He is everything; He is the only good in me, and if I keep growing toward the Lord, He will bless me with more than I could ever imagine. I often forget that the struggles I face on Earth are just that— on Earth. This passage teaches that He will be our counsel in our times of trouble, and He will guide us all the days of our lives. My favorite book of the Bible would definitely have to be Ecclesiastes. It is all about how this Earth is meaningless without God. I find myself reading it and constantly being reminded that this life I am living is not about me at all.”
Her practical suggestions for Bible study (this one is so important): “I am certainly not the best at studying the Bible, but the best advice I can give is to just start today. Don’t tell yourself that you will start tomorrow, that you will get a devotional book, or that right now is not a good time. Right now is the best time to study the Bible. Once you start reading, don’t stop until you have learned five things you didn’t know before. Write them down. The whole point of reading the Bible is to discover who God is and learn more about what you are doing on this Earth. Highlight, put sticky notes, and write all over the margins so you can remember and tell others of your findings. Find a book or passage you want to read and start right now.”
Her prayer relationship with God: “There are so many things I don’t know, and the unknown absolutely scares me to death sometimes. Prayer is a way for me to feel like I have taken a load off, for me not to feel worried anymore. You can tell God everything and He will never tell another soul. He is trustworthy, so trust Him with your problems. Prayer is just like your relationships with friends on Earth. If you don’t talk to a friend for a long time, you start to lose the connection you once had. Every relationship needs communication to stay strong and prayer is the way to have a strong connection with God. God, the creator of everything, wants a relationship with us and He has given us a way to speak to Him. Why wouldn’t you take full advantage of that?”
How Katilynn defines “delighting in the Lord”: “Delighting in the Lord means to take pleasure in everything that He stands for, even all of His commandments. It’s so easy to doubt that God is here (trust me I’ve been there.) It’s easy to feel like every Sunday morning your preacher is trying to sell you something. It’s hard to go against the status quo. It’s hard to admit that you have a heart problem, that you keep sinning and that you don’t want to stop because what you are doing is fun. Sin is fun. Delighting in the Lord is not fun. We want things to be instant and when things don’t go our way on God’s side, we jump right on the devil’s bandwagon. Delighting in the Lord is hard because it isn’t fun.”
On the “desires of her heart” (speaking to ALL the single ladies here): “One of the biggest desires of my heart is that I so badly want a husband. At one time I was so scared to even think about marriage because the only marriage I’ve ever seen up close and personal failed. My parents did not have a good marriage at all and I was really not looking forward to it. Once I discovered what a true Godly marriage looked like, I wanted one so bad. I want someone to share my life with, to have kids with, to learn about God with, but I was scared. I was scared it would never happen, and at times I still am. I want to be content with the way my life is, and if that means I’m on my own for a while or forever I want to be okay with that.”
Her message to other girls striving to grow in faith: “If you are seeking to increase your faith in God, I dare you to give it your all. Delete all unnecessary apps from your phone, cut out television, and maybe even stop taking naps (I am terrible at that last one). In order to be better at anything in life you have to work at it, which includes getting rid of any and all distractions that keep you from achieving your goal. When you get rid of all the distractions in your life, you suddenly see that you have so much time for other things. You don’t have Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat on your phone for you to waste time on. You don’t have any television shows you are constantly trying to keep up with (maybe things you shouldn’t be watching). Think about all the time you spend on things that aren’t helping you in any way, and think about how cool it would be if you spent that time with God. Give all of your free time to Him, give everything to God, and you will grow.”
I seriously have nothing else to add because everything Katilynn shared was so good and so powerful! I know you have seen her heart in her words, and I hope they have challenged and inspired you as they have me!
Be looking out for more mountain-moving girls soon!
I love you!