Kaitlyn

/Kaitlyn
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Kaitlyn

About Kaitlyn

Hi. My desire here is to glorify the living God of the Bible and to point others to him through the thoughts and musings of my broken life made whole by him. I am a Christ-follower who has been freed and forgiven from much. I'm a blue-eyed thinker who splits her time between the big city of Chicago and the Northwoods. This current chapter of my life involves working full-time as a church administrator in the Big City of Glorious Deep Dish Pizza. My purpose in life: that I may deeply know and serve my Lord (Phil 3:10-14).

Church Conflict 101

“I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:2-3).

The Body of Christ is a blessed place, a community, a family to be in and a part of. Paul shows us, though, throughout his letters that church conflict is unfortunately normative. We are still sinners, awaiting the return of Christ and desperately needing his grace in the meantime.

My home church recently toiled through some ugly conflict. The pattern is sadly typical in our lives as Christians. Feelings get hurt, we want control, pride is injured, or perhaps we do not understand proper biblical leadership. We hold grudges, we gossip, we act out, we point fingers.

What I’m Learning from my High-Church Friends

[Note: This post begins a new shift in writing. During my time in Bible college, this blog served the wonderful purpose of assisting me in processing my musings about the Lord working in my life. I will still seek to honor him in all my writing, but now that I’ve graduated, I’d like to make my posts more structured and topic-focused.]

 

I am hardly a high-church type of person, although I spent the first seven years of my life in a place full of chant-y rituals, clerical robes, and passing the communion cup. That church, sadly, was a dead and cold place, and my parents left seeking Christ’s face in a church elsewhere. From then on, I have been fed and nourished in a series of Bible-based denominational and non-denominational Bodies.

In Bible College, I met my first Anglican friend. In a curious pendulum swing from our parents and pastors of our youth,

Wisdom from Pooh

I am in the process of ending Year 4. I will soon cross the stage. I will shortly have my piece of paper. I will be sent.

Bible College has been the most incredible experience of my life. Trying to say goodbye “well” has involved a large, Hermoine Granger-sized mixed bag of emotions. This has been my favorite season, favorite place on earth, and now it is time to leave.

Maggie took me to a ridiculously sketchy-but-good grilled cheese dive tonight for one last spontaneous dinner. God continues his profound stooping as he constantly uses agents to encourage me and mediate his love. I love the Body of Christ for this reason and so many more.

Reading Romans 8 shows the tension between the already-but-not-yet world we live in. There are goodbyes, and pain, and sufferings, yes, but we as Christians await the new heavens and the new earth, we have hope that

Much so Far has Happened

Approximately fifteen minutes ago I was crying in the girls’ bathroom as a shaky eighteen-year-old who was starting her first day of college.

It is now April of Year 4. I have just left a friend’s apartment where we discussed and prayed and dreamed about the next phase of life, hopefully living together and working full time and seeking the Lord for his wisdom and clarity.

I am waiting to hear back from nonprofit administrative positions. I have been published. I am helping my boyfriend apply for seminary scholarships. I am hearing friends lease in the northern part of town and receive job offers and get engaged on the beach and I am being asked to speak at our last senior gathering and and and

 

Lord, so much has happened.

I am reading Exodus. A lot happened for those people of God in that time, too, albeit a lot more grander of a scale

Reflections and Cardboard

My mind seeks to organize life in boxes. That’s how I work, and it’s great for many things.

This year has certainly been one to break the boxes. I’ve been challenged, humbled, confronted, and forced to process much–my own sin, my own fears, my own judgments about others that are incorrect and wrong.

I’ve cycled through the topics of race and gender roles and Christians needing to vote too many times to count; I’ve read Matthew, Acts, Hosea, Joel, Luke, Obadiah, and Amos; I’ve completed and started another year of Bible college; I’ve said goodbye to friends and welcomed new ones; I’ve walked with other through mental illness, relational difficulties, anxiety, and a lot of prayer for more faith that God will provide; I’ve been heartbroken over the state of sin in the world more than ever; I’ve discovered a desire to hone my teaching skills; I’ve begun dating a wonderfully complicated

Jacob and the Ladder

How many people does it take to tell you something and actually believe it is true?

