Kaitlyn

/Kaitlyn
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Kaitlyn

About Kaitlyn

Hi. As a follower of Jesus Christ, my desire is to glorify the living God of the Bible and point others to him through the thoughts and musings of my broken life made whole by him. I'm a blue-eyed thinker and graduate of Moody Bible Institute where I studied Bible and women's ministries. This current chapter of my life involves working as a church administrator in the Big City of Glorious Deep Dish Pizza, supporting our missionaries and local outreach initiatives. I love British period dramas and sharing the gospel with random strangers, and I would like to move back to Wisconsin someday. My prayer is that you know Christ more because of his work in my life.

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.

Please Rescue Me from my Mind Palace

The black hole of my mind.

I can spend hours pondering my future, internalizing anxiety and trying to over-analyze my heart’s current state. I can become absorbed in replaying memories, following threads into tomorrow, running and racing and lying awake. I mope over my lack of Christian growth and how I’ll never be good enough to xyz. Everyone is always better, more equipped, more focused. I could never write anything worth reading, have a grip solid enough on the Scriptures, know enough to have a ministry job…

 

My mental energy is often wasted navel-gazing at my own  self. I have wept often and begged God to help me overcome my anxious, over-stimulated mind that runs until it’s exhausted. Where is the peace that passes all understanding? Where is God in my anxiety? Why does my mind have to do this to me, preventing me from enjoying seasons and moments too many times?

Why can’t I just

A Snicket in Time

Motto for the summer, courtesy of a fictional children’s hero:

“Get scared later.”

I have been blessedly led to an internship in The Suburbs. I have been working with H the Women’s Ministry Director. I have been thrown into ministry and tested and humbled and busy with writing and loving my grandmother, aka my landlord for the summer, along with my Jesus-needing extended family and the aging neighbors down the street. I am being filmed every time I teach. I have been riding the train alone, driving down the scariest highway in the state, navigating a relationship, praying for my friends serving overseas, dealing with future and money.

I am being taught so much. It’s a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a summer of insanity that I couldn’t have imagined 9 months or a year or five years ago. It seems scary, and I joke about my mantra, but by the Spirit, I’ve been able to

Small Escalator to the Dungeon

Orlando.

Jane Doe, the survivor of the Stanford rape case.

I read their words today.

The world is broken, suffering, a slew of one-after-the-others. ISIS. Another Ebola outbreak. Another mass shooting at a high school. Another high-profile sexual assault case. Another child who dies of cancer.

I find myself sometimes, in the teeny tiny recesses of my heart, quietly asking God is the gospel is enough.

“Lord, is the Good News…is Jesus actually enough to heal and make right and restore?”

“Lord. Are you actually enough to fix all this?”

Doubt is real in the face of a groaning planet where humans are starting wars and destroying each others’ bodies or you find yourself waiting for “the phone call” that someone in your family has an incurable disease.

Doubt is real when you wonder if your grandma’s heart will ever soften towards the true Gospel and if Christians will ever act like Christians.

I heard a message on Romans

Formica Counter-ing Culture

“Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.”   -King Solomon. Prov 4:23.

I grew up in the mid-2000s, hyper-purity youth group culture of Christianity. Youth group emphasized saving yourself for marriage, dating was implied to be bad, and everyone was always wondering whether or not you “liked” a guy because you talked to him for more than eight seconds. I remember specifically attending a conference on relationships as a teenager where the entire emphasis was, literally, about keeping your pants on. They were selling checkered suspenders in the lobby.

And then I went to Bible College.

Cue confusion over courtship, paranoia about sneak-attack coffee dates (“Is is a date? Does he like me? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN”), and engagements left and right. It’s a strange arena to attempt navigation, and the Starbucks counter down the street has witnessed many a DTR

Broken Batteries

“I’ve been told I’m just a body.”

“I struggle feeling like I’m too broken for God to actually use me.”

“I think God sees me as a piece of dirt.”

“I look so ugly unless I wear makeup.”

“I never want to be raped again.”

Heartbreak, over and over again. I am sitting across Starbucks tables, carpet floors, couches, cups of tea and coffee when I hear these words. My spirit is continually rent by the twisted lies coming out of the mouths of these women, young twenty-somethings who have been repressed and depressed and caged by various turmoils.

I am small. So. Terribly. Small. What on earth am I supposed to say, when the backstories come out and I haven’t lived through half of the nightmares of half of these voices? What do you offer souls that have been busted? How can I reverse a lifetime of degradation at the hands of an abusive father,

Broken Beating Hearts

Tonight, I met Hagar.

She was pushing a stroller at top speed through the subway tunnel. She was haggard, dirty, poorly dressed. Her daughter was eerily silent.

“Excuse me, I was wondering if you could help me out?”

Metra ticket….safe house for women leaving abusing relationships….they’re saving a bed for her but she needs to get to Kenosha….

I didn’t have my purse. She left as fast as she arrived.

I was frozen to the cement and felt a wave of emotion. I wanted the scene to be put on hold so I could sit there for a moment, process the fact that this woman was on her own, with a baby, run down, with nothing to her name.

God, do you see her? Will you encounter her, save her, restore her?

My heart is continually made heavy by the racking pain of other people’s stories. My story is hard, but it’s pretzels compared to 99% of

So, Does this Outfit Make Me Look Relevant…?

“Do you have Instagram?”

I looked at the man across the counter of the donut shop and shook my head. He was trying to connect me with the store’s coupon offer. Needless to say, I couldn’t jump on the bus.

I twaddle back and forth with the lingering frustration that I don’t fit in to my generation. Oh sure, in many ways, I am certainly a Millennial:

-I remember when terrorism wasn’t a thing

-I remember the advent of cell phones and pre-HD days (hey there, 2004, nice slow-mo effect in that movie)

Despite shared life experiences, in many ways, I feel irrelevant among my demographic. This unfortunately can extend to the Bible College cafeteria.

Problem 1: I have a deep heart for the lost of my generation. And I struggle to connect with them.

Subpoint B: How can I preach the Gospel to Millennials if I loathe social media?

Must I become all things to all people

I’d like to order one Rapture, please…

It’s hard to look at the monstrous expectations of your future and of yourself and not be overwhelmed. I want to grow up well. I want to do this life thing right, honor God, finish strong. Keep going….

There are plenty of folks in Scripture I can see parallels with. It’s hard not to feel like Timothy sometimes, staring at a rag-tag congregation of Ephesians who are veering into idolatry and Paul’s far away and it’s up to his youthful, dreadfully inexperienced self to protect the deposit of truth and lead them back. The pressure against maintaining the Gospel even among his own was very real.

It’s hard not to feel like Daniel, a kid in a foreign land where they’re forcing him to melt into a new identity and making him do things his Jewish mother would gasp at, and he’s navigating the war between inner resolve and compromise. The pressure