BeautifulYou Stories: Katharine
There are so many incredibly people that make up the BeautifulYou community. It is our hope to introduce you to a few of them so that you can hear, first hand, their stories.
BeautifulYou – Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and what first brought you to DC?
Katharine – After college, I did a two year teaching program in Baltimore. I had actually rated DC as my first choice city for my teaching placement, but I ended up being placed in Baltimore instead. My two years there were challenging. Everything was brand new–a new city, a new car to get around in, a new career, and new teacher clothes (to make myself look older than my students!). If you remember buying new things as a kid, you always bought them big enough so there was “room to grow,” right? Well, I had more than enough room to grow in Baltimore–I felt way too small for what I had taken on. I was forced to lean on God in a whole new way, and I started to learn just how big He really is, and how He’s there to help us when we feel small. By the end of my two year program, I had grown and changed a lot, but DC was still in my heart as the place where I wanted to live… so, I made the move, and I’ve been here ever since!
BeautifulYou – Was there a moment in your life that stood out to you as a turning point?
Katharine – A major turning point in my life happened a couple of months into my first year of teaching. As I grew into my new career, I was feeling stretched to the breaking point. I knew that God promised us peace and joy, but I only felt anxiety, stress, and fear of failure. I also knew that God promised to help us overcome, but I just felt under water. With a lot of help from others, I learned that I didn’t have to live by my feelings, but I could choose to experience what God promised, regardless of my circumstances. I found out that I didn’t have to let every anxious, fearful thought that came into my head stay there; instead, I could decide to “take that thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and think on God’s promises. One of my favorites was, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace” (Isaiah 55:12). I used to think about that verse when I got up in the morning. I would say it out loud, too, and I’d picture myself going off to school in joy and being led in peace all throughout the day.
BeautifulYou – How has your life changed since then?
Katharine – Things really turned around for me after this. I still had thoughts of anxiety, stress, and fear come in, but I no longer rolled them over and over in my mind, allowing myself to spiral down into self-pity. It was like I suddenly had a net, or a filter, on my mind that I’d never had before. I got better at catching those negative thoughts and reminding myself about what God had to say about me and my situation. His promises came alive in me, and I was transformed into a person with more peace, more joy, more confidence, and more faith. I started to truly enjoy my job and my life.
BeautifulYou – What are a few things that have been helpful to you as you’ve taken this journey?
Katharine – I’ve been pulled along by the people in my life who are a few steps ahead of me–my parents, my older brother and sister, and my pastors at church. They’ve always been out in front helping to mark the path and encouraging me to keep going! I learn so much by watching how they’ve walked and by listening to the wisdom they’ve gained along the way. It’s also been so important for me to have friends walking alongside me. I’ve learned not to do life alone but to surround myself with people who are going in the same direction, so we can cheer each other on. And I wouldn’t be anywhere near as far along as I am without the word of God; it’s my roadmap and my handbook for life!
BeautifulYou – How long have you been part of the BeautifulYou family and how has that impacted your life?
Katharine – I went to my first BeautifulYou Christmas Tea almost 7 years ago. I remember being so touched by the definition of beauty that Pastor Donna shared, that it’s the quality present when one’s purpose is understood. Being a part of a gathering of girls who exemplify true beauty and understand their God-given purpose to bring compassion to a hurting world… wow, it’s just so inspiring. It has encouraged me to dream bigger, knowing that I’m part of something larger than myself. God can do so much through us when we speak and act with one voice and one heart to love those around us.
BeautifulYou – Is there something that you would say to someone else who might find themselves in the midst of a difficult part of their own journey?
Katharine – Even though it’s hard right now, remember that this is not your destination, it’s something you’re going through. So, keep going and don’t give up! Find people who have gone ahead of you and people who can walk alongside you. Don’t try to go it alone. And most of all, don’t try to go it without God. He wants to walk with you, to listen to you, and to speak strength and hope into you. Find out what He’s saying to you in His word, hang onto His promises, and let them come alive in you!
Katharine has lived in Washington, DC for 7 years and is a wonderful part of the Capital City Church community. She serves as the hub leader for women’s lifegroups and leads a lifegroup herself. In her spare time, Katharine loves to get up early for boot camp, linger over a cup of tea with friends, and try new recipes that require a food processor.