To tell you that the objective of life is not to just escape through with the least amount of scars, and to bemoan the ones you carry?

To tell you that you are beautiful, a treasure, worth a suffering and a sacrifice?

To tell you that your sins and flaws and edges and grotesque deformities don’t negate unconditional love from your Father in heaven?

 

Wrestling with the truth leaves you tired. I’ve been mulling over all these things, which have come to light this semester as I’ve been reading and writing and contemplating my life and post-Year-4 existence. I’ve been studying Ruth and Hosea and Genesis and 1 Samuel and realizing the same God who was there in the beginning has always been relational and has always mourned the disobedience of his people.

I have read examples over and

Proper Lives Lived

“‘Dear God,’ she prayed, ‘let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.’”
—Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

 

 

Her parents started a major missions organization that impacts thousands of Eastern European youth each year and has ignited a gospel hunger where the Iron Curtain once hung. Her mom wrote a book detailing the life story of their family and how the mission happened by God’s grace and leading. I am privileged to call this dear sister a very close friend. Her faith and contentment inspire me.

As I skimmed the memoir her mom wrote of saying “Yes” to God, I’ve been thinking about how every fiber of my being longs to live a life of “Yes”– to God’s plan, will, and promises.

The hard part about saying, “I surrender all” to God is that there’s a ton of suffering that accompanies that, because God uses trials to shape us,

Proper Goodbyes

Tears welled up in his eyes and his throat closed shut and he creaked out the words between swallows.

“I don’t want to write a book…I don’t need a big church…if you guys email me or call me in five, ten, fifteen, thirty years and tell me you’re still following Jesus, that’s all I want.”

That is my college pastor’s desired legacy. I yearn to have that same devotion to Christ, to people.

Today was his last Sunday morning with us. I’ve been encouraged, inspired, and fed under the teaching of this incredible pastor for the past 8 months. He has called out potential in me, stimulated the faith of others, and welcomed countless students into him and his family’s lives.

As I read the book of Genesis, I’m seeing the incredible faith and devotion of Abraham. Like my pastor, I look at this guy who demonstrated such a devotion to God’s call. My

Kitchen Table and Expectations

I’m sitting at the breakfast bar in my parents’ kitchen. It’s 9:30pm and I’m knocking back coconut chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, courtesy of my mom and her practical love.

I’m thinking about a lot of things. Tomorrow I leave the Northwoods after a short stint home to begin: Year 4. I feel so funny about starting my last year at Bible College in the big city when three years ago, freshmen orientation was happening and I was scared to walk down the street by myself. In my head it’s only been about a week and maybe five minutes.

This summer, I completed an internship serving in suburbia with a local church’s women’s ministry. I have written a paper encapsulating my current philosophy of ministry to women, studied the Word immensely, took ownership of my retirement account, and upgraded my solo-highway-driving skills. I have struggled with anxieties, calling, future,

Please Get Me a Bigger Box

I’ve recently noticed that I have a natural aversion to things I cannot figure out, pin down, hammer out. It stresses me out if I cannot put something  in a box; life is so complex, this obviously is not a problem I can avoid. I am learning more to lean into the complicated rather than shying away, as this is where so much growth happens, but it’s not my favorite. It’s an intentional, arduous mental process for me as such a strategic thinker.

Perhaps that’s why, in an ironic way, I love studying the Bible so much. It’s like an eternal treasure chest that I can’t figure out. Instead of the stress that clutches me when I cannot wade through the loud forum of Protestant evangelical grey areas (here’s my latest), conversations about yet another thing the church should be doing, and arguments about race without a frustrated headache, I rejoice